Monday, October 27, 2008
You hear it all the time: you need to love yourself the way you are, warts and all. But why? I'm not sure it ever really sunk in before, but it came to me yesterday.
How many times have you lost weight, with only your goal as your focus? Have you ever stopped to really appreciate your body at the various stages of your weight loss? Probably not. You want to get to goal, and that's all that matters. Failure is not an option.
Only failing to appreciate yourself as you are *is* a failure. How will you ever be happy at your goal weight when you haven't stopped to appreciate yourself on the way down? The truth is that once you get to your goal weight, if that is your only focus, you have nothing to compare yourself to. If you've really taken a good, hard look at yourself along the way, though, you'll realize just what a difference you've made in your life.
Even better, you'll realize that long before you ever get to your goal weight. You'll notice the little changes, and if you really stop to appreciate them, you won't forget them when they become the norm. When crossing your legs is always easy. When smiling doesn't mean a double chin.
We are all works in progress. So make sure you enjoy the ride!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I was pondering that today as I was eating lunch outside. We're having stupdendous weather -- dry (even tho we desperately need some rain), cool mornings & warm afternoons. If it's cold & wet where you are, I'm sorry!
Anyway, I did have a new thought on the whole mindful eating thing. I've gotten pretty good at it most of the time, but there are still times when I find myself reaching for something to read or just not really paying attention to how good whatever I am eating tastes.
So here is why I think mindful eating can be difficult:
1. We feel guilty that we're eating, whether it's healthy food or a planned-for treat. We're just so conditioned to feel guilty that we're eating, we just want to gobble it down and be done with it -- so no one can see that we're "stuffing" our mouths yet again (even if we're eating healthily). This was my relevation today!
2. We feel guilty that we're not doing more than eating. Multitasking is king, even though I've never been much into multitasking. But when every day you feel as though you're falling farther and farther behind in the things you need to get accomplished, it seems selfish to "only" eat.
I'm sure there are other reasons, but I think those are the big two: feeling guility about what we eat, and feeling guilty that we're not using our time better than "just" eating.
That is why the French stay thin even though their cuisine is so high in fat -- they make eating an event. You don't gobble your food down alone, you savor it with friends and family. They get it.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Little things do add up, both good and bad.
You don't have to do 30 minutes of cardio all at one shot -- doing 10 minutes 3 times throughout the day is just as effective. You can also inject things like strength training throughout your day: a few squats while your water is heating up, a few pushups during commercials, and so on.
Little things aren't just important in exercise; they're important in eating, too. I find myself taking small pieces of chocolate a bit more often lately. They're really, really small pieces -- probably less than a quarter of an ounce -- but 4 quarters of an ounce and all of the sudden you've eaten a whole ounce of chocolate. Which isn't a bad thing -- if you're aware you're doing it; and usually we aren't when we're just sneaking a bite here and there.
Or if you clean off your kids' plates. I know it's really tempting, and I know you probably hate to waste the food . . . except you're waisting the food because it's going to go straight to your waist!
This is where mindful eating comes in. It's something I've worked really, really hard on, and it really pays off. Obviously, there are times I'm not quite so mindful -- often those times correlate to the times I don't lose quite so much as I expected too (but not always).
My weekly weign-ins help me to be more mindful of the little things. If I don't lose as much as I think I should, I review what I've done that week. Maybe I've eaten too much popcorn or sweets. Maybe I'm been sneaking more than usual. Maybe I didn't eat enough. There's always something to improve!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I admit I worry about backsliding sometimes. I haven't yet, but better people than me have, and of course I have in the past. I think, in some ways, it's inevitable. It's part of the lifestyle change we're making, in fact, because our priorities are always changing.
My husband & I were talking yesterday, and he was saying that he's afraid I'll move up, we'll buy a house . . . and then he'll be laid off. And we'll be stuck with 2 houses and no income. Of course, this worries me too. But I told him that all we can do is take it one step at a time -- it's not within our control whether or not he gets laid off in the future, and unfortunately, right now, there is more job opportunity for him up there than there is for him here.
Which is, of course, good advice for me.
"Worry is an abuse of God's gift of imagination." -- Corrine Lajeunesse
While I don't think worry is a good use of our time, I do think planning is. So here's what I would tell someone who is backsliding (and hopefully I'll remember this when or if I do):
1. Remember why you wanted to lose weight in the first place. If you haven't already done so, write it down. Stick it where you'll read it every day -- and then make sure you DO read it!
2. Pick one basic: eating 5 fruits & veggies, drinking 8 glasses of water, getting 30 minutes of exercise, tracking your food. Pick just one. Do it -- and reward yourself for doing it.
3. Get support! There's no "I" in team, after all. We're social animals, and we're better off in groups. Reach out for help, whether it's here on SP or in real life.
Sounds simple, doesn't it? And it is. We really do overthink things sometimes.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
One of the many benefits of weight loss is more confidence. As I've written before, despite losing almost 20 pounds, I'm still fat. I'm not looking for sympathy here, it's just the way it is: I still weigh too much for my height.
I can feel the changes when I walk, though. I'm more likely to swing my very ample hips a bit -- not consciously, really, it just happens. I can feel bones beginning to poke through where before they were hidden under layers of fat, and I like the way that feels. I'm by no means bony, don't worry, just old friends are beginning to emerge from the depths.
Crossing my legs is no longer such a struggle. Don't you just hate it when you can't cross your legs because your thighs are too fat?
I've even begun to make peace with my neck. I used to think my neck was just short and ugly. I'm not Audrey Hepburn, and I never will be (who is, after all, she was really skinny!), but as all of me begins to shrink, I'm finding that my neck is longer than I realized. Oh, and if you don't know who Audrey Hepburn was -- google her.
When you're really heavy, generally you just don't want to call attention to yourself. As you begin to emerge from your cocoon of fat, you're more willing to strut your stuff. I know some people are confident no matter what their body size, and kudos to them, because of course the size of our body does not define who we are.
Nothing to do with body confidence, but everything to do with getting that body you want, I'll leave you with this thought:
"You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence is not an event - it is a
habit." -- Aristotle
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