Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Everyone Needs Strategies....What are yours?

One of the things that helped me lose 133 pounds and has helped me in my maintenance is to have a plan. I know that sounds like in some ways kind of a strange thing or can even be daunting thought, especially when maybe you don't even know what that plan needs to be.  I think in the beginning we all know what our initial plan is - to get healthy, maybe lose weight, feel better about ourselves, etc. Right? But I think sometimes just going with that and not having any strategies that are going to help us get there, will only set us up for failure. And if we fail at this attempt, it might be a while before we have the faith and/or confidence to try it again.

Some of the strategies I've used that have helped me be successful are as follows:
Planning my meals for the day
Exercising 4-5 times a week (preferably 5)
Tracking my progress
No excuses
Celebrating the small victories
Believing in myself
Just doing it and sticking with it! (even when the going gets tough)

For months I logged what I was eating on-line. (A notebooks works just as well.) For me it was like a game to see the total number of calories add up and to stay within the 14-1600 range I was aiming for, depending on the day. I know of people who make a little chart and have it handy. Whatever works for you. Something else I like to do is have a visual. (I'm such a visual learner.) I often times will put a little X or something on the calendar when I've gone to the gym so I can then see the days adding up. I remember when I first started my journey.  That was a huge motivator for me. If I went to the gym X amount of times during that month, I rewarded myself. (Not with food!)

Lately I've been re-evaluating my strategies and recommitting myself. I think doing this often is important. If something isn't working for you, switch it up and try another approach. The beauty to this whole process is there are several avenues to take. It's just finding the right one that works for you.
Everyone needs strategies in order to be successful.  You do. I do. We aren't expected to be experts at whatever strategies we chose to go with either. As long as we are getting up each day, putting one foot in front of the other, trying to make changes, and doing the best we can, the change WILL come. Just remember, it may take time. And what you put into something is what you'll get out of it. I promise the reward at the end is so worth it!

Here's my latest bowling strategy. Funny thing totally worked!!

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Even the Health Screener Questioned How I Lost the Weight!

So last week I went in to the hospital where my husband works to have a mini health screening of sorts to see if we could get our insurance premium lowered. When I got there, I filled out the paperwork and got out my I.D. to present it to the lady handling the paperwork, as well as the nurse standing nearby who was going to then check my weight, BMI, glucose level, etc. So when I presented them with my drivers license they had a hard time believing it was really me. (No, mine doesn't expire until 2014, so I just haven't bothered to get a new one.) This seems to happen almost every time I need to show it to someone and verify it's really me.

(I don't want to post my actual drivers license with personal information on it so Imagine something similar to this this.)
This started a whole conversation amongst us about how I took the weight off. The two of them work in the health profession, so I thought their reaction would be different when I explained I did it the right way (eating right and exercise). Instead, it was almost as if they were shocked I hadn't had any type of surgery, taken some sort of magic pill, or had something clinically done. It was hard to comprehend. The looks on their faces were almost a pasty "How can that be?" type look. Really?  Does that much of society really rely on gimmicks and other methods of treatment to sugar coat the problem? Oh brother!

Just a shout-out to all of you who are working so hard and being diligent and losing weight the right way. It may not come off the fastest and it definitely is not the easiest, but I promise it's the only way that will give you pure peace and pure happiness. It will give you self-confidence and have you believing in yourself in ways you never thought were possible. It's a way of life that even if I were starting all over again, I wouldn't want to do it any other way.

FYI: Mini Health Screen Results

Weight: 152 (Yep, I tend to be anywhere from 147-152 on any given day.)
Glucose: 74 (I have no idea if that was good or bad.)
BMI: 22 (I've been lower than that but I'll take it.)
Blood Pressure: 112/76

Yep....A+ on the test and a lower insurance premium in the coming year! Wahoo!

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Gym Attire!

Believe it or not this is what I ended up in at the gym tonight. Yep, SO true! (I should have taken the jacket off so you could have gotten the full effect with the bright green t-shirt that says, "Train hard, win easy." It was rather comical actually.

The truth of the matter is that I actually had a doctor's appointment and had brought my gym clothes (all but the socks) along, so I could head there on the way home. Needless to say, I didn't want to go without socks in my precious BSU Nikes, and going home to get them was out of the way, so I just made do. 

I'm sure I had more than a few people looking at me funny but it just goes to show, I don't need all the fancy, matching, "in style" latest fad to wear to the gym. I generally show up in black shorts and a t-shirt. Nothing fancy. And I guess now I can say..... STRIPED KNEE HIGHS. YEP, some days are like that. Remember?  When I'm there to change my body, nothing else matters. 

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Learning to Eat Right is Like Learning to Read

Learning to eat for a healthy lifestyle is no different than learning how to read or ride a bicycle. I work at an elementary school, and it's very common for the children who are struggling and/or behind in school to also have more behavior and emotional problems. Do you blame them? They're frustrated, they don't understand, they've told themselves they can't, and when everyone around them is excelling, they begin to feel more and more deflated and bad things start to happen. The exact same thing happens with food and adults. How we chose to live our lives and the lifestyles we create for ourselves has everything to do with how educated we are about it.
Looking back on things, I'm embarrassed to say that I was TOTALLY uneducated for nearly 40 years! I had tried so many things over the years to try and lose weight and was very successful from time to time, maybe losing 35 or 40 pounds but only to quickly gain it back and be discouraged with the idea of starting from scratch once again. Over the course of my journey, the education came. Things started to make sense. Things started to click. I was seeing that I could do it, and from then on it became fun. I enjoyed it. I wanted to excel. I could see I was being successful.
When we don't take time to get the proper education and tools on board with what we are wanting for ourselves, often times things go bad. Maybe we have behavior problems just like the kids do? Maybe things just in general seem to spiral out of control? Maybe we begin to feel deflated and that we'll just never be quite good enough? It is so easy to fall into this pattern of thinking. Especially if the people around you are excelling.  
Much like little children learning to read, once they become more confident and fluent as they hear themselves sound things out and make sounds into real words they can understand, they get excited. They want to try more. They want to keep reading. They want to be successful! We with our bodies and eating are in the same boat. It really is no different. Some of us may feel totally uneducated in the moment and like we don't even know where to start but the truth of the matter is we just need to start small, piece things together, and before we know it, we'll be up and running...motivated, fluent, striving for that goal with the end in sight.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Putting Back on the Weight (Yep, it's true!)

I've spent this last week getting back into the swing of things after a long and busy month. It was a good week of eating and meal planning and a very sore week as far as the gym goes. (My inner thighs are still sore, and I did legs 3 days ago!) The one thing I was struggling with a bit though was the mental part of things. Wrapping my head around things again. Not that I have a desire to go crazy and head back to my old way of living. That's not it at all. Just the getting my brain back to the mind-set it has been in for so long now and telling myself that life happens.  A month off from the gym and my normal schedule was just part of some of the things that can happen in life when eating and exercise is a lifestyle, not a temporary fix. 

So, just as a little reminder of where I was when I started all of this and just how far I've come, I decided to head out for a little jaunt with my 15 year old daughter on my back. Yep, she weighs about exactly the amount of weight I have taken off (around 130).  You would never know it as she is tall and beautiful and all muscle, but it's true. Crazy thing is, I have no idea how I carried all that weight on my body all the time and for so many years. I had a hard enough time walking a short distance with her on my back! (And it was painful no less.)

Like I  said, it was a gentle reminder of what life used to be like for me compared to now. Sometimes I think when we get in a little rut or are coming off a bump in the road, maybe even a plateau, it's good for us to stop, look back a little, and remember just how far we've come. Even if it's only 5 pounds. Anyone tried packing a 5 lb bag of flour around for a day? You'd be surprised what a difference EVERY pound makes.

This type of lifestyle is not always easy when we've battled with the opposite for so long, but I will tell you that it is so worth every ounce of effort you put in to it. Even if that effort seems small. Over time, it ripens, swells, and does nothing but blossom and push you once again towards attaining the goal you have set for yourself - a healthier you!

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Back in Action!

It feels so good to be back!  My life has seemed to have been a little out of whack for the past month. In some ways, I'm still in recovery mode as my body is trying to find normal sleep, clean food, and adequate exercise. (All of which you know can get thrown out the window when dealing with the illness and death of a loved one.  In my case, it was my dear mother-in-law.)

I want to thank my BFF Tammy, for taking good care of my blog for me while I was away. She really is at the top of what I call "The Best of the Best!" Not only is she my workout buddy, running partner, motivator, and just plain full of awesomeness, she has also been there for our family more times than I can count. All the more reason we like to think of her as family at our house. She too has a blog.  However it has nothing to do with health.  Instead it's all about first grade! Do you have little ones? Do you know of people with little ones? What about grandchildren? If so, it's the place to visit: Forever in First In fact, I read it all the time and learn things, and I'm an adult! I promise you won't be disappointed. She simply is the best teacher I know. Yep, I get to brag a bit. (Even got the district's teacher of the year award last year.)

Okay, on to me. On to life. Well, as you will notice by the picture below, I didn't have the best eating choices during the past few weeks. Okay, maybe I need to clarify. I probably didn't eat nearly enough, and when I did it wasn't something my body was used to eating. For the most part, I ate pretty decently. I didn't go as far as the ordering of THE CHEESEBURGER until the drive home from my mother-in-law's funeral. (To be honest, it tasted disgusting! If I wasn't so hungry I probably wouldn't have eaten it. I can't even remember the last time I had eaten a cheeseburger!)

I got home Sunday night, and it has felt so good to be eating the foods I'm used to having in my fridge. (And eating every couple hours no less.) It has also been nice to be back at the gym and feeling sore. A good sore. In some ways it's frustrating having been out of the loop for a month. It's easy to feel like I'm totally out of shape and discouraged, but then I just have to remind myself I've done this before. I've done WAY more in fact. Then I remind myself what I've posted several times on my blog. "One day at a time. Slow and steady wins the race."

I guess I share this with you just as another testimony that I am a real personI struggle from time to time just like you. The key for me is to know that a couple years ago, I adopted a new lifestyle (not at diet) so when things get in the way, as we know they will from time to time, I just have to remind myself of my new lifestyle and that whatever I may be struggling with in the moment, is just for a short time. I know what I am capable of. All I have to do is to get back at it and do it!

Here's to healthy eating, restful nights, and sore muscles in the weeks to come......

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Long Obedience in the Same Direction

Hi.  If you're looking for Paige, you won't find her here.  She's been helping her husband and family say goodbye to her dear mother-in-law who passed away on Monday.  I'm sure she would appreciate your prayers.  In the meantime, I'm watching over her blog while she's doing this very hard but important thing.  I promise to take really good care of it and all of her wonderful readers.  

My name's Tammy, and I'm Paige's numero uno best friend.  Unlike Paige, I have not done the amazing work of losing 133 pounds, but I was there when she lost each one.  If you've heard her story, seen her pictures, and wondered whether it's true, I can tell you that it is.  Some people look at her before and after pictures and think, "That's not even the same person."  Believe you me, it is.  Some people hear how she lost the weight and think, "Seriously?  I can't believe she lost all that weight simply be eating right and working out.  She must have took pills or had surgery or something."  Nope, she didn't.  She's the real deal.

I believe it was my Uncle Burt who coined the phrase "long obedience in the same direction."  He used the phrase at church, but it pretty much sums up Paige's story too.  When you look at her before pictures and then compare them to her after pictures, you're seeing long obedience in the same direction.  This thing called getting healthy is not about putting oneself on a diet.  A diet is something a person sees themselves doing for a short period of time.  It's not something that will sustain a person for a lifetime.  Paige doesn't believe in diets and neither does her best friend.  We do believe in long obedience in the same direction though.  If you're wanting to get healthy and lose weight, look past the diet and make a commitment to a life of taking care of yourself.  Long obedience in the same direction will get you where you want to go and keep you there.  It sure did for Paige.

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