Sunday, March 25, 2012

Getting your head straight

I learned (or re-learned) a couple of things this week:

1) Small changes can make a big difference.
2) The mental game in this journey is the key to success.

Of course, I know these things already. In fact, I'm in the middle of writing a health/wellness book that focuses on getting your mental game together to successfully get to your goal weight. But, apparently, I easily forget these things myself!

The small changes I made were with my diet since that makes the biggest difference. I changed up my morning and afternoon snacks:
- In the morning, I typically have fat free yogurt with granola and instead I had a hard boiled egg and grapes.
- In the afternoon, I usually have an apple with melba toast and a Laughing Cow wedge. I swapped the melba toast out for cucumber and sprouts.

Clean clean clean!

Mentally, I kept in mind my hunger levels and truly only ate when I was hungry. Also, I started a difficult weightlifting workout. For the last two months, I've been doing a 3-day split workout I created myself. I thought I was prepared to begin this workout (TNT Advanced), however it was more difficult than I anticipated. It took quite a bit of self-talk at the gym to push through and complete it!

As a result of these small changes, I lost two pounds this week!

Monday, March 19, 2012


Spinning…is what I’ve been doing for arguably about a year and a half now. And, I don’t mean the kind of spinning where I’m on a bike. I mean the kind of spinning where I follow my health plan for a bit, but fall off a bit due to a variety of excuses work/weather/holiday, etc. – you name it. Now, I’m ready to be done spinning. But, how?

I don’t want to short-change myself on the significant lifestyle changes I’ve made – the gym is still a priority for me 4-6 days a week, I diligently plan healthier meals to avoid eating out and I’ve kept 25-30ish of the 40 pounds off that I lost in 2006. But, I haven’t seen my goal weight in quite a while – a year and a half to be exact.

Considering how much time and energy I put into thinking about and studying health and wellness, the execution mojo has escaped me for quite some time. Honestly, nothing can mimic that first time of losing a significant amount of weight – the pride, the constant motivation from the scale and the extensive compliments. But, after that ends, it’s just a daily struggle to maintain and you have to be your own cheerleader.

I’ve thought endlessly about the series of events that got me to this place mentally considering I used to be so stringent and strong about my diet/exercise plans:

  • Working many hours at a job I loathed, then getting laid off from that job. I found a great new job, but it was still a new learning process and the early morning meetings associated with it cut into my beloved morning workout time.

  • My favorite weight loss partner (aka my husband) completely fell off and gained back 50 pounds that he lost and more.

  • Weather – always tough for me. I experienced the worst winter of my life in 2010-11. However, this past winter was the most mild I’ve experienced. Even so, there’s not a lot of outdoor activity to be had in January in Minnesota. It’s still cold and dark.

  • I don’t really have a go-to weight loss plan anymore. I used to be convinced of Weight Watchers, but over time I moved more toward eating clean (which, Weight Watchers new Points Plus plan has as well.). But, the things I used to do to lose weight just don’t work anymore – or at least not nearly as quickly. I’m afraid that’s just damn old age. So, when I try a method of tracking food and it fails me after a few weeks it just adds to the discouragement and makes me wonder – what’s next?

    While these events are triggers, they are really just excuses, right? Getting the motivation to get past these obstacles to see results is what I need to dig deep to find again. But, I have learned something from my excuses and these learnings will need to be the core of my motivation:

    Working out is a priority to me and must be no matter what time of day. It’s never really been a problem for me to get to the gym, but my efforts while I’m there have dwindled. Like my food plan, if I don’t see results with something quickly, I change it up right away rather than just sticking with it. I signed up to run my first half marathon in September and I’m not hauling these extra 10 pounds 13.1 miles. Now, I have a consistent appointment schedule to run three times per week and lift weights three times per week. I have no excuse not to stick to this.

  • I need a partner to help stay motivated. Luckily, my husband has gotten back on track and has lost nine pounds so far.

  • Spring is here! I have already been out for my first outdoor run of the season and it was great! I need to take advantage of this weather.

  • And, the toughest thing for me is the diet portion – which is 80% of this whole effort. I really need to buckle down here, be honest with myself and food journal every day – not just weekdays. I’m focusing quite a bit on eating lean protein and veggies throughout the day. More and more, I’m trying to move away from processed foods. I think this will be easier as the farmer’s markets start to open up. I’m going to be sure to get in a cheat meal once a week and a little bit of dark chocolate or red wine each day. Must keep those cravings away!

    So, what is different this time? It’s been a year and half – I’ve really been in a slump and not feeling like myself. These 10 pounds have really been in my head on a constant basis. But, I’m just spinning and stressing over it constantly. You know what? I’m tired of this constant spinning taking up all of my energy that could be put to a much more positive use. Not to mention, I consider health and wellness my core platform in life. It really stresses me out to be so hypocritical. I think my weight gain and job drama affected my confidence and boosted my ‘I don’t care’ attitude more than I’d like to admit. But, I DO care and I CAN do this (again).