Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat

Halloween can be the start of the downfall of our health programs, if we let it.

If you surrendered to the hordes of candy at the stores lately, if you raided your kids trick or treat score, be kind to yourself. Remember, one day or night of sweets doesn't ruin (or run) your life.

It is important to keep in mind that food is more than just nutrition and survival. Food is also emotion. It represents fun times, holidays, celebrations and fond memories. That is one of the reasons it can be a challenge to change our eating habits. We have long celebrated with food.

It is okay to continue to celebrate with food. We just deserve to retrain ourselves so we do it with moderation.

So if you had more treats than you think you should have this Halloween, don't play any tricks on yourself. Be kind to yourself. Eat healthy and get enough rest over the next few days. And forgive your food trespasses--be your own best friend. And finish out the year on a positive, healthy, loving note.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Results Round Three

My results for this round were not very impressive. I could be disappointed. I also could realize that I ate chocolate, had popcorn, drank wine, and had some very large meals these past 9 days.

I didn't have huge quantities, compared to past behavior, but I did eat more than the previous two cycles. In retrospect, I think I might have been "testing" the process--and I still lost 1/4 pound.

When looking at that number all by itself it is not impressive, but in context it is still quite good.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tweaking Routines to Fit Me

I've done a little re-arranging of my morning routine this cycle. I was strictly following the directions and noticed I was not enjoying my morning as much as I used to. After thinking about it, I realized I was being forced to a more quick paced awakening than I was used to and I was not making time for my morning spiritual connection. Instead, because I was up and had exercised and eaten I was diving into my work right away.

So now I have put my morning rituals of coffee and spirit back in the mix and it is feeling fantastic! I am enjoying my mornings again. The exercises go much more quickly and enjoyably...and they feel easier and yet more efficient at the same time. I am no longer watching the clock wondering when the 15 minutes will be over, then looking around the room, wondering what else I could be doing. Instead I am actually enjoying the session and amazed when it is over so soon! What a different a positive focused attitude makes!

The lesson I got from this is to listen to my own inner voice. Take what works, change what doesn't, and always go for what feels right for me, not what someone else says is the right way to do something.

What I noticed today is that it actually appears like some of my fat is becoming looser. My clothes are looser, but the fat actually looks like it is getting ready to fall off my body! I think following my path and being joyful about the process will make this faster as well as more fun! It will be interesting to see the results in a couple more days!

Friday, October 19, 2007

4-1/2" Off My Waist in 18 Days!

Today was weigh in and measure day.

I am down 1-1/2 pounds this round. At first I was disappointed, but then I realized I definitely am not on a diet (I've had chocolate, popcorn, wine) and I lost 1-1/2 pounds in 9 days--that's awesome!

I took my measurements and was shocked--my waist is 4-1/2" smaller than the day I started, my hips are 2-1/2" smaller and my bust is 2" smaller!

One of my main goals was to get my cravings under control and that seems to have happened. Success all around. I am so proud of me!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Successes and Setbacks

Some days are successes. Some have setbacks in them. Some days have both.

I have been doing really well, getting my little (and I mean little!) exercise routine in, eating well, my cravings under control...mostly gone in fact and I can tell this program is working. Hurray!

Then as I was walking around a corner my knee went hasn't done that in a long time. Fortunately, it was not major, but it did pretty much decommission me for the day. I was able to still do my mini workout, at least the upper body portion, although that day I did it while laying down. Hey, the thought counts, right? Today I was able to do it from the couch, so I got my heart going a little.

What really pleased me and to be honest, surprised me is that I didn't get all bummed out for more than a couple minutes. And I had no desire to eat everything in the house. There were no comments in my brain like "now look what you have done" or "now you hurt yourself so why bother". Instead I put ice on my knee, popped some anti-inflammatories and took a nap.

Then I started my day over. I think "do-overs" are a really good idea! Especially when we are working at making changes in our lives. The game is not won or lost based on one misstep. We set the current trajectory and we can also change it up.

All in all, I count this as a success!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Caring for Self

It is easy for us to push and push and push ourselves. We have lots of responsibilities. There's work. Home. Kids. Spouse. Relatives. Bills. The lawn. The car.

Where do we fit in? Changing our bodies and our eating habits should, and must, include changing some priorities. It is essential that we look out for ourselves and nurture us the way we nurture others.

One of the main reasons we get fat is because we don't nurture ourselves enough. We make poor food choices because they are easy or inexpensive or to numb our feelings. None of these reasons are nurturing.

Most of us take better care of our cars then we do our own bodies. We at least fill the gas tank with the proper fuel, unlike the junk we put in our bodies. We know that if we put water in the car's gas tank, the car won't run because it is not designed to run on water. Know in your heart that if you put the wrong fuel in your personal gas tank your body will also cease to run. It is a mixed blessing that our bodies are so resilient--they run for a long time with the wrong fuel, but most of our illnesses are because of poor fueling over the long haul.

Care for yourself, like you were your own child. If it helps, see yourself when you were little and make decisions based on what would be best for that child if you were in charge. Because you are.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ice Cream and Brussel Sprouts

Today I did have some cravings...and I ate chocolate today. Far from a binge however. Not even a "bin", really. And it stopped quickly, which is amazing.

Considering that I am having my monthly, I am doing really, really well.

I was not feeling well for a few days, but today I felt well enough to get in my studio, which was awesome.

I went to the grocery store today and I really thought I would buy a treat (it is a special day at home) but nothing appealed to me. Wow. Not even ice cream! I was shocked! I walked out with chicken, swordfish, yams and broccoli. Seriously. What's really weird is that I looked at the ice cream with the same amount of interest as I did the brussel sprouts!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

8 Pounds Gone!

Today is Day 10. Since this routine is in 9 day cycles that means today is weigh in and measure day! Drum roll, please!

I am now 8 pounds lighter than I was on Sept. 30.
My waist is am impressive 3 inches smaller.
My hips are 1-1/2 inches smaller.

Call me a skeptic, but I am waiting to get really excited until I have been through at least 2 cycles. I know how it is when we make changes. Sometimes the first week is awesome but things crawl from there. And heck, I've dropped more in a single week, but certainly not eating healthily!

This is what is exciting to me...I have eaten good, healthy food. I have only spent 15 - 30 minutes a day exercising (so its not about working out hard). I even went out to eat one night. I've had pasta, baked potato (with butter AND sour cream), mussels in garlic butter, steak--pretty much anything I wanted. And that leads to the MOST exciting part--I have actually wanted healthy food. I have beer in the frig, ice cream in the freezer, chocolate in the house and I actually didn't avoid them, I just didn't want them!

Honestly, this is the best gift. I have long wanted to be able to have ice cream and chocolate in the house (and other treats, but those are my biggies, my drugs of choice) and have small servings occasionally for a special have them on hand for when we really want to enjoy them. In the past they have "called my name" so loudly that I couldn't keep them in the house. Oh, maybe for a week. Even for two, once. But that's about it, especially with ice cream. Then I eat the entire batch and there is nothing for anyone else.

I have great confidence that if this remains true that I will definitely be able to achieve and maintain my goal weight. Maintaining it is as big a part of the goal as achieving it. I've achieved my goal weight before...but I have not been able to maintain it very long. Typically months at the most. So I am truly looking to change my life!

Monday, October 8, 2007

First Week Done and No Ice Cream Cravings

Today is Day 8.

That means I have finished my first week of my "program". Really, it is more "reprogramming" since this is the start of the rest of my life.

Normally I would have weighed myself this morning. However, this program has me going in 9 day cycles. After some deliberation I have decided this is good. It means that every new cycle starts on a different day of the week. In the past, I was governed by meetings or weigh-ins or my own mandate to measure every week. What that ended up accomplishing was a sense that there was a "D" day, and a couple days at best to make up for "bad behavior"! Definitely not the way to structure one's life!

What has surprised me the most about this program is that I have not had any cravings. It is amazing...I even walked right by the ice cream isle and was not tempted to stop. That is, if not a miracle, pretty darn close to one!

Definitely NOT feeling like I'm "on a diet". Allowed to eat as much and what we want, just encouraged to make healthier, conscious choices. The other night I had popcorn--airpopped yes, but with butter. Another night we went out to dinner and had steak and baked potato with butter and sour cream.

If I feel hungry between meals, which sometimes I do, I have an apple, some nuts, or half a protein bar. It really has been easy.

So far so good! I will weigh in and measure on Wednesday, so stayed tuned!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Gaining Health Not Losing Weight

I have finally made the decision to gain back my health. For me, this includes getting rid of some fat that has found its way onto my once (okay, a long, long, long time ago) athletic body.

This is not my first attempt at increased health. I have had success, more or less, with a variety of attempts. This time is the last time. Why? I am determined to make changes that are healthy and permanent. Hence the title: I Refuse to Diet!

To me, diet is the most obscene 4 letter word used. Not in its original definition, but as we typically use it.

I don't like the "losing weight" term either. I don't want to lose "weight"--that is too generic. And it puts the focus on the number on the scale, which I know is the wrong place. That is a guideline, but not a perfect way to identify a healthy body. I have known plenty of slender bodies that are filled with absolute junk food, cigarettes and other toxins.

Gaining health works for all of us. It doesn't matter if your body could use less (or more) fat, toner muscles, more vitality, more energy, fewer toxins. Almost all of us can improve our health.

Whew. Got that out of the way. Now, as I mentioned, I have a bit of fat that will be discarded (I am not losing it, so please do not return it). Okay, "a bit" is an understatement. I have a lot of fat to discard. And I am going to track my progress. Here. For you all to learn from.

I know that at times this will be easy. At other times it will be a real challenge. I promise to share my thoughts, feelings, successes and failures as I go.

Let me share my intentions. I will achieve my goal weight by my 50th birthday, which is in June 2008. This will not require a miracle, but it will require consistency and commitment. I will be able to buy clothes in a "regular" store. I will have the energy, stamina, breath control, lung capacity, flexibility and strength to do any exercise that I want to. I will eliminate the aches and pains I currently experience in my back, my knees, my hips and my feet.

Do I include photos? Do I tell my weight? I haven't decided about all that. For a couple reasons. First, truly pounds are not the final deciding factor, so is it critical? If I don't put it here does that mean that back in the deep, dark, ice-cream loving recesses of my mind I don't believe I will be successful? Or am I just to embarrassed at the my own image to put it out there until I have demonstrated that I can change it?

These are all good questions. I have decided that I don't have to decide today. For today, I have started. Actually, today is day 2, which is even better.

So, how is it going, you ask? Not bad. I have had moments of hunger. So I let myself have snacks. Rather than restricting my food intake I have chosen to allow myself anything I want to eat. That way, there is no feeling of deprivation. However, I have to be conscious about what I eat and drink, I have to be hungry, and I am working on healthy food choices and portion control.

Yes, I am following a "program". I will share more about it as I get into it more. There is some guidance to assist with healthy choices and I make sure I take supplements to get all the nutrients I need, and there is moderate exercise. Actually, pretty light exercise. For now, only 15 minutes a day.

I started yesterday, so on Sunday I did weigh myself and take all my measurements. I am noting my moods and how I feel. This will be part of that process.

The hardest parts so far have been 1. the exercises--even though they are only 15 minutes and are very "easy" I got a massive cramp in my left calf. It was very difficult to continue---but I did! I do not believe the cramp is "typical". I had 2 surgeries on that leg and I think the muscles are being used in different ways then they are accustomed...I know it will be better soon. What was really so hard about it was my own reaction to it--during the exercising I was berating myself because of the cramping. Instead of being gentle and understanding that the leg is getting some different action I beat myself up with thoughts of "what a wimp!" and "no one would ever believe you used to be a competitive athlete". Thank goodness I have a great support partner in this who helped me to realize what I was doing!

The second challenge for me was being hungry. I ate my meals and although not "hungry" I wasn't full. I was okay with that. In fact, I like the light feeling...and not feeling like I wanted to take a nap. But within 2 hours I was hungry again. It felt strange to realize that was okay--because it was okay for me to have a snack! I felt really proud of myself when I had a small serving of nuts and a nectarine for a snack.

The biggest success for me was also around food. I have not wanted to eat ice cream or any other junk food (and ice cream is my drug of choice) for two days. That might not sound like much to some people, but for me it is huge! Even when I was hungry, I wanted real, nutritious food, not junk.

So all in all, I am proud of days one and two. It is a good start to the rest of my life.