Changing from doing whatever to being mindful of a healthy lifestyle is hard. I keep having to reset my thinking that this is not an overnight activity. I won’t wake up fat today and tomorrow after a health day of living I’m at my goal weight dancing in my little dress on the beach. Even doing the math toward my goal weight I’m pretty sure this summer isn’t a bikini summer. But, there are some things I’ve learned about myself in this process.
First the stats:
158.2 lbs – lost 11.8 lbs since 12/31/2017
Down a jean size. Down a shirt size.
Work out 3-4 days per week on treadmill and elliptical for 30 – 60 minutes
Now, the lessons.
- It’s the mix, not the volume. There is no question I can put away food like I’m starving all day long. But, shifting to a diet that is more plant based let’s me still eat like crazy but filling up on healthy calories rather than sugar, bad fat, and refined carbs. Lean protein thrown in and I can be full and satisfied at 800 calories (I need to force myself to add in snacks to stay at a healthy calorie intake). When I was pounding down fruit thinking it was healthy, I actually gained a pound. When traveling to Munich I hadn’t eaten all day because of jet lag, so my dinner of fondue and wine didn’t matter, I still lost weight that week.
- Prepare my own food. In the morning I would rush out the door and think I could pick up breakfast or buy lunch. This caused me to choose the worst food on the menu because I was hungry and it looked so good. Keeping healthy items in my bag while traveling and bringing food to the office allows me to plan for healthy eating and not cave to my basic instincts. Still need to look at the numbers, but I’m pretty sure we are saving money on restaurants and office café this month.
- Give myself permission to care for myself. My habits revolved around work. I prioritized clients above myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do so it never felt like work. However, it can be exhausting and to relax it was easier to plop on the couch to watch a show or movie with a glass of wine to unwind. But, this pattern caused me to eat poorly, not get enough sleep, and never get enough activity and exercise. Now, I needed to give my self permission to take care of myself and carve out time to prepare my meals to take with me, cook healthy dinners, and get time in to exercise. In the end, I’m more energized, thoughtful, and even in how I approach work. I’m more balanced.
- Don’t compete with my old self. Competitive by nature, aggressively driven, and very metric driven, the fact that I couldn’t run at my old pace let alone get through a 5k is frustrating. The fact that I still have clothes hanging in my closet and pants in my drawers that I couldn’t put on if I tried just riles me. It certainly is part of what go me motivated to turn my lifestyle around. But, it is also a curse to my journey. I have to actively separate my old self from who I am now. I need to treat who I was as someone that isn’t me. It’s a strange experience. When I would look in the mirror I didn’t recognize myself and subconsciously re-cast my image as my old self. Now, I look in the mirror and actively seek to see me. In this it lets me focus on today and not who I was.
- Celebrate each gain towards a healthy lifestyle. There was a day when I only had a .2 weight loss. There was a day that I was able to move down a notch on my belt. There was a day that I stayed on the treadmill for 60 minutes. There was a day when I wrote a blog. Some things are bigger than others. Together they each are signs I am moving in the right direction and should celebrate. Share with others. Walk a little taller. Smile a bit more. Be a little nicer. I use each win to motivate me further on my journey.
- Don’t punish myself for the bad days. I jumped on the scale earlier in the week and saw a 1.5 lb gain. It was right after crowing about my breaking the 160 mark. I looked hard at what I was doing wrong and couldn’t figure it out. It was crushing. It also wasn’t the first time that happened this month. Also, there are days when not only do I not close my Apple Watch rings, but they are so open, I look like a sloth! Let’s not forget my fondue night either. In the end, it doesn’t matter. I have more good days than bad and I’m headed in the right direction. As long as a bad day doesn’t turn into two, it’s not worth beating myself up.