Little By Little

So far I’ve been sharing general information about how I’ve been approaching my weight loss challenge and some of the ways I’m trying to keep myself on track. I thought it might be good, too, to share some of the specific changes I’ve made and how I see this adapting from here.

First, let me explain a bit about where I was when I started. About 3 months before this challenge my husband and decided to move from Georgia to Florida, which knocked us off a fairly healthy routine. In the year leading up to the move I had lost about 12 pounds. By the start of this challenge I had gained them all back.

Pre-challenge, I was not working out at all. Here’s how my eating habits broke down:

  • Dessert practically daily
  • Lunches were often eaten out at fast food joints
  • Snacks, if I had them, consisted of M&Ms, individual mac and cheese cups, popcorn and any number of other junk food items.
  • Soda throughout the day and at night
  • Dinners were quick-cook meals that might as well have been fast food; things like mac and cheese, nachos, pizza, and hot dogs. I can admit that these were also probably eaten in way larger portions than they should have been.
  • Frequent eating out for dinner, usually with burgers or steak
  • Hardly any water intake

Typing that list out just makes me shake my head. It seems so obvious that you’re on the wrong path when you look at it altogether like that. It’s no wonder I gained all that weight back so quickly. Since starting this challenge, here’s how my habits have changed:

  • Exercise
    • Daily workouts
    • Walking the stairs at work (8 floors) 3 times per day
    • Walking at lunch
  • Food
    • No dessert, really. I only let myself have it when my husband requests it (and we have it available, of course!), which hasn’t happened yet.
    • Hot pockets or lean pockets for lunch. I know there are healthier options out there but when I have just these, it’s a little more than 300 calories, which isn’t too bad. It’s a start.
    • 2 snacks per day. Each snack has to include veggies and then I usually add in additional items, like a half cup of applesauce or string cheese.
    • A minimum of 64oz of water per day, although I think I’m closer to 96 oz now. I only allow myself Coke Zero at dinner.
    • Dinners still include a lot of quick-cook meals, but I’ve been trying to filter in healthier meals and I’ve been watching the portion sizes on everything I eat.
    • We haven’t changed our frequency of eating dinners out but now I make myself look at the salads or healthier options. Doing this I’ve only had one dinner out that was an “unhealthy” option and I ate a healthy portion of it.

Some of these items have become “non-negotiables” for me, meaning that I am tracking how often I DON’T do them to make sure I don’t fall off track too often. The others are “do my best” items which means I shoot for them daily but don’t give myself too much grief if I can’t accomplish them. As a result, even these have become activities that are done more often than they’re not. In starting these little habits, I’ve already begun to tackle a few of the items on my weight loss bucket list. Here are the items I’m currently working on:

  • Completing the entire P90X program (with run training put in place of the cardio workouts)
  • 400 hours of activity challenge
  • Marathon training – I’m inching closer to this. Haven’t signed up for a full marathon yet but I have committed to completing 25.5 miles over 2 days in February. Until then, I have a half marathon scheduled in November that I’m using to get back into running shape.

I’ve also come up with a few new items to add to my bucket list. Here are the items I’m adding, as well as a notation regarding which ones I’m going to start incorporating now:

  • 30 Days of high intensity interval training (thanks to my health coach, Anna, for the suggestion!)
  • Veggie experimentation. One thing I’m really awful at is getting my vegetables in, mostly because I don’t have knowledge of a variety of vegetables. I want to experiment with a new vegetable every week. I’m going to start this now and post my findings here.
  • Healthy recipe book. I have a hard time really looking at healthy recipes because they never sound good at first glance. So I’m going to build a Pinterest board of all healthy recipes and will commit to trying all of them. This will force me to look a little closer at the recipes and get me out of my comfort zone.

I’m excited about these new challenges, even though it will take me a while to get to them. Just like everything else, they’re just a few more reasons to make sure a healthy lifestyle is at the forefront of my mind.

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