This morning, I was out at a park helping a friend set some things up for dog training. Usually this involves a little walking and a lot of standing around, but this time, we were using a larger area. I was walking up and down a large parking lot, around grassy fields, and up and down a couple of small hills. I can tell you that even 2 months ago this would have been nearly impossible for me. I'd have hated it and it would have left me out of breath and sweating as I walked and in pain for several days after. But today, I really noticed a difference! I actually enjoyed all the walking, there was almost no pain, and I was able to keep going long past when I would have had to stop in the past. And it wasn't *hard*. My endurance and fitness is really increasing in a useful way from my walking and biking routine! I am really happy about that.
I remember the last time I was regularly strength training, and the very first benefit I noticed was when I was bringing in groceries from the car. I remember opening the rear window on my SUV and lifting out multiple, heavy bags and thinking, "hey! These are not even heavy! It is so easy to lift them!" And that was only after a few weeks of lifting! And then a week or so later, I had one arm full and needed to lift the baby stroller out of the car with the other hand. I was able to easily lift it out and set it down one-handed, no problem. I've just started lifting again and I can't wait to feel that wonderful improvement in strength.
Because I am eating better, I am also sleeping better now. My Fitbit One lets me know how long I sleep, how often I wake, and how much time each night I was restless; all of those numbers are getting better and better. I am much more well rested when I get up in the morning. I just feel better all around!
Small changes can yield big results. Maybe they don't *seem* big, but my quality of life is improved already in just the 2 1/2 short weeks I have been working my plan. What I want to share, most of all, is that SMALL changes really can improve your life in a huge way! If you are tired, obese, slugging along every day wondering how or when to change, trying to gather to motivation to "go on a diet" and "change your life" but just don't have it in you to "dive in" to something huge (like, say, joining a gym and going every day and counting calories and cutting out all bread and never having candy again and measuring everything you eat), please know that you can feel so much better and begin the change by doing something small. I really wish I could go back in time to when I was morbidly obese and tired and hopeless and miserable and say to myself, "Make some changes. Go ahead and do it. Small steps, it'll be worth it!" This is by far the easiest, happiest, most "non-diety" thing I have ever done to try and improve my health and lose weight. I love what I am doing. So simple:
Walk 7500 steps a day.
Get on the exercise bike every day, even if just for 5 minutes.
Eat whatever you like, just make it healthier, lower carb, and a reasonable portion.
Seriously. If I lose weight this month I will be dancing a jig and cheering because this is what I have been trying to "find" my whole fat adult life: something that doesn't feel like a struggle, that isn't white knuckling, that I won't burn out on. I have stayed off the scale because I want to give this a fair shot (and focus on what it is doing for my health and my quality of life) before possibly getting discouraged if the numbers are't great. But listen, if this is working in every way including weight loss, this will be a dream come true. Because THIS, I can do forever!
No counting. No measuring. No logging all my food.
Foods I enjoy.
Even a cookie or a piece of lasagna once in awhile.
Healthy vegetables. Plenty of protein. I'm never hungry.
I can go to social situations and eat whatever they are having without guilt.
No obsession. Very few cravings.
I say very few, because yesterday was PMS day and while I do keep 72-88% dark chocolate squares on hand, I really wanted a piece of milk chocolate. So I bought a bag of individually wrapped Godiva milk chocolate caramel squares and had one. The bag is in the kitchen and guess what? It doesn't call to me! If you have read my blog for long, you know how huge this is. I used to be UNABLE to focus on anything else if I had a bag of chocolate in my house. It would "bother" me until I ate it all. But now that nothing is restricted, it can be there, my kids can share some if they want, and if I feel like having one today I can!. This is freedom. This is "escape from obsession." It is a beautiful thing, to me.
Today's breakfast: decaf tea, 2 slices of bacon, 2 free range scrambled eggs, and a plum.
I think I will have some leftover BBQ ribs for lunch. Then I'll bike!
I am 38 years old, female, a degree-holding stay-at-home-mom, and I weigh 278 pounds. I have been obese for ten years now. Time to get out of this fat prison I have made for myself.
--This is the original introduction I wrote when I first started this blog in 2007. I leave it as a reminder to myself of where I came from. Currently, I am 46 years old and weigh significantly less...see the blog for details. I lost 103 pounds, then had a partial regain, and am once again working at weight loss and better health.
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