Monday, February 21, 2011

Keep on keeping on

This weekend was frankly a bit of a struggle for me.  Saturday, I had the pleasure of spending the day with my husband in town doing a bit of shopping and having a belated Valentine lunch at a new restaurant.  We love sushi, and this place was voted best sushi in town.  Atmosphere was wonderful, company was fabulous, and the food was excellent - but not necessarily part of my diet.  I didn't blow it too badly, but I try not to stray very often.  Saturday would have been okay if that had been the only incident.  But, Sunday was pot luck dinner after church.  Our church people are not big on veggies.  As a matter of fact, our pastor requested her favorite dish - potatoes!  and wanted several to choose from.  There was quite a bit of protein to choose from in the meat category, but no veggies to speak of unless you count cole slaw, which I don't because of all the dressing.  And, the desserts were a special cake made to celebrate our pastor getting a second master's degree.  It would have been rude of me not to have a slice, which I did, but only a very small one with very little icing. 

Today, however, I am back on course.  Worked out this morning and have been back on protein shakes for breakfast and lunch.  A quick bite to eat when I get home from work, then on to a meeting.  If I eat at home, I am much less likely to eat something at a meeting or afterwards that doesn't fit in my game plan.

Friday, February 18, 2011

What a beautiful day!

Wow, what a beautiful day for mid-February in Missouri!  Nearly 70 degrees, sun shining, just makes a person feel better no matter what else is going on.  Today has been a good day.  Weighed in this morning (lost 4 pounds this week), got my entire workout done, and for a bonus my husband came in to town, we went to lunch together and then walked around the little lake near my office.  And, of course it is Friday, with a weekend ahead of us.  Who could ask for more!

Three weeks into this program, and it really truly is beginning to feel like a habit.  While I really am not a creature of habit, I want this diet and exercise program to become habit-like so that it becomes second nature.  I do not want to have to think about what I should and should not eat.  Yesterday was a bit of a challenge for me, as we had a committee meeting at an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet.  I did not have pizza.  I did have salad, green beans, and some beef with mushrooms.  But, I successfully stayed away from the pizza and desserts - two of my weaknesses!

I shared the fact that I am writing this blog with a friend of mine yesterday, and even though no one is following it but me, I still have this feeling that I am accountable for my actions.  Stick to the plan.  Stay on course.  And, ultimately this is what I wanted from this experience.  I wanted to feel like someone out there could call me on my program at any time.  Like, hey, did you skip working out?  How did it feel when you cheated and ate that dessert?  So far, believe it or not, I have not cheated, and my husband is doing this program with me, so that makes it much easier to stay on course.  Even eating out, I have stayed with salads and very little dressing (I don't like a lot anyway), vegetables, and some kind of protein.  One day soon, when I have reached my goal, then I can splurge now and then on those carbs and desserts.  For now, though, I will stick with the plan.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Attitude is everything

For the past year, I have been doing a lot of reading.  Most of my reading material is along the self-help line.  Personal development is very important to me, and I usually have 2-3 books by the side of my bed at any given time.  Several of the books I have read in the past year have been related to the power of positive thinking.  Phrases like, "what you think about you bring about" have caused me to take a good, long look at myself and my attitude.  Being a happy, positive person now before I become the person I want to be inside and out is very important to achieving the goals I have set for myself.  That includes my goal to get fit.

So, on this Valentine's Day, I wish everyone a wonderful, prosperous, happiness filled day.  I not only worked out this morning, but today at lunch time I got the chance to go down to my favorite walking trail around Williams Creek Lake and walked for another 40 minutes.  It felt so wonderful to get outside, and feel the sun beaming down on me.  There is still snow on the ground, melting away now, but it is over 50 degrees today so the sun felt warm and the birds were chirping their happiness at the beautiful weather.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Weigh Day

Today is weigh-in day.  I had hoped to be able to report a more significant weight loss this week, but unfortunately I cannot.  Weight was steady this week to last.  Kind of hard not to be discouraged, but I keep telling myself that the first two weeks is the hardest, and now they are behind me!  I will stick with my program, because my goals are bigger than my ability to whine about them.  I am extremely committed to this weight loss and exercise program.

So my look on the bright side thoughts are these:  I already feel better.  I have a lot more energy.  My skin looks better.  I haven't had a bad hair day since I started exercising.  And, without going into a lot of detail that no one wants to know, my body is functioning better on all levels. 

So . . . I will continue my program, keep a positive attitude, and celebrate my little successes as they come.  And, I will try not to dwell on my failures.  Today was a big workout day, and it went well.  Matter of fact, since I was a little bit angry with myself when I started (I had just weighed) I had a bit more intensity than I have had in the past.  An unintended benefit?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Working Out, Not Striking Out

Today was a cardio day.  Not that it's easy - it really isn't.  I do 20 minutes on the Nordic Track and go 2.5 kilometers.  Keeping a regular workout in my schedule is actually one of the most challenging aspects of my weight loss journey.  Tomorrow morning is weigh-in, however, so I was motivated to keep to my schedule.  I am weighing in once a week, as all the experts suggest, so that I don't focus on the little ups and downs through the week.

For example, yesterday afternoon my husband and I had to go to the supermarket.  We went at a horrible time, as I happened to be starving.  Something about the smell of food does that to me.  Anyway, our favorite Asian buffet is right around the corner, so we went to Lai Lai's for dinner.  I think I did pretty well not straying too far from my diet, but all those sauces have lots of hidden calories and carbs!  I wasn't feeling very good about myself at first, even though I didn't eat as much as I normally would and I really tried to choose wisely.  Then, I realized that this was the first time we had eaten out since I started on my diet plan and that the recommendation is to follow the 80/10/10 philosophy:  80% of the time follow your diet plan strictly.  10% of the time stray slightly, and 10% of the time FORGET IT.  I am putting last night's dinner in the 10% FORGET IT category, even though it wasn't that bad.

So, on the days that I don't do cardio, my husband has put together a full body workout for me. I start with 10 minutes on the Nordic Track to warm up.  Then I move to weights on the Bow Flex.  Each one of these exercises I do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.  I am upping my weights as I go and my strength returns.  First, I do bench presses.  Then I move to shoulder press.  Then triceps.  Rows are next.  Then lat pull downs, followed by bicep curls.  Then it's time for legs.  I do either leg presses or leg extensions, curls, and then calves.  Last thing I do are ab crunches.

The whole routine takes me about 40 minutes right now.  I am not lifting tons of weight.  As I told my husband, I don't want to look like a body builder, I just want to lose weight and tone my body!  Tomorrow I will get to see if I have made any progress this week.  Today, I will be sticking very closely to my diet.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's all part of the plan

40 pounds in 4 months.  That's the goal I have set for myself.  Sounds a bit daunting, so I broke it down.  That's only 10 pounds a month, or 2 1/2 pounds a week.  That sounds more like something I can do, and take it one day at a time.  Just how do I plan to achieve this goal?

Not only do I love, and I mean love, food, but I have a job that finds me sitting at a computer a good part of the day.  Not every day, but enough, and with a crazy schedule with night and weekend meetings and events, it doesn't leave much time in my schedule for exercise.  Nevertheless, I have made a commitment to exercise at least 6 days a week.  On Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, I will do 10 minutes on the Nordic Track (you remember that piece of exercise equipment, don't you?) to warm up, and then I have a full body workout my very workout savvy husband put together for me on the Bow Flex.  Then on Tuesday and Thursday, I will do cardio only and do 20-30 minutes on the Nordic Track.  So, this morning, it was 20 minutes.  Today I went 2.5 kilometers in 20 minutes.  Not bad for a girl who hasn't worked out in quite some time!

Now to the food part of the equation.  I had some requirements that needed to be met on the program I chose.  1.  It has to be easy to follow.  I don't have time, nor the inclination, to count  calories or match cards.  Some people enjoy that, I just don't happen to be one of them. 2.  It has to fit into my budget.  I don't have the financial resources to spend extra dollars on a weight loss system.  3.  It has to be safe.  I'm trying to lose weight to get healthy - I certainly don't want the program I'm on to contribute in a negative way.  4.  It has to taste good.  I won't eat it or stick with it if I have to force it down my throat.  5.  IT NEEDS TO GET RESULTS!!!  What is the point in all this sacrifice if I get to the end of the program and I've lost 5 pounds in 4 months?  My goal is way bigger than that.

So after careful research, I chose the Arbonne 30 days to feeling fit program.  Now, before you go jumping to conclusions, I will tell you that I am an Arbonne consultant, so basically it's like buying from my own store.  But that is not the primary reason I chose this program.  It meets the above criteria, and I know these products are safe.  And, how can I promote this program if I have never tried it myself?  Who better to be a guinea pig than me?  My purpose in this blog is not to sell product.  If you want to purchase, I can help you.  But I am not here to be a commercial.  If you have another plan that works for you and meets your criteria, great.  The objective here is to give people who are trying to make positive changes in their lives support by hearing about the successes and failures of someone else in their same position. 

Tomorrow I'll share a few more specifics about the program itself.  Tonight, my husband is making dinner.  He is very supportive of my efforts to get healthy and lose weight, so I am sure it will be nutritious, healthy, and of course, delicious.

Monday, February 7, 2011

It's Only the Beginning of Losing Weight, Not My Mind

1 . . . . . . . . . 7 . . . . . . . . . .4.  Those were the numbers staring back at me from the scale.  When did this happen, I thought to myself?  I had never weighed more than 140 pounds!  That is, until I turned 40.  Then, as "they" say, it was like turning off the switch to my metabolism and my ability to eat whatever I wanted with no need to really diet or exercise on a regular basis left me standing in the dust of these scales.

That day, I made a decision.  I had to make some serious changes in my life.  Not just my eating habits.  I had to get serious about working out and getting fit.  So, I decided to start this blog and bring the readers along on my journey to not only lose weight, but to have a healthier lifestyle.

You might be asking yourself, why on earth would she want to blog about this?  Well, I have a number of reasons, but three are at the top of the list. 1.  I need an accountability partner.  Who better than those who read along with me to help keep me on the path to good health? 2.  I actually like to write.  It is a great way for me to express my thoughts and feelings without inflicting them on those in my immediate circle.  3.  I love to help others.  I know I am not the only one out there who suddenly realized they gained 35 pounds without even trying and now have a need to lose it.  If my journey could help someone else, anyone else, then it would be worth it to put myself out there.

So as of today, I hope you will be my accountability partner.  I have already started on a diet and exercise program, more about this later.  Before you hear about where I am going and how I am going to get there, I think you need to know where I have been.

You see, I absolutely love food.  I can hear what you are thinking.  Doesn't everyone?  But I actually heard Anne Curry say something about keeping food from being boring today.  I can honestly say I have never been bored with food.  I love food so much that when we vacation, my husband and I actually plan our restaurant choices and food selections long before we plan any other part of our trip!  I keep a food journal from these vacations.  I have an enormous collection of cookbooks.  I have actually been inspired to start this blog because I recently saw the movie Julie and Julia (I highly recommend it if you have not seen it).  I love all kinds of food - from sushi to African, fancy French cuisine to homecooked comfort food, it all sounds good to me.  And until I turned 40, I could eat whatever I wanted, and if I gained a few pounds I could watch what I ate for a week and the weight I gained would miraculously disappear.

Then, I had my 40th birthday, and my ability to lose those few extra pounds with a week of moderate dieting were gone as fast as a medium rare filet mignon sitting on my plate in a red wine reduction.  Little by little, pound by pound, I went from weighing 140 to the 174 now staring back at me. I was no longer comfortable in my 47 year old skin.  The time had come for me to make some changes, but I had some rules.  First and foremost, whatever diet plan I used had to be healthy.  Second, it had to be economical.  And thirdly, it needed to taste good!

So tomorrow, I will reveal my plan and the time frame I have given myself to get there.