GL Gets Fit #48 {a year later}

 Hi Loves!  I’ve decided to do my one year update – with out numbers.  I’m still holding steady with my weight and dropping those 2 pesky pounds from my road trip are going to drive me nuts until they are gone!  Instead I wanted to look back and share a few thoughts on this process.

A year ago I was recovering from wrist surgery to remove a ganglion cyst that was starting to press on nerves causing me some pain in my left hand (are you a southpaw too?!).  The area I live in was hit about a month before by horrific tornadoes that skirted just miles around the town I live in and just a week before my surgery I was volunteering with tornado relief efforts.  I bring this part up because despite being unhealthy and overweight – helping people who lost everything they own puts life as a whole in perspective.  I would be devastated if my apartment was hit by a tornado but at the end of the day its really just things.

As I started this journey I was depressed.  I couldn’t believe my weight was that high.  It was a crushing blow, a kick to the gut, that just kind of leaves you gasping for breath and thinking – how in the hell did I let this happen.  Health issues are kind of an issue in my family – as I mentioned before my dad died of congestive heart failure at 59 – granted he was born with a heart defect and didn’t really take care of himself but still…he’s not here today.  After one of his numerous heart surgeries towards the end of his life a surgeon told my brother and myself that a majority of his problems are preventable and that we could start changing our lives for the better now.  That was several years ago but that comment still pops in my head and it did again when I started this.  I have two concerns health wise in my life 1-keep my heart healthy, 2-don’t become diabetic.  My dad and grandma were both type 2 and seeing them give themselves insulin shots daily left an impression with me and I’m totally fine NEVER having to do that.  (fingers crossed)

A year ago I was lazy, I’d eat semi-crappy foods and wouldn’t move after work except to get out of my chair to get another soda or snack.  A year later – I work on moving a lot throughout my day and evenings, often wracking up more than an hour of exercise daily.  It works well for me to break it up into 10-20 minute bursts throughout my day and then a longer session 30-60 minutes after work.  I also give myself one day a week to not exercise or not keep track of my minutes or steps.  Typically this falls on a Saturday or Sunday because weekends are easiest to be lazy!

I wanted to form an exercise habit.  I started out thinking – I’ll do 10 minutes a day.  In the beginning I found it easy to get distracted.  But one thing that I love is lists – and crossing something off a list every day.  So I found a 30 day plank challenge that started out with 10 seconds and ended with a couple minutes.  It sucked – I wasn’t very good – but I LOVED crossing each day off the list.  Since then I’ve done a few challenges and I’m taking on a squat challenge in July (it ends with 200 squats).  Wish me luck – my thighs are pissed right now!  A couple numbers – right now as I’m typing this Monday night – I’m at 295 fitness minutes (almost 5 hrs!) for July in 6 days.  And I have 6,390 fitness minutes (106.5hrs!) in the year 2015.  (The nerd in me has to point out that if you look at my numbers for the year they don’t really pan out but in the month of February I was taken out by pleurisy which sucked and so did exercise at the time.)  My favorite ways to get my exercise in continues to be yoga and walking with a mix of free weights for my arms & shoulders.

Measurements are key to me.  I’ve had a mix of building muscle and losing weight so getting on the scale for my weekly weigh in isn’t always a motivator for me but about once a month or month and a half I take my measurements.  I’ve worked a long time to say I’ve lost over 24 inches – over 2 feet!!! I love seeing the numbers get a little smaller every time and then I hold the measuring tape where I was when I started…its a glorious feeling!

Lastly food.  Oh how I love food.  Sweet, salty, savory…I love you!  The past couple months I’ve focused on eating more fruit and finding ways to increase my protein.  Protein has always been an issue for me, I never seem to get enough so I’m on the hunt for healthy and delicious ways to add more.  I’m also not big into veggies…I know its horrible but I’m not.  Its a struggle but I do like fresh veggies so that will have to do for now.  I’m also focused on finding snacks and meals that leave me feeling full so I’m not as tempted to eat crap.  One thing that helps is getting a lot of water in.  I try to get at least 64oz. of water in daily and still drink my sodas which means I go to the bathroom a lot but its also flushing out my system.

I don’t get into the whole weight loss shakes, protein powders, and drinks so much.  Several friends sell weight loss drinks but I don’t seem them working for me in the long turn…and you know me…I’m cheap!  Much easier to get exercise in at home or outside for free than a lot of those drinks which are packed for immediate – not long term weight loss.

Well – those are my thoughts after a year.  Exercise (walking and yoga) are my saving grace both for my mental and physical health.  Drinking a lot of water is important but so is reading labels on the food you eat.  I also look at most sweets like candy bars as money in my calorie bank.  (I’m an accountant – it works for me!)  I am allotted around 2000 calories a day…a candy bar I saw recently was over 420 calories…that is not worth taking out almost a third of my allowance for a dang candy bar that is going to leave me wanting more.   I still cave bad food all the time and then but I try to think before I eat – and it helps me decide.

Thank you for making it to the end of this giant post from me – I have more but tried to hit the high points so if I was reading this a year ago I might find something helpful.  Its a struggle every day to be healthier but it does get easier and habits start forming that wouldn’t have been possible a year ago.  Keep taking it one day and one step at a time. At the end of the day – it has to come from a change within you.  I couldn’t change because someone else wanted it for me – I changed because I want it.  I want to be healthier and feel better and today I do feel much better than I did a year ago.

-xo- jen

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