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So What's Different This Summer?

Monday, July 15, 2013

This summer at the beach I am doing many things differently to prevent the scale from taking its usual seasonal rise.

In the past I have always bought lots of cold cuts and prepared salads from the local deli to have in the house for lunches for all the company we usually get here.
In the past, the salad staples were potato salad, macaroni salad, and a spinach pasta salad.

This year, I buy only the potato salad. (That's for my husband and some of the meat-and-potato men who come to visit.) All the other salads I get at a wonderful Italian deli that prepares FRESH vegetable salads: beet salad, artichoke salad, cucumber & tomato salad, snow peas salad.
These salads contain none of the usual high calorie mayonnaise; rather, they are lightly seasoned with olive oil and natural spices. Most of the delicious taste comes from the fresh vegetables themselves.

In the past, I have bought lots of delicious fresh summer fruits: blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, plums, peaches, cherries -- and I would eat them throughout the day.

This year, I still have those fruits in the house, but I ration them during the day.
I do not eat more than two or three servings in a day.
Also, I don't eat fruit alone on an empty stomach. I will have a slice of turkey or a piece of chicken with it.

At the beginning of last week, I bought up a big batch of chicken thighs - breaded them and baked them.
Then I kept that dish of chicken thighs in the refrigerator for a quick and easy source of protein at any time of the day - for a meal or in between meals.
They last throughout the week.

Also, this year, I take the time to log onto Spark People every day - and to check in on my friends. It keeps me feeling connected to this community of others who are working toward similar goals.
Writing a blog almost every day keeps me focused on my own personal goals.
It takes me away from the company and beach environment long enough to focus on me and to think about what I can do to reach my goals. And it reinforces what I am learning. (It's often so easy to put personal needs aside when there are guests staying in the house.)

This year, I am also rising early in the morning (5 out of 7 days) for an hour-long walk. To ensure that I get myself out of bed that early, I am listening to a lightweight mystery on my Kindle while I walk. And it is working. I am really enjoying the story - as well as the benefits of my daily exercise. And I manage to do it, even while my company is still sleeping.

I have never been able to sustain this walking for more than the first week or two in past summers.
By then, I would have seen the scale creep up a pound - and I would be doing freefall eating throughout the day.

So why isn't that happening this summer? What has really made the difference?

I have finally reached the point where I want my weight loss to be permanent.
I don't want to feel as if I am dieting any more.
I am tired of the cycle of gaining weight and losing weight.
I want to eat in such a way that I am healthy - and maintaining a good weight always.
I want to like how I look --
and I want to like how I eat --
all the time.

I want to move on from the whole weight loss issue.
I am really looking to make permanent changes - once and for all.

This is to be the breakthrough summer to change the paradigm for all summers to come.

THAT is what is REALLY different this summer.
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