- On November 21, 2019
Hello there! Alicia Simpson here. Last year, when I turned 38, I made a commitment to myself that by the time I turned 40 I would be healthier than I was when I was 30. Little did I realize when I made that commitment that when I turned 30, I made a commitment to myself to be healthier than I was when I was 20! So here I am, now 39, staring down a commitment I made to myself to be healthier at 40 than I was at 20. A lot of things have changed since I was 20 and since I was 30. I have followed a plant-based diet for over 18 years, am a single mother of a vibrant 8 year old, founded a non-profit (Pea Pod Nutrition and Lactation Support) and work time for Union Institute and University to help usher in the next generation of IBCLCs. Multi-tasking is my favorite thing to do and so last year I was easily hitting my health goals. I exercised daily, was feeling stronger, my stamina increased, my blood pressure was textbook perfect, and my labs were all pristine. I was on my way to my goal!
This summer I decided to embark on my next adventure, working on my PhD in Public Policy focusing on infant and maternal mortality. At first it felt like I breeze. My multi-tasking brain kicked into high gear and somehow, I was sleeping better, eating better and more organized in every aspect of life. Then the honeymoon period wore off and I began to notice my body changing. I wasn’t as strong as I used to be, couldn’t run as fast or as far, heck even 3-4 flights of stairs were starting to get me winded. I stepped on the scale at my highest weight in life. And although weight gain does not always equate to being unhealthy, I know that, for me, it is an indicator that I am not treating myself as well as I have historically.
So, what have I decided to do about it? Share my experiences with you fine folks! Dietitians are people too and we have the same struggles with changing our lifestyle habits. For me, it was the sedentary lifestyle I adopted when I started my PhD work that through everything else into a tailspin. At Pea Pod our dietitians work with each client on 2-3 goals every session. Once those 2-3 goals are mastered then we move on to the next set until one’s ultimate health goal has been achieved. And that is exactly what I am doing for me. Keep in mind, these goals are individualized. So, what you see as my goals do not need to be your goals and in some cases should not be your goals at all. But what you will read along this journey is how goals can work to help bring real and sustained lifestyle changes. I am only 2 days into being 39 so we have 363 more days together to get to my goal of being healthier at 40 than I was at 20.
If you are a Fitbit lover like me you can also follow me on Fitbit (and feel free to taunt me when I’m not making my goal, ha-ha).
For the next 4 weeks my goals are to:
- Drink 2200 mL water daily (herbal tea counts as well)
- 10,500 steps daily (average of 60 active minutes a day of exercise)
- No snacking/meals after 7pm
I’ll be posting my weekly progress on instagram and updating the blog every 4 weeks. Follow my progress at @peapodnutrition