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Lessons from the Trenches

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It's not secret I've started and restarted this journey countless times.

My journey started sometime in 2005. In college I was able to drop 30 lbs by eating healthy and working out, the good ol' fashion way. When I graduated two years later and moved home, the weight piled on. No longer was I working out and instead of making healthy choices, I was stuffing my face with yummy meals I had missed while I was away. After gaining about 25 pounds, I was able to maintain that for a couple years by sporadically exercising and occasionally making a healthy food choice. Then that 25 quickly turned to 35. After having my son, I gained even more... finalizing my total weight gain to 52 pounds!

Even during the years of weight gain, I tried to lose weight. But I would quit usually within a week. It was just so hard!

So now, one week into yet another "re-start", I'm realizing that all those attempts weren't in vain.

Here are a few lessons I have learned along the way:

1- It can be harder to start again after you stop. No matter how slow you're going, just don't stop!

I realized this during my morning run today. Every time I had to stop for a car or because my legs were sore, it was harder to keep going. But if I just kept moving, no matter how slow, I could keep going.

This summer was tough. I was inconsistent and working out maybe 1-2 times a week. My eating was horrible. But each day I tried again. It was tough, ugly, and definitely not my best, but it was better than giving up completely.

2- As hard as it might be, you won't regret it. Weight loss is just as much and training a healthy mind as it is training a healthy body. No matter how tough it can be to stick it out, no matter how dismal your efforts are, you are still making progress.

Last night I ate a pretty crappy meal. And I paid for it! My workout last night was draaaaaaging and my run this morning horrible. But you know what? After each workout, I was glad I finished. Yes, it wasn't my best effort but a bad workout is better than no workout.

As tough as it is to stick with this lifestyle change, a small amount of progress is better than no progress at all. Over time, those small changes will gain momentum and lead to bigger changes!

I know you're probably thinking who am I to give advice? I haven't lost a significant amount of weight, not even close to my goals yet. But that doesn't mean I haven't learned anything.

I may not have dropped the weight I wanted to but over the past 10 years or so I've learned a lot about health, nutrition, fitness, and motivation through SparkPeople.

But most importantly, I have learned a lot about myself. I'm not a quitter. As slow as this journey may be for me, I'm not giving up.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDA! 9/25/2014 11:48PM

    emoticon With all of our Spark friends and the available articles it is so easy to find great info about nutrition/fitness. It isn't easy. But it is all really worth it. Yay, for NOT STOPPING!!! emoticon

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I told myself I won't give up

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

After taking the summer off (unintentionally) I find myself in the midst of the same cycle:

lose weight - get comfortable/burned out - gain weight - repeat.

During the summer I bowed out of the BLC 25 challenge because I had trouble balancing my personal/professional/SparkPeople (ie, "BLC 25") responsibilities.

But that also led to an inconsistent workout routine and relaxed eating habits.

Stepping on the scale in September, I realized I had gained 7 lbs, almost all of what I lost during the spring.

I was disappointed but this time it was different.

This time, I didn't dwell on it, just started back up again.

Honestly, it's been a really slow re-start.

I've had to start all the way from the beginning again - get used to tracking my food, create a workout routine (and stick to it!), plan ahead, etc...

It's tough and I now remember why I didn't want to start over in the first place!

Slowly (but surely) I see my healthy habits returning. Last night I went for a run, even though it was getting late. At this point, in order to reach my goals, a late workout is better than no workout at all!

I'm tightening up my eating habits and have planned my workouts for the week. I still struggle with my meal plans but I know that will come in time.

I'm glad that no matter how far I wonder off this journey, I know I can return to SP as my "home base", get settled, regroup, and start again.

Thanks, SP friends, for building such an awesome and supportive community.

Let's do this!

-Vanessa

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPYWRITER7 9/23/2014 8:42PM

    emoticon emoticon
It's awesome that you have your back. It's so important that we don't give up on ourselves. Good for you, keep up the good work!

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ALICEART2010 9/23/2014 7:07PM

    emoticon

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Awareness: Did I really eat that?

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

This week's weekend challenge for BLC 25 is to share how I keep myself aware of every bite of food I eat.

Well, it is really simple.

I eat pretty much the same things every day, well most days of the week.

Before my workout I have a protein/breakfast bar and after my workout I have a protein shake with a piece of fruit, usually a banana.

Once I get to work, I'll have Greek yogurt with granola.

Lunch is usually left overs from dinner the night before, or a wrap from McDonald's.

Now, I know what you're probably thinking- Mc-E-Dees? Really? Yes! It's the closest and cheapest place near my office in a pinch. I order the Chicken and Bacon wrap with grilled chicken. It's 460 calories- pretty reasonable if you ask me. And it has lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Not a whole lot but it's a lot better than a burger!

Not everyone can eat the same thing day in and day out, neither can I. But what helps is that I took the time in the beginning to research and enter foods I eat often. Now when I go to track those foods here in SP, all the work is done and I just check the box.

I also try to plan my meal splurges. This way, I can enter them ahead of time into the tracker and manage my calories for the rest of the day.

What it really all comes down to is planning and taking the time upfront to enter in nutritional info for your favorite foods. Once you have a strong foundation, tracking becomes easier the longer you stick with it!

  


Kick Negativity to the Curb!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Weight loss isn't always as simple as eating healthier and moving more. For me, sometimes it's a mental challenge.

Once in awhile negative thoughts start to creep into my head and they can really mess with my progress.

Thoughts like:

-I can't do this.
- I have too much weight to lose, Why try?
- It's too hard.

When those thoughts come around, it's been really helpful to change them into positive thoughts:

-I AM DOING this. I can do it and am already moving towards my goal!
-A lot of weight to lose can mean a tough battle, but with that comes a great victory! Keep pushing on!
- It's harder to start again than to keep going. Just keep going.

The last one is what got me through a tough workout this weekend. We live on a hill and sometimes I'll walk down and run up, completing a loop/lap and repeat that 4-5 times. But by the 3rd time it starts to get tough. I have to keep going because stopping is not an option.

I know that if I stop, it's going to be harder to start up again and I'll be struggling more than if I just keep going. No matter how slow, just keep going!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITNFUNJEN 6/1/2014 11:41AM

    So true!! emoticon Thanks for the reminder! We have to combat those negative thoughts and keep going even when it's hard! That why it's so nice to have supportive friends in this journey! emoticon

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JAIZWAYS 5/28/2014 3:13PM

    emoticon Just take one step at a time in the right direction and NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BABYSOX 5/20/2014 6:31AM

    Believing in ourselves in half of the battle. I agree that it is so much easier to keep going than to start over again. Thanks for the reminder.

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HEALTHYSLIM2 5/20/2014 5:48AM

    You are so right!!
emoticon emoticon
Lately, I have been a victim of the immutable law that I remind myself of all the time...
A body in motion tends to stay in motion... and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. (the "resting" part has been my habit lately) emoticon
So although I am pretty sure that Newton wasn't thinking about me exercising or not when he stated this law of nature, sometimes I feel like he wrote that one down just for ME!
emoticon
Keep up the good work and you inspired me tonight, so thanks!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLC 25: Meal Plan This Week

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Another part of the weekend challenge? Blog about my meal plan for four days this week.

Easy, since I eat about the same thing every day!

Pre-workout: Access Bar on days I exercise in the morning
Post-workout: Protein shake and banana

Breakfast: Yogurt with 1/4 c. granola
Snack (if no morning workout): banana and protein shake

Tuesday:
Lunch- spaghetti w/ ground turkey and a side salad (spinach and tomatoes)
Dinner- baked chicken with rice and green beans

Wednesday:
Lunch- baked chicken with rice and green beans
Dinner- Turkey Chilli

Thursday:
Lunch- Turkey Chilli
Dinner- Fish and rice and asparagus

Friday:
Lunch- Fish and rice and asparagus
Dinner- Family Dinner

Other snack ideas: fresh fruit (bought grapes and bananas today) with peanut butter or cheese. Veggies and hummus.

  


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