Weight loss is not a super highway. It's more of a mountain track with detours, switchbacks and some uphill portions. In the past 88 days, I have gained two pounds, yet I am still on the path. I've fallen off a time or two, I've struggled with exercise, and I have been on track the vast majority of the time. I know what it will take to speed up my loss and hit a big downhill stretch, and I have been idling at the top of that hill waiting for the right time. School is mostly out as of today -- one child has 8 more days -- and the leisure that will afford gives me the opening to rev up my engines and refocus my energy on myself.
My goal for the summer is to get well below 200 pounds. Keeping my calories low is not enough, I need to step up my exercise big time. To maintain a high level of exercise, I am helped by keeping my intention firmly in place.
In no particular order, here are my motivations for getting back to my pre-1998 weight over the summer:
I already have greater ease of movement and I want more of that! More fun with the family!
I want to live a long and healthful life for the enjoyment of it.
I want to be in the family photos (as opposed editing myself out because I don't like my appearance).
I want to be proud of how I look.
I want to buy clothes I really like - to dress like myself.
I want to continue on my path to a long and healthy life.
I want to complete it because it is something I am doing for myself, a commandment I made -- my word to myself -- I want to honor and complete it.
To get there, I will:
Visualize myself reaching my goals every day
Step up my exercise to 6 hours per week
Stick to my eating plan 100% until I meet my goal
Wait, what's that sound? It's me, revving my engines. Tomorrow, I throw off the brakes. Look out, world!!
And now for something completely crazy! If I had 2 million dollars to reform school lunch, how would I spend it? I would hire extra staff to prepare fresh fruit, cook actual potatoes (not fries, hashbrowns or tater tots), and prepare food that is fresh and wholesome. Here is how San Antonio Schools are spending the money!
A couple of years back, Jamie Oliver worked to reform the school dinner program in England. There were news stories of parents standing outside the school-yard fence to hand their kids fish and chips. Since then, people love to blame parents for the trouble with what kids eat at school. I think that is a bunch of bologna.
I can tell you from my own experience of parenting children who have been parented by others that kids eat what you serve them. At home, the kids are thrilled for a "snack" that is an orange, an apple, watermelon, carrots, or some baked good that is made from whole grains and little or no added sugar. Yet when they were visiting weekly with their bio-mom, they were also thrilled with the french fries, soda and pastries she brought to the visits. I am under no illusion; if you put a pop-tart and an apple in front of my kids, they'd probably choose the pop-tart. But if you give them a choice between an apple or melon, they do not say, "No, I want a pop-tart!"
School is a huge part of a child's life. Why can't schools model healthy eating? In fact, I daresay that if we do not redeem our school food programs, we will not defeat the obesity epidemic in this country. I agree that children need choices. But that choice can be between an apple and an orange, it does not have to be a choice of pastries.
Yes, it will cost more, in the short term. We have to be able to look at the long term. What will be the cost of all the obesity related health issues and diseases our country is facing and that continue to expand exponentially year after year? Get real, San Antonio!
I have been on this weight loss journey a long time and sometimes I get really focused on the "long time" and forget about the journey. I am finally losing again after a long plateau followed by a small slow regain of 15 pounds. It is so easy and so tempting to be totally focused on the goal and forget that I am in the midst of a learning process.
I am learning how to eat for optimum health. I am learning what "full" and "hungry" feel like -- things I'm pretty sure I did not know before. I am learning how much exercise both my lifestyle and my 53-year-old frame can accommodate. I am learning to turn to people for emotional support, not food. (It never worked that well anyway). I am learning that I am worth taking the time to care for myself. Yep, it's true.
When I get to goal, I will still be on the journey. I cannot then forget all that I've learned and return to thoughtless eating. Instead, I am now building habits and practices I will maintain for a lifetime. I guess you could say this is the trip of a lifetime. Might as well enjoy the scenery!
I have a successful marriage of 21 years and five wonderful children who amaze and challenge me every day. I am a Special Ed Teacher, a professional Life Coach, a Certified Personal Trainer and an advocate for children. I have an amazing, full-on, wonderful,crazy life. What more can I ask?