Holidays, calories, and walking it off

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 3:45pm

I’ve put on some weight since last winter... 11 pounds to be exact. 

Before you roll your eyes, I know I am not overweight, but I am not happy. I notice it when I try to put on some of my clothes that are a bit tighter; I notice my stamina isn’t what it was. As I reflect on the last 10 months, I know how it happened — I accept my nutritional arrogance and how it’s caught up with me. My focus is now not on the how it happened, but what I plan to do about it. 

I have a myriad of excuses. My family and I moved, work was incredibly hectic during the summer, and I have faced some significant personal challenges, as well. At the end of the day, they are just excuses. I have relied on the mentality that I work out a lot, and I can afford to eat whatever I want. That mentality has caught up with me, and it is time to do something about it. I hear from so many people in the same boat that they don’t know how to start. Let’s talk about this.

It’s all about change. A definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. I do not like change, and I don’t know many people who do. Once the need for change is accepted, the results will happen. Recognition of where the weakness lies is important — is it nutrition, exercise, or both? My weakness lies in my nutritional choices. 

From an exercise standpoint, recognize what your baseline is and make a commitment to change it. If you always park close to your destination, park further away — those extra steps will add up. Go for a walk and set a pace. In your car, measure the distance of your favorite route.  Start walking it and set a goal to beat your time each time you walk it. This may include running 20 seconds and walking 20 seconds; increase your run and decrease your walk times with each attempt. Go down and up the bluffs’ stairs and try to beat your time with each attempt. Set a challenge and work to beat it — your only competition is yourself. This is the perfect time of the year to be outside — cooler temperatures, little road traffic, and a beautiful island to explore in the fall. Even if you do not beat your previous time, be sure to congratulate yourself for the effort. Perfection is overrated.

Full disclosure: I am not a dietician; I speak only from my personal experiences. If you only average one glass of water a day, make an effort to increase your daily consumption. Grill as much as you can. If you are sautéeing, pay attention to what your fat is — avoid butter and use lower fat sources. Educate yourself on what is nutritionally best. I usually follow a “nothing out of a bag, box, or can” approach toward nutrition. When grocery shopping, look for cool — not frozen or room temperature. Personally, I am seeking progress in this department. It’s also so important to figure out whether you are eating because you are bored or hungry.  If you are eating simply because the food is in front of you, change the scenery and remove the temptation. Remember to not just feed your body but rather fuel it. If you feed it junk, your body will perform like junk.

Look for progress — not perfection. 

There will be some days where you will be stronger than others. If you enjoy a meal where your nutritional choices may not be the best, please do not let that sabotage your overall success. When you have a day where you just do not feel like exercising, forgive yourself and look to the next day as a fresh start. The key is change, and this is something only you can make the choice to change. I choose to embrace the changes needed and look forward to the positive results ahead!