Thursday, December 06, 2012

I can't eat like I used to, so I'm going to the Coca-Cola Balanced Living Workshop

My first climb, 2 months ago
You know how they say your metabolism slows down as you age?

It's true. As I've grown older, my palate has expanded dramatically (I love you sushi, olives, Korean food and hand-crafted cocktails!) while my metabolism has hit the brakes. I live in one of the country's best restaurant cities and with two school-aged kids, hiring a babysitter is no biggie. And yet, I can no longer indulge with abandon.

Yes, I've figured out how to dress to minimize my mummy tummy (wrap dresses and tunic tops are my friends) and I've learned why designer jeans are worth every pretty penny. But the ugly truth is if I'm going to stay the same size, I have to work out more and eat less than I did 10 years ago.

I came to this realization a couple of months ago. My recreational roller derby club reduced weekly practices from 2 nights a week to 1, and I immediately felt the difference 800 unburned calories makes. I started using a calorie counting app on my cell phone to track my food intake and exercise output, and boy is that ever depressing. On the days I couldn't hit the gym, I was lucky if I had 300 calories left before dinnertime! Of course, the upside of knowing exactly how much I'm eating and how little I'm moving is that I have been going to the gym at work a lot more often. I also joined a rock climbing class, which, like roller derby, I genuinely enjoy. I can't say the same for running stairs, Pilates, or doing planks.

I'm also being more thoughtful about the food choices I make, at least during the work week. I've swapped sandwich bread for bagel thins, I'm eating more protein at breakfast, and I'm only enjoying an evening adult drink if I have calories left for it.

And then I undo all my progress on the weekends and holidays. Ugh.

However, it appears help is on the horizon. I was selected to participate in a two-day Coca-Cola Balanced Living Workshop next week. There, I'll get to meet with a dietitian who can help me figure out a less haphazard system for losing a few pounds (and keeping them off) and attend cooking and fitness sessions, where I hope to find some new packable lunch ideas and discover some physical activities that I like as much as climbing and skating.

There's also a focus on family wellness, where no doubt I can feel proud of my gymnast kids' great physical shape and terrible about their horribly picky eating habits. Stay tuned for a full report.

I was compensated for my participation in Coca-Cola's Balanced Living Workshop, but my thoughts and views are my own.