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Healthy State of Mind: Confessions of a Cake Lady

It takes a strong mind to create a strong body. Making healthy choices can lead to big changes.

For me, being healthy is a state of mind. The day I decided to lose the weight, I woke up and felt skinny. No, I didn't make a plan to start a diet next Monday, eat every piece of junk food in the house in preparation. I didn't wait until after the next holiday, birthday party, or other binge fest had passed to start. 

I simply told myself TODAY is the day. No time like the present right? 

It was mid-January 2012. Our family had taken a Disney Cruise to Mexico, followed by 5 days in the Disneyland Park, talk about smorgasbord. I'm going to tell you a huge secret. I got home from that trip weighing in at 209 pounds, standing 5' 8" tall. Yep, it's on the Internet now, public record; my driver's license weight, an already iffy fib, was now a big fat lie.

Although the scale was now over the dreaded 200 mark, I hadn't made the choice to loose it yet.

It wasn't until February a friend posted on Facebook that there was a group of girls doing a 5k Mud Run in April, and for me, this was the motivation I needed. It didn't matter that it was the middle of the day, middle of the week, what I had planned that weekend, I was going to start right now. The choice made me feel lighter already.

It takes a strong mind to make a strong body. 

I didn't loose 45 pounds over night, but I weighed myself everyday, most days in the morning and at night. This helped me begin to understand my body's patterns, especially hydration needs. No, you didn't loose 4 pounds of fat in a day, drink more water.

To keep motivated, I measured myself every week, you'll see a lot more moving here than you will on the scale: neck, arms, bust, waist, belly button, hips, thighs, calves. 

I educated myself on healthy food choices. If it grows, eat it. If it doesn't, reconsider it.  And by continuously making yourself aware of the ingredients in your food, eventually you just don't want the garbage in your body. Cravings subside, exercise replaces your caffeine addiction, and you sleep better because you have used your stored energy building muscles.

I thought about food and exercising all day, maybe to obsession, flipping through the Pinterest Health & Fitness category every free minute I had. And I eat all day; from the time I get up until about 7 PM. Snacking on small, healthy snacks every couple hours while trying to avoid big stuffing meals.

What I didn't do, was count calories, consider myself on a diet, or discourage myself.

Personally, counting calories was way to tedious for me. I'm a creative, don't ask me to do math in my head, and I'm certainly not going to bust out a calculator at Subway to figure out if I can afford the mayonnaise calories in my daily allowance or not. Do you love mayo, can't live without it on your sandwich? Then get it, just be aware that it's on there and enjoy it. I couldn't care less about the mayo, so why would I add the calories to my food just because. I suppose you could consider this cleaning up what you take in, or just add it to the being aware of what you put into your body category.

Being on a diet alludes to having an end in sight. As cliche as it is, being healthy is a lifestyle. You have to be able to sustain your eating habits and exercise routines indefinately.

Spending four hours at the gym a day is impractical, and won't last. Juice fasting, no carbs, cutting out certain foods, skipping meals, restricting to only certain foods will burn you out to the point that you'll obsess about wanting to eat what you can't have. 

Listening to your body, moderation, making the right choices and appreciating small treats are key. After all, I still have to quality control my cake creations on occasion! 

I aim for a minimum of one hour everyday of being active. Whether you run 6 miles in the hour, or walk 5k, moving is important factor. 

In the last year I ran, walked, hiked Pena Adobe and the trails around Lake Berryessa, took kickboxing, rock climbed at Rocknasium in Davis, took hot yoga at Askaka in Vacaville and Davis, swam, took Boot Camp in Dixon with Pinky Ngo, did 16 Mud Runs, Tough Mudder and Sierra Recon (both 12+ mile obstacle courses in Tahoe). 

I surrounded myself with friends, new and old, who were supportive and tried to have a YES attitude. Yes I can do it, Yes I will try it, and Yes sounds like fun, lead to a year of trying so many things I would have never thought to do before.

"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings." -Elizabeth Gilbert

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Daisy Meitrott January 30, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Great words of wisdom!!! Thanks for sharing it.
Life's Too Short by Debra Dingman January 30, 2013 at 03:26 PM
Good for you, Lindsey! It is so important for all of us to see food as fuel for our one-and-only body and be mature enough to take care of it. I get discouraged when I think how expensive our health coverage is when we use it so rarely (because we're healthy) and lots of people who do or did dumb things to their bodies like overeat, smoke, drink, or do drugs are now treated or hospitalized at the cost of taxpayers. You are an inspiration so keep it up!
Lindsey Hickman January 30, 2013 at 07:26 PM
Thank you guys!
Kelli Cherry January 31, 2013 at 07:10 PM
great job! i really enjoyed reading this! some of the things you said will be making an appearance on my quote of the day board!

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