Monday, November 24, 2014
I ate a full dinner late last night after getting home from work. It put me over my calorie range by about 300 calories because I had snacked through the day - healthy snacks, but too often. When I looked back on the day to see what went wrong, I realized I had not been intentional to eat a good breakfast. In fact I had almost nothing for breakfast, because I was tired, overslept, and in a hurry. Every day for the last 3 weeks I've eaten a good breakfast and done really well the rest of the day. So now I've learned one thing that can really go wrong for me. I'm back to eating a good breakfast today.
So then I had to look at why I am so tired, and not getting enough sleep. Reality is, I teach classes in the evening. Even when I don't have an evening class, lately I've had meetings. I can say they're the exception, but really they're not. There's always going to be something. When I get home, I can't just fall into bed. I have to unwind. I'm more of a night owl anyway.
In fact, I've never been a morning person. Yet I signed up to go the gym at 6:00 a.m. I realized this morning, bleary-eyed on the treadmill, this is not working. I've not set myself up for long-term success. Not only that, but working out tired is dangerous. I've already had one injury because of tiredness - I opened a door on top of my foot this weekend. I'm thankful I'm still able to do my walking but that part of my foot is definitely hurt.
So I made a change. I asked the trainer if I could come to the gym at 8:00 a.m. instead. Turns out it works better for him as well. I feel better already.
I've been inconsistent with water drinking too, and that's got to change. I feel like it's a key to my health overall, and I've let it slide. Now I need to be intentional. I would love to know if anyone has advice on how to do better at consistent water drinking throughout the day - things that work for you.
I'm happy with my adjustments and ready for a great week! :)
Friday, November 21, 2014
"Just do it" may be cliche but it seems to work for me and exercise. All week I've looked forward to my two days off to walk at the park. When this morning arrived, I woke up early without an alarm - I think I was just that excited. Headed straight for the park.
When I hit the pavement, I felt sluggish. Despite a little disappointment, I kept going. I thought, I'm here, it's a beautiful morning, perfect temperature - mid-30s with no wind and lots of sunshine. Lots of activity already at the park - I like walking alone but among lots of company. :) So I thought, sluggish or not, let's just do this.
One loop around the park is roughly a mile. After one loop, I still wasn't feeling all that energetic but I wanted to do another loop. I kept going. By the time I finished the second, I was feeling more energized and ready for a third loop.
About halfway through the third loop, I started picking up speed, not intentionally, just wanted to. I got to this section at the back end of our park, which intersects with a hiking trail that is wonderfully graveled; not loose gravel, just small enough, and embedded enough in the dirt that it feels amazing to walk along that part of the path.
As soon as my feet hit the gravel, I was surprised and delighted by a burst of speed. I've been doing interval training at the gym and I guess it's kicked in. A jogger who passed me remarked, "You're walking almost as fast as I'm jogging!"
I kept it up till the end of the gravel path and felt amazing. Don't know if I'll reproduce that tomorrow, but it sure put a smile on my face today! :)
Note to self: Next time you arrive at the park and feel sluggish, don't worry - just do it. You never know what will transpire!
Thursday, November 20, 2014
This is a reminder that the scale is not everything. While I've been losing 1 pound per week and grateful for that, I realize that some weeks the scale will not budge. To be ready for that, I want to make note of all the other ways I'm noticing healthy changes:
Yesterday I walked from my office to the town square. Someone made a comment about being out of breath and that made me realize I wasn't. A month ago when I made that very short walk I was so winded that I was really concerned about my health. That, in fact, is what inspired me to get back on track with creating a healthy lifestyle.
Also yesterday I bent over in my chair to pick up something off the floor, and I realized I pulled myself back upright by my abdominal muscles. I didn't do it consciously, it just happened. That was really cool. Even when I was a normal weight and in pretty decent shape, my abs were never strong. The gym is making a difference already.
It's easier to lift grocery bags. It's easier to walk up stairs - I do stairs a lot, because I work on the second floor and my apartment is also up a flight of stairs. Even my knees, which I frequently have trouble with, are hurting less on the stairs because the other leg muscles are getting stronger.
I love that I'm not craving unhealthy food like I was just a few short weeks ago. I've stopped overeating and late night eating. That is a miracle. I'm happy with smaller portion sizes. These are all huge, significant changes in just a few weeks.
I have more energy. More enthusiasm. I look forward to my gym workouts and to taking walks in the park on the weekend - even in the cold weather. A few weeks ago I had given up on exercise entirely.
I'm enjoying fruits and vegetables, and even enjoying drinking water - I can look back to October and say I wasn't enjoying any of that. Had to force myself to do those things and mostly rebelled. What amazing changes, just from taking a few intentional steps to get started.
My clothes have started fitting better, and that was another reason I wanted to make this effort. Not only was I getting really concerned about my health, but I was also tired of feeling so uncomfortable all day, because my clothes were getting so tight. While I look forward to the day I can switch to a smaller size, right now I'm enjoying that the clothes I have are loose and feel so much more comfortable. I don't feel like every part of me is swelling up; in fact, I've noticed distinct changes in areas that are shrinking. This is awesome and very encouraging. Even if I had no access to a scale, the fact that I'm visibly shrinking would encourage me to keep doing what I'm doing.
The scale is moving slowly, and may reach a week where it will not move at all. But I can't help noticing the changes in every area of my life, and that says to me, "This is working!!!"
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Some thoughts in my head this morning as I went from gym to grocery store - just stuff I'm beginning to realize -
1. There's never a convenient time to lose weight. You just have to do it. There's always going to be stuff going on, and new challenges. You just have to jump in and start. I have a full time job and in September I added part time school to the mix. Then the weather turned really cold this week - always adds a challenge. And I've wondered - Is this really a good time to try and lose weight? The answer: YES!!!! It's the best time ever, because it means from this moment forward I am getting healthier. You can't beat that. It's worth everything, every challenge. And you know what? It really is do-able. After all, I'm really doing it.
2. Drinking water is amazing. I never appreciated water until my body started demanding it. I've come to love drinking water - and I got a fun-looking water bottle that holds 3 cups - that's made it easier. I've even gotten compliments on my water bottle! :) Makes it fun. I go out to restaurants several times a week with friends - important part of my life, hanging out, enjoying a meal together. I've started ordering just water as my beverage, and I'm loving it. It also cuts 5-10 pounds per year than what I would normally drink - Coke, sweet tea, etc. And it's cheaper!!! I've been dehydrated for so long. At first I was just trying to force myself to drink more water but my prayer was that I would come to enjoy it. I am finally there.
3. I CAN get up at 5:30 in the morning and go to the gym consistently. Right now, it's twice a week commitment, with a 3rd if I'm up to it, and a long walk outdoors on the weekend. I've never considered myself a morning person, especially when I teach classes at night. So it is HARD to get up, and I walk into the gym kinda bleary-eyed. But it is so worth it. I don't want to quit. And I used to always want to quit. That is a huge change for me. It's amazing.
4. It's okay to splurge. I did yesterday for lunch - not in a ridiculous way, but it was still a splurge. And here's the thing. I'm not trying to do this short term just to lose weight. I'm trying to make permanent lifestyle changes. That means I have to be realistic. I enjoy having lunch with friends. I've tried to stick more with salads lately, but occasionally I will splurge. If that's going to be part of my life on a long term basis, then it needs to be part of my life now. The important thing is that yesterday I made healthy choices the rest of the day, and I'm ready to eat healthy again today. It used to be that if I splurged, I would give up and just go on making bad choices. I like that I can incorporate something not on my healthy eating list, enjoy it, and go on eating healthy. That's a really big change for me, and I think it will help with long term success.
5. As I got to the grocery store this morning, after a good workout at the gym, I was really happy to realize that all I wanted was the stuff I've been eating - stuff that is healthy and good for me. I didn't even look at or crave anything else.
I'm excited about these changes and looking forward to continuing on this path.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Encouraged, amazed, energized, smiling, soaring.
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