Sunday, February 24, 2013

Get Fit Eating Cookies for Breakfast!

I eat chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. I really do. And not just chocolate chip cookies. Today, I ate some of those peanut butter sandwich Girl Scout cookies for breakfast. (Do-si-dos! Yum!) Of course, I wouldn't think of discriminating against other sweets, so I also eat cake, pie, doughnuts, brownies, Pop Tarts and chocolate pancakes topped with whipped cream for breakfast. But -- and this is very important! -- not all at the same time.

A year ago, I was clinically obese. I weighed as much as I did when I was pregnant and carrying around a whole extra human. I used to get winded walking up a single flight of stairs. I don't blame that on eating cookies for breakfast; I blame it on all the other times during the day I was eating cookies. That, and my steadfast refusal to exercise.

Yet today, I did 80 push-ups. (On my knees, taking breaks for a few minutes after every 10 or 20, but still... 80! That's a big number!) I've lost nearly 60 pounds and my weight is back within the "normal" range for my height.  I can run up the stairs without losing my breath. And, lest we forget, I ate delicious, delicious Girl Scout cookies for breakfast. And other than those push-ups, I mostly sat at a computer, unless you count doing dishes as exercise.

But, you may stammer, how is that possible? What is your secret? In order to achieve perfect bodies and perfect health, don't we have to overhaul our diets and stick to some crazy Paleo, South Beach, Atkins, Zone, vegan regime that involves eating only raw, organic, low carb, low fat, no sugar, unprocessed superfoods? Don't we have to exercise every day following a regimen that balances cardio, strength training and flexibility while keeping our heart rates in the ideal range for fitness? And the answer is yes. To achieve perfect bodies and perfect health, we probably do. But I gave up on that. I just want to achieve better health. And maybe, after a few too many dizzying turns on the diet and fitness merry-go-round, you do too.

Better health isn't a perfect (or perfect looking) body, but a slightly stronger, slightly more fit body. Better health isn't a destination. It isn't letting out a sigh when (at last!) you're there and you can quit all this work all the damn time. It's a permanent change and a lifelong journey. But fortunately, better health can happen slowly, imperfectly, in tiny increments, while eating cookies for breakfast.

If you're up for this journey, grab a cookie and come join me. But if you want to lose 20 pounds in a week and get a totally ripped body, this isn't the place; although I know there are people who'll happily sell you a plan. Just know that if that plan doesn't work for you, you can always come on back. I'll be waiting with a plate of chocolate chip cookies.