Friday, October 01, 2010
Today marks one month for me on the Spark. So I thought it would be a good time to look back and see how far I've come and what I've accomplished in that time. As with anything in life, there have been ups and downs, highs and lows, victories and defeats. Overall however, I think I can point to many more positives than negatives. Not every goal was met, not every objective was achieved, but I made a lot of progress towards being a better person, and that counts for more than can be reflected in a number on a scale or your waist measurement.
On the plus side, I have lost twelve pounds in the past month. This is a pretty respectable number any way you look at it. Although when I look at my overall weight loss, I seem to lose in spurts. I'll drop five pounds one week, then lose nothing the next. Like right now I haven't really lost any weight in the past two weeks. I've been basically "maintaining" at 195. I'm not sure if it is my metabolism, or what I eat, or how I exercise, but my pattern of weight loss is just erratic. I think one of my goals for the next month needs to be to look a little bit more closely to my eating and exercise patterns and see if I can make some adjustments to make my weight loss more consistent. A five pound "burst" may sound good, but I'd feel better if I could get into a more stable routine. That said... weight loss is weight loss and if this is the way my body functions, there is nothing for me to gain by trying to fight it. So that's why I need more information.
I think my greatest gains though, have been in terms of lifestyle. Aside from the changes to my body, I have made changes to my life that are far more important than how much weight I lost this week, or what I will weigh by the holidays. I am eating in ways I never would have before. In the past I wouldn't even get three servings of fruits and vegetables in a week, now I typically get that many by dinner time on a given day. I'm eating salads, pretty boring ones so far, but salads none the less. I am experimenting with keeping the dressings low calorie by sticking to vinaigrette or honey mustard. I figure why get "used" to high calorie dressings like ranch or French when that totally defeats the purpose of having a salad in the first place. Right now a salad for me basically consists of greens, dressing, and a protein (meat or nuts) but I need to start adding other vegetables to the mix as well.
I'm also exercising a lot more and making better decisions in terms of my physical health. I make it to the gym at least five times in a typical week, usually six. And on top of that, I go for walks in the park with my wife and son, and I even sometimes make an occasional "extra" stop at the gym when I have the time. Like on Wednesday for instance... my wife had just put our son down for a nap, but she fell asleep with him. So he's asleep, she's asleep, the dishes were done, dinner was already taken care of, I couldn't think of anything to do. In the past I would have just hopped on the computer and found a game to play or something. But instead I put my workout clothes on, and got in a little extra exercise. Now did that directly translate into extra weight loss? No, but it is evidence of the kinds of choices I am making for myself now.
Not everything has been "roses" though. There have been difficulties and setbacks. The biggest one I am dealing with right now is what I'm calling "the seventh day." Now the seventh day doesn't come on the same day every week, but it always seems to happen at least once a week. For six days, I do fabulously with my eating habits. I eat a good breakfast. I have fruit or nuts for snacks. I have veggies with dinner. I stick to my calories. But on that seventh day... all hell breaks loose. I crave fatty, salty, sugary food. I break down and head out to the buffet restaurant, or something else like that and indulge myself... and blow my whole routine completely out of the water. And no matter what I do, or how much I plan ahead, it always happens once a week. All the menu planning and warning myself doesn't seem to make any difference. So this is my major challenge right now. How do I make that "seventh day" the same as the other six? Hopefully I'll find that answer before I get to the end of my second month here.