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New Year, New Theme

Monday, December 30, 2013

I've never been a big believer in new year's resolutions.

Merely turning over a new page on the calendar is rarely enough of a motivator to do the hard, long-term work required to make a major lifestyle change. However, I also admit that starting a new year feels like a powerfully symbolic and optimistic venture. I truly enjoy taking quiet time every year to revisit the highs and lows of the months gone by and to scheme and fantasize about the uncharted territory ahead.

I recently read an article, Why a New Year's Theme Works Better than a Resolution, and it made a lot of sense to me.

After a blindingly successful year in 2012, during which I lost 50 pounds, I'm humbled to admit that I have turned away from my healthy habits and gained about 30 of it back. I've spent most of the last 3 months mentally chastising myself, but not really doing much else, and my pants just keep getting tighter. Huh. Go figure.

So I'm going with a theme this year: Mindfulness.

That gives me a single word that I can use to rein in my brain. When I'm starting my post-work (or post-breakfast, or--let's be honest--all-day-long) snacking, I have a gentle reminder to be thoughtful about what I eat. (And if it's something "sinful," to really, truly enjoy a little of it, rather than checking out and eating ALL of it.)

When I'm tempted to skip my walk, I have a word of encouragement to spur me outside, and to enjoy all of the experiences that go along with exercise--fresh air, the feeling of power in being able to move my body, the endorphins. It's all good, but I don't always take the time to notice those things.

Most important, though, is that I'm also mindful of my mind. Moving it back to a state of commitment and resolve, noticing when it gets off track so that I can gently nudge it back to where my body needs it to be: absolutely focused on the health and well-being of the rest of the system.

Here goes. Mindfulness. Happy 2014, everyone!



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Well, this has been a rough day.
For the first time since I started really working on my diet and health issues, I have had a backslide.

When I started tracking my food in November, I promised myself that every day I would burn more calories than I ate. Even if I went over my calorie allowance for the day I would make sure that, between my BMR and exercise, I would still have a deficit by the time I crawled into bed for the night.

Well, this is the first time since Thanksgiving Day that I haven't ended the day with a caloric deficit. Seriously. I survived Christmas and a Hawaiian vacation without breaking my promise--and I wasn't depriving myself, either. I totally indulged in treats and yumminess, and made sure I enjoyed every bite. No guilt!

But today... oy. For some reason, I ate pretty much everything that got in my way today. Afternoon snacks at my desk, hot cocoa, a baguette the size of my thigh for lunch, it just went on and on. The killer though, was the tortilla chips. I've had a Costco (that is to say, ginormous) bag of tortilla chips sitting on the top of the fridge, unopened, for about 6 weeks. My sweetie opened it over the weekend, and BAM! It was suddenly irresistible! 1400 calories later, and nothing to show for it. They're not even all that yummy.

So here's how I rallied: At about 8:30 p.m., I also realized that I had zero minutes of exercise today. Mind you, it's like the coldest night of the winter so far, with a plummeting temp of 9 degrees and a bitter, bitter wind (yeah Minneapolis!). But I bargained for 10 minutes. Just 10 minutes to move myself and do what I could with the day as I had created it. Knowing full well I couldn't burn off the chips, I still plugged in the tunes and went for a walk.

I lasted for 20 minutes. OMG it's cold out there. :)

But I gotta say, that I felt 100% better when I got home. Better enough to know that this is only one day, and that there will be more like it. Better enough to pat myself on the back for losing 25 pounds so far. Better enough to smile as I threw the rest of the chips in the trash.

Tomorrow is another day, and another chance to do it right. Wish me luck. If I don't need it tomorrow, I'll store it up for another day when I do!



First Post: Tidings of Great Joy

Friday, December 23, 2011

Okay, I've never blogged about anything, anywhere, but there's a first time for everything, I'm told. In the spirit of giving thanks, I wanted to share my recent success.

I had my annual physical this week--an event that I never look forward to, but this year in particular I was dreading it. My blood glucose levels have been creeping steadily up, up, up for the past few years, and last year my doctor threw down the gauntlet. She gave me six months (I cheated and made it 12) to lose 30 pounds or she was going to declare me diabetic.

I was terrified. Images of my father, who died from complications of heart disease and diabetes, haunted me. I knew my doctor was right, but I had a difficult time getting myself to do the work.

This August, I had the good fortune to travel to Beijing, China (incredible place, highly recommend it). I walked pretty much everywhere for 10 days straight. When I got home, I found that I had lost about 10 pounds. I knew that I had to keep going with weight loss, and it seemed a shame to waste this great start. So I didn't.

Starting at 300 in August, I weighed in at the doctor's office on December 20 (really, really bad time of year for a physical, by the way) at 278.9 lbs. Significantly trimmer, but also significantly short of Doc's 30-pound ultimatum, I was worried that it wouldn't be enough.

Well, I got my labs in the mail today. Blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides--all of which had been too high last year--are all in the normal range! Granted, they're on the high end of normal, but NORMAL! Woot!

I can't really express how relieved I am. (Seriously. I mean, the first thing I did was sit down and have a good cry.) I can, however, take a stab at expressing my gratitude to SP, and to the people here who have been so encouraging. I know that the tools and interactions I have had at this site are playing a huge role in this success.

Thank you. For everything.

Best. Christmas. Present. Ever.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPALMOMMYFIRST 12/24/2011 8:27AM

    emoticon Sounds like you are doing great and I bet 2012 will be even better. Best of luck on this next phase of your journey.

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ABBEMINE 12/23/2011 11:08PM

    Way to go. You deserve to have a good cry. Keep up the good work. Take care and Merry Christmas.

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ANCHEN2 12/23/2011 10:42PM

    Thanks HAWKTHREE. You are so right!

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HAWKTHREE 12/23/2011 10:31PM

    Imagine next year. Another great present to yourself.

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