Sunday, July 29, 2012
I have written ad nauseum about how hard it is for me to stay motivated for the long haul. I am constantly tweaking my routine to keep it fresh. Still, for me, it's a daily struggle. Some days I just don't "feel" like doing much of anything. One day, it occurred to me that it makes no sense to wait until I "feel" like eating healthier foods or exercising. Do I skip brushing my teeth because I don't "feel" like it? Once I realized that dropping weight is about routine habits and not some magical mystery tour, I just settled into doing what I'm supposed to do.
Today, I just want to stay on the couch, watch the Olympics and not do anything. Rather than beat myself up about it, I asked myself, 'what CAN you do today to get closer to your goal?' I decided to try a new recipe and prepare the food I need to eat for next week. When it's 105 degrees outside, you don't want to do much cooking, so I settled on a recipe that didn't require turning on the oven.
One recipe I tried was a black bean, corn and quinoa salad, which was really delicious. I also bought fresh fruit, cut it up and stored in the freezer for my morning smoothies. In the midst of preparing my foods, I found my motivation picking up a bit. True, I didn't get a workout in today, but I did go to a one-hour zumba class yesterday and worked out most days last week.
One other thing I did to stay motivated was to take more pictures. I compared my new photos to a few I took in May, and there's a clear difference. I'm just smaller all over. The most noticeable change is that my face is thinner and the ring of fat around my neck is almost gone. I've even got collar bones again.
The important lesson I've learned? There is always, something--SOMETHING out there that I can focus on to stay on track. It might not get me back to the rah-rah motivation I felt when I started out in January, but it helps me feel good about what I'm doing.
Onward and Downward.
Friday, July 27, 2012
I had a so-so week and am grateful that I still lost weight. I have now lost a total of 39 pounds. I am also 3 pounds away from my goal #2, which is to lose a total of 42 pounds by August.
Goal #3 is to lose a total of 57 pounds by the end of the year. That's 15 pounds between August and December. The holidays will be a tough time to lose weight, so I am planning to supplement SP with Weight Watchers meetings starting around October. Once I meet goal #3, I will only be 10 pounds from my final goal weight, which I don't plan to reach until March 2013. That's pretty exciting.
Staying on track with healthier habits can be tough on some days, but I know the alternative is to quit, gain weight and become diabetic. I can't allow that to happen so I carry on.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Sometimes I ask myself why I am succeeding on losing weight when I've failed so many times before. That's a tough question, but I decided to just list some of the contributing factors.
1. I'm in a period of stability. Stable job, stable family members, structured routines, etc.
2. I've failed in the past but learned key lessons. For example, in 2001 I lost weight using weight watchers. Even though I gained all the weight back, I learned some important lessons about food preparation, journaling, exercise and staying accountable.
3. I understand it's going to take time. So many times I wake up and want the weight gone already, but I've been fat for years. If I don't use this time to learn healthier habits, once I lose the weight, I won't keep it off.
4. I'm an empty nester and (for the most part) live alone. I don't have to cook for anyone and I have total control over the food that enters my house. When I dropped weight 10 years ago, I joined a gym with a child care facility and had my then-10 year old daughter help me prepare WW recipes. I would also buy snacks she loved but stuff I could resist.
5. My commute to work is shorter. For seven years I drove 45 minutes one way. That was 90 minutes out of my day. Now, my commute is 20 minutes. I use the balance to exercise.
6. My job is not too demanding and I work a regular schedule.
7. I was "ready". Just tired of being fat. Scared of becoming diabetic. Tired of looking old. As I've mentioned before, black women don't get wrinkled when we age, we get fat. As an aside, I feel sorry for teen girls who are 30 or more pounds overweight. It's tough to date and fit in. What will they weigh by the time they're 30 or 40? I was only 15 pounds overweight as a teen. I might as well have been fifty.
8. I ditched the all or nothing mentality. On this journey, I've eaten cake, bbq, pizza, fried chicken, ice cream. You name it. And I still lost weight. It doesn't work for me to quit eating less healthier stuff. The difference is, those are treats not staples.
9. I eat the same stuff over and over again. I really LIKE my unfried chicken, pistachios, smoothies, sandwiches with guacamole, carrots and hummus. These are things I would eat anyway.
10. I'm serious about exercise. Ten years ago when I lost weight, I got up at 5:50 a.m. every weekday morning and walked 2 miles. Now, I go to the gym 3-5 days a week. Sometimes I walk around the neighborhood or go hiking, but mostly I spend time in the gym on the machines or lifting weights.
11. I'm consistent. I blow a weekend? So what? I get back on track. Eat too much pizza? So what? I get back on track. Every week you have 21 meals. If you screw up two of them, that's only 10% of your meals. Eat clean 90% of the time and you'll lose weight.
12. I stay accountable and focused with SP. I blog, read other blogs, look at my inspiration pics and the pic of me near my goal weight 10 years ago. I read health and fitness magazines and information from other websites. Anything to keep me in the mental zone I need to stay in.
Whatever you do, find an eating and exercise plan that's uniquely yours. Keep it healthy, stay patient, be accountable and consistent. I'm still going strong after seven months. I probably won't reach goal until after 2013, but I'm still here, planning my work and working my plan.
Onward and downward.
Monday, July 23, 2012
This weekend was fun, fun, fun. I kicked off Friday night with happy hour on the town with friends that morphed into club hopping, which is funny when you're in your forties. The main difference is that we preferred venues with live music because unless it's "grown folk" night at the lounge, we're not going to like today's club music. I didn't get home until after 1 a.m., which is late for me these days.
Saturday I went to the wedding of a young man that I watched grow up. His mother is a good friend of mine and when she was pregnant with him, she was due on my birthday. I've bonded with the kid ever since. The wedding was beautiful, and, as expected my ex-husband and his family attended. The refrain I kept hearing after losing nearly 40 pounds? "You look so YOUNG." And I FELT young. At the reception, I was on the dance floor for all of the line dances--the electric slide, the cha-cha slide, the wobble. Just full of energy and having a lovely time despite club-hoppin' on the previous night. Energy like this is a blessing!
Sunday, I attended a Royals baseball game. We lost because our team has been terrible for years. Still, there's nothing like the experience of being in the ball park.
How did I do with my eating and exercise? I give myself a "C". The good was that I stayed conscious of what I was putting in my mouth and tried to make wise food choices. I also managed to stay within my calorie limits. The bad is that I did not eat many fruits and veggies, so those calories came from stuff like alcohol, popcorn, hot dogs, and snacky-snacks. I haven't exercised since Thursday.
Well, today, I'm home and ready to get back on track. I've had my smoothie and have packed my lunch and my gym bag. Here we go.
Onward and downward.
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