Jumping In and Landing Softly

Where does a girl start when she’s coming off of an injury (well, technically still injured), and wanting to get back to some healthy living?  Secret of Change QuoteShe starts at the beginning…by focusing on what she can do, and not what she can’t do.

It began with a trip to the grocery store.

I certainly haven’t been giving my health much thought over the last six weeks, at least that’s what the 10 lb I gained are telling me.  By filling myself with comfort food and laying around on the couch, I basically invited those 10 lb in and rented them a room in my apartment. But like any crazy, annoying roommate, I’m ready to kick them out.  Unfortunately, they won’t leave without a fight.

Over the weekend, still bogged down with pain in my leg from my sciatic nerve, I was thinking about how I could begin to get back into a healthy frame of mind.  I’m not able to do much in the exercise department right now, so my plan is to focus on food.  Without having to worry about fitting in workouts, or how many calories I’m burning, I can put all my attention on cleaning up my diet and learning to eat for energy and sustenance rather than pure pleasure.  Or because I’m sad.  Or lonely.  Or bored.  Or my shoe is untied.  Take your pick.

A couple of weeks ago I went out for coffee with my friend Christine, and we were discussing my blog.  She mentioned the 28-day Challenge I had completed back in May.  That was the Prevention Magazine Challenge in which I practiced clean eating clean and exercised for 28 days.  I mentioned to Christine that I lost 7 lb at the end of 28 days, and that it was the most weight I has lost since I started the blog.  Her response kind of stopped me in my tracks:

“If it was working so well, why did you stop?”

That’s a fantastic question!  Why did I stop?  I could have easily carried on with clean eating and kept the momentum going.  I keep thinking about going back to Weight Watchers, or joining Jenny Craig, or the doing the Southbeach Diet, or any one of a million different diets, hoping that one of them might work this time.  In the meantime I’ve been completely ignoring the one thing that DID work for me, which is eating clean.  The one thing that ISN’T as diet at all, but an overall way to eat for health and nutrition.

So, I went to the grocery store.  I stocked up on healthy foods I love and now I’m prepared to start moving towards learning more about eating clean.  I’ve got a couple of books to read, I’ve scoured the Internet for information, and I’m arming myself with all the information I need.  I’m making in my mission to educate myself about food and how it can help my body.

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Motivation Station

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing.  Motivation determines what you do.  Attitude determines how well you do it.” ~Raymond Chandler

Trying to keep myself motivated is no easy task.  You would think that the promise of wearing non-plus size clothing and sexy lingerie, let alone a healthier body would make me want to run laps on an hourly basis and eat nothing but carrot sticks, but the truth is it’s hard to stay motivated when the end result is so distant.

Losing weight takes, much to my dismay, a LOOOOOONG time.  I’m sure you’ve heard people say “you didn’t put the weight on overnight and you won’t lose it overnight”.  However annoying this phrase is, it’s also completely true.  I, unfortunately, was not blessed in the patience department, so waiting to see changes in my body and how I feel is hard.  It’s one of the main reasons I give up so easily.  I go a few weeks and lose a few pounds, but I don’t feel any different or look any different so I get frustrated and just throw in the towel.

In getting ready to kick-start my weight loss again in January, I starting thinking about ways I could keep myself motivated.  I am a very visual and tactile person, so I tried to look for things that would stimulate that part of my brain.  I thought I’d share with you a few ways I’m trying to keep motivated.

Visual Interest

Every morning I wake up and am greeted by a blank wall.  The wall directly across from my bed is bare, and I’ve never taken the time to put up any art on this wall; that is until now.  When I wake up and sit up in bed, that wall is the first thing I see.  I have to walk past it to leave the room, I have to walk past it again when I enter the room.  It’s also right next to the closet when I’m getting dressed in the morning.  Why not use it for a little motivation?  I trotted off to my friendly neighbourhood Staples and picked up some markers and construction paper, then sat down with some magazines and scissors and my motivation wall was born.  It’s still in its infancy, but I will continually add to it.  It’s full of inspiring words I’ve cut out of magazines, a calendar, quotes I love, and notes that remind me to keep going.

 Motivation Wall 1

Motivation Wall 2

Motivation Wall 3

Back to School

For me, motivation includes educating myself.  I can’t make changes if I don’t know what I’m doing.  Today I wandered over to a local health food store here in Burlington called Goodness Me.  It’s like Whole Foods, but on a smaller scale.  Great store though, and they offer a host of different classes and seminars aimed at healthy living.  Today’s seminar was on clean eating.  While I’m familiar with clean eating, it was nice to have someone break it down and answer questions.  Here are a few of the ideas I took away from the seminar today.

  • Eating clean is about eating whole, natural, unprocessed foods.  If it was made by man, there is probably a better food choice to be made.
  • Everyone is different, there is no cookie cutter approach to healthy living, though there are guidelines that everyone can follow.
  • The best way to stay on track is to use the 80/20 rule.  Eat well 80% of the time and expect to indulge 20% of the time.  Expecting to eat clean 100% of the time will set you up for failure.
  • Healthy living is also 80/20 – 80% is nutrition ad 20% is exercise.  You can work out all you want, but if you’re going to eat crap all the time you’re not going to see much progress.

Treat Myself

For a really long time I had convinced myself that I could only reward myself with good things if I really earned it.  Does any of this sound familiar??

“If I eat really well all week, I’ll reward myself with a chocolate bar on Sunday.”

“When I lose 10 lb I’ll treat myself to some new workout clothes.”

Why do I do that?  I deserve to have good things regardless of how much weight I’ve lost or how many days I’ve managed to deprive myself of something I really want.  On Saturday, after getting all glammed up at the hair salon, I hit the mall for a little retail therapy.  I couldn’t have timed it better as one of my favourite stores had workout wear on sale buy one get one half price.  So treat myself I did!!  I picked up a new workout shirt, a new sports bra, and some new socks…all ready to hit the gym in style!

 Workout Clothes

Being good to yourself and getting yourself motivated shouldn’t be a game of deprivation.  Feeling good will continue to motivate you to want to feel good.  Arming myself with the tools I need to succeed helps push me to work harder and keep going to reach my goals.