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
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Would I exercise if I didn't need to to keep at a healthy weight? That's a really good question.
The truth is that exercise isn't just about keeping your weight down or being able to eat more. It's about having the strength to power through your days . . . up the stairs, toting the kids or the kitty litter, etc.
After my month of Zumba, I've been mixing it up. I've been doing some Turbo Jam again, and that includes Turbo Sculpt. When I started Turbo Sculpt, even though I've been lifting weights for a long time, I wasn't used to doing 40 minutes straight with no breaks -- so I found I needed to use 3 pound weights.
Now after a break, though, I was able to move up to 6 lb weights. I can feel myself getting stronger. Yes, I can do many weight exercises with much heavier weights than 6 pounds, but to do 40 minutes continuous weight lifting 6 pounds is working for me. I also did the Total Body Sculpt, which uses a stability ball, and that seemed a lot easier, too.
So back to the original question . . . would I work out if I didn't need to? I suppose I should consider myself lucky, because I do need to work out to get to and maintain a healthy weight -- if I didn't need to, most likely I wouldn't do it -- and then I'd be one of those thin but unfit people. And I want to be fit.
I want the energy to power through my days. I am not there yet, but I still have a fair amount of weight to lose, and I know I will continue to get stronger and have more energy.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Sometimes it takes a really, really long time. But patience and persistence pay off -- as do paying attention.
We got Chester as a tiny puppy almost 3 years ago. Simba is a very self assured, dominant cat, and he's been fine with him since day one. Gizmo (they are brothers, btw) is very skittish and high strung. He was not happy with the intruder.
Gizmo used to sleep with me every night. In fact, he'd come into my office when it was bedtime, and if I asked him if it was time to go to bed, he'd go running into my bedroom.
Gizmo stopped sleeping with me when we got Chester, even though Chester slept in his crate in our bedroom for the first year. Gizmo used to like to come in and hiss at Chester in his crate.
I was sad about this, of course, but other than to work with the both of them, there wasn't much I could do. I love them both. I get up early so that I can spend time with the cats without the dogs -- I might be able to go to bed later if the cats & dogs got along better.
And if Gizmo didn't like one dog, he certainly didn't like two. In some ways, Gizmo and Lola are much alike -- high strung, both apt to attack first and ask questions later. They're a bad match in many ways.
Still, Gizmo never hid, he never stopped eating, and he continued to come to me for loving when he felt safe. I felt sad that he didn't feel safe enough to be with me when the dogs are with me -- almost 24/7 -- but I did the best I could.
Lately, though, I've been noticing signs of a thaw. He rarely hisses at the dogs when they get too close to him anymore. He's begun to eye me, as if he wanted to lay on me, even when the dogs are by me. And he's begun coming to the back door to get his treats along with everyone else at last call.
Last night it happened. Chester likes to lay on my stomach as I watch tv at night. Lately, though, as the weather has gotten cooler, I put a small mat I knitted on my lap, make Chester lay between my legs, and Simba usually comes around at some point and lays on me.
Only last night, it wasn't Simba, it was Gizmo. He'd still be laying there, too, if Chester hadn't jumped off & run away barking at something after about 10 - 15 minutes.
This change in attitude has taken 3 YEARS!
By now you should know where I'm going with this. This lifestyle change isn't a simple fix. It doesn't happen overnight. It can take a lot of patience, truly paying attention, and just simple time. But it WILL happen. Never, ever give up.
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