Well, a little looking back on a year that has mattered so much to me, is a good thing. As most of you know, I fractured my knee on my birthday, January 22, 2015. The recovery in a wheelchair led me to reassess my life, my weight, my happiness, and with the help of Spark, I have lost over 110 pounds, and am basically in maintenance.
How can someone do that? How do you find the will one day to make a dramatic change for the better? How did I do that, and how do I KNOW that this is the new me, and this is forever?
First of all, don't ever go on a diet, EVER AGAIN. We are all here because somehow, somewhere we developed an unhealthy relationship with food. To stick to a diet regimen, one that isn't ever sustainable for a lifetime, is a grievous error. I cannot possibly count how many diets I went on. The minute I cheated myself, I quit, every single time. What we all have to do is change our relationship with food.
It starts with tracking. Entering in everything you eat every day gets you really looking at the calorie content of things. That cream you put in your coffee is an unnecessary indulgence. (Fat free half and half is awesome.) It will surprise you as it did me, all the things that you can eliminate and reduce your calorie intake. It will surprise you even more, that you have fun finding ways to eat well, not ever feel cheated, and make your food tasty and good for you.
To use calories as a long-term solution to food addiction is smart. You can truly eat anything, but when you track something high calorie, you will find that you lower the amount of good things you can eat later. You COULD eat pizza every day, but you would be less healthy, you would be hungry later, and you would not get in all those magnificent fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein that make this a really pleasant journey.
Cook. Yep, cook. Eating at home, making meals is a great way to know every single thing you are ingesting. Plus it is fun to put your intelligence to work, changing recipes to make them good for you. The Spark recipe section is awesome. I change their recipes a lot, which you can easily do, or just make them as is. I make things in large quantities and use my freezer liberally.
Find fruits and vegetables you really like and eat them. I get at least 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every single day. I eat a bran muffin that I make every morning, and it is a powerhouse of great stuff, and I never get tired of eating them. They are in the Spark recipes under "Jane's awesome bran muffins"...I have added a cup of frozen blueberries to the recipe, and they are even better.
You don't need any additional motivation other than the fact that you want to change for the better, that you want to be different, that you would like to be healthy and fit. If you start with tracking food, then add some exercise every day, you will be well on your way. Don't think long term when you start. Think about today. Have a great day, and they will become great weeks as you continue on this life-long journey.
You don't have to find magic when you begin. You just have to want it, and when your first pounds drop off that scale, or you fit into something you have not been able to wear, you will have all the motivation you need. Feeling good propels you to do even better, and becomes motivation in itself.
As I have said a lot of times, if you don't have an exercise routine, just walk. Walking requires no equipment, no special spot, just you to get your feet moving. If you want, wear headphones and rock your walk. If it is cold, and you don't want to be outside, walk the local mall. I have several malls less than a half mile from my house, and there are all kinds of people walking them all day. I know, because they are the ones with no bag, walking fast with smiles on their faces, maybe because it is 16 degrees outside today!
I do Silver Sneakers Chair Yoga, I swim in the YMCA pool, I have a weight lifting regimen, and I have some Silver Sneakers routines I do at home, that I love to do. I do stretches every single morning before I get out of bed. I have a bum knee, so these Silver Sneakers classes are not only a lifesaver for me, they are fun. I wear a Garmin tracker that I keep track of my steps. Right now, It is set for 3,500 steps a day, because of the knee. This upcoming year, I WILL get to 10,000 a day.
I am starting on a class this next week called "Pilates Reformer", a Pilates class done on a special machine. I am pretty excited to try this out, and one of my awesome yoga teachers is teaching it, so it should be a lot of fun. I'll let you know how it is. It's supposed to make me strong and "buff". We shall see....
Do exercise that makes you want to continue. If you start exercising and hate it, you won't continue, so find something that makes you smile so you can do it forever.
This whole journey is a forever kind of thing. If you go into this with the idea that you will be back to eating cookies or whatever, you are not ready to begin. You need to think that if you want a cookie, you will eat one, you will track it, and you will move on. You need to never quit, even if you have a terrible calorie day. The next day is a new sunrise, a new beginning and a new step on this marvelous journey.
Next year, I will be stronger, braver, kinder, and unstoppable....better than I have been this year.
In 2016, I will be FIERCER.