Monday, March 04, 2013
Each little mini-goal in my weight loss journey has been motivating. I've had a whole series of them because for me even having a modest goal like losing five pounds seemed too overwhelming and too far out into the future to give me much motivation. But a pound or two feels realistic and possible. So I've set these little goals in front of me and imagined how great getting them accomplished would be. A mini-goal might get me to where I win a little virtual trophy or might drop me below a certain milestone weight. For example, a big and exciting one was the two pound mini-goal of dropping from 201 to 199 to enter into ONEderland. Arriving at 199 was amazing and I couldn't resist taking a silly picture of the scale that morning as proof of the good news! Well, now I'm gearing up for another hugely significant two pound mini-goal. Five months of effort with Spark People has resulted in 42 pounds of weight loss and I now weigh 181. My current goal is to lose two more pounds which will put me at 179. This is huge for me because according to the Centers for Disease Control standard, when I drop to 179 I will be, for the first time in decades, out of the "overweight" category for my height and body build. I am already wonderfully fit and trim compared to the past and it is a joy to see and feel the difference. I was remembering this morning how difficult it used to be to even tie my shoes. It is a bit embarrassing to admit that I actually got winded tying my shoes because I couldn't breathe with all my belly fat compressed against my lungs in that position. I essentially had to hold my breath while tying my shoes and then gasp to catch my breath afterwards. How wonderful it is to feel so much better now and to be able to tie my shoes effortlessly. So even though 179 is just a number (not hugely different from my current weight of 181), nevertheless, it will be a thrilling milestone to reach on this great journey toward better health which I've been on. The status of "normal" will be a very satisfying affirmation of accomplishment for these five months of discipline and effort. In losing 42 pounds to date, I've accomplished more than twenty or so little "one to two" pound mini-goals. So this latest greatest mini-goal just adds to the accumulating benefit of each one accomplished along the way. So its not really any greater than any of the others. Each one was equally important in getting me to this place for which I am so grateful. But it is great in that it marks a significant result of the total effort. So in a week or two if you hear a loud scream of joy, it just might be me!
P.S. I just thought about how at moments like this I quickly forget about all the frustrations and set backs and struggles along the way. It certainly wasn't as if it were smooth sailing the whole time but staying at it, especially when feeling discouraged, certainly pays off over time.
Saturday, March 02, 2013
Part of my success with Spark People has been learning to enjoy and look forward to creative, healthy snacks. This is in striking contrast to my previous old habits of uncontrolled binge snacking where I literally ate everying in sight to the point of painful discomfort followed by a miserable night of sleep. Good grief, that sounds awful doesn't it? But I really did that almost every evening. My goodness, I'm so glad those days are behind me. Now I plan my daily eating and confirm with my food tracker to see how many calories I want (and need) to take in to complete my day. It's kind of neat to realize that I need to snack at the end of the day to get the nutrition and fuel my body requires. Imagine that, needing to snack! I can deal with this new improved way of living! This kind of snack is good for me and feels like a special treat to look forward to in the evening for good discipline throughout the day. Still, I recently found myself in a bit of a snacking rut in spite of these good changes. I was getting a little tired of my popcorn, nuts, fruit, and chocolate snacks. I also realized that in spite of good overall eating, I needed to get more fiber in my diet. I considered commerical fiber suppliments and saw all kinds of artificial ingredients (and a rather expensive price tag) and decided there has got to be a better way to do this. So I designed a new evening snack for myself - a snack with purpose! I start with a half cup of fiber one or all bran cereal (60 calories, 14 grams of fiber), a half cup of homemade fat free plain yogurt (55 calories - and yes I've started making my own yogurt - it's fun to do) and a half cup of frozen blueberries (41 calories) and mix them all together and I've got a semi-frozen, crunchy, sweet-sour mix that I have found to be quite pleasing and satisfying (156 calories). The fiber is filling and it is providing the desired benefits :) So this is a new twist on my snacking - combining purpose, flavor, and reward treat together in one package. Nice!
Monday, February 25, 2013
I've got a new routine going that is annoying. Every night for the past week I have consistently awoken between 4:00 or 4:30 AM with cramps in the calves of my leg, usually my right leg. I get up walk it off and go back to sleep. Strange. This morning it was different. The cramps came at 6:30 when it was time to get up anyway. I just had blood work done and my potassium levels were fine. Dehydrated? I've been drinking eight cups of water a day consistently. I can't figure this one out.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
I think my body likes to play tricks on me! For ten days there was no change. I did absolutely everything right - exercise and diet - nothing. The scale didn't budge. So I get myself psyched for the long haul. I realize that my metabolism has probably slowed down and that the rest of my weight loss (ten more pounds) is going to take a long time. Then boom in two days the scale suddenly drops by a little more than two pounds. I don't get it but I'm not complaining. I guess its just a reminder not to get too worried about the day to day fluctuations - or flat, very long flat readings. I did cut my daily calorie intake back from 2100 to 1800, upon the advice of my Spark Coach (I was advised not to go any lower than that, however). That may have helped get things moving again. Anyway, today is a day of celebration. I've now lost 40 pounds. I'm now only four pounds overweight according to the strict Centers for Disase Control standard for my height and body type. I'll get rid of those pounds too, sooner or later (who knows what trick my body will play on me next -- it does I believe have a mischevious sense of humor). So anyway, its great to note, at this milestone, all that has been accomplished. Today I will reduce my blood pressure medicine by half, as per my doctor's instruction. It's no longer necessary to take the higher dose. I've already stopped taking medication for cholesterol. That medicine is not necessary anymore either. I remember the Spark People visualizations encouraging us, when we were beginners, to imagine our future self thanking us for starting this journey. Well, I am now that future self thanking my past self for starting this journey. I am so glad I decided to do this. I am grateful for this web site and for Spark friends and for the spiritual resources that have all come together to help me get to this place.
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