How Your Friends Make It Easy to be Healthy: Diet & Exercise

Exercise blackboard
Daily motivation at Anytime Fitness

This is a diary of the healthy lifestyle goals that my son, Chris, and I are making together each month.  Since it takes 21-30 days to develop a new habit, making a goal for the month ahead is an effective strategy.

He and I agree that making these monthly goals together and posting our results here for you to see helps us to improve our health.  I’ve always found that if I say out loud to someone what I plan on doing, I’m more likely to do it.  Because if I say I will, I feel responsible to follow through. 

Age doesn’t matter.  It’s never too late.  You can always make progress and actually reverse the signs of aging!

Chris’s goal last month was to get back to the healthy eating patterns that have become his normal diet since working on these goals for the last couple of years. That means less carbs, fried and greasy foods and maybe a little less sugar.

For my part, I agreed to go to the gym twice a week since my seasonal exercises were out-of-season.  Chris wanted to talk me into more, but I’m going to agree to more for next month’s goal.  Lol!

My Experience

After I lost 15 pounds last year by using the app My Fitness Pal to keep my calorie count to 1200 a day, I switched to 1500 calories a day to maintain my new weight.  The holidays were fine; I could have whatever goodies I wanted but in smaller amounts, and I had gotten used to the smaller amounts.

In January, I went over the 1500 a few days in a row and thought “Oh no!  Am I gong to be gaining pounds?”  Some days I was under a couple of hundred calories because I just wasn’t hungry for more food.  I decided to keep just under the 1500, like 1495 or 1480 or so, and not push it for that last bite of something which can so easily tip it over the mark.

I did well with getting to the gym to exercise twice a week last month until I woke up with a mean sore throat the last week.  I went to the gym once before it got me down.  But I actually squeezed it in, and it’s good practice learning how to squeeze in exercise; the little tricks make it happen.  For instance, I just thought to myself “I’ll just pop into the gym after I go to the grocery store next door” or “I’ll just hit the gym for half an hour; that’s easy enough!”  That got my foot in the door and then once you get going, you usually do more.  In fact, once when I got inside the gym one day, I noticed one of the classes I wanted to go to was just starting!  I ended up in there with a better workout than I would have had winging it on my own!  😀

Anytime Fitness mission
Anytime Fitness

When I go to the gym a lot of times, I feel like I could have done this at home.  But at the gym, I’m focusing; everything I need is right there, there’s plenty of room to move, and no distractions. L.A. Fitness even has a drink bar so you can get protein drinks, green drinks or coffee.  It ends up that it really is worth it to get out there.

Next month, my goal is to exercise three times a week, twice at the gym and once at home…with the exception of times when I get alternative exercise…like going to the mall and power walking while I’m there, or going to a hotel and swimming in the pool….

I don’t go visiting hotels all the time, but at the beginning of February my sisters are celebrating my birthday with dinner and an overnight stay at the MGM Grand Casino in downtown Detroit.  We’re going to be having lots of champagne and wine and a five-course dinner at a AAA 4-Diamond award winning restaurant called Iridescence.  That means I’ll have to starve the rest of the day (just kidding)!  But we’ll also go swimming in the pool and work off some of those calories.  ;D  Since I don’t gamble, I can enjoy the pool on my own as well while my sisters go gambling (as long as I don’t drown in the pool from drunkenness.  Lol!)

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MGM Grand Hotel swimming pool

Speaking of restaurants, my husband, Russ, also took me out to a restaurant for my birthday.  We went to Maggiano’s, where they give you an extra dinner to take home when you’ve finished your meal and are ready to leave.  I was shocked when I looked at the menu and one pasta entree had 1170 calories!  The calorie count of the dishes really narrowed down my possibilities.

Chris commented that pasta is one of the highest foods in calories.  I noticed that at home when Russ made two huge pots of his famous spaghetti sauce to stock up our freezer with easy dinners.  One cup of regular durum wheat spaghetti noodles has 840 calories, so I can only afford about 1/2 cup of noodles to go with the sauce!  Pasta is one of my favorite things.  So sad!

Chris lives in New York City and one day he passed a guy on the street who had a t-shirt that said “Body by Pasta.”  😀

body by pasta
Unisex T-shirt from Redbubble

Chris’s Experience

Chris binged over the holidays, so by January he had decided to lose a few pounds and get back to his healthy lifestyle.  From Thanksgiving to New Year, like most of us, Chris was tempted by sugars, fats and breads.  He abandoned his self-control and ate lots of candy, his favorite oatmeal cream pies (which I traditionally put in his stocking every year because I know he loves them; shame on me?), and a ridiculous amount of fried chicken wings when he went out to eat with his friend.

In January, Chris was doing well with his diet until halfway through the month, when he got a part in a movie and his goal intensified.  Shooting starts at the beginning of February in Los Angeles, so he kicked into high gear not only on his diet but also on his exercise.  His goal of getting back in shape turned to burning fat.  To do that, he cut out carbs, sugars and calories.  Then his energy dropped, so he allowed some healthy carbs, such as potatoes, oats and quinoa…but no bread, period.  Everything else was fresh and healthy, no cheating.  And he upped his time at the gym, every day.

Khail's cooking
One of Chris’s dinners:  lean chicken, potatoes, and vegetables

At the beginning of February, he plans to continue doing what he’s doing until the shoot is over.  After that, he wants to continue the diet but it will be a little less strict, maybe a cheat day once a week.  He’ll add some calories but just to maintain his weight…in other words, more good foods, like lean proteins (chicken, fish, turkey, etc.)  But he will stick to low-carb, low-calorie foods and allow only a small amount of healthy whole grains.

You might also want to read my other Health Diary entries in:  Health Goal Diary

Do you count calories?  Do you have a regular exercise program?  Do you work on a healthy lifestyle?  Or do you just go with the flow and eat until you are hungry or get your exercise from work?  Let us know in the comments below!

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