Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Three years!

Three years ago today I made the decision to finally put my health front and center. I adopted Marion Nestle's adage: eat less, move more, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and go easy on the junk food. In the three years I have shed 20% of my body weight and discovered my inner cyclist. Last year I enrolled in the Get Well Fitness program at a local hospital. That program has allowed me to learn a great deal more about my own body, my metabolism and, how to increase my fitness. Let me ruminate a little more on my growth in the Nestle mantra. 

Eat less: The only way that I could effectively eat less and learn what that “less” was for my body was to track what I ate. I did not start out tracking, but about 4-5 months in, realized that this was really important. For more than two years I tracked everything that went into my mouth. Tracking helped me to truly understand what 1200, 1500, or even 2000 calories really are. Tracking allowed me to understand what a real portion was for any food that I ate. Tracking allowed me to be responsible and accountable to myself about my weight loss journey. For me it was a simple paper and pencil method of keeping track of everything.


In order to stay within my 1200-1500 calorie range, I have learned the importance of planning. I plan all of my meals. In my last post I mentioned my routine daily foods (yogurt, 2 pieces of toast and a green salad). I never find it boring either. I know that I am doing what I need to in terms of eating less.

Move more: I never thought I would become an exercise junkie, but I have. I have discovered my inner cyclist! Since I started this journey I have put close to 5000 miles on my bikes which is almost the distance between New York City and Los Angeles TWICE!! (It is 2792 miles between those two points). 

I have used my growing fitness to raise awareness and funds for two organizations that I care about: the Tour de Cure (America Diabetes Association) and Venus de Miles (this event supports Greenhouse Scholars).I rode in their bike events (62 and 67 miles respectfully).
I also discovered cross-country skiing two winters ago. I keep my cross-country skies close by so that I can get in some exercise at a local park, on a frozen lake or even at the college where I teach during the day. That tactic allowed me to get over 100 miles on my skies last winter. 

Eat more fruits and vegetables: As I mentioned above, my eating patterns have completely changed in the past three years. I now incorporate yogurt, fresh fruit and a large salad into my daily life. A large salad almost daily with a mix of lettuce that I cut and prep myself, fruit like grapes or strawberries, other veggies like onions, peppers, carrots, and maybe a splash of craisins or nuts. This salad is varied everyday so I do not get tired of it. My go to snacks are apples in fall and winter, grapes, peaches and strawberries in spring and summer. 

Go easy on the junk food: I wrote above about the importance of planning in my success. I like treats and I eat them, too, but only once in a while. I have learned to plan my food for special occasions. I budget in an ice cream cone, a slice of birthday cake or other special items into my daily caloric budget so that I can eat those special foods with absolutely no guilt. Go easy on the junk food means to eat sweets and treats in moderation. I do not feel deprived at all. 

It takes time: I have learned that getting healthy is not something that happens in one year or in my case even three years. It takes time. It takes planning. It takes commitment and of course determination. Every day, every week I am getting healthier. 

Blogging: I started this blog as a way for me to process my journey to find “the new me.” Along the way I have met many of you who have supported and encouraged me. I thank each and every one of you who have shared with me in this journey to become healthy and fit. Sadly, most of the bloggers who started out with me are long gone. Getting healthy and fit is not easy. I believe there are really no short cuts. What I do know, is that I, you are worth it. It is perhaps the greatest gift that you can give yourself. I will be here for awhile because I have still 35 pounds left to shed.

Thanks for your friendship via this blog. Take care of yourself. Stay strong!
TTFN,
Michele

10 comments:

  1. Hi Michele! 3 years--congrats on proving to yourself that you're in this for the long haul! Yay for you.

    :-) Marion (the other healthy Marion)

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  2. Can't believe we have been cheering for each other for this long! Let's continue to get healthy together!

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  3. Michele,
    What a fabulous process you have been through during the past three years! I love your tenacity and most of all your patience. Losing weight is difficult, but I sometimes think I have made it more difficult for myself with my impatience. You are a great help and support for me and I would guess that you are also helpful to other bloggers. Your attitude is right on the mark, and I so glad that we will still be doing this together. Take care, Michele!

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  4. Congrats on all you've accomplished in that time. Best, Karen.

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  5. Nicely said Michele and congrats on hanging in there for three years!

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  6. Happily, I am one of those bloggers who began with you, have learned alongside you and best of all, plan to KEEP learning with you for a long time to come. Keep up the good work. You look fabulous!

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  7. Three years!! Thats awesome!!! Congratulations!! And what a transformation!!

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  8. Wahoo and hurray! You are amazing and wonderful and a great role model of dogged persistence, done with joy.

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  9. You have come a very long way and have done so awesomely. You keep this up girl and you will be exactly where you want to be.
    Take care and have a blessed week!

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  10. Congrats on 3 years strong. You are an inspiration. Rock on!

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