Neither of us has ever been the healthiest of eaters. Sure, when we met many years ago, we were both in pretty good shape. My husband had always played sports and was active (not to mention he had an impossibly fast metabolism). I had played sports for most of my life and went on a serious exercise kick my senior year of high school and freshman year of college where I basically drank coffee and cans of V8 juice to sustain myself after spending hours at the gym. We grew up eating fried everything. Fried crawfish, fried fish, fried oysters, fried shrimp, fried oreos…you name it, we fried it. We grew up eating crawfish etouffee (aka crawfish drowned in crawfish fat over white rice), red meat, white rice, white bread, bread pudding, sugary sodas, salty chips, and processed everything. Don’t even get me started on the amount of alcohol we’ve consumed throughout our existence.
When we met, over four years ago, we though our bodies would stay like that forever. Needless to say, they have significantly slowed over the last few years, though our eating and fitness habits didn’t change along with our slowing metabolisms. It was one day a few months ago as I was drinking my third or fourth cup of sugary coffee of the day that I had a revelation. I couldn’t fit into my favorite pair of jeans anymore, and if we didn’t start getting healthy now, we never would.
We had always talked about eating better or exercising more or getting into better shape for summer, but we had never actually gone through with it. We had grand ideas of the fun things we’d do to become more active, none of which we’d ever actually tried yet. I texted my husband and told him we were going to start eating healthier that day. And it was HARD…mostly because I had no will power…or so I thought at the time.
We went home that day and threw away everything bad in our house. Processed foods, gone. Sodas, bye bye. Rice and gravy, sayonara! We went to the store and stocked our fridge with fruits, veggies, nuts, chicken, fish, water, tea, and healthy options so we wouldn’t be tempted to stray from our healthy diet. We started taking our two dogs out for a walk and walking for at least 20-30 minutes a day. We bought cute work out clothes and new (expensive) running shoes.
And everything was good…for a while. I had enough will power not to eat anything bad at home, but when I was out running errands or getting lunch with friends, I found myself ordering unhealthy things. We ate better, gave up sodas, and were more active for about a month before I decided I wanted to kick it up a notch.
The hardest day of my life was when I decided to give up coffee! Now, to give you some perspective, I used to drink A LOT of coffee. I’d have a coffee in the morning (maybe 2), afternoon coffee, evening coffee. And not just plain coffee, I loved the sugary stuff! My dad would always joke and ask “Would you like some coffee with your cream and sugar?” I had a weakness for vanilla lattes and hazelnut frappucinos from Starbucks or CC’s.
I quit cold turkey. I did give in a couple of times, but I lived solely on water to quench my thirst (which was kinda boring). And to make sure that I didn’t stray too far from our diet, we packed sandwich bags of healthy foods for when we were on the go! Our fridge is now always stocked with bags of assorted fruit as well as bags of assorted veggies, and our pantry houses bags of homemade trail mix that we make using unsalted nuts. THIS IS A LIFESAVER for anyone who thinks they don’t have time to make healthy meals every day! In the mood for a salad? Put some lettuce in a bowl and pour a veggie bag on top and add dressing. Voila! Instant, easy salad. I’ll write a post with more details on making these later!
The other thing that saved my life was TEA. I got so bored with water that I needed something else to drink, anything else. I’ve always liked tea, so we got a bunch of Tazo tea bags (this brand is more expensive but SO worth it) and a new, fancy electric kettle (it boils water SO fast). Tea gives me a flavor to satisfy me when I’m bored with water, plus it’s healthy and can boost your metabolism and give your more energy.
So far, it’s been a few months now, which is a long time for us considering the longest we’ve ever stuck to a healthy activity was about 2 days. I know we are making progress because not only have we both lost weight, but we have SO much more energy now. I know we all wish that those people were wrong and that you don’t feel that different by eating healthy and exercising, but it’s so unbelievably true.
I also know I’ve made serious progress since I can now turn down free cupcakes and cookie cakes…