Wednesday, April 18, 2012
How many times have we read on SP and in magazines that living a healthier lifestyle is not a sprint but a marathon and that we are all turtles and not rabbits.
Although we recognize this intellectually, why is this concept so difficult to internalize? We want results immediately and if we can't get them right away, we quit!
That's me. I was reading my past blogs and in both January of 2010 and 2011, I launched a new eating plan, amped up the exercise and plunged into all these new habits at once, in an effort to sprint to the finish line as soon as possible. But, by March or so, one of life's curveballs would hit me between the eyes and I'd stop doing everything. Why? Because they weren't HABITS.
Yesterday, I also realized that as the end of April draws near, that I now have broken a record for consistency. May will represent Month 5 of healthier habits. And what do I have to show for it? A new clothing size (from an 18 to a 16) and 24 pounds gone.
These results didn't come overnight, but are the culmination of all the good, mediocre and poor days I've had while striving to replace bad habits with good ones. I wasn't always rewarded on the scale for good behavior, but I also wasn't penalized on the scale when I screwed up.
I am one pound away from weighing the least I've weighed in two years. Now, I appreciate the time it took because it really helped me understand on an EMOTIONAL level, that this is indeed a marathon and not a sprint.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I found out this morning, that my HbA1C is up. The HbA1c is a blood test that measures your sugar. If it is 5.70 to 6.49, then you are prediabetic. Anything over 6.49 is diabetic.
In January, my result was 6.1. This morning, my result came in at 6.2, so even though I've dropped 20 lbs, it's still trending up.
Now here's evidence that some type of health care reform is needed. The doctor said that most insurance companies won't pay for you to see a nutritionist if you are prediabetic, but they will pay if you are fully diabetic. Now, wouldn't you think that it would be cheaper for them to pay for a few nutritionist visits for a prediabetic versus paying for all the expenses that would be incurred by someone with diabetes. Just crazy.
Anyway, the results have sharpened my resolve to keep on keepin' on. I've told my entire family about my goal to lose 20 lbs by August 31st. They are all in my corner and cheering me on. I've resolved to beat this and bring my HbA1c down to normal levels.
Onward and downward.
Monday, April 16, 2012
I am finding renewed focus as I start to see results. Losing 22 lbs has dropped me one dress size, from a misses 18 to a 16. Yesterday, my daughter told me she noticed. Almost all of it has come off of my middle. The doughnut around my waist is nearly gone and my stomach has lost that "buddha belly" look. It's not totally flat, but it looks much better. My daughter also said she's noticed that my face is a bit thinner.
The results have spurred my motivation. For the first time, since I've started out on SP this year, I'm eating more healthful foods AND doing cardio AND strength training. I just restarted the strength training last week and had forgotten how much I enjoy it. I have also made a promise to myself to dance more! Friday, I took free Salsa lessons, which was really fun.
This morning, I avoided my sausage mcgriddle and opted for a SP breakfast casserole dish. I'm also eating more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, chicken and fish. I'm trying to eat more fruit for dessert. I'm hooked on those Cutie oranges--just love those! I also buy frozen fruit that I can quickly defrost and toss into cereal, mix with cool whip for a fast dessert or (eventually) whip into a smoothie. Same with the frozen vegetables. I keep bags of different ones in the freezer to quickly defrost and whip into something or other.
In the gym, I avoid being on one cardio machine too long. I hate doing 30 minutes at a time. I have a short attention span and cardio machines can be boring and torturous. But I CAN handle 10-15 minute increments on multiple machines. I workout from 30 to 60 minutes depending on my mood and motivation about 3-4 times a week. I weight train twice a week on alternate days using exercises I found on SP. So in the last seven days, I've worked out on five of them.
Am I doing all of this perfectly? Oh, heck no. I still have lapses, I still eat my barbecue, still fail to write down stuff and skip workouts. But, whenever I do those things, I immediately return to my new food staples and workout routine.
What I've noticed is that the longer I stay consistent, the more focused I get. The more focused I get, the more I fine tune my eating and exercise habits. The more I improve my habits, the more I lose, and the more I lose, the more consistent I get. As long as I maintain this mental focus I've got, I can continue to develop and improve on these healthier habits.
Onward and downward.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Five stupid pounds. How many times do my efforts to lose weight hinge on five pounds? For me, it's the difference between success and failure. How so? Here are three common scenarios.
Scenario 1. After weeks of careful eating and diligent exercise, I weigh myself and learn I haven't lost weight. I get frustrated and give up.
What if I had told myself instead, "Don't give up today. Drop five more pounds and then you can do what you want."
Scenario 2. Stress has overwhelmed me and I've reverted back to poor food choices and a sedentary lifestyle. I weigh myself and discover I've gained five pounds. I tell myself, "Forget it. I'm too stressed out to do anything about it now." Then I bury my head in the sand. Months go by and with each one, I gain five lbs.
What if I had told myself early on, "it's five pounds. You know how to lose five pounds. Lose the five pounds and stay on maintenance until things settle down."
Scenario 3. I step on the scale and discover I've gained five pounds because it's that time of the month. I become discouraged at how long it takes to lose weight and quit.
What if I had told myself. "It's water weight. You gain the same five pounds every month. Stay patient and keep doing what you're doing and one day, your efforts will show up on the scale."
It seems so simple, but my mind is good at playing tricks on me. I think that if I find ways to power through these discouraging scenarios, I can emerge five pounds thinner and reignite my motivation.
Onward and downward.
Friday, April 13, 2012
I learned this week that I've been promoted! Last year at this time, I was unemployed and gasping for air. In August, after six months of being unemployed, I accepted a position that was a little below my skill sets to gain entry into a new organization.
In nine months, I've gone from a cubicle to an office, plus a higher level job title/responsibilities and a 10% raise!
I am feeling so blessed that my life is back on track in so many different ways.
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