Friday, October 25, 2013
Today starts my most challenging time of the year. I'm thinking about it now so I can come up with some sort of strategy to not let it derail me.
First off, today is my birthday. My dearest husband made me a delicious veggie, ham and cheese omlette for breakfast, and for dinner he's broiling lobster tails and grilling steaks. It's a beautiful fall day and I plan to take a long walk this afternoon and then do some flowerbed clean-up. I have lunch plans with one friend tomorrow and lunch plans with another friend on Sunday. Eating out is a challenge for me most of the time, but especially on my birthday since I seem to always have a sense of entitlement to have whatever my heart desires. I always give myself a free pass. It's probably best to do so, because restricting to the point where I feel deprived tends to backfire later. So, maybe it's okay to restart on Monday the 28th (?)
P.S. I turn 62 today. Although I no longer relate to or find inspiration in pictures of young fitness models, one of my true inspirations is model Cindy Joseph who is now 63. It's proof that beauty has no age and there are definite things you can do to look your best in your older years.
Another "hero" of mine is Kathy Smith, who will turn 62 on December 11:
Then there's Christy Brinkley who will turn 60 on February 2 next year. What's her secret? She still looks like she's in her 30's!
Next after my birthday comes Halloween candy. We bought a huge bag at Sam's Club and there's sure to be leftovers. Those tiny treats are actually a good once-in-a-while snack if I could stop at ONE (which history shows, I can't). I think it's best to get the leftover candy out of the house.
The following 3 weeks don't pose any big challenges, and I could ultimately get a good positive start to motivate me through the holidays.
Thanksgiving is always a meal loaded with carbs and fat: mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, sweet potato casserole, rolls w/ butter, misc. other fat-laden casseroles, cranberry sauce loaded with sugar, apple pie, pumpkin pie, oh my! (Then I have all those leftovers to contend with the following week). Even taking a small portion of everything is way too much food. That is never good - I end up feeling too full and regretful afterwards. It's not realistic to say I'll only have turkey and veggies; however, I do have to look at the rest and negotiate with myself as to what I am willing to give up. So, here goes........I can do without the mashed potatoes, rolls, & cranberry sauce and have a moderate amount of dressing, gravy, broccoli casserole, and one piece of pumpkin pie. I enjoy a tossed salad which we rarely have on Thanksgiving because of all the other dishes. Even if I'm the only one to eat it, I think I'll be sure to make a green salad with a big variety of veggies. I'll eat the leftover salad & turkey during the week and DH can enjoy all the other leftovers.
I've eliminated a lot of the pre-Christmas stress by keeping things simple and minimal. Last year, I had what I called a Zen Christmas and I intend to do the same this year. We don't exchange gifts with anyone, and all the grandkids are at the ages that they'd rather get money. I stopped sending cards and opt to give distant relatives a call. I no longer bake dozens of cookies.
The one big temptation is that on Christmas Eve I make pierogie. It's a family tradition that I'm not willing to give up. It's tough to limit my portion because they are a favorite dish that I only have once or twice a year. If that's my ONLY splurge day, it shouldn't cause too much damage.
We always stay at home and cook a special New Year's Eve dinner. One year, I broiled salmon and had salad, roasted sweet potatoes, and a couple of cooked veggies. It was satisfying and healthy.
I think the key for me will be to plan ahead and keep an image of how I want to look on my mind. Imagine how I want to feel. Keep focusing on the end result and not the immediate gratification. Think to myself, "how will I feel tomorrow if I eat all that today?" "will this choice bring me closer or further away from my goal?"
Worth giving up feeling like this:
How will you stay on track over the holiday season?
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
After a long absence that was preceded by sporadic activity, I find myself back here again. Using SP helped me to take off 40 lbs. back in 2007. I've tried a few alternate routes since then and have come full circle.
I like the new Spark START page. I like the look of it, and everything is organized well. I set up my motivation board, set some goals, read a bunch of articles. I'm still not going to jump onto any teams at this point. I don't want to end up spending a lot of time on the site when I should be up and moving.
The week's been good so far. I went outside walking yesterday and today. I used the tracker today. I'm not sure how long that will last because it's not something I like to do. What I did find was that by eating lots of veggies and preparing healthy meals today, I am at the very low end of my calorie range. I may track for a few weeks just to create awareness of calories. My main focus is on eating nutritious foods and I don't want to be tied to measuring things out and tracking it every day. That becomes tedious for me. I do need awareness, though, so I think I'll always keep a written log of what foods I'm eating.
This has to be a lifelong habit-changing process. No more crazy plans for me. Nothing to go off of. If my food is satisfying as well as nutritious, and my exercise is something I enjoy, there's never any reason to ever do anything differently.
This is one of the pics on my motivation board -
It says it all. It's time to permanently change old habits by replacing them with ones that will make me feel good and proud at the end of the day.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The one thing about not weighing in is that it's difficult to know exactly if you're doing enough to make a difference. It takes a long time to feel thinner, especially when you've had a larger body image for many years. I was thinking the other day that I don't feel thinner. And yet, I have to admit my jeans seem to be a little looser since I started changing my eating habits.
I still haven't gotten on a scale, but this morning I decided to take my measurements. I was astounded! I only take 3 measurements: midriff, waist, and lower abdomen. That's my biggest problem area and the one that is the most detrimental health-wise.
In just 3 weeks of abstaining from sugar, carbs, and all processed food, I have lost:
1.5" in midriff
2" in waist
1" in lower ab
I took the measurement 3 times to be sure because I found it hard to believe. BUT, the tape measure doesn't lie! Some of it might be the loss of water bloat, but that's a positive too. I'm satisfied and won't take my measurements again until 6/5 when I have my 1st consultant appointment with the pharmacist. I'll weigh myself for the first time that day too.
I'm pleased because my eating plan is not difficult for me. The other thing to note is that these results are without much exercise at all. I have gone to Zumba once a week for the past 3 weeks and haven't been doing any other exercise until this week. I do plan to beef up my exercise because I believe it is key to carving out inches. I just started walking about 2 miles/day as of last Monday. I plan to get into a daily habit of walking and build up to 5 miles/day. That will not be hard because the warmer weather is on the way and I love to walk outdoors in spring-summer-fall. I also want to start doing my T-Tapp toning again. That workout not only reduces inches quickly and builds core strength, but according to Teresa Tapp it also reduces inflammation, detoxifies, balances hormones, reduces blood pressure and blood sugar, increases mental clarity, and reduces stress and depression. That sure is worth 50 minutes of my time and effort a few times a week.
This is the picture I look at every day for inspiration in reducing my belly fat:
I know this is possible for me. It may take a year or more of consistency, but it is all up to me.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Now that I'm not stressing over food or my weight, I feel this huge sense of relief and peace. I have vision of what I want my life to be like, and I am living towards it. There is no doubt or anxiety. The depression I was struggling with over the winter months has lifted. I feel content most of the time.
I've tried to give up dieting a few times in past years, but never seemed to quite trust myself and always ran back to some new diet, sometimes an old familiar diet. I lost weight on diets because at the beginning I was always determined (often because I was feeling desperate). But history always repeated itself and as I couldn't keep it up, I would gain all of the weight back.
Something has changed and I'm no longer feeling anxious about taking my time and making small, cumulative changes that will stick. I am focused on the blessed feeling of the gift of good health. I am feeling patient about how long this will take and I'm more than okay with staying off the scale and having faith in this process.
I am feeling okay with how I look now too. No more self hatred and feeling like a failure. Three weeks into my plan, I'm already beginning to feel slightly better physically.
I went out to lunch Saturday with a dear friend at a place that has the most delicious sandwiches. Instead of my usual soup & sandwich, I had soup & salad. The salad was romaine with lots of other veggies, feta, and a cucumber dressing - it tasted wonderful! I don't miss bread at all anymore. Even earlier in the week when my husband and I took my brother-in-law out to lunch, I had a big beautiful salad with walnuts, dried cherries, and grilled chicken and a dijon vinegrette that was out of this world. I noted to myself how satisfying it was and the huge sandwiches and french fries they were eating did not appeal to me at all.
Yesterday was hard because I was bored in the afternoon. Boredom always used to be a big trigger for eating mindlessly. The hubs said he was bored too. We ended up loading the dogs into the car for a ride and stopped at a Chinese buffet for dinner. They have a big grill there whereby you can choose from a wide assortment of noodles, veggies, and protein to be stir fried. I got a very small amount of angel hair pasta with lots of veggies and shrimp. It's hot, fresh, and tastes great - unlike some of the prepared items in the trays that are either fried and/or contain a lot of salt and MSG. I didn't go back for seconds and eat to overfullness like I used to. The best thing was that I didn't have any of the desserts. I would always get a couple things to go with my tea PLUS ice cream with syrup and peanuts. The thing is, I did not feel deprived. I felt completely satisfied. That's what going 3 weeks without sugar does for you. The cravings are just not there.
My goal this week is to pay greater attention to portions. I'll take smaller amounts with the agreement that if I want more, I can have it. I need to constantly tune in to detect fullness versus just eating to eat.
Another goal is to walk every day this week. I love to walk outdoors, but I've kept up the excuse that it's too cold out. The warmer weather is just not arriving here, but that's not a good enough excuse when there is no rain or snow. I can always dress in layers to stay warm. Usually, once I get going my body temp raises enough that I'm even more comfortable with it cool out.
These are some reminders to myself:
Onward to another week full of so many great things to appreciate!
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