Saturday, August 24, 2013

Do I have to?

I fell off the regular exercise wagon this summer…HARD.  There are certainly reasons for my downfall: I tweaked my back and neuropathy issues, but there aren’t really any good excuses.  Yes, my sore back plagued me for several weeks and it made it difficult to walk for very long before it started to hurt.  However, it didn’t hurt so badly that I couldn’t walk at all!  My feet hurt on occasion but they didn’t hurt enough to keep me from walking, and yet I let these reasons keep me from doing what I knew I had to do.

I’ve gained weight this summer.  Not a bunch, but just enough that I feel uncomfortable in my clothes; just enough to make me feel bad about myself.  I’m not a thin person, and haven’t been since I was in my early 20s.  I don’t need to be a thin person, nor is that my goal.  But when you don’t feel good in your clothes and it causes you to think too much about it, then it’s a problem.

I’ve been focusing on what I’m eating and how much of it to see if I can’t do something about this additional weight.  I would love it if I could just lose about 10 lbs!  (Jeez, how many millions of times have I said that in my lifetime?)  Unfortunately, the weight is stubbornly staying where it is.  I do feel better now that I’m back to eating more mindfully, but I still have this damn gut!

Now that I’ve written this down it makes me feel like a dolt that I didn’t make the connection sooner: if I would just get back to regular exercise, then I will probably drop a few pounds.  Duh.  So, 3 days ago I climbed back on my treadmill and walked for 30 minutes.  Then I did it again yesterday…and again this morning.  3 days in a row!  That may sound like it’s not a big deal, but when I look back over my summer I can see that this is a good thing.  I’m back to working up to regular exercise and it feels great.

I spent some time this summer working in my yard, as my back would allow.  While any movement is good for us, I fooled myself into believing that just because I wasn’t planted in front of my computer or in my recliner reading all day, I was getting regular exercise.  I wasn’t.

Getting regular exercise means going above and beyond our regular day.  It means walking to and from work instead of driving.  It means taking a walk after dinner.  It means climbing on a treadmill, or other machine, EVERY DAY and getting a workout.  It means turning on an exercise video and doing the best you can to follow along.  

I know that I may not lose these extra pounds just by exercising, but I’m betting I will.  Regardless of whether or not I do lose the weight, I know that the added exercise will give me more energy, help my blood sugars and clear my brain. I’ll feel better about myself. Do I have to?  Yes, I do.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

It just takes some attention

Yet again, I’ve been faced with the realization that my snacking is out of control.  Not only snacking, but my breakfast and lunch choices haven’t always been stellar.  I noticed that I was eating more and more in the afternoon “just because” and not due to blood sugar issues or hunger.  Sound familiar?

So many of us have gotten into the habit of not paying attention to what we’re eating.  We eat on the run or in front of the tv (we are definitely guilty of this one).  Personally, I’m not so worried about my dinners because I seem to have that down pat, it’s the snacking that has captured me again.  I decided that I wanted to do something about it and mindful eating is what I came up with.

A week ago I began paying attention to what and when I’m eating.  I didn’t log what I ate, but instead I planned ahead.  Each day I would write down what to have for breakfast, lunch and snacks.  I would list 3 or 4 healthy things I could munch on if I felt the need for something during the afternoon.  As I ate each thing I would mark it off the list.  If I wanted to snack and there wasn’t anything left on my list, then I wouldn’t eat.  Period.  Did it work?  Yup.

It really helped to have a list of things I could eat each day.  It’s not like my kitchen is stocked with “bad” things to eat but without some control I was eating too much.  Remember, too much of a good thing isn’t good.  There were days when I didn’t eat all the snacks listed.  Score!  Knowing in advance what I was going to have for lunch took the decision out of my hands.  This was especially helpful when I was really hungry.  When I’m really hungry I usually grab the quickest thing which would often lead to overeating.

After one week of following my plan, I feel that it was a great success!  Only one time did I eat too much, but it was because I chose to eat the whole meal as opposed to mindlessly munching.  I feel better; less stuffed.  I feel as if I’m back in control instead of letting the food control me. My blood sugar has been happier.  I lost 2 pounds.  I’m going to continue following this plan for a while until I feel like I’ve regained the ability to make good choices.  This doesn’t feel like a set back or failure at all.  It feels like I was able to pinpoint an issue and fix it.  Yup, I’m awesome like that.