Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Basically, to lose weight, you need to burn off more calories than you take in. And it all boils down to choices.
We all make lots of choices every day, both big and small. We choose to exercise; or we don't. We choose to stick to our meal plan; or we don't. We choose to eat the same way we always have; or we choose to change our habits.
All those little choices can add up to a lot of weight loss.
For instance, today I chose to eat a high fat dessert. Would I lose weight quicker if I never had sweets? You bet. And I really do try to keep my sweets to a minimum. I believe in a whole foods, not overly processed, mostly vegetarian, diet as much as possible.
But once in a while I splurge. If I didn't splurge, I'm sure I could lose weight quicker. But I also know that one high fat dessert won't cause me to gain weight -- unless, of course, I begin having high fat desserts every week, or every day.
I wish I could say that I'm one of those people who no longer enjoys sugar or fat. That I could just take three bites of something truly decadent and be satisfied. But I'm not. It is true that my tastes have changed over the years. For instance, I no longer like pepperoni. In college, I practically lived on it. But now I just find it's too greasy for my tastes.
I can remember when I was first losing weight with Weight Watchers many years ago. I used to think that if I could just have a Snickers bar once a week (a full sized one), I'd be happy. But the joke's on me, because now I rarely even want candy.
I gave up alcohol many, many years ago. I was never a big drinker, so it wasn't a real sacrifice. I didn't even set out to become a teetotaler, but it just happened. I haven't had a drink in years.
I only occasionally eat meat. And only when my husband is home. Otherwise, I eat vegetarian. I like meat, although I don't like what happens to it to end up on my plate (yes, I know that's hypocritical); but I don't generally miss it. Fish, on the other hand, I couldn't do without. Especially not sushi.
So back to choices. Yes, I occasionally choose to splurge. It helps me eat healthy 80% of the time. I do not, however, keep high fat goodies at home. If I want one, I have to go out and buy it -- and then I only buy a single serving.
What choices will you make today?
P.S. For the last few years, on Passover, I've bought a chocolate cake from Burdick Chocolates. Really, really good. I was tempted this year . . . but then I'd be eating that high fat dessert daily . . . and I knew that that was a habit I needed to change this year. I'll be making my own yummy (hopefully) dessert this year.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
One of the most important ingredients in weight loss is to get moving. I committed to exercise a long, long time ago (pretty good for a total couch potato growing up), but most of my hobbies are quite sedentary. So I have to push myself to add small bursts of exercise into my day.
One thing I do is chair exercises: simple exercises that can be done right in your office chair (or computer chair, or couch, whatever -- whereever you happen to spend a lot of time sitting on your butt).
For me, I aim for three sessions a day. And just like with regular exercise, I change my routine every few weeks. Think leg extensions, chair dips (actually, I can't do those due to tendonitits in my elbow, but they're a great exercise), leg lifts, biceps curls (you can even keep some light weights right next to your chair) -- or the new move I saw on Oprah yesterday that Mariah Carey does: extend your arms out full length, really using your muscles to hold them stretched out, and lower & raise your hands. Works that arm flab stuff.
Use your imagination! What can you do just sitting at your chair?
One of the biggest reasons I want to lose weight is to have more energy. And I'm already getting more. Still have a long way to go, but I definitely have more energy than when I started with SP.
I do agility with my dogs today; back to back classes. So we get up, potty, eat, then go out for a quick 20 minute walk (more potty!). Then it's 2 hours of standing around waiting our turn, then sprinting around up to 16 different obstacles directing my dogs.
I used to come home on Tuesdays and do absolutely nothing the rest of the day, I was so wiped out. Now, while I may be a little tired, I find that I can actually get more stuff done on Tuesday afternoons. Just that little bit of extra energy that just a little bit of weight loss can give you. So imagine what I'll feel like at goal weight!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I wrote a while back about how I always want something sweet after both lunch and dinner. Most of the time, it's a psychological craving. I'm not really hungry; not physically hungry (no growling stomach, no stomach pains, no headache, not tired).
Maybe it's genetic, though, because my Dad's the same way. His favorite saying, which I've adopted, is "I just want a little something". The problem, of course, is that all those little somethings add up to huge hips (for me, anyway).
Yesterday was a very tiring day. The dogs have fleas, despite being treated. I've treaded the lawn, too, but that takes a while to go into effect. So I washed all the pet bedding yesterday, and that's a lot of laundry. Plus I vacuumed. I had to strip the bed & wash the bedding today, and I'll vacuum again.
Back to yesterday. I was really tired. Maybe I'm a wimp, but there you are. I finished dinner. I'd had a brownie with lunch (planned), and I had planned to have an apple with peanut butter after dinner. But it wasn't what I wanted, even though I wasn't particularly hungry. I just wanted a little something. Chocolate, I thought, would actually have less calories than an apple with peanut butter.
I chose the apple anyway. It wasn't easy. But I'd only had a banana so far that day, and I really just felt my body would thank me for eating a little better.
I usually loosely follow the 80/20 rule: if you eat "good" 80% of the time, it's okay to eat not so well 20% of the time.
Today is a new day. And I'm pondering whether or not to have a cookie now, or save it for after dinner. Haven't decided yet.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
You know that heady feeling when you first fall in love? Like all you want to do is be with that person? That the person can do no wrong?
And then one day, you realize your beloved has a habit that just drives you nuts. And you want some me-time. It's not that you no longer love your beloved, it's just that you can't sustain that falling-in-love feeling (made famous by Tom Cruise in "TopGun" singing "You've lost that loving feeling").
Losing weight is like that. The new year rolls around. And you decide it's time for a new you. And this time, you're really motivated. You exercise. You write down what you eat. All you can think about is losing weight and all you do online is read about losing weight.
Then, slowly, you're not quite as motivated. You miss a few workouts. You eat some "forbidden" food. You're tired of thinking about food all the time.
I've found my motivation sliding away, just slightly, lately. A few less workouts. Not as many salads. Maybe a few extra desserts.
I know that it is impossible to keep your motivation at its highest all the time. And that's part of why I'm so thankful to SP. Because it's been proven that people lose more with support (which is part of why Weight Watchers works so well if you attend meetings), and there's a whole lot of support here.
Thank you SparkPeople!
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