Thursday, February 25, 2010
Diet and exercise. Diet and exercise! Diet AND Exercise!! DIET AND EXERCISE!!!
I've been hearing that ALL my life. My dad was an exercise fanatic and my mom was always on a diet. I started dieting at the ripe old age of 12. I wasn't heavy, just not as thin as some (including myself) thought I should be. I'm 42 now and have seen the failure of my sporadic exercise history and yo-you dieting past.
While in college, I went home for Christmas break and joined a diet program with my mom. I rode the stationary bike every evening for an hour and lost over 30 pounds before returning to school a "very pleased with myself but still noticing every flaw" size 5. I often remember those weeks and wish to return to that kind of "success". Then I take a reality check and remind myself that I am no longer 19 years old and that was part of the reason why I had so many health issues in my twenties.
Now I live in Florida, am a member of the YMCA, homeschool three kids, actively participate in my church, help lead two homeschool co-op groups, deal with health issues and food allergies, weigh too much, have high blood pressure, and exists in a general state of exhaustion. I need DIET AND EXERCISE!
Chapter three puts it so well. It is a lifestyle. A lifestyle of healthy activity choices and a lifestyle of healthy eating (diet) choices. I remind myself that diet actually means the sum total of the foods you consume. A bird has a diet of seeds and nuts. A wild cat has a diet of raw meat. I need to have a diet of healthy foods.
I have been making some major changes in my diet. I have been making good choices. I have been realistic. Because of my blood pressure I have been making more things from scratch, I already did more of that than most, to minimize salt. I just need to keep reminding myself not to rush. I keep reminding myself that this takes time.
Exercise is another area in which I have been working hard to make some major changes. I'm going to be honest. I've come up with a few REALLY good excuses not to exercise. It's hard work and hurts! It's inconvenient. It doesn't work with my schedule. I know I need to break down all these excuses for good.
Let's all be honest. Working out, exercising is painful. We've all heard it and experienced it, "No pain, no gain!" I don't like pain. I could go into a long description about the pain I endure while and after working out. The problem with the kind of complaining is that it encourages nobody -- least of all me. The truth is that even though exercise may be painful for a time, the pains in my legs would be there even more if I don't exercise. Breathing will become more difficult if I gain more weight, which is what will happen if I don't start moving. Countless other painful things will happen, if I don't exercise. So I'll make that trade. I'll scratch that excuse off my list.
I belong to a YMCA which has a heated pool. I love to swim and I love the water aerobics classes they offer there. The problem is that I don't love the 40 minute drive that it takes to get there and home again. I have so many things going on that taking 2+ hours to get a 60 minute workout is really out of the question most days.
That was my excuse anyway until I found a $10 bicycle at the local Salvation Army Store. It's stuck in seventh gear. It's rusted and kind-of ugly, but it gives me a great run around the airport I lived next to. That's part of the excuse taken care of -- no more drive time. The rest of the excuse was taken care of by giving myself permission to ride for 20 minutes a day. What a breakthrough!! Twenty minutes is WAY better than nothing. That takes care of inconvenient and not in my schedule.
I starting again. I'm thinking things through. I'm focusing on getting healthy and I'm getting it done. That's what we all must do, right?
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I grew up all over America. My dad was in the Navy and we moved at least every two years. I was used to being the new kid. When I finally reached junior high school, he managed to get tour after tour in the same area. It helped that the Hampton Rhodes area is home to multiple Navy bases. We actually lived there, in the same house for 6 years. I was able to complete school with the same group of kids for that whole time.
I wasn't one of the popular kids. I was used to missing out. Don't get me wrong, I had soo many friends... in the band, in the choir, in the drama club, in the honor society. My husband tells me I was a geek. He might have a point.
Here's my point. I'm used to missing out. I know what it's like to be on the outside looking in. I just never thought I could be on the inside and still be missing out. I joined sparkpeople.com last year. I've worked my way through a number of points and awards. I've made some friends. But I still wasn't getting it. I had about 8 months of positive movement, then discouragement took over and I not only lost my momentum, but I lost my forward progress as well. I actually gained back all the weight I had lost in the 8 months.
I'll tell you what happened. I got impatient, read a diet book, focused on the scale and got depressed over the lack of improvement. The book didn't call itself a diet book, but it was. I still claimed to be working toward a "healthier lifestyle" but I wasn't. I'm just gonna be honest here. I even . . . crash dieted, to get down a dress size for a wedding. I know! I know! I knew that wouldn't work, but I did it anyway. Yes, I've read the articles. Yes, I've read the testimonies. I did it anyway. I was clearly missing out!
I just had a birthday, the beginning of February and my sister gave me The Spark. I took a few days for me to start reading it but I did start this week. I read about Chris' start with fascination. I read about his philosophy and objectives and really started thinking. Next I read about the first cornerstone of his program and I realized what I had been missing! Since this is just the first cornerstone, I'm pretty sure that I'll realized that I was missing much more than just focus but this is huge.
FOCUS! A GOAL! Who'd-a-thunk?
Thanks so much Chris Downie and the SparkPeople.com team!! I'm enjoying reading this book AND it's opening my eyes like never before. I have focus! I have a goal, a clear, concise, measurable, tangible, written goal for my life! I included my physical, mental (educational & occupational), and spiritual priorities in my goal. Now I get the fun of prioritizing my life around my goals, instead of worrying about my vague idea of what I want to do with my life as I am swept along by the tide of the urgent event going on around me.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Well I've been working out this past week and it has gone well. On Friday I was a little perturbed because it seemed as though I was gaining weight for all of my efforts. Then the wonderful weekend came and with it breakthrough. I'm not showing any progress on my chart lately because I had put back on a few of the pounds which I had lost since I've been tracking it here. To keep myself motivated I only chart the losses. So when, like lately, there has been a gain I "ignore" it until I've corrected the situation.
The exciting thing about all this is that I've been walking. A year ago I couldn't walk far at all. Now I'm walking 3-4 miles per day. I've finally added some strength training and stretching exercises as well. I'm gonna try yoga again soon.
Generally speaking, I like exercise. I'm glad I'm more able to do it. I'm looking forward to more opportunities to try things as my body gets stronger.
Monday, December 28, 2009
I don't contribute nearly often enough. A friend of mine recently told me that she realized that she needed to stop "doing" so much and enjoy herself a little. She was right and it got me thinking about how I use my time. I don't think I accomplish too much and I don't think that I need to enjoy myself more but I do need to make some changes. That seems to be a familiar tune I keep singing. But that's OK. I have started AGAIN to make those changes. I know that I need to exercise more and even blog about it more. Let's see how it goes!
Today I got up early, took my husband to work then came home and ate breakfast followed by a good workout. I was sooooo tired. I followed that with a great time of worship and Bible reading and prayer. After a short nap, I couldn't help it, I'm not a morning person and I was out of the house by 7:00am, I took the kids to the mall to return gifts that were the wrong size. We ended up wandering around for almost 3 hours. Did I mention how tired I am?
I've uploaded a series of pictures to remind my self of the weight-loss (and gain) journey I've been on for the last 10 years. I started gaining weight 20 years ago but these are the most pertinent for now. You can see how thin and handsome my husband has remained all these years. He looks as good as the day I married him. I hope to be uploading pictures from now on which document my weight-loss without any more gains!
Monday, October 05, 2009
This afternoon my back "went out" for the fourth time in 10 years. To some people that may not seem bad, BUT I have no time for this. Today alone, I taught French at 10AM, made a deposit at the bank for the church at 1PM, prepared Jambalaya for the kids' History Co-op Dinner. Then the back took me out. My 12 year old son prepared the coffee cake dough for the History dinner and the other Moms are going to cook it and the bread pudding for me. See what I mean, no time for this.
This is just one more area in my life where God is telling me that I can no longer continue operating at Status Quo. Things must change.
SELF CONTROL - It's a dirty word to some people but it must become my new guiding phrase. I MUST exercise self control over my finances, over my eating, over my time management and over my physical activity.
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