Monthly Archives: October 2012

Good News, Bad News

The bad news first.

I hit a wall. I have been working on eating healthier and losing weight. It went extremely well for 5 weeks!

Then, it went OK for the 6th week.

But, then things changed. Not sure what, but they changed. I think I lost a bit of my inertia. Like with anything, I get bored after a while. And I really like to see results. I saw a lot of results the first 5 weeks. The 6th week, not so much. I was flat and not very motivated. I guess if I think about it, this could be part of my 80/20 rule. Or maybe 83/17. Five weeks of good loss/1 week of flat. Maybe I need to cut myself some slack.

There is also the issue of staying motivated. I knew this would come, in fact I wrote in one of my previous posts about needing to have a plan for when it did. {Yeah, I know myself pretty well!} So my plan was to start some exercise and remember why I was doing it. And honestly, maybe putting my efforts out here in the blog world was part of that. I really can’t imagine having to do a post titled, “I Quit!” or “I Gave Up” or worse yet, “The person I love very much who motivated me to make changes doesn’t actually matter that much to me after all.” {So the last one might have been the world’s longest title!}

The Good News

Putting it out there in the blog world has led to lots of encouragement! People want me to succeed. That feels good. Like I can use your positive energy to get me through when my own is waning. Like a bridge to get me to the other side of a low point. So many of you have encouraging words, ideas and suggestions! Keep them coming, they really help!

The other motivator? The weather was warm today and I needed Capri’s to wear after work. I had a pile of clothes that had been buried in my closet to give away; all too small. I didn’t wear them this summer and some of them didn’t fit me the summer before that either. {Yes, I know, I should have gotten rid of them in that time! And I know which friends will be appalled that I didn’t:)!} On a whim, I grabbed a pair to try on thinking they would still be tight, but I might be able to button them.

They fit! They actually fit.

So I tried on another pair. Cause the first one was probably a fluke, you know.

They fit too! In fact I wore them to the soccer game. And when I saw them in the mirror afterwards? They looked silly! They gave me a saggy butt!

That made me happy. That was motivating!

Tonight I have a renewed energy! Week 7 will be a good one. I can feel it.

Note: This post was written 2 weeks ago.

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Seasons

I love the change of seasons! I always have. I think it might be the fact that I like changes. I get bored with the same old thing. And seasons changing are the ultimate way to mix it up. I don’t think I could live in a place that didn’t have 4 distinct seasons each year.

Spring and Fall are usually tops on my list since they seem like the first hint of change. And then there’s the first snowfall of the year – that’s huge too! They bring changes in routines, activities and even wardrobes! It’s fun!

I like anticipating the changes. Wondering what it will be like and what new scents, sights and experiences there will be. It’s all good and exciting!

Other changes in seasons? I’m not such a fan.

I’m missing Oldest Son a lot. And missing our family, having us all together. Apparently we have unique relationships in our family. We are all really tight. The boys are eachothers’ best friends. And we like hanging out together. Yes, they like hanging out with their friends too, but they don’t mind being around us. In fact, each of the boys, at different times has talked to me about conversations with friends where they discovered not every family is like ours. It often comes in the form of someone saying their parents don’t like them. That breaks my heart! I know kids can be dramatic and I really doubt (and pray) that this isn’t accurate. But still, when a kid tells others his/her parents don’t like them?! How sad. That hurts my heart. I can’t imagine my kids thinking I don’t like them or want to be around them. I just don’t get it. I guess we’re a little strange.

Some changes in seasons are hard. Like the changes in seasons of life. Oldest Son left for college in mid-August and has been home for a weekend and a Saturday. I’m ready for him to come home for a week! Thanksgiving can’t get here fast enough. I know, I’m lucky he has been home at all! And he is having a great time in college. It’s all good. But it doesn’t mean every day of change is easy.

Today I’m really missing that boy. Tomorrow is a new day.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…   Ecclesiastes 3:1

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It’s a Habit

So tomorrow it will be four weeks of trying to eat healthier. And I haven’t given up yet! If anything, it is becoming more second nature. I thought I would share how I’m going about it this time around.

It’s really a simple approach. I am just counting calories. I’ve used an app called Lose It and for the past four weeks I’ve simply tracked the calories I’m eating. Nothing else. No exercise, no fat vs carbs, no goal of how many fruits or vegetables. Just counting calories. I do love the app because it allows me to scan the barcode of anything or I can search the database for the item. That’s all. Journal everything in the app. It does take some extra time, but not much and the fact that I can do it on my phone is huge for me.

The second thing is giving myself some room. I read in a very old magazine {because I keep them and go back to read things years later:)} about the 80/20 rule when it comes to dieting. You could really apply it to anything. Follow the plan 80% of the time and allow yourself grace 20% of the time. This is working for me. It allows me some grey area. Times when I know it will be hard to journal everything, and when I know I will be eating some not-so-good-for-me foods. I don’t feel guilty or stress about it. And more importantly, it doesn’t make me give up. I don’t know if that happens to anyone else, but if I mess up its very tempting to give up. I’ve blown it so its over. Or I feel so bad about it I think I’ll never be successful and so I don’t try. Maybe I’m the only one that happens to:). This 80/20 rule gives me the freedom to take an evening off or not record a meal without throwing in the towel completely. And what I’ve found is that most of the time I at least try to estimate what I have eaten. Or I plan for that higher calorie meal and don’t end up going over by much if at all. It’s a happy consequence.

That’s my super simple plan.

And now that it’s been four weeks, I’m thinking about what the next phase will be. I have a goal I want to reach by Christmas and though this has gone better than expected, I know that I will hit a wall before long where I quit losing and plateau. I need a plan in place for when that time comes. It will be some kind of exercise. Maybe just adding a pedometer. Or maybe I’ll join Middle Son in his P90X workouts…that might kill me. Any suggestions? What can I do to add exercise without taking up hours of my day? I don’t have hours to spare and if it’s really time consuming it won’t fit into my life right now. There has to be ways I can build exercise into my already busy day. I’ll be thinking on that next. Wish me luck!

Note: This post was written two weeks ago:)!

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Still Trying

So, it’s been 3 weeks. 21 days since I decided to make a change; to lose weight and eat healthier. But I’m still not ready to go public. I just can’t yet. And that’s ok.

I will share this at some point, but not right now. I have learned some things. About food and about myself.

  1. Healthy foods have fewer calories. Generally speaking, if something is good for you it’s probably not loaded with calories. And yes, this is kind of a DUH statement.
  2. Fruits and vegetables fill me up and stick with me longer. I can eat an apple at 3:30 and hold off until 8 pm to eat dinner. That’s a big deal!
  3. When I eat fewer carbs, I want them less. Conversely, when I give in and have a gooey cinnamon roll, even though I stay within my calories, I want more! I think it may be easier to just stay away than to go through the “withdrawal”!
  4. It takes work for me to eat healthy. But I think it will get easier. Making sure we have good food to eat and prepare meals from is important and time-consuming!
  5. It doesn’t take me as long to make a nutritious meal. We will quite often grill some meat and have a salad or vegetable with it.Super quick and easy. I didn’t realize how much time I spent making a starch for every meal!

I’m happy with how things have gone this first three weeks. I’ve lost an appropriate amount of weight and I’ve stuck with my plan. I think that’s success at this point. And more importantly its having the desired effect on the person I love who first called me out on this. That’s what really matters.

So no revelations and nothing earth shattering about what I’m doing. It isn’t a game changer, for anyone but me and my family. But it is progress and insight and I have momentum. Here’s to maintaining the inertia:)!

Note: This post was written 2 weeks ago:)!

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Trying

I’m trying to lose weight. I hesitate to even say that out loud, because I’ve said it in my head a million times and it never works. But, I have new motivation this time. Some times it just takes the right person saying the right words to make you wake up and see your life differently. That happened to me last week. Someone I care about very much called me out on some of my behavior. It was what I needed to hear. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it was what I needed to hear. You see I’ve gone through a gradual change. It’s been very slow and so slight it was hard to see at first. But when I take a step back and look at myself and my life. Whoa! It’s drastic. And I don’t think its good.

I have slowly and steadily moved toward only eating those things I love. Doesn’t sound horrible. I mean, why eat things you don’t love? But what if the things you love are all bad for you? I’ve transitioned from eating many things, to zeroing in on the foods I love. For example, I can easily pass up a hamburger at dinner. In exchange for two helpings of roasted potatoes with garlic aoli. Rather than order an entre when we go out, I can just order the potato skins appetizer. Do you see a trend? I’ve never been a fan of vegetables, so I just skip them now. I don’t mind fruit, but I don’t love it. So I never reach for fruit when I’m hungry. I can easily turn away food if it isn’t something I love. That’s great! Except. I’m great at creating something I do love. You know, something with starch and cheese and fats. The GOOD stuff!

And each year I seem to put on a few pounds. Nothing drastic. But a few pounds. Lately, I’ve been thinking. If I keep putting on a few pounds, year, after year, after year. When does it stop? At what point will I quit? And I don’t have the answer to that.

Then this conversation with someone I love very much happened. And I realized, this isn’t about me anymore. This is impacting those I care most about in the world and I’m not ok with that. I’m actually ashamed of myself. And embarrassed that I’ve behaved like such a child.

Shame is a great motivator for me. I am determined to CHANGE. It will be slow. It will get hard. But I will change. I am a strong willed person. When I set my mind to something, I’m a bulldog. I can do this. I will do this. I am doing this.

But I can’t do it publicly. Not yet. So I’m writing this post and saving it in my drafts folder. I will share it when I have stayed focused on my goal for 18 days. I think that’s how long they say it takes to create a habit. Then I will share this post. And I’ll keep writing in between – a journal so to speak.

Note: This post was written a month ago:). I’ve just now decided I was ready to post it. There will be more in the series, just a little behind real time. Thanks for understanding!

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