As I weighed in this morning I realized it was the end of my first five weeks on SparkPeople, and what I am sure is the first five weeks in my new healthier lifestyle. Don't get me wrong, I have lots and lots still ahead of me on this journey. After 5 weeks I am 20% to my weight loss goal.
I wanted to take the time today to write down the things I have learned, and new habits I have formed, over the past few weeks. These things will help me to complete the weight loss, and keep me on track to live a healthier more active life. The following list is in no particular order, just ramblings.
1) I actually don't mind drinking water! I never used to drink water. I would always grab a soda thinking the diet stuff wasn't as bad for me as the "real stuff" I still drink maybe one or two diet sodas a week, but am getting at least 9 glasses of water in every single day. I can keep drinking at least 9 glasses of water every day of my life no problem.
2) I have been walking at least 3 to 4 miles everyday for a few years. Walking is not enough exercise to maintain my weight. I started Curves this past week, and so far so good. I actually enjoy getting out and being around other people while I do the circuit. My guess is that at some point this also won't be enough even with the additional walking to keep me fit, but it's a start! If you would have told me a year ago that I would be going to Curves ever I would have laughed at you. So exercising around other people isn't the total embarrassment I envisioned and I can keep with it.
3) Just because some foods are healthy for you they don't necessarily taste like cardboard. Now one of the things that helped me decide it was time to try SparkPeople was that I had to stop eating wheat and I was kind of freaking out a bit about going to this bland tasteless world of no gluten. I thought having a place to look for healthy choices would help me delete the gluten from my diet. It has helped so much I can't even believe that I don't miss eating what I always thought was my life staple...bread products. I still have to check every food label but I am getting better at knowing where the hidden gluten is and grocery shopping is taking less and less time.
4) Tracking calories is so easy on the Nutritional Tracker!!! It is such a great tool and even though there is some food I don't eat yet (tofu comes to mind) I try to eat many of the things listed on the SparkPeople meal plans every day. More than tracking my calories in, I really appreciate the tracking of needed nutrients and knowing how much of my calories is in each category: protein, carbs, and fat. This has been a real eye opener for me. I have kept a food diary for years, but never realized the food choices I was making were hindering my weight loss. I haven't been getting near the right nutrients and way too much sugar in my diet. That has changed and that is a change I can stick with. Now I eat many more fruits than I used too and actually choose apples or grapes as snacks....wow who knew!!! Again, a real change I can stick with.
Just before I started SparkPeople, when I was in that "you better do something before it's too late" phase, I thought any attempts to loose weight would cause me to feel deprived and resentful. I haven't felt either here. I have plenty of food choices every day, I am enjoying the ability to mix and match food and figure out whether an apple or an orange or what will get me too the right nutrients for the day and still keep me in the range I want to be in. Above all though, I especially appreciate the support of other Sparkers who have helped keep me motivated and moving forward. A big thank you to all of you!!!