Today I am feeling a little down about all the stuff I've been dealing with in the background... things I don't share online because I respect the privacy of my family, and things I try to stuff in the background sometimes instead of dealing with them. But I've always shared my emotional state on this blog, and right now it is kind of defeated. Not about my health and weight, but about being 46 and maybe going through a bit of that mid-life crisis business. I mean, maybe it's the changes of years going by and kids growing up and moving out, and me trying to find new focus for my life... change can be hard. It's also about always being the caretaker and getting a little burned out sometimes. I am just tired this week, and trying to get my brain in a better, more positive place again. Probably hormones have something to do with this too.
Anyway, it's a brand new month and time to assess April and how I did with my goals. The nice thing about blogging and goals and working on my health is that it takes my mind off the other stuff I just mentioned and helps ground me and give me something concrete I can do to improve *something.* I do find joy in that, so I will try and focus on the good and bring my mood back up by taking good care of myself and NOT giving up.
Over the last month, I made some changes in my eating and activity. I wore my Fitbit to track my steps, activity and sleep and that helped me tremendously in being more aware of my activity level. My goals was 7500 steps/day minimum and hitting that goal each night wasn't a given; some evenings I found myself pacing around the living room while watching TV to get those last few hundred steps in! I learned that on days I go out and hike or do a lot of shopping, I easily hit and surpassed my step goal. Most days though, I had to make a conscious effort to walk twice a day. Going more than 2 miles at a stretch can sometimes aggravate my joints, so splitting it into two walks (one with each dog... one in the morning and one after dinner) worked well and always hit my goal. This is a habit I intend to keep. Now I know how much it takes to keep my activity level up and how far I need to walk each time, I can make it happen on a daily basis. I also am doing little things like parking far away from stores and pushing myself to walk a little further wherever I go. I love my walks! The only times I struggled with getting my steps was on days I was "stuck" in the house, in meetings, or in the car. I am always "busy" but somehow just don't get that many steps when the distances are short because I am inside or running errands. If I had to sit and do paperwork for 2 hours, or stand in the kitchen cooking for an hour, or sit in the car driving from bank to post office to school to appointment, my steps suffered and I had to work harder to make it up. Even my beloved yard work does not give me a lot of steps (pulling weeds, raking, trimming, planting... all get my heart rate up without giving me much in the way of steps). A month of working on it has given me the insight to know what it takes to surpass 7500 steps every day. I plan to keep up this level of walking, but I'm taking off the Fitbit because I find it kind of annoying.
I also made a goal to bike every day for at least 5 minutes. This was great! It got me back on my bike daily. It's amazing how you can convince yourself to ride when you REALLY don't feel like it, because "it's just 5 minutes" and even on the busiest day anyone can fit that in! Usually I'd get on the bike, hit 5 minutes and just keep going. Getting on is the hardest part. I was able to ride 30 minutes many times and built a habit of just getting on that bike! This is another thing I'm going to continue doing, but now that the habit is built and my riding time is up, I am going to let myself have a rest day every week. My new goal is biking 6 days a week. I'm also doing my strength training routine twice a week. It's mostly upper body, and only takes 15 minutes, but I feel good and again am building a habit. I plan to keep going with this, increasing the weight as I am able.
As for eating, I shared a lot of my lower carb meals over the month. I'd say I ate lower carb 80% of the time but still had some higher carb foods on occasion. I haven't felt deprived at all. I eat what I like, in smaller portions. More produce and protein, less processed food.
I started the month at 230 pounds and today I weigh 226. That's a loss of four pounds for the month. I had hoped for 5 pounds but hey, I will take a pound a week! I think I will cut back even more on the indulgences in May (without counting calories or going into a restrictive "diet" mindset) and see if I can take off another 5 pounds.
One more thing: I've signed up for a csa and starting in 2 weeks, I'll be getting a box of fresh, local produce delivered to my doorstep every week. I think this will really help me with eating plenty of healthy vegetables and fruits! I'll still hit the Farmer's Market for things I want but don't get in the box. I've been thinking about doing a personal challenge of eating *only* foods from the Farmer's Market sometime this summer. Wouldn't that be a fun thing to try?
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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