Friday, January 2, 2015

Steps to A Better Healthy Lifestyle (swiped from my own blog)

Some of my thoughts written for a private blog on weight loss (the International Roly Poly 5:2 Diet blog). I found the laundry list on line, but when I sat down to really explore what each item on somebody else's list meant to me, I surprised myself. It proved to me that if you don't take weight loss/dieting/healthy regime resolutions seriously, you might as well not bother.

I'm kicking off the 5:2 Diet today. Five days of 1200 calories and two days of 500 calories. I went to Publix and loaded up on fruit and veggies, and good low cal items that fit the healthy profile, instead of the diet profile. Skinny Kitchens website for low cal recipes has also been a huge help.

We've all dieted a million times. Take it off and put it all back on. I myself know it's a matter of putting consciousness around food and weight. Awareness. Here's some steps I found in my reading for helping to focus (not only during the diet but afterwards). What surprised me is how these innocuous little steps took me into much deeper waters about myself. Losing weight is more than....losing weight:

NORMALIZE EATING PATTERNS
Your five-day diet plan is going to consist of low calorie and healthy foods. It might be useful to DECIDE that your five-day diet is going to be your NORMAL diet from now on. That will allow you to start planning really interesting menus that can sustain you in the future -- and not focus on short-term "starvation" plans that might lose the weight, but certainly could not sustain your body in the long haul. Form a new eating plan which incorporates a few of the no-no carbs and sweets for variety, but stays within a reasonable calorie range.

EMPHASIZE EXERCISE
Not many of us roly polys like exercise. It's a necessary evil, in my opinion. But the fact is that your body movement burns calories, and if you don't move your body, the calories coming in will just turn to fat. At any age, walking is a normal and healthy exercise. You don't have to go to a gym or run a marathon. For people in cold climates, an investment in a treadmill (they've come down in price over the years, and you can find used ones readily!) might be the ticket, IF you use it. I myself have two dogs and walking them is not only my duty, but it forces me to take care of my own exercise needs. I also bowl on a weekly basis. So if you enjoy a sport, EMPHASIZE it. Tennis, swimming, racketball, even jumping rope are all going to help.

ENSURE SOCIAL SUPPORT
This sort of gets down to this blog, and what supportive friends (and family) can do for each other. If you can get help from others (and share the pain as we will here) it will psychologically boost your will power and resolve. If you keep your diet a secret, you will likely talk yourself out of it altogether at the first offer of a homemade brownie, because your hostess doesn't know your plan. Share it, and bring your obsessions right here to the website and share them too. We all are on the same page. Let's get healthy and svelte, and let's do it together!

SET REALISTIC WEIGHT-LOSS GOALS We're only human. No matter how gung ho we might feel on January 2nd, it's going to take weeks and months to take off the weight we've accumulated over years. Even if you are not obese (and most of us are not) weight loss is difficult, so give yourself goals that are attainable and then make new goals as you go, instead of putting that impossible number out there to stare you down, defeating your spirit and your desire. I am going to set 10 lb. goals as I go, maybe even 5 lbs. and then renew the goals with every success. It will keep things fresh and more cause for celebration, more fun to graph and blog about.

FOCUS ON HEALTH RATHER THAN APPEARANCE
THIS is a tough one for me. I'm vain. I admit it. I want to look good. My mother was a beautiful and vain woman, and I swear she wore down with her lectures about the importance of looking good. In my heart, I have no such values, and certainly no belief in my own beauty. Au contraire. BUT the compulsion, (my mother's voice) is always with me, so the more roly poly I get, the guiltier I feel. My personal goal in all of this, and most especially at my age (!!) is to somehow switch that attention from how I look to how I feel, and to how healthy I can stay in my dotage. For me, this is a tall order but also goes along with the first step, normalizing eating patterns, so that health becomes a way of life. Better late than never, eh?

FOCUS ON SELF-ESTEEM
Here's another biggie for me. I somehow have self-image all tied up with my self esteem. If I don't look good, I am not worth much. (oh thank you, mama). But I need to rethink self esteem, in a big way. In fact, I need to read some books and do some study on the subject. I am sadly lacking, and I am pretty sure it doesn't help my life in ANY of its facets, much less weight loss. Watch this space. More to come. My personal mission!

TARGET BINGE EATING
Thankfully, this is not a huge issue for me, though I think it's an important step, since it is a huge issue for lots of people. Some people have to finish the whole pint of ice cream. They must. Some will eat the whole box of doughnuts. The entire box of Valentine's candy. In my case, I like to keep pouring the wine. I wouldn't say I binge drink, not by any stretch, but one glass always seems to lead to another as my inhibitions weaken. I would like to limit myself to one or two glasses on those occasions when my psychological frame of mind might want the whole bottle (think New Year's Eve?). The REASONS for binge eating or drinking are areas of our life that need our attention. Food and drink are the great avoiders. So by targeting binge eating, we are getting down to the health of our minds, not just our bodies.

To get off my high horse for a minute:

By the way....if you want to be BAD at a really low cal price (80 calories each for these snack size brownies) you won't be disappointed. These are my TREAT if I'm good all week. UNBELIEVABLY GOOD!!!

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