Getting back to the basics...
Monday, February 09, 2009
This was something that I wrote on my other blog yesterday, but felt it was important and wanted to share it here on Spark as well......
I think that it is when we are busy with life that we tend to loose focus, causing us so many times to wonder where we went wrong. As I was making my husband and I lunch yesterday, I noticed that I was not measuring and weighing my food as I normally do. Why was this? Well, we are moving and so much of our stuff is now packed away, and as they say, out of sight, out of mind. In the rush of all that is going on here, my routine is off - BIG TIME! But such is life...
I do not want to make excuses as to why I did not workout this weekend. We each have 24 hours in the day that are given to us and if we really sit back and look at how we spend our time, I guarantee you that we can all find blocks of time wasted on things that we WANTED to do, rather than the things we NEEDED to do. If you can sit down to watch 30 mins of your favorite TV show, or check in online your favorite sites, you can get up and get on the treadmill for the same amount of time. It is as simple as that. If we can take time to chat on the phone, flip through a magazine or paint our nails, we can take the 30 seconds it takes to measure and log our foods properly. It is about choice. It is about realizing that we are in control and then simply making the decision to do what is best for our bodies.
I want to take this time to remember how I lost my weight. What where the small changes I made each day that ultimately made the difference for me. I want to take away for one moment the thought of deficits, intervals, percentages of protein consumed and I want to get back to the basics of weight loss.
Before I look at what I did right, I want to go back 3 years ago and reflect on where I went wrong. How did this weight gain happen?
1. Lack of exercise. Simply put. LAZINESS! Not wanting to get out there and just do something, whether it be walking or biking each day to add activity into my life. I would make time to watch my favorite shows, but not for taking a walk with my husband each night.
2. Portion control. I love eating out at restaurants. This is something that we did often and it was a major factor in my weight gain. Not only are restaurants filled with hidden calories, but their portion sizes are far too large. Then there things like the bread, chips and desserts that so many times come along with, "Let's go out and celebrate" or "Let's have a nice, romantic dinner". The results of these special occasions add up over time.
3. The someday syndrome. This was a big one for me. I was in school for most of our marriage and with that came long hours studying. I was always thinking to myself, "I will get back on track when I finish this semester." We can always say that things will get better someday, but what about the here and now? After all it is what we eat and do TODAY, that will determine our health and well being in the "someday" down the road.
Now, lets fast forward to the present moment. I have lost a vast amount of weight, regained my life and have never felt better. I am getting ready to embark on a big lifestyle change. I am going back to the US or as one person said recently to me, fast food nation! I want to be prepared to face the countless temptations that lie around every corner back home. For me fast food is not one of them, rather, the vast amount of restaurants waiting there for us. And so once again I have a choice. When you go to a restaurant and order food, YOU are in control of what you eat and how much of it you consume. You also have full control of where you eat. Let's be honest for a moment. There is NO ONE forcing you to drive to that Mexican restaurant and stuff your face with chips. You are behind the wheel and you have a choice. So many times people look at themselves and ask why. Why am I gaining weight? Why have I not lost weight this week despite my workouts? I can tell you from experience that 90% of the time it is your diet. We underestimate the power of the nutritional component of weight loss. Mindless snacking, large portions, sugar filled treats, all of these add up over time and will eventually show on the scale.
I am ready. I am mentally prepared for what life will be like back home. For me it is no different that when I was preparing for going on vacations while over here in Russia. You have a game plan and you stick to it. If I knew that I wanted to treat myself to a croissant or a curry dish, I would make up my mind ahead of time that this would be my treat, and then I stuck to it. I was able to do well going to so many different countries with amazing cuisines because I worked hard in order to treat myself accordingly. So back home, I need to take the same approach.
Now I want to focus on the 3 simple changes I made that lead me to loosing my weight.
1. I logged my foods daily. I started using a site called myfooddiary back in 2007 and it changed my life. You have to have an understanding of how much you are consuming in relation to what your body needs each day.
2. I started exercising. The biggest factor for me was starting to walk each day on the treadmill. My aunt ( a doctor and athlete) suggested to me to start off with 90 minutes and so I did. The pounds started to melt off. I slowly increased my speed and began doing intervals, but it all started with good old fashioned walking, nothing more.
3. I started weight training in January 2008. I bought the at home program P90X as well as Cathe's Muscle Max, and these dvds changed my body dramatically. The progress as seen on the scale slowed down, but the tape measure became my best friend! I was loosing inches each week and could see a huge difference in how my clothes fit.
If you are thinking about changing your life but you are on the fence and scared to give weight loss one more try, just remember that every day you put off making the decision to change, is another day you are loosing out on the most rewarding journey you will ever take!
Work hard, reach high!