Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lifestyle Change: What I've Learned So Far

So as of this weekend I have been on this "lifestyle change" for 4 weeks now. I think I am getting into the swing of things, but some things are still tough. I wouldn't say that I love the gym, but I know it is helping me get to where I want to be. Seeing the lbs come off (even if slowly) is nice. And I have more energy, that I can already really notice. So I thought I'd put together a list of things I have learned so far on this journey...

1. I have basically started eating the same foods over and over again. A lot of chicken, sandwiches, fruits.. and mostly Subway when I go out. There are not a lot of healthy choices.

2. The kids have really picked up on what's going on, and they realize more than I thought. For instance, the other day Rachel asked me how many calories were in what she was eating!! I told her that she did not have to worry about that. But this shows me that I need to be careful what I say around them, and stay positive. I don't want my girls ever having a bad body image.

3. A lot of foods are way higher in sodium than I would have imagined. Tracking stuff on My Fitness Pal shows me how much is in everything I list. And that is the one thing I get close to the edge or go over on often. 

4. I have more energy. I noticed that almost right away. I usually hit a slump every afternoon, but it hasn't been that bad lately. And I am a big believer in naps on weekends especially, but I haven't even been taking that many lately!

5. When I leave the gym I am really sweaty and flushed, and it is gross. But everytime I look into that mirror when I leave I am proud of myself. 

6. The food I do eat now, I tend to enjoy more. I look forward to meals and snacks (and occasional treats.) And I think I eat slower to savor it, also. 

7. The numbers on the scale are going down slowly, but I see other changes too. Like looser pants, more energy, I'm less bloated, etc. And that is what is most important. The numbers will come.

8. I drink a lot more water these days. I have gotten into the habit and made myself do it. Drinking water is so much better for you anyway.

9. The time at the gym drags by if you don't have something to do! I am not the type that can focus on reading a book while being there, and you can't really hear the tv, so I take my phone and listen to music. I put it on music I know I love and the upbeat, happy songs keep me motivated :)

10. As for the machines at the gym.. I notice that the elliptical burns way more calories than mostly anything else there. And I don't care for the bikes, because they really make my lower back hurt. But I know it is good to change things up.

11. Fact: Guys lose weight a lot faster than girls.. at least in my experience (no fair!!) Arnold started on the journey before me, but he has already dropped almost 20 lbs! I am proud of him, but dang it is hard to keep up! I think that actually motivates me more, because I feel like I am competing ;)

12. I miss a lot of foods. I mean some days are harder than others and all I can think about is yummy treats. I want a pasta dish from Olive Garden. Or some chocolate whoppers candies. Or a big sweet tea. But good gracious those things are so high in calories that you know how long it would take to work it off!

13. If you want to "cheat" a little, make it a meal, and NOT a whole day. found that out the hard way. Also, doing it the night before a weigh-in will not make you happy. When I stepped on the scale after a cheating weekend I was shocked at how much your weight can fluctuate in a few days' time. Thankfully if you get back on track you can reverse it, but it's tough.

14. Even though sometimes I am embarrassed at myself, like how I can hardly handle any of the arm exercises because my arms are so weak.. I have realized just how strong my body really is. I went from never going to the gym to going several times in a week and my endurance is better, and I can do things for a longer time period. Everyone tells me I will get hooked and actually want to go.. we will see ;)

15. Even on days when it is really cold or rainy, or you have too much going on, you can find at least something to do to be active. One Sunday Arnold and I did "Just Dance" with the kids. It may sound silly, but doing those dances for 45 minutes really makes you sweat! Anything that gets your heart rate up has to be good for you.

16. I was surprised at how many calories hiking burns! The day we took that hike I about died. I seriously didn't think I'd make it back to the van. Didn't help that we chose the path with all the hills. But I did it, and when I clocked into My Fitness Pal, it was really worth it ;)

17. I couldn't get through this without support from my friends. I get encouragement from a lot of people.. but I am on this specific journey with 3 of my friends that are doing the same changes, and we talk every day about our highs and lows. Having those girls hold me accountable makes all the difference. They know all my numbers, faults, and secrets, and love me anyway. So thank you girls.. you have made this ride actually enjoyable! :)

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