First off....Reyna, you are one of my heroes! Seriously, a 13-mile run? That's awesome! Way to go, you fierce lady!
I've lost count of how many times I've crawled into the bandwagon and pledged to lose weight, exercise more, eat better. I've lost count of how many times I've fallen right back out of that wagon without making any major changed. Today is Day 21 of the 30-day challenge. Day 21 of working out everyday. At the beginning of this, I would never have thought I'd be able to do some of the things I can do now, without major straining or causing myself a heart attack. Today, I chose to workout at the gym. I was left without a car all day (hubby's truck won't run when it rains, darn thing!). I'm on Day 3 of my period, which usually lasts for a good 7 days. And yet, I still managed to go to the gym this evening and spend an hour on the elliptical. An hour! And I'm pushing myself a little bit too. I spend about 1/4 of my time on the machine trying to go at a faster pace. I'm increasing the level so there's a little more resistance. It's great! So....what's different now and why is this working?
I think it all boils down to one concept....SUCCESS BREEDS SUCCESS. All of my other attempts, I've concentrated on weight loss. Do you know how hard it is to lose a pound of fat? It's so much work! And pounds do not melt off! At least, not naturally. If you want to melt the pounds off, you may want to invest in a human-sized spit and let someone roast you over a fire in the backyard. It'll be painful, but the pounds of fat will melt. Would you believe that I haven't set foot on a scale since I started this though? I'm not paying any attention at all to weight. By not paying any attention to it, it's forcing me to use other ways of measuring my success. Like the fact that my body is changing. I haven't dropped any dress sizes or anything like that, but my clothes are fitting better. My pudgy, chunky belly no longer imitates the top of a muffin when I wear jeans! My legs have more muscle, my butt doesn't jiggle quite so much, I've dropped down to a d-cup bra (woohoo!). I can run up and down our stairs in our house without getting winded! I can haul Leo's skinny little butt into the gym from the car without feeling like my arm is going to give out and I'm gonna drop him. I can chase after my little escape-artist (repeatedly, because he's stubborn and thinks it's funny) and I'm not feeling like I'm gonna drop into a puddle! Those are my measures of success this time around. The more I can chase after my children and play with them, the more determined I am to keep going!
Don't get me wrong, it's not always easy. There have been days when I haven't felt like going. I procrastinate horribly. This is why it never worked for me before when I resolved to go to the gym three times a week. I'd go the first day and then would skip a couple days because I was sore. And then I'd procrastinate and figure I could just go the last two days of the week. The last day of the week would come, I would have only gone once, instead of the two I should have gone and I'd give up and figure, "why bother". This time, I can procrastinate all day, spend the day playing with the kids, cooking, cleaning, crocheting, whatever. But when evening comes and I haven't gone yet? The fear of being disappointed in myself propels me out that door and off to the gym. I do not want to fail myself this time. And I have so much less time to procrastinate with the "go every day" goal. So, I go every day. And that's working because I'm not straining myself too horribly. Something I've really noticed with myself, my mom, my husband.....when we make resolutions to go to the gym, diet, whatever....we tend to throw ourselves into it whole-heartedly, with everything we have. There's a problem with that. When you start out going at full-speed, it leaves you nothing to work your way up to and it tends to tire you out quickly. So, this time, starting slow, walking a couple of miles a day, worked. I walked a couple of miles. And then a few days later, I walked three miles. And then four miles. Now, 21 days later, I can go for an hour on the elliptical! I can push myself a little bit each day without fearing that I'm putting myself in danger of being unable to go the next day. It's amazing how quickly your body can and does adjust to moderate, daily activity! And even more amazing how your body starts to crave that daily activity!
Now, here's the one area that I feel can still be pushed and improved on....I haven't bothered to change my diet much during this challenge. You see, one of the things with doing exercise/activity changes and diet changes at the same time...it's really hard! After you workout, you get hungry. The more you work out, the more appetite you have. And this is where diabetes really plays a part. The more I work out, the more exercise I get, the more low blood sugars I have to treat. I'm knocking back my basal doses a little at a time and trying to gradually do away with some of the worst lows, but until my insulin is adjusted perfectly for the amount of exercise I'm getting now, I have lows to treat. That doesn't mean that changes aren't happening though. I used to spend a lot of time eating simply out of boredom. After the kids went to bed, I'd snack and watch tv. Now, I rarely snack on anything more than an apple after the kids are in bed. I don't eat just to eat. I eat when I'm hungry and when I'm low. I'm not making a concentrated, full-out effort to cut back on my calories, but it's happening anyway. I don't want to ruin my hard work with empty, pointless food. I did indulge in my craving for hot, buttered popcorn the other night. But, I stuck with a very small amount and only used about half the amount of butter that I would have used before. I would have considered that a huge sacrifice before!
Tomorrow is going to be a challenge. The forecast includes rain and some pretty phenomenal winds. The rain means I will probably be left without a vehicle again. And as soon as my husband gets home from work, we'll have to head out the door to his appointment with the therapist (yay! for finally starting the path to healing his inner child!). It might take some real effort to get us to the gym again tomorrow...maybe I'll have to haul the kids out in their pjs to bring my husband to work so we can have the car! In which case, I should probably be getting to bed soon!
*Just one quick note......Only one more week until all of the political slugs crawl back under their rocks and leave us in peace for another year! I can't wait!