Over the course of several months I've been making small but cumulative changes to things like what I eat, how much I eat, how much I exercise, and most importantly, how my mind frames all of those activities. This isn't an entirely comfortable post for me to write because it touches on some things that I'd rather keep locked away in my mind somewhere, but I'm charging ahead with some of it anyway because that's how I roll.
I don't think I want to get into specifics about everything I'm changing (partly for reasons I'll explain below)... but I'll mention a couple.
Busting A Move
Starting in February-ish, I made a renewed vow to get in the exercise I need. It seems to go in cycles for me - I'll be on a streak for a while (three to five workouts a week), and then something trips up my pattern and I go weeks - or months - without. I'm proud to say that, at least over the summer, I've been pretty consistent. That's kind of a big deal for me.
What changed was that I finally found exercise I not only enjoy doing, but that I actually look forward to all day - and not only for its calorie-burning properties, but because it makes me feel good. I change it up occasionally with a walk outside or some time on the elliptical, but for the most part, it's a Dance Central 2 party in my basement every day after work. The exercise I'm doing is fun enough that it doesn't feel like work, most of the time - and if I'm horrible at it, the only creature who has to witness it is my dog. He doesn't mind.
That Pesky "Eating" Thing
Whatever it is about attending diabetes conferences - the change in routine, the running around, the excitement of seeing friends and doing something that excites me - they sure do seem to diminish my need for the whole food thing. Especially during that first week of July while in Florida for FFL, I discovered that I wasn't eating nearly as much as I was used to, and... nothing bad happened. I didn't feel as hungry as I typically had, and when I did want to eat, I wanted smarter choices (fruit, veggies, protein, and the least-processed forms of most of those). Huh.
This began an experiment for me, which is is still running: can I eat smaller portions and still be "okay"? Can I eat just until I stop feeling hungry, instead of eating until I feel "full"? Can I distinguish the difference between eating to ease boredom and eating to ease true hunger? Can I cut stuff like diet soda almost completely out of the picture? Can I steer myself towards vegetables more often?
Can I view food mostly as fuel, and make choices based on that viewpoint?
So far, the answer is "yes". And, as much as I hate to admit it, I am feeling so much better lately.
And Here's Where Things Get Uncomfortable
(This is the part where I imagine that you say, "Why does she hate to admit that?") Well, it's a complicated answer. The short version is that I don't like being wrong, or having to admit that I can't eat/exercise/whatever like those around me and stay in the kind of shape I'm comfortable being in. My metabolism will bring me to - well, where I was at the start of this year, if I do nothing. And I don't like that place one bit.
I hesitate even talking about this part of it, because I don't want anyone else who may be in a similar situation to feel that they're doing something "wrong". I don't want anyone to say "But I'm larger than/shaped like she is...what is she trying to say?" I don't want to make anyone else feel bad about their own situation by talking about my own.
But for me - I miss feeling "in shape". I've missed that feeling for a while now.
Anyway, my point here is that I'm making a concerted effort to do things that result in better health for me. From what I can tell by weigh-ins at my doctor appointments, how my clothes fit, how I feel while exerting myself, and how I feel overall - things are going well. I'm not going to talk numbers here, though. You won't find any weigh-ins, nor mentions of pounds lost.
Instead, you'll probably find me tweeting about successful workouts (and feeling pride in how not-out-of-breath I am during them) or how I feel. Because how I feel matters more to me than my pants fitting better - but I hope that one can continue to lead to the other.
|Yesterday's 1.5 hour walk - and only one of us was ready to fall over at the end of it. |
Stubby Corgi legs are not made for distance, it seems.