So my sister just posted how she’s trying to take off a few pounds . . . and really, wouldn’t we all love to feel just a little more fit? Especially after the winter we’ve had, at least here on the east coast, where our sole exercise may have been getting up to get another blanket . . . or shoveling!
Anyways, I’ve been trying to do a few things differently so I thought I’d turn them into a post – in answer to her and to share with anyone else who might find themselves in the same boat.
- Water, water everywhere! I know I’m supposed to drink water. At my best, when I was tied to a desk back in cubicle land, I could usually manage to choke down a glass or so a day. But there have been many days when I realized I hadn’t had any water at all. So I’ve been filling my plastic Rubbermaid 20 oz. water bottle first thing in the morning and trying to get in the habit of taking it everywhere with me. It’s much easier to grab when I run out to do errands and I find myself sipping it constantly throughout the day – usually getting down two of them in a day.
- Identify your weak point. I can do good all day and then consume more calories from 6pm on than I did all day long. So I’m trying to not eat after 7:00 pm, except on those nights when Mike gets home late, or on the weekends when I try to give myself a break. What’s your weak point – is it a particular food item or time of day?
- Cut off the food after dinner. Speaking of eating late, I’ve realized that I really have trouble sleeping if I eat late. So if Mike doesn’t get home until late, I’ve been eating earlier and saving something light to eat with him. I just can’t deal with macaroni and cheese at 7:30pm! Sometimes, depending what I’ve already eaten that day, I might even just have a salad.
- Keep moving! I’m just lousy at exercise. Always have been and I think it may be due to some pain from an old injury that steers me away from the prospect of more pain. Nevertheless, I realize I’m going to be in serious pain someday if I don’t keep moving now. So that’s been my mantra lately – keep moving. A regular, rigid schedule does not work for me (although I have been motivated to get up and do yoga in the mornings), so I need to seize any opportunities throughout the week to get moving. Right now I have a goal of yoga 4-5 times a week, and a decent walk (at least 3 miles) at least 3 times a week. I have high hopes that when I get my bike out this year, I’ll be in pretty good shape and able to do 10-12 miles easily at least once or twice a week in place of a walk.
- Healthy snacks are a must. You know you’re going to snack. This week, I’ve been snacking on homemade bread. Maybe not the worst snack in the world, except when you eat an entire loaf by yourself in one day! But for me, having some fresh veggies cut up and some good frozen fruit available for quick smoothies helps me when I do get those snack cravings.
- Don’t beat yourself up. So maybe you had a bad winter. Maybe you’re off your game a bit. Remember what many mammals do to survive the winter – they hibernate! I think God intends for our bodies to slow down at times. But it’s spring now, and time to get moving and reinvigorate yourself.
- Notice what’s working. I’m getting in the habit of looking over my planner almost every night and reviewing my day to see what I accomplished – what worked, what didn’t. Each day that I do something encourages me to do a little more the next day. I am coming to be a firm believer in the art of gentle noticing – a little bit of encouraging goes much farther than the self-scourging we are prone to.