Day 1... A Born Again Sparker
Sunday, January 27, 2013
As we rang in 2010 I resolved once again to focus on my weight. Eh, it was a perennial resolution that I could ultimately fail once again. But each year I felt obliged to lose weight. So... on January 2nd I began an attempt at weight loss and by March 26, 2010 I had lost 13 pounds. It was through moderation rather than any real focused attempt to lose weight.
March 26th was my 46th birthday. It was also the date of my physical. Incidentally, do not ever schedule a physical on the day of your birthday!
On my 46th birthday, I discovered I was diabetic. I scheduled my physical because I knew I needed to do something. I was not feeling well. It wasn't that I was feeling unwell; I was just not feeling myself. I suppose when you are really overweight you never really feel well but I was feeling even worse than usual, so I scheduled the physical. I ran through some of my symptoms and my family history and I should point out that I suspected my glucose was out of control. When the doctor decided to do a finger stick let's just say I was prepared to hear the worst. Yep, diabetic.. I even remember the reading. Glucose was 242.
On March 30, 2010 I joined SparkPeople, and I began to diligently track my food and I started walking and bike riding. By the fall I had lost 45 pounds. Hurray for me, right? Well, the end of summer came, Halloween was upon us and I lost my focus, my drive, and I stopped tracking. With the loss of focus came the gain in weight... 25 pounds to be exact.
I went back to the doctor on November 6th 2012, Election Day. Not surprisingly I was feeling unwell again as my glucose was once again out of control. I remember going to vote right after the doctor's visit. As I cast my ballet I lamented my choices for office across each level of government. Don't worry, this will not be a political discussion. But in that moment I decided that it did not matter who was in office regardless of local, state or federal level. I decided that WE are the ones that control our own destinies. In that moment also I discovered my own personal epiphany... I needed to start controlling my life and my health NOW!!! Not later. NOW! Not after the holidays were over. TODAY!
On November 6th I dusted off my SparkPeople account and started back up. I call that day my SP "rebirth."
I have said this numerous times before. The key change I have made the second time around is that exercise is now routine and completely embedded in my life the last 12 weeks. AND... I am active in the SparkPeople community. If I may quote Yogi Berra, he said "Baseball is 90% mental and the other half physical." The journey to good health is the same!!!
Living a healthy lifestyle is 90% mental!!! You have got to want this, for yourself and no one else!
I got on the scale this morning. I am down another pound so that makes 25 pounds in the last 12 weeks!!! The pounds regained from the fall of 2010 through the fall of 2012 are now gone. I am determined to keep them off forever this time. I have many, many more that I plan to throw out after them. Bye, bye, pounds!!! Don't let the door hit you in the a$$ as you make your way out.
So today, I am a born again Sparker! I can now move forward towards new milestones. If I reflect on the last 12 weeks, here are the key principles I have lived by and will continue to live by. It will take a lifetime of living by these principles. I have posted blogs about these often but here is a summary.
1. IT'S ABOUT HEALTHY CHOICES AND PROPER PLANNING I am choosing a healthy lifestyle. I always have to plan ahead what I will eat, am I eating out or cooking? When will I work out? Am I doing strength or just cardio? Goals without a proper action plan cannot be really achieved.
2. Be sure you have a BASELINE. What is your starting point? You cannot analyze what you don't measure. This also is true for tracking. TRACK, TRACK, TRACK EVERYTHING... every morsel that goes into your mouth. The same is true for fitness. TRACK IT! Can you do 10 minutes of exercise?? That's it!! Track it! I have tracked everything since November 6th.
3. Let everyone in your life know what you are doing. Your family needs to support you and your friends need to know that you are trading in those beers and wings at Happy Hour for seltzer and lime with a big salad instead.
4. BE A STREAKER!! Stay within your calorie limits! Find the range that works for you. SP wants me to eat more but I eat 1200-1500 calories per day. I wasn't able to eat more without taking on too many carbs. Carbs affect my glucose. This is working for me. Find the range that works for you that allows the pounds to come off slowly.
6. EAT OFTEN IN SMALLER QUANTITIES! I eat 5 or 6 times a day, 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks. This helps curb my appetite. SERVING SIZE MATTERS - READING THE LABEL is key. Know how much you're eating. Keep measuring cups, spoons and a food scale nearby.
7. GET MOVING!! Start with moderation. I started with 10 minute SP videos and built up from there. I then got to the point where I was at least 30 minutes of cardio daily. Since December 18th I have missed only 1 day of exercise. Strength/Resistance training is also very important. Work in ST at least 3 times a week. I used to sweat buckets doing Zumba or other cardio, but over time I have been able to build my endurance and do more to challenge myself.
8. As my Zumba teacher tells me, just throw away the junk, and you will lose the junk in the trunk! - I have also consulted with a certified diabetes instructor and have done lots of research online. My meal plan is 35% carbs, 35% protein and 30% fats. No processed foods. Eat whole foods and fresh freggies whenever possible. Lean meat and fish high in Omega 3's. Stay away from white foods! Think brown rice, whole grains, green veggies! Get rid of simple carbs. DO NOT KEEP JUNK FOOD IN THE HOUSE! AND DON'T FORGET TO DRINK YOUR WATER!!
9. Give yourself a treat once in a while. Practice "HALFSIES." Half a brownie, half a piece of pie, but track it! For Christmas I ate half a piece of pie and I loved it!!
10. DO-OVERS ARE ALLOWED. If you screw up, accept it and move on! Tomorrow is a new day. START OVER!!! BUT DO NOT GIVE UP!!!! I have posted about this numerous times.
11. REWARD yourself!! I have been putting in $5 in a jar for every pound I lose. I got that idea from a good Spark Friend. Well, I have bought Leslie Sansone DVDs, resistance bands, and workout clothes with some of that money! Next up is a Pandora charm I have my eye on!
12. LOVE YOURSELF! You are much more than a number on a scale or readings on a tape measure! AND... You are stronger than you think, so make the changes that will bring you happiness.
13. TRUST THE PROCESS and the results will follow! Consistency is the name of the game. I have said this often.
14. CELEBRATE non-scale victories!! I bought a new dress yesterday that was a size smaller! I have blouses that fit so much more nicely now!
15. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! Be active in the SparkPeople community. Join teams and read the success stories. Draw inspiration from the many blogs of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Don't forget to PAY IT FORWARD. Be a beacon of hope and a positive force for change. Help others and shower them with encouragement.
Please realize that there's no silver bullet that will get you to the end quickly. If weight loss were easy everyone would do it. As Oprah said, "There's no easy way out. If there were, I would have bought it. And believe me, it would be one of my favorite things!"
Make it a healthy day!