Exercising & Eating Right: Status Report

Okay… So a little update is in order. Back in January, I shared a post called “Get Moving!” in which I shared my basic plan at the time along with my goals. I don’t know how smart that was, because they say you shouldn’t share your plans with anyone, but hey. I’d like to think that this blog is starting to become something of an online journal in which I can physically write down goals and then check back in along the way to record my progress… or lack thereof. But NEVER FEAR! POSITIVITY IS HERE!

First things first, here’s what’s happened since the beginning of this renewed journey. The main goal for this blog is to learn as I go in the ways of health. I honestly believe I’ve learned a fair amount already, taking notes as needed on the information I’ve absorbed. BUT — and it’s a big but — I’ve fallen off the wagon when it comes to working out… And eating healthful foods. I don’t like making excuses. Life has endless ways of getting in the way of personal goals. The trick is to work around those roadblocks. That said, this is a learning experience, not a failure. There is no such thing as failing if you never give up, and I’m not giving up. Not ever. It’s been a long time coming for me in this arena so I’m already quite familiar with the setbacks, I know that they happen. It’s actually helped me to be less discouraged because I know that this is part of the process. Changing one’s lifestyle is no easy (or simple) task. It’s going to take time and patience.

And now, the question you’ve been dying to know the answer to… Did my Valentine’s Day outfit end up fitting me? Yes and no. The shirt is tight around the bottom while loosely fitting at the top. (I’m wearing it right now.) It fits no more or less than it did the first time I tried it on. It rides up a lot in the back but it’s still comfortable due in large part to its silky fabric. The underwear, on the other hand, fits quite nicely — although to be honest, it always has. All in all, it seems like these results have helped me to conclude that I’ve only been able to maintain my weight. I’m going to continue wearing this outfit, especially as the weather heats up, as motivation to stay on track with losing weight.

What I’m Doing Now…

This next stage I’m in is about identifying past mistakes and learning from them. My problem has been that, once life starts getting crazy again and my schedule becomes all over the place, I have a hard time adapting to the circumstances and end up giving in to what’s easy and convenient in spite of the fact that it is not good for me. When I’m at my in-laws’, or at my parent’s house, and the menu for breakfast/lunch/dinner is not healthy, how can I improvise? When we’re out late because we had to take our son to the hospital for a fever, and there’s nothing open other than fast food joints, what can my husband and I do? Are there healthier alternatives to the main courses? Is it best to just skip a meal and call it good — Fasting is a thing, right? Or can we get away with having a small portion of something full of “empty calories” if we work it all off later? And what are some things I can do to stay active and get some exercise in whenever it’s not convenient to have a more full workout? These are some of the things I have to figure out. I must say, though, that watching my husband lose weight and get smaller has helped out tremendously with inspiration.

Moving forward, there’s going to be a lot of trial-and-error. This is the best way to learn what all works best for your body. Starting yesterday, I have reset my 30 Day Plank Challenge and plan on doing it every day for the whole month. I also am going to start back up my afternoon walks — My husband and/or son can join me if they’d like. Other than that, I’ve slightly altered my workout routine that I had going before. It’s going to include a more organized warmup routine that will stay the same every day. Also, it’s going to focus on one area of my body at a time that I want to change. My hope after taking this more scheduled approach is that the smaller steps taken towards a specific goal each day will add up to bigger long-term results.

My New & Improved Exercise Routine

Warm-Up

The first thing I do during the warmup is stretch, a very important task. Then I perform the plank position for about 40 seconds. I follow that up with 50 crunches, 35 squats, and 20 lunges (10 on each leg) in that order. Once that is all completed, I take a short break. My muscles are now heated up and ready to go!

Workout

Next, I get started on my focus area of the day. For now, I am alternating between my lower gut and inner thighs. This morning was thigh day. In no particular order, I pick a routine that I saved on Pinterest and go to work. It doesn’t take much to get my muscles sore or my heart pumping, but someday when I’m stronger I will be able to add on to this routine.

My Food Swaps

While I believe I’ve been doing a fair job using olive oil more often than butter, it’s still hard with the butter being in the house. We’re going to have to fix that somehow. I think that if I regulate how much butter I use and how often I’m using it, I can keep things at a managable level for me while still allowing my husband to enjoy butter when he wants it. Still, at every opportunity I get, I’m going to utilize olive oil. As for other healthy food swaps… I wasn’t able to find the Dr. McDougal’s soup. So I’ll need to look into the cup soups that are available and check out which ones are healthiest. There’s always low sodium Progresso to fall back on if needed. The pasta replacement is going along swimmingly, as we still love to use zucchini noodles. Cauliflower mash is still a go when we can find it. And let’s see, I still have a lot of investigating to do as far as dinner, lunch, and snacks. I’m going to be looking into protein bowls and bars, almonds and freeze-dried fruit… There’s many possibilities out there to explore. Because money is tight, and we have bills due these next couple of weeks, I’ll have to figure out a certain budget to follow. I may not be able to get everything I want to try right off the bat. But that’s okay.

Shopping List

Scale

Fitbit (possibly)

Other than grocery items, this is a list of things to help aid in mine and my husband’s weightloss journey. The Fitbit is a possibility for us that we are going to explore with our AT&T plan soon, as we are due for an upgrade on our phones. We’re still working on tackling the basics through discovering the diet and exercise that best works for each of us. So until we get that down, this list may not be very long.

To conclude, I have a bit of a treat for you — Since you’ve read to this point and all. If you are having a hard time feeling good about working out and eating healthy, like you are actually gaining weight rather than losing it, here are just some words of encouragement. This helped me a month ago when I actually felt like I was getting heavier for some reason. It was just what I needed to hear right when I needed to hear it.

“I also had to learn that the numbers on the scale don’t tell the whole story. I realized that although I’d gained weight, I wasn’t any bigger. I was just stronger. There have been times in my life when I weighed what seemed like a lot for my five-foot-three frame, but my clothing size never changed, and I felt a million times better than I had when I was starving myself and was thin, but had no muscle tone. It was a difference in body composition. Don’t let the scale play mind games with you! What matters is that you feel good, that you have energy and strength to get through your day, and that you like the way you look. What matters is that you feel like the best version of yourself. When you can look in the mirror with real honesty and self-awareness and say, “Yes, this is me!” Then you know you are on the right track.”

Carrie Underwood

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