Trim Down Tuesdays: Tennis Loves All
It’s been three weeks since I started my journey towards a healthier body and lifestyle with the help of a nutritionist.
I’m delighted to say I’ve lost 3 ¼ pounds.
It may not seem like a lot, but the miracle is that I’ve felt completely satisfied, enjoyed a few glasses of wine here and even overindulged during a sangria fueled picnic in the park. I can totally do this…like forever.
Here’s what working:
1. Five mini meals a day with one part protein, starch and fat. My blood sugar is even Steven, I never feel hungry and I’m a lot less bitchy.
2. Avoiding processed foods. Aside from a nasty Balance Bar habit, I would never describe myself as a processed food junkie. But the more I learned, I realized how much processed food crept into my life in the form of breads, cereal, canned foods and frozen foods. Now, I’m reading labels and if I can’t pronounce it, I’m not eating it.
3. Tracking how I feel and what I eat. The Recovery Record app takes a while to get used to and frankly, I can’t stand talking about my feelings when I want results yesterday. The nurturing visuals of a baby animal they show after each log in makes me want to throw my phone across the room.
But, tracking this way makes it impossible to escape being mindful about food. It also equalizes the days of the week so I’m less likely to see Friday, Saturday and Sunday as license to over eat.
I noticed I spend half my time in “irritable and anxious” mode.
Those are the times I’m more likely to pour myself another glass of wine, or steal a French fry from my son’s plate. It’s not easy, but it’s helping me recognize food is not the same thing as Xanax.
4. “Foraging” for my food to slow myself down. No, I’m not hunting for pigeon with a bow and arrow in Central Park like a middle-aged Katniss (although that sounds like fun), but I am cooking at home from scratch more than I used to. Nothing fancy, but nothing processed.
It’s a pain, but that’s the point; to become more circumspect around food.
In fact, there was an interesting article in More magazine last month where an American and French woman trade food and exercise habits for a week. The big difference is that the French, well they forage and take their time. The French woman made everything from scratch and sat down to eat, with utensils. Us American women, we inhale while we’re doing a million other things– and rarely take the time to exhale.
I’m no exception. I inhale more than actually chew, which is a great metaphor for how I live my life, for better or for worse. It doesn’t help that I live in NYC, work in advertising, travel for work and constantly connected to some sense of technology demanding my attention now, real or not. My brain and adrenal glands are always set to fight or flight.
My biggest realization is how much I need to calm the f**k down.
Speaking of which, do you like my circumspect food porn? Behold the fruits of my forage that I lovingly picked from the overpriced Union Square Greenmarket, but all that organic local goodness gave me a weekend full of PC smugness.
I’ve learned that a good mandolin slicer can turn even the most humble vegetable into a masterpiece, like my shaved fennel and lemon sauté served over quinoa. This took forever to make and it tasted terrible, but still I foraged, and I relaxed.
5. Finding exercise I love: tennis. My son got hooked during camp, so I became his default hitting partner but soon came to recognize the awesomeness of racquet sports:
- It’s cardio.
- Whacking the crap out of the ball is a major stress release.
- I get to grunt. Even if my serve barely makes it into the box.
- It’s a competitive game that you can continually improve upon.
- Its social; it’s a great way to meet new people, and they’re generally pretty nice.
- There are rules, etiquette and tradition, which I like.
- My whole family and I can play.
- It’s somewhat free in NYC. Although I haven’t hit the dreaded indoor winter tennis season.
But let’s call a spade a spade here. The real reason I’m getting way into tennis are the cute outfits. I like that I can legitimately run around in something akin to a cheerleader outfit. Fila is my favorite with their natty navy, red and white combo, but that’s just the beginning. I have big plans for my wardrobe.
At first I felt self-conscious about running around in a micro mini and opted for the version with the leggings built in. I thought, “cool, a cellulite guard”, but then I realized the whole leggings/skirt combo is like wearing a Bhurka on a nude beach. Everyone’s sporting something super short and letting it all hang out, no matter what their age and condition, so why not me?
I like this vibe of body acceptance.
Besides, smacking a ball when wearing a mini skirt and pony tail just feels…right.
More inspiring are that the courts are filled with the very young to the very old. My highlight of last week was overhearing a fit octogenarian chastise her doubles partner with, “Pick it up Lucille; you’re acting like you’re ninety”.
Next up on the 9/10 edition of Trim Down Tuesday: Experiments in Zumba and Soul Cycle.