Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Today marks two years of blogging about my journey to become healthier and fitter. Time for some ruminations!
1. I am strong. Stronger than I ever thought I was. Strong to stay the course for two years. Strong to make exercise a part of my daily life. Strong to find a form of exercise that I really like. Strong to take care of myself, finally.
2. I know what it takes for me to get healthy. At the center of my blogging is the adage from Marion Nestle: eat less, move more, eat plenety of fruits and vegetables and go easy on the junk food. I followed those 17 simple words for 2 years and you know what: it works! Eat less, move more. No tricks, no special diet. It works.
3. My relationship with food has changed. I understand now that food is just food. I love food and of course I enjoy eating a great deal. I also love cooking food. But food itself is not the end all event in my life. It is just food. I enjoy the foods I eat more than ever before because I enjoy the foods in the company of others. It is the company that I have with others, or even with myself if I am dining alone, that is the event, not the food.
4. I am not on a diet rather I am making permanent lifestyle changes each and every day that I stay the course. My lifestyle changes are for life: my life. Eating less, moving more is part of who I am now. I choose to be healthier and to enjoy increasing fitness.
5. I was able to keep up my healthy lifestyle changes after I returned to my academic work after my sabbatical. I did this by making time to exercise, even getting up at 5am many mornings to ride that trainer last winter. I made my lunch every day, too. I have a very full and often quite intense professional life just like many of you reading today. I learned that even with that professional life I can and did make continued forward progress.
6. I accept the fact that for my body and age I will not lose weight quickly. Before I had my basal metabolism calibrated I knew in my heart that my caloric limit was going to be low. It is. In years past, I used to think that after I lost xxxnumber of pounds that I would be able to go back to my old way of eating. What was I thinking? Denial that is what it was.
7. I have faced my obesity head on. I do not shy away from talking about it, nor using it in my teaching or with people I care about. I am out of the closet and it is about time.
8. Because I am becoming fitter and healthy, I am able to enjoy things that were hard for me to do before: like gardening, walking, hiking and paddling.
9. It takes time, determination and patience with ourselves to finally do this. Finally healthier. In my case, it took me over 20 years to be at my highest weight (213). After that many years of being overweight it is a journey of a lifetime to change. I know now that it will be another 2 years before I reach my goal weight. I can do it.
10. The key to my success is logging my food. There is nothing that spells the T-R-U-T-H better than your own food log.
11. Another important key to my success is planning. Just like you there are special occasions in my life every week whether they be a birthday, a family get together, a sporting event, a concert or whatever. Every event involves food and eating. I have learned to plan for the food that I anticipate will be at the event by taking along items that I can eat and sharing those foods with the others (like salads or fruit plates), or even eating before I go.
12. Another way I plan for special occasions, including potentially high calorie treats, is by increasing my exercise. I biked 24 miles on my sons’ birthdays last Saturday so that I could enjoy a nice piece of my favorite carrot cake. 24 miles on the bike equals 1200 calories burned for me which is more than double the calories of a piece of carrot cake. No guilt associated with even one bite of that delicious carrot cake for me!
13. Blogging has been an incredible tool for me. It keeps me honest and focused for one. But, even more importantly it allows me to be part of a community of people who are trying to do the same thing I am: taking care of our selves. We each have our own way of doing just that. What we all share in common is how we support and encourage each other. No one knows more about what it means to be overweight and obese then those who have walked in the overweight/obese footsteps. Each and every one of you reading this blog has been an encourager and spirited supporter to me along my way. I have made many new friends through blogging scattered all around the US and Western Europe. As I have said before: I never feel alone in my journey with all of you!
14. There are times when this weight loss journey sucks. Yep. I said that. Even with all I wrote above, there are times when the long and slow sojourn to good health is frustrating. Which brings me to my last rumination:
15. I am doing this for me. It is about time. Like many of you I used to think that I would start that diet on Monday, after my birthday or the holidays. But no more. No more excuses. It is my time now. I am doing it. My friends, you can do it, too. Yes, you can. It is not rocket science. Eat less, move more, eat plenety of fruits and vegetables and go easy on the junk foods. Take care of yourself. You are worth it. I am worth it. The people who love and care for you are worth your efforts, too. We can and will do it. Now.
Thank-you for being with me for two-years.
Thank-you for sharing a part of your day by reading my blog.
Thank-you for your suggestions, your advice, your humor and being who you are.
Thank-you for commenting on my blog.
Thank-you for getting to know me and allowing me to know you.
Here is to my next two years!