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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!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you so much for making the decision to post this here! This is exactly what I needed. I have been having a hard time getting re-motivated. I lost 45 lbs back in 2007. Then after having surgery for an umbilical hernia a year ago, I have gained it all back. I had this fear stuck in my head that made me worry about re-starting my exercise program. I was so worried that I would tear my repair. Here I am back where I started, but the motivation I had then is lacking. It's posts like yours that bring back the spark! Again thank you! You have a great attitude! :-)
    4350 days ago
    Ah, this is why I love reading your blogs and reading your page... I totally want to be like you when I grow up (never mind that I believe we are the same age!). Yes, I've been saying recently that success is simply just a matter of priorities. If I want to accomplish something, I honestly have no doubt that I could do it. It's the choices I make and the priorities I set that determine the reality of whether or not I succeed. Thank you for saying the things I needed to hear ~ again (and from someone other than my inner self!). You rock, girl. I'm so excited for you and your newest journey!
    emoticon Cheers!
    4352 days ago
    I've seen your posts on so many people's pages and stopped by to say hi. Then I read this amazing blog. Wow!! You've made just amazing, AMAZING changes in your life and I wanted to say congratulations to you for everything you've done, and thank you for such an inspiring blog.

    You're right, it all starts with walking (for just about everyone!) and watching your diet. Brilliant, huh? But you really pulled it off, and you look great.

    Best of luck with your move back to the states, and have fun on your vacation!

    4352 days ago
    Thank you for inspiring me today! What a great blog!!
    4355 days ago
    Great blog! That should give everyone the kick in the pants that we all need from time to time. Thanks for sharing.

    4356 days ago
    Hi Jen! I've been busy, too, and I missed your return! I'm so glad you found a house, a gym, and a car! You're on your way!

    I really like that you are keeping focus during this very busy time. Especially when you are changing so many things in your life, it can be hard to keep routines. Even though there will be upheaval during the next few weeks, be sure to cut yourself some slack and don't beat yourself up if things don't go perfectly with diet and exercise. Before you know it, you'll be back in TX and back on a routine. And if I know you, you WILL NOT let any bad habits stick around! Enjoy these last few days in Russia, enjoy the trip to Norway, and best of luck with your move!

    4356 days ago
  • no profile photo 154BYAUG
    Great blog, Jen! When are you back in the States??

    I am a few lbs. from my goal but need to eat HELATHIER foods.
    2008 was all about losing weight but not always eating healthy (it can be done in an unhealthy way - microwave ppcorn for dinner! EEEK!)

    Your "back to basics" was a good reminder to me - I think I need to go back to tracking my food intake like I did at the beginning!
    Take care, Nancy (OPOD Team)
    4357 days ago
    Welcome to our team, In the Raw! You are just SO motivating and dedicated and sincere...and it comes through in everything you write and share! I hope you'll have time to share on our threads too. Keep on keepin' on, and have a RAWSOME journey!

    4357 days ago
    AMEN! I think you are READY! I like your attitude and I really do agree with most of what you are saying--- I also hate excuses!
    I have realized for me that my brain does not work as rational and that I have "mental" issues relating to food and its effects on me that are not as simple as "choice" or mere "willpower"- however, again, there are no excuses! Hence, why I keep moving forward, the best I can!
    I am really proud of you Jen! Your blog speaks louder than words, because it is all about ACTION!

    4357 days ago
    You spoke right to me. Your so right, no way should I put off til tomorrow what I can do today!! Thank you so much! What an inspiring blog!!~~Lisa
    4358 days ago
    Great blog Jen! You are such an inspiration to us all. Thank you for being so driven!
    4358 days ago
    Yes, I saw this on your blogspot thank you for sharing it!
    emoticon I always stress to keep in the habit of these things bc time has a way of getting away from us, first its just a day and then.....wow its a week!
    Your the BEST!
    4358 days ago
    I'm glad to hear that you're catching yourself before you undo all the hard work you've put in. I think that speaks VOLUMES and I'm glad to see you refocusing rather than punishing yourself. You've made such an amazing transformation and there WILL be bumps in that road, but I think you're going to be just fine back here in Fast Food Nation!!
    4358 days ago
  • no profile photo JENN38
    Great post. Very inspirational. Thank You.
    4358 days ago
  • SUNNY332
    Great Blog. You are definitely an inspiration. Thanks for sharing a little
    bit about your Journey. I have been with spark for almost 3 years and
    have done lots of yoyo dieting which only created a lot of frustration.
    This year, I have gotten serious, logging my food and making sure I
    get my exercise. I am finally seeing the results not only in weight loss
    but overall physical stamina. My whole attitude makes a major ajustment
    each time I try something new and suceed. I am 62 and have had some
    health problems which I used to "limit" me but no longer. I am now using
    them to motivate me. Thanks so much for your inspiration.


    4358 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/10/2009 6:59:41 AM
    For sure this SHINES! Thanks for such great wisdom girl.

    Do u know I was just showing u off Sunday to my boo? He came and sat by me while I was sparking and I had to show him your transformation and all your great travel pics!

    Beautiful and smart u are!
    4358 days ago
    Thank you for sharing, very well written and it is important to get back to the basics. I find to that sometimes I aimlessly count protein, carbs and fats without thinking of what my body really needs to get stronger. Thank you for your blog. Hurry and get back to the US as we miss you here. Sandy
    4358 days ago
    Oh, you are such a wise wise women and that's why we love you so much. Thank you for always sharing your journey with us and your insight to your journey is priceless and I know you help many every time you share. Your awesome!! Keep up the great work!!
    4358 days ago
    I don't know what to say but that EVERY person trying to become healthy and better themselves should read this. You are AMAZING GIRL!!!

    THANK YOU for being Jen.
    4358 days ago
    I can relate to everything you wrote. For me, I KNOW I have to watch every bite and plan for treats. I have to balance everything out or I gain. I let my emotions get the better of me because of a situation that was completely out of my control, yet had a HUGE impact on my life. I went back to my old friend food for comfort and as it always does, betrayed me with a 30 plus pound regain. I know that in order for me to be happy and comfortable with myself that I need to put down the fork and take up walking, exercising, planning, self control and portion control. It's just a matter of doing it. It's hard to restart when you've failed AGAIN.

    My husband is working on remodeling my bathroom which has put my exercise room out of commission. By Wednesday he should be finished and I should get my exercise room back. The emotional situation is coming to an end on March 3rd, so I can no longer use that as an excuse. I plan to do as you said, do what worked for me and stick to it, FROM NOW ON!!!

    Thanks for another 'on the nose' post.
    4358 days ago
  • no profile photo CRUSADER556
    Great Blog!! I've been finding myself caught up in the details and getting overwhelmed. I just need to focus on the basics myself! Thanks for the reminder!
    4358 days ago
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