April 20, 2013 by mybattlebuddyfitness
Written by Melissa Eisner
About a week ago My Battle Buddy Fitness held a kickoff running clinic followed by a group run with our friends at Fort Leonard Wood. There were about 7 of us there for the run, Elisabeth and myself along with a group of new Battle Buddies. We hadn’t met a couple of the ladies that showed up to run before (this was an open to the public event), so we spent some time beforehand getting to know one another. We gave little intros about ourselves, where we had grown up, how long we had been in Ft. Leonard Wood, what we thought of running. Anyway, at some point we must have gotten onto the topic of age, because I made some comment like, “Well, I didn’t even start running until I was 30.” It took those ladies by surprise, because they just couldn’t believe that I was over 30 years old. I think one of them actually said that I must be kidding. When I asked how old they thought I was, they guessed 27 or 28 (which I will happily take any day of the week). Proudly announcing that I was 38 years old, their jaws dropped. They simply could not believe it. And then they asked me what my trick was to looking the way that I do.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a product person. At all. Way too much work for me. I am a girly girl when it comes to purses or cooking or killing bugs (boys kill bugs), but when it comes to makeup and skin treatments, count me out. It was only a year or so ago that I started using a moisturizer at night before going to bed for goodness sake! So suffice to say that it is not a chemical youth that I have going for me these days.
So, you might ask, what is my personal fountain of youth? Well, for me, I can say that it has been diet and exercise. The cleaner I eat (read no processed / refined foods), the better I look. And more importantly, the better I feel. Throw in the exercise, and it is like magic. I hear a lot of my friends complain how they feel old now that they are in their late 30s. They can’t stay up as late, it takes longer to recover when they go out drinking. These are the same folks that when we go out for brunch, they are loading up on the cheese, the biscuits, and the bacon. Don’t get me wrong, I love those things too, but I know how they are going to make me feel. To these friends, I would say that the opposite is true in my case. I feel younger than I ever have before. I can do things that I never thought I could do. And I attribute it all to nutrition and exercise.
Don’t believe me? Well, medically speaking, your cells are constantly replacing themselves. You burn through some cells in days, others in weeks and months. You can go out and do all of the reading you’d like on the internet, but basically every 7 years, ALL of your cells are replaced (except your brain cells). Now, if you are mostly sedentary, and you eat a mostly processed food diet, guess what? When your cells replace themselves, they are doing so with processed foods (i.e. sugar, fat, salt). When my cells are rebuilding, it is mostly off of a plant based diet, so my cells come from apples, spinach, mushrooms, bananas, almonds . . . you get the idea.
Here is a great example of how your diet alone can make you look and feel: My brother’s wedding was a couple of weeks ago, and for the 8 weeks prior to the big event, I was living clean – no alcohol, no sugar, no refined carbs. Nothing processed. And I have to say, my skin and my hair have never looked better. I had loads of energy, and was sleeping through the nights (I suffer from insomnia, especially when I am eating poorly). But 3 days of going off the rails at the wedding, with carbs, booze, and sugar galore, my face started breaking out again. I struggled with sleep, and I was really tired for all of my workouts. And now that I’ve gone back to normal with a week of clean living, my face is clear again, I’m sleeping, and my workouts are stellar.
The choice is really up to you. Sure, eating that donut or that cookie or that pizza will maybe make you feel good for an hour or so, but then your body will let you know how it feels about what you just did to it. And eventually, it’ll circulate through all of the cells in your body. Or, you can pick up some strawberries and homemade granola and feel and look good for a lot longer. You definitely are what you eat, so what do you want to be?