I think something happens when you turn 40 (I already dated myself with that last Paula Abdul reference, so why not embrace it, lol). For me it was a realization that I needed to take care of myself. It’s a hard realization to come to, especially if you have devoted your life to taking care of others. My family, my friends, my community are all just as important to me and I want to continue to care for them all. But I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to be there for them if I didn’t start taking care of myself. I started taking stock of all the things in my life that were toxic: relationships, environments and habits. As gently and kindly as I could, I started to let them go. I realized I wanted my kids to take care of themselves, and I couldn’t do that if I wasn’t modeling that kind of behaviour. It’s hard, I won’t lie, but it’s important…

Another thing that happens after 40 is that your body doesn’t always work the way you want. Who knew getting up from the couch came with audio? Part of this post-40 journey began a few years ago when I decided to forget the gym membership (you know, the one you buy and then never use? Yeah, that one) and instead get a personal trainer. Within two weeks of working out with Mell (aka Minifitchick) I had so much more energy (I actually went out on a weeknight and was able to function the next day… that hadn’t happened in a while). Since then, I’ve barely had any back trouble. At least not until I let my workouts lapse in September because work got REALLY busy and well, life in the time of COVID. I woke up this morning and my back decided not to co-operate with this new healthier me. An important part of my commitment is to throw all my excuses out the window and recommit to my workouts. The benefit of having a personal trainer is that they can give you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it. I texted Mell and let her know that my back was giving me trouble and she changed my workout to a Mobility workout. I can’t tell you how much better that made me feel. Not only did I get a good workout in, my back felt much better.

vega protein powder

I’m not sure if the people at Noom meant for their prompts and psychology tips to make me this self-reflective, but that’s what’s happened. I actually am enjoying it. That’s weird to say, especially on a weekend where I know I’ll blow my calories and be in the red (both of those happened today… again, holiday full of fried foods, what can you do?). Today I learned about thought distortions. They are many and Noom takes the time to define each and give examples. After that, I completed the quiz on Noom 101 and graduated, yay! Of course, that’s just the first step. Noom 102 is Food Fundamentals. There you do a deep dive into what kind of eater you are. I’m Eating Type #2: Fun Eating (and I really proved that this weekend, lol). In time, Noom promises to work toward helping me “center [my] day around “fuel eating” so [my] body works and feels its best, with a mix of fun foods to satisfy [my] heart.” And this is where I think Noom is strongest, so far. The idea that I do not have to give up the foods I love and the joy I get from a wonderful meal gives me hope that I can adapt.

Maybe you can teach an old (or middle-aged) dog new tricks?

A new day, and another new beginning. I have to say, in this time, this year, this place we could all use a daily dose of positivity. Noom really does a great job of delivering!  In addition to the encouragement, today we covered how to conquer our cravings and how to make the most of our triggers (hint: triggers can be positive too!). The cravings suggestions included ones I’m not likely to try (carrot sticks will never replace chips or pretzels, sorry), but others that are completely do-able (air-popped popcorn instead of movie theatre popcorn). I appreciate that at the end of the suggestions, there was an acknowledgement that yes, sometimes we just want the chips and that’s ok. In addition, there was a piece on “9 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental and Emotional Health”. The tips are all practical and do-able (even if some make you feel a little silly i.e. giving yourself a hug). Even the self hug felt surprisingly good… who knew? I keep feeling as though maybe if this were a different year I’d roll my eyes. But something about this lighthearted, positive take at this time is working for me.

Fun fact: Tip 3 is to journal and… I think I have that one covered already!

So, how did I do today? Well, after two days of blowing my calorie count (by a lot), today was a better day. I made some healthy choices and even shared them with my puppy (she does, in fact, like green apples). At the end of the day I was only over my count by a little (fried-food holiday, remember?) I consider that a win! Oh, and already found a little mistake in the food tracker (I guess that’s bound to happen when you allow people to put foods in), but I’m pretty sure chips aren’t a green food. But Noom, if they are, you should lead with that!

Stay tuned for more Noom diaries! Got a question? Leave it below!

Lead Photo Bruno Cervera for Unsplash