I made some positive life changes to my diet and exercise program a few months before I turned 40. I was working out like a banshee, eating right and the weight was coming off. I was finally on track until the unthinkable happened. I had a knee and elbow injury that forced me to take some time off and recuperate.
I actually had a doctor’s order not to exercise and I was never so miserable in all my life. The lady who hated to exercise–I still hate to exercise, but I so love how I feel after I exercise–was told to take it easy. I didn’t listen and ended up having a more serious injury that kept me away from the workout routine that I had been doing for 2 years.
My body was ready to begin at the 6 months mark, but it took another 3 months before my mind was ready to actually begin the journey again. Sadly, in 9 months I had gained back all the weight it had taken me 2 years to lose. I was back to square one.
Fortunately, it only took me 6 weeks to get back on track and settle into a daily routine which included exercise and healthy eating habits. I am down 10 pounds and I’m ready to share what has been working for me this second time around:
• I schedule 35 minutes on my exercise bike every day before the kids wake up. From 6:30-7:30 every morning, I bike ride while catching up on work reading. I am in the publishing business and have piles of books to review, so for me this is killing two birds with one stone. Yes, I don’t burn as many calories reading a book, but it is making a dent in my reading pile, so it is a trade off that works for me. Also, I often find myself riding longer than the full hour allotted because I just can’t put down a great book! It provides me with the added bonus of being eager to exercise and read the next day!
• Twice a week, my husband and I take a group exercise class with weight training/ball/kickboxing. It is also a scheduled date with my husband on the calendar. We do it together as a team and enjoy it greatly. With school starting, I will be moving to mornings two days a week, to allow me to be home at night with the girls, staying on homework detail. But we still will be working out on the same days doing the same class, just at a different time.
• I watch what I eat. I am at the point where I don’t need to journal, as I know what works for me. Breakfast: Fruit or 100% orange juice with oatmeal, whole grain cereal, or a slice of whole grain bread toasted dry, with a thin layer of peanut butter spread on top; Lunch: Fruit with either soup, salad, baked potato easy on the margarine and light sour cream or a bagel with melted cheese and a slice of ham; dinner is always a protein, veggie and fruit. I am in charge of the kitchen, so it is easy to keep the entire family on track with making healthy choices.
• I don’t eat after 6PM.
• I have healthy treats, veggies and fruits on hand when I need a snack.
• I am lucky that I get to read books on weight loss, motivation and self-help for my job. Filling yourself full of positive thoughts goes a long way to keeping you away from the refrigerator. Call a friend, read a book, take a bubble bath, clean a closet, do something else (anything positive and/or productive) to redirect your energy when you are feeling the urge to eat out of boredom.
• Listen to your body. If you are in need of more fuel, fill it up. Protein is a great choice to give you some long lasting energy: a slice of cheese, a spoonful of peanut butter, cottage cheese or a glass of 1% low fat chocolate milk will take you much farther than a bag of chips.
• I use the scale every morning to help me stay on track and help me plan my day. If it is up, I need to try harder that day. Perhaps I add more exercise and make better food choices. If it’s down or the same, I rejoice! You can’t expect to loss weight every day, 2-3 pounds a week is realistic and staying the same means you are closer to a loss! So rejoice that you are going in the right direction!
• I like myself. I live in the present and look to the future. So it happened, I am trying again, working harder this time to not re-injure myself and taking every day as one step toward my goal.
• Keep Moving! I am doing this for my family and myself because it makes me healthy, happy and terrific. It has become another passion that I don’t want to live without.
Copyright 2007, Stacey Kannenberg, Cedar Valley Publishing, Author of Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten! and Let’s Get Ready For First Grade!
What’s working for you on your quest for healthier eating and daily exercise? Is it a journal? A firm plan? A promise to yourself or your family? Let’s do some healthy dishing!