Sunday, October 12, 2014
Today, I'm reflecting on a major victory with the scale. After months of near panic as I watched the numbers rise on the scale, I reached a truce with myself.
I would continue to focus on eating the same foods that helped me lose 50 pounds two years ago and just stop obsessing, worrying and stressing about what was happening. I would also stop weighing myself. Instead, I focused on making good food choices and eating consciously. If I strayed from my staple foods, I would watch my portions and exercise whenever I could. That was it.
I stopped weighing for three weeks and returned to my moderate diet. This morning, I finally weighed in and I'm 4.5 pounds down!
So what's the secret? There IS no secret. I just quit with the deadlines and quit with the big challenges and quit trying to force myself to do things I really didn't want to do. I tried to cook more at home and stick to my regular rotation of healthier choices to grab on the go. I tried a couple of new things--oatmeal with honey and almond butter for breakfast, is one example. Eating fruit and cutting down on skinny cow ice/smart ones desserts is another.
I did get some exercise in---some walks and a couple of super intense dance classes--but nothing extraordinary.
True, I'm still 12 pounds over goal, but it sure sounds a helluva lot better than 16.5 lbs over goal.
So onward I go. Sticking to the basics of what I know works. I'm tempted to take a more aggressive approach, but why interfere with what's already working?
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
About a month ago, I switched from a commercial gym back to my good old community center. I had originally changed gyms because I wanted to belong to the gym in my neighborhood. I lasted a year before I decided enough was enough. Why didn't it work?
Several factors but the main reason was because they blasted all this rough, heavy metal music. Now, I like rock music okay, but after awhile it was getting on my nerves. I brought my own tunes to compensate. Another factor was I grew tired of the pressure sales tactics and the mysterious terms of agreement in the contract. I paid cash for my membership for this very reason; I didn't trust them enough to give them access to my credit card or bank information.
The clientele was okay, but for some reason, I wasn't entirely comfortable. Maybe the number of muscleheads? I also had problems with the condition of some of the equipment and the worn out appearance of the women's locker room. I also did not like how people didn't wipe the sweat off the equipment after use. There were signs posted telling people to do so, but it rarely happened. I found myself dreading my workouts and finding reasons not to go.
My community center gym is more expensive and farther away, but I was glad to be back. It's clean, relatively quiet and I like it there. It has all the equipment I need, classes I can take and a swimming pool.
I'm already noticing subtle changes in my body. The chub around my waist is a bit smoother and my arms and legs are looking a little more muscular. Right now, I limit my workouts to 45 minutes about 4x a week; 15 minutes on the weights and 30 minutes of cardio. I put on 3 pounds when I started my weight routine, but I understand that muscles store water after a strength training workout. I'm trying to be patient and trust the process. So far, 1/2 a pound of the water weight is gone. Hopefully, I'll drop the rest of it soon.
My eating has held steady and I'm consistently recording my food intake. Hopefully, these changes will be enough to bring results because it's a plan I can live with over time.
Monday, August 11, 2014
I've read the literature and seen the reports. It's not about losing weight, it's about making sustainable, healthy changes to your lifestyle over time. Losing weight is a side effect of those healthier choices.
But what if you've made several sustainable changes and you're still overweight?
In my mind, this is where "sustainable change" ends and the whole mindset of dieting begins. Any further change becomes tough and hard to do. So now, I'm counting calories or carbs and increasing the intensity of my exercise, which feels like work (hence the term workout). At this point, I either need to quit whining about the last 28 pounds or do the "work" that goes into dropping it. I need to find a high intensity form of exercise that I actually like and find a way to eat a 1,500 calorie diet that offers me the flexibility of an occasional treat or higher calorie day.
I read the story of a woman who lost 100 pounds. Did she go on a drastic diet and drop it in a year? No. She started in 2007 and did not hit her goal until 2012. She make a series of lifestyle changes one habit at a time until she reached her goal. It was a long process because she had to keep making adjustments in ways that she could live with. Sometimes, her plans worked, other times she'd plateau or even regain some pounds. But she always stuck with it.
I suppose I've answered my own question. In my case, I want to lose the last 28 pounds for good. I've bounced all over the place trying to find a plan that I can live with for the rest of my life. Yes, it's going to take work, but I have to figure out what changes I can make that I can sustain FOR LIFE. Going to the gym daily? Not sustainable. Two or three times a week? That might work, along with doing something fun (like hiking) on the weekends.
Cut out all treats, desserts and barbecue? Not gonna happen. Getting a barbecue fix 1x a month and eating leaner chicken every other month instead of pork spareribs? That might work.
I'm still trying to figure all of this out and I admit, it's long going. But just like that woman who lost her weight over time, I'm still pushing forward. One day, I'll get there.
Monday, July 28, 2014
As I was reading up on nutrition, I remembered one of my favorite "I Love Lucy" scenes ever. I am sharing it so you can laugh as much as I do whenever I see it.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
A few days ago, I rejoined the community center gym that was a big part of me dropping 50 pounds nearly two years ago. I'm 10 pounds over goal and am determined to not only return to goal, but drop eight more pounds before the end of 2014.
Today, I started up the strength training routine for my upper body. While I was working out, I realized that lifting weights is something I enjoy. I don't know why I stayed away so long, but I'm glad that I returned. I have to keep this in mind for the days when I don't "feel" like going to the gym. Part of my self-talk might be to say "just go and lift weights for 10 minutes. If you're still not feelin' it, then you can leave."
I've learned that I get excruciatingly bored doing the same thing over and over--especially if it involves cardio machines. To cope, I'm breaking up my thirty minutes of cardio into three 10 minute sessions while I'm there. I'm mixing in some high intensity intervals to keep things interesting and torch more calories.
I think that's why I ditched my walking/jogging routine. I was getting tired of walking around the neighborhood or at work and being at the mercy of bad weather. Besides, it's best for me to stay indoors in August and September because I'm allergic to ragweed and it's really bad that time of year.
I'm already thinking ahead to how I should switch up my fitness routine in the fall. I might be glad to return to walking outdoors by then. I might also try a different aerobics class, yoga, tai chi. Who knows? The big lesson for me is that if my exercise routine starts to feel stale, I need to do something different--not quit.
It's all good; I'll figure out what it takes for me to stay on plan some day. Until then, I will keep pushing!
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