Unusual lately for me to post twice here in one day -- but I am procrastinating on doing something (write a book review with a deadline of next week)!
Since January, I have made a lifestyle change. It involves switching to a whole foods diet. The philosophy includes limited refined white flour, limited refined white sugar, local, organic, and vegetarian, in that order. So while I am not actually a vegetarian (yet), and I do wind up eating things are that not necessarily organic, or locally produced sometimes, my diet is radically different than it was a year ago. I have always eaten lots of vegetables and fruit, cooked mostly from scratch, favored local products, gardened organically and have not been a major fan of meat, but the realization is amazing when you actually make an effort: how many things you routinely ate that violated those principles.
I've never been much of a bread eater, but I thought sugar would be very difficult. I've always been an addict, and had a several-box-of-Freihoffer-danish-per-week habit. The reality is that it hasn't been all that hard! Oh, I do miss pasta a little - and choosing what to eat takes time. Besides fruit, I satisfy my still-powerful sweet tooth with those individually packaged, expensive chocolates. There are numerous varieties on the market. I favor Ghirardelli dark chocolate caramels and mints. Eating one is satisfying. I have no desire for cake or cookies. And eggplant parmesan, which has always been my favorite dish, is a completely fine substitute for pasta. I find that supermarkets and other stores have come a long way in terms of selection of healthy foods, and the co-op, farm stands and Internet are great places to shop too.
More recently, I added in a missing link: exercise. I have been using the treadmill daily. We've owned it for years, but it sat there unused, a guilt producer, taking up valuable space. I hate formal exercise (remember the gym teacher from hell) and was never successful for more than a few days at a clip in the past. So I made new rules. Use it for warm up and slow down, forget all that stretching crap. Don't set up some arbitrary rules - the goal is, try to do it every day, and when I am sick of it, I get off.
The results have been incredible. I feel a lot better. My lifelong struggle with the curse of constipation is almost resolved. I enjoy the things I choose to eat more. And I have experienced a very slow, but very steady weight loss. I've never been obese or anything, but I'm now down to the weight I was in my 20s.