Thursday, March 26, 2009

Simple changes = Healthier me!

A few of you know I had a physical about a month ago. (If you didn't already know, now you do). I knew my weight was going to be an issue, so I wasn't surprised when the doc told me I needed to lose about a million a few pounds.

She also suggested that I start taking fish oil (YUCK). Other than that, I'm in pretty good health. Whoo-hoo!

Since there is money involved (ie, our insurance costs will go up if I don't at least TRY to lose weight), I've been trying to make some small changes in order to work towards that goal.

First, I have pretty much cut out drinking pop (or soda, or cola, or coke, depending on where you're from). This was hard at first, but has gotten easier. (Boy did I have some killer headaches the first few days!) I used to drink at least a couple of cans of pop a DAY. And if we went to a restaurant, I would easily down a couple of glasses of pop with my meal. Now, I have had pop a handful of times, but I think 5 or 6 times out of the last month is pretty good. Maybe some of you out there don't drink any pop at all...that's great! I'm working towards that.

Second, I've tried hard to change my eating habits. Also a toughie, but the more I do it, the easier it gets. I've been drinking a strawberry smoothie for breakfast pretty much every day. I've modified the recipe I gave before to make it a little less fattening.
  1. 6 Strawberries, sliced
  2. 1 Banana, sliced
  3. 1 Cup Fat-Free Vanilla Yogurt.
  4. Toss all ingredients in the blender. (I also pour it into a cup and put the cup in the freezer for several minutes before drinking)

It still tastes really good, and the omission of the milk and changing from low-fat to fat-free makes a small but positive difference. I have been trying to eat more veggies (which I mostly hate, with a few exceptions), and less red meat. Because I am trying to eat better, I am also foregoing many of the processed foods that used to be part of my diet as well.


As tasty lunch option around here has been a turkey wrap - a tortilla shell, some mesquite turkey breast, and some romaine lettuce (plus a little mustard) makes for a yummy sandwich.

I even forgo the delicious beef brisket dinner at Famous Dave's (OH MY WORD IS IT GOOD) for a slightly lower-fat and calorie option, the Barbeque Chicken (with some Texas Pit sauce for good measure). Now, this is NOT low-fat OR low-calorie, but it's definitely less than the brisket! I'm avoiding french fries, too.

I'm trying to think of this more as a lifestyle change than a diet. Diet always makes me think deprivation. The important thing I've found is to not totally deprive myself. I eat when I'm hungry. I actually try to eat a small portion every few hours, which keeps me from gorging if I wait until I'm super hungry to eat. A little treat now and then is okay as well.

Third, I'm taking the fish oil. I take it at night before I go to bed. That way I'm not burping up fish all day...the only side effect that I've noticed is that I have been having crazy weird vivid dreams. Is this related to the fish oil? I don't know. I do know the timing of me starting to take the fish oil and the start of the odd dreams DID coincide, though!

Fourth, I am taking advantage of the treadmill that has been sitting in my bedroom for the past year. For the last several days I have hauled it from my bedroom to the kitchen, where I pop on a movie for the kids to watch (but one that I like as well), and I watch from the kitchen while I'm walking. Once the weather warms up, I can spend more time outside, but for now this is working well for me.

I have managed to log an hour on the treadmill for both of the last two days. That's pretty good for me. The first day I only did 30-40 minutes. My goal is to get at least an hour on the treadmill every single day. If I do that AND get outside with the girls when the weather warms up, it will be awesome!

(For those of you who don't think you can afford a treadmill - I got my for free from my local Freecycle network - it's nothing fancy, but it works)

Now, I have lost a couple of pounds so far with these small changes. Although I would love to see the pounds drop off quickly, I think that what I am doing will be a much more long-term success instead of the whole "instant gratification" that many people looking to lose weight go for. (Not to say that I wouldn't be thrilled if the weight just started melting off)

I have to say that I do seem to be feeling more energetic these days, and am looking forward to getting back into a shape other than round. I hope that some of the things I've shared might be motivation for someone else out there who is looking to get in better shape. Even if it's one of those, "Well if someone like JULIE can do it, I guess I can, too!" kind of deals. HA!

Oh, one last tip - set REALISTIC goals. I would LOVE to think that I could someday squeeze into my size two wedding dress (seriously, I don't think the dress would fit my 11 year old)...but in order to get into that dress in the first place....well, let's just say I was dealing with a TON of stress in the months before Ande and I got married and was probably bordering on having an eating disorder for a while there. That wasn't healthy, and I wouldn't want to put myself in that situation ever again!


Shelly said...

it sounds like you're doing great julie! keep up the good work!!

Brandi said...

Congratulations on your lifestyle change! I need to do the same! I know you can do it!


Devin said...

Oh, girl.

I. am. so. proud of you.

You know I'm your biggest cheerleader! This is great, and I know you can do this! You are off to a wonderful start.

John said...

Congratulations on your decision and successes! We have been talking about doing the same. We are in the wrong state to try to limit fried foods!

Mom2-2goodboys said...

You go girl!!! It's amazing how setting aside just an hour a day for exercising, will make you feel so much better. Keep up the good work Julie!

amanda said...

thanks for sharing your secrets! Personally, I am amazed at the difference that comes from cutting out soda. Wow!

I like the 'lifestyle change' too. Making small changes that last is WAY better than making BIG changes for a short period of time, I am sure your body will love you for it!

Keep up the good work. I am glad you are feeling more energetic & such I am sure that is encouraging ;)

Beck said...

Yay so proud of you! Now what does fish oil do?? I may have to remember the stuff later........haha. Working out is hard, hard to get motivated. So keep up the good work! Sugar is my weakness and it sounds like your doing really good staying away from yours! Keep us updated on your progress :)