Thursday, January 20, 2011
Why is it that I can spend months with my head buried in the sand about my weight, but when I try to lose weight I expect overnight results? I swear, I'm the most impatient woman in the world. Intellectually I understand this journey is going to be long, but emotionally, I seem to always look for instant gratification.
Last night, I caught an episode of "I used to be fat" on MTV. The show featured an 18 year old young lady who was about 5'9" and weighed about 265 lbs. She was depressed and insecure around her size four girlfriends. She had never dated and the family feared that unless she gained confidence and self-esteem, that she would never marry.
The summer after she graduated from high school, she embarked on an intensive diet and exercise program. The goal was to drop 100 lbs in 90 days, like they do on "Biggest Loser." She worked out six days a week for about six hours a day with a personal trainer. The workouts were so difficult that she would literally collapse in tears after finishing her workout. Her diet was healthy, but restrictive. Yet, for two weeks in a row, she only lost a single pound.
Near the end of the show, this young lady wanted to quit. She felt like she was working hard and had only a few pounds to show for it. Her trainer shifted his emphasis from the scale to self esteem and health. He reminded her that the scale is not a reliable indicator of progress and urged her to take pride in her improving fitness level, her energy and other signs of progress. Reluctantly, she hung in there and eventually the pounds just started to fall off. By the end of the summer, she had dropped more than 35 lbs.
The young lady went off to college and took her new found, healthy habits with her. The last scene showed her returning home for Xmas break. She had dropped another 33 lbs, weighed about 197 and was wearing a size 14. The young woman looked confident, fit and pretty.
How often have I thrown in the towel when results didn't show up on the scale when I wanted them to? What if I had just "hung in there" like this young lady did? The tough lesson this young lady learned is one I still need to internalize.
Our bodies don't lose weight in a logical, straight-line fashion. Some weeks we mysteriously gain weight, other weeks 3.5 lbs may suddenly vanish. Regardless, we need to focus more on how our habits will benefit our health, fitness level and confidence and less on the scale. Much easier said than done, but I know that a shift in my thinking is necessary if I am to be successful.
The next four weeks for me are going to be critical because I know I'm at high risk of abandoning this plan. I am really preparing myself mentally to handle those days when I'm frustrated, discouraged, and ready to give up. I keep telling myself that if I can make it through February and into March, that I will have a much greater chance to succeed.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I'm beginning to step up my exercise. After about a week of struggling to get up early to fit it in, I just asked myself "What worked the last time you dropped weight?" And the answer was simple; I'm a night owl. Why fight what comes naturally? So I decided to hit the gym in the evenings.
I've read all the research about the benefits of working out in the morning; I get that. Still, to me, the best time to exercise is when you'll do it. I'm sure that life will get in the way and I will have to deal with that, but right now, this is working and I'm not willing to fix something that's not broken.
I've fallen into an eating routine and have been consistent about keeping the food and exercise diary. I'm finding that my energy has perked up a bit, which is good.
I'm on cruise control now, so as long as I stay focused, I'm cool.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
It is said that it take 21 days to acquire a new habit. It is also said that most people are at their unhappiest in late January/early February. Why? Because people abandon their new year's resolutions.
Last year for me, the magic date was Feb 18th. After that, I left SP and did not log in again until this year. This year, I'm aware that I'm at high risk of abandoning my healthier eating and exercise plan in the next six weeks. I believe that if I can see this through to March 1st, that I will settle into a groove that can sustain me over time.
So how do I stay motivated? First, I created and hung up a collage in my room. My collage has pictures of Jennifer Hudson and other people who have transformed themselves through healthier habits. Everyday, when I get up, the collage is in full view. I also posted a virtual pic of myself at my ideal weight on my refrigerator. I also have post-it notes with life goals written out and posted on the door between my bedroom and bath.
Most of all, I keep reminding myself that I don't have to do the plan perfectly, just consistently. There are still some less healthy food choices in my eating, but I've made minor tweaks in other areas to compensate.
This morning when I got up and looked in the mirror, I noticed that my love handles looked a little smaller and that my stomach is not protruding as much. I did not expect to see results so soon, but I'm glad because it's keeping me motivated.
Still need to improve on the exercise, but I have faith I'll get there.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Went to bed last night at 10:30pm. I think I drifted off to sleep around 11:00 pm. Then, for some reason, I popped awake at 2:00am and was awake until about 3:20am. By 6:00 am, I was exhausted and couldn't get up until 7:30am. Needless to say I missed another exercise day.
I did weigh in and my disciplined eating is paying off--I'm down another 2 lbs. Despite my inconsistent exercise, at least I'm not totally sedentary. I have faith that I will get it together once I figure out why I keep waking up in the middle of the night.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
After the stellar day I had yesterday, I was hopeful that I would leap out of bed again this morning like superwoman. No dice. I popped awake at 4:10 am and couldn't get back to sleep until about 5:20 am or so. By the time the alarm went off at 6am, I couldn't wake up. I ended up rising at 7:00 am and rushing to head out the door and start my day. Bummer, because I got no exercise.
Still, I know I won't do this plan perfectly, but I still had some small victories. 1) I ate a healthy breakfast; 2) I skipped cookies, a giant chocolate candy bar and potato chips; 3) I cut down to one serving of alcohol and only ate small portions of the happy hour junk food; 4) my calorie count for the day was still under 1400 calories.
Not an ideal day, but still on track and doin' fairly well.
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