Thursday, March 31, 2011

Change of Scenery? Change in perspective.

Okay, so it’s been over six months since my last post. I have a knew found respect for those that blog consistently and still manage to keep things interesting. There are things in my life that I know work for me, like blogging and sharing difficulties and successes with my friends, and for some reason, I just stop doing them. What the heck is up with that already?!?!

So I started a journey in January of 2010, (no surprise that this began right around that pesky New Year’s resolution time) and didn’t really commit myself to my goals like I felt I would. This was a bit of a disappointment to me since I really felt like I was ready to make permanent lifestyle changes. However, as is my usual habit, I faltered and made excuses for myself – as if my life is really that much more complicated than those who manage to eat right and exercise regularly. Okay, I have kids. Okay, I have a job. Okay….what? That’s not much different than most folks and even if it was….SO WHAT?!? So what, Jami? That just means you have to try harder. I do it all the time to make my kids life safe, fun, exciting, and educational. I do it all the time at work when I take on new projects, prove myself to a new manager, or simply need to rock some big project out. So why should it be any different with my OWN life? The answer is pretty simple. It shouldn’t. You gotta do what you gotta do, right?

Well…I gotta. I gotta be healthier! I gotta live MY life to the fullest!

So, while I did end up slightly lighter on my feet at the end of 2010 than at the beginning, it was such a minor improvement I decided it’s worth acknowledging though not really worth celebrating. BUT, it was definitely worth learning from. As part of my learning, I tried to examine some of the external issues that dampened my motivation and found that most of them were just excuses but a few were valid and needed to be addressed.

1. Being still doesn’t really promote a healthy lifestyle. Even though I made these well intended health goals last year, I still wasn’t exercising. I go to work so early and get home so late (still needing to have dinner w/ my family and help with homework) that getting in even a three-mile walk was next to impossible. It’s usually too dark when I leave, too dark when I get home OR entirely too hot for both. Now, most people might say the heat shouldn’t be a factor but it is. I HATE being hot and am prone to headaches when I’m overheated. That’s just me and something I need to work around. REMEDY: I got a gym membership! I haven’t done this for a VERY long time because I found that it usually just ended up being a donation. Meaning I never used it but continued to pay that lovely monthly fee each month. So nice of me, right? Anyway, my husband and I started out with a 7-day free pass just to check things out and followed that up with a full on membership! Wow! I’ve gone every day since Monday and am feeling great! Good news: my hubby, mom, and dad are also going! The family that works out together, stays together!

2. To count points, or not count points? The Weight Watchers program, which I love by the way, just wasn’t working for me. I was (sometimes) managing to stay within my points but I was still eating crappy food. Definitely not a balanced diet and there are so many things wrong with that whether I’m losing weight or not. I began to realize that many of the issues I’d experienced (fatigue, insomnia, moodiness, etc.) are due in part (combined with lack of exercise) to the fact that my diet is lacking a significant amount of the necessary daily nutrients. I really needed to be able to keep track not only the “point” value of what I’m eating but also to be more aware of what I’m giving (or not giving) my body with that food. REMEDY: I started using I’m still a big fan of Weight Watchers and would happily recommend the program to anyone of my friends or family but I’m really in LOVE with Calorie Count right now. Not only does it let me track my food (using calories instead of points) but I can also track the nutrients in that food giving me a greater picture of how my food is measuring up in providing protein, carbs, fats, iron, sodium, potassium, calcium, vitamins, etc. I LOVE this feature! Another VERY cool thing is that it helps you track your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is basically the calories you burn each day just by being alive (adjusted for activity level at work, weight, age, etc.). With that, you’re able to track your total calories burned each day (BMR + exercise) against your caloric intake day by day. I LOVE this! (Did I say that already?)

Anyway, we’re still early into my new plan but I’m feeling more motivated than ever and really feel as though my efforts have me focusing on better overall health and not just weight loss. The best thing again is that the entire family is involved, which makes things so much easier. We have frequent family dinners and others get togethers (like camping this weekend) that will be so much easier with everyone focused on having fun without slinking back to our old unhealthy habits.

So, here’s to a fresh perspective and renewed commitment to important goals. I’d ask you to wish me luck, but I’ve decided I don’t need it. ; )

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