Happy Saturday! I hope everyone has had a good week. I've had a crazy active one!
I realized on Thursday that I had been getting tired all week. Wasn't sure why as I had been sleeping well...until I looked back and realized I had exercised for 8 days straight. My body really needed a rest day! So I took one, on Friday. And when I woke up to hear rain, I was glad it fell that way.
Oh - meant to share that I am now down 77.8 pounds! SOOO close to 80 pounds down...then another 6 and I'll be in ONE-DERLAND! I don't remember weighing under 200 pounds. It was long before I had Elizabeth, probably when I first got married even. Looking forward to seeing that 1 in the front again!
It did feel a tad weird not working out yesterday since I was on such a roll. But also good. And I had an AWESOME run this morning as a result. 3.39 miles, furthest since I was sick! With the warmup and cool down walk we did 4.25 miles. I'll take the 602 calorie burn, thank you very much. I felt awesome! Wonder if I can hit 4 next weekend? Hmmm... I did pick another race, at the end of February I found one in DFS of all places (the town I work in). I'm excited about having a race to look forward to. I am also slowly working my way back up to my 10k training (remember I stopped due to achilles tendon pain - now I stretch more regularly which is imperative!). My goal is to run a 10k sometime this year...I'd better hurry up and pick one and sign up for it. I'll do that this afternoon.
I feel so much better on the days I exercise. Like I have tons of energy. I've done several loads of laundry, cleaned up the kitchen, organized the dining room table (the catch all in my house) and plan to do more. I just have energy. Exercise is cyclical like that. Once you get past the "UGH" and get started, the energy you get from it gives you the energy to do it. Good use of your time.
I've had alot of questions lately from people who want to get started on a healthier lifestyle (or they tell me they want to go on a diet and I quickly talk them out of it - lol). In response to that, I wanted to go the top 10 things to put on your to-do list if you want to get started.
1) Don't call it a diet! As soon as you do there are all kinds of restrictions, remorse and just general unhappiness tied to it. Remember, you'll get grumpy, kick the dog, yell at your spouse and cast wolf like stares at your kids lunches. Call it a healthy lifestyle change. Weight loss will follow!
2) Make a list of healthy lifestyle changes. Make a list of what you want to change - like giving up soda, drinking enough water, cutting back on fried foods, etc. Then sort the list by priority.
3) Don't make all the changes at once! If you told me how I would eat now, back in August of 2009 when I started I would have told you "um, no thanks!" The changes had to be gradual. Then it is less of a diety mentality for you and your family.
4) Set SMART goals. Look back on my post of smart goals by clicking here. That post has everything you need to think about when setting goals. Decide which changes you want to make first, and go for it!
5) Find an accountability partner. Now I have many of them - but when I started out I had one person, my friend Barb, that I talked to every week. Barb was already living a healthy lifestyle and really helped me stay on track, tweak my goals and cheer me on. This person cannot be the one you share a cubicle with at work that eats twinkies 3 times a day, ok? It needs to be someone either living a healthier lifestyle than you, or putting as much effort forth as you...and someone that if they fall off the wagon and digress, it won't pull you down. I don't get to talk to Barb as much as I used to, so I have several friends I talk to, a few who are working toward a healthier lifestyle but haven't been at it as long as me - but it helps me just as much to talk to them and at this point I'm not as much of a wagon-jumping risk as I was at first. It's all about support.
6) Find a way to track calories, exercise, etc. I use SparkPeople and absolutely LOVE it! It has options to put in your goal weight, how long you want it to take (be realistic here) and then places to track your food daily as well as exercise. They will also hook you up with an eating plan if you like being told what to eat (I don't - but it works for some!). There are also TONs of awesome recipes on the site, as well as a recipe calculator, where you can enter the foods you make at home and it calculates the nutrition facts for you so it makes it super simple to track your favorite things to eat. There are also great support groups there - I belong to "The Weight is Over" and we do monthly Biggest Loser challenges which is encouraging and fun. OH - and its all FREE!
7) DECIDE you are going to be successful. Some of my more regular readers may be so over me talking about how important it is to decide. Check out the blog I did at the beginning of this month about the difference between decisions and resolutions by clicking here. Set yourself up for success by making a plan for your food, not just your lunches in or outside the home, but also your dinners! Purchase healthy foods from the grocery store, and have a plan for every bit of food you buy. You waste less money on tossing out rotten food, and you don't have unnecessary temptation in the house. If you don't know if you'll eat it or not, don't buy it!
8) Enjoy certain indulgences. It is so important not to say "today I'm starting to eat better so I'll never have x or y again." Um, that will last 5 minutes if you are strong willed like me. :) I found that I didn't really like some of the things I used to like. Like french fries. I don't at all prefer them. If that is all that is there, I might have a few, but I don't really like them at all. I do really like sweet potato fries so I indulge in those every now and then - they are a super food (sweet potato) but they are fried, so again, I consider them an indulgence. I also eat chocolate every single day - DARK chocolate. If you don't like it, consider trying to like it - because it is also a superfood. VERY important here - remember with any indulgence is to limit yourself to a certain amount. I don't eat an entire candy bar each day. But I do keep a large one in my cabinet and I break off a piece each night. Or, I take a bag of dark chocolate hershey kisses and put them in the freezer - so I eat 3 at a time (1/3 of a serving = 60 calories). I try to keep it under 100 calories a day for indulgences.
9) Eat as many super foods as possible. Super foods are great not just for losing weight, but also for potentially preventing cancer, lowering cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. For a good list of some super foods, click here. Pretty much any richly colored fruit or vegetable will fall on the list for one reason or another. The more of these foods you eat, the less "junk" or "non-food" you can eat. You'll be too full from the super foods!
10) Get Active. Find something you might like to do. It might surprise you. I started just by walking. I never thought I would be a runner but today I am! I liked Tae Bo - now I do Zumba which I swore I would never do (one glimpse of myself doing jumping jacks one time told me I did not want to subject anyone else to that visual - but 30 pounds later and no mirrors in the place we Zumba, and I'm good with it). I met a girl recently who has lost 200 pounds just by walking. So don't set a crazy goal like you're going to start cycling 20 miles a day if you haven't been on a bike in 10 years. Do what you can - do what is reasonable - but do something. Just get moving. At least 4 days a week, but 5 is preferable. Now I'm not saying to do weight training every day - or even to run every day. But anyone can walk 5 times a week and it will not hurt you (and here's the disclaimer - see your doctor before beginning any plan of any sort, ok?)
In my next post I'll share with you some of the foods I eat regularly - as long as you promise not to cold turkey change everything you eat to match what I eat, ok? It needs to be gradual. But for now, its OK to back away from the french fries. :) Really.