Friday, June 08, 2012
This has been quite a journey, filled with false starts, madness and finally truth. Over the course of the last two years I did everything wrong until I actually learned the secret to success, and I'm happy to share it.
When I first began on spark people, I was diligent with my tracking for the first few months, I read countless articles and learned much, results definitely followed and I lost 30 lbs. I was still shy of my elusive goal of 125 toned pounds but I had lost. The problem was, I was using this as a "diet", so after the weight loss, I went back to old habits. It started with cheats and treats, always easily justified to myself, until I managed to "treat" myself back up above my starting weight. By December of 2011, I reached 172 lbs. and I was miserable, I blamed it on menopause, I had stopped stepping on the scale and physically I felt like a slug. During "round 1" as I call it, I had gotten a used treadmill but quickly tired of it, I tracked well but mostly subsisted on a variety of prepackaged "diet" foods, in retrospect, most of them containing almost all carbs. At one point I even did the unthinkable, I went looking for the quick fix...I ordered HCG and participated in that insanity for 9 days, starving through an unhealthy 500 calories a day. It did take off 9 lbs but I felt like I would pass out every time I stood up. So I ate and felt better and a light bulb somehow went off. My body told me it was hungry for fat and protein and I listened and felt better.
And so on December 27th 2011, round 2 began, it was time to listen to my body and not starve it, it was time to give it what it needed, a healthy calorie intake and the activity these floppy muscles had craved for years. I joined a gym and heeded my daughters advice that anything can become a habit after 21 days :)
Since that date I've listened to my body in all things, I cut the diet meal junket and started eating properly, whole, healthy foods that I prepare. I realized that most of my diet was starch and refined sugars, so I cut them, my carbs now come from an array of healthy fruits, veggies and whole grains. Working out everyday, my body started to crave more protein, healthy protein, and that's what I give it. I still track but I don't concentrate on my calorie intake so much anymore, it's more about the balance of carbs, proteins and fats.
I finally have lost my flappy wing arms and am delighting in the fact that my 50 year old body is actually totally toned for the first time in my life! Again, I listened to what my body wanted, I found early in that I so don't enjoy "stationary" equipment like the treadmill but I love the weight machines so I alternate between upper body and lower body and I do mat work for my abs. I take my dogs on a trail hike every morning and bought a new bicycle and love trail rides along the lake.
I weigh 122lbs today and am wearing a size 4, and you know what, those numbers actually mean nothing to me now, it's how my body feels that means everything! I'm sleeping better than I ever have, I've stopped having constant hot flashes and I have more energy than I've had in years, I just feel so good!
So, here's the secret, listen to your body, stop dieting and start eating whole, healthy, unprocessed foods and find an exercise routine that you can stick to because you enjoy it. Your body will thank you in so many ways. I read on here a million times that it's all about lifestyle choices that you can sustain and guess what... It's all about lifestyle choices you can sustain! If only I had realized that two years ago!