November completes the first 12 months of this fat loss journey! I started at 146lbs in November 2013. This week’s weigh-in is at 133lbs! (I’m petite so these numbers are on the heavy side for me, especially since diabetes and high blood pressure run in my family. Yikes!) Here are 10 big lessons I learned for a smaller me.
1. God is in charge. Getting to know the One who created me helped me frame this journey spiritually. God is interested in everything in my life, even my fitness goals. [See Where God Fits Into My Fitness]
2. Spend more time in the kitchen. Thanks to my friend, Jonathan, this was a game-changer for me. He said he spent more time in the kitchen than the gym. I nearly spit out my coffee when I heard that. I learned that preparing my own food offsets my appetite. Putting in work for my meals meant that I got full faster and was more likely to choose healthy portions instead of schlepping through a drive through, order, stuff face then zzzz.
3. Shop the perimeter of a grocery store where more fresh foods, fruits, and vegetables are. That was a missing puzzle piece. This helped me choose better foods. Uh, can you say game-changer? BTW: this is thanks to articles on the12.com
4. Use a budget. Tracking my fitness activity and weight was a discipline that helped me with other areas of my life and wellness. I started mastering my budget and got better at managing my money, including seeing how much I spent on fast food.
5. I need sleep. Workaholics have an issue with that. But if i don’t sleep well and if i dont get enough rest, I am likely to munch on bad, empty calorie foods to help me stay awake. Sleep well —-> lose weight. Who knew?
6. I don’t need to eat that. Another game-changer. I learned impulse control and passing up foods that I knew were going to make me feel pudgy. [See Biggest Lesson on Fat Loss]
7. Just wait until I get home to eat. On those busy days of errands or working onsite, it’s tempting to just buy food. It’s especially disappointing when I buy something that is high in fat, doesn’t taste great and I probably could’ve put something that tastes better at home. I had to tell myself, Just wait until I get home and mentally plan my meal as I make my way home.
8. It doesn’t take a lot of money. I did things like 30-minute walks, getting enough sleep, stopping meals by 7pm. I just changed habits and didn’t break my bank account. I also didn’t do too much heavy cardio. I’m not against it. But in my case, I still had inflammation and other residual effects from radiation that were impeding my ability to effectively burn fat and build muscle. So i did gentle things and lost the weight slowly.
9. Less tv = less munchies. Resting from media or other devices helped me get to sleep faster. I found myself resting well if I stayed off devices after a certain time, a few nights a week. It helped my mind calm down and unwind. I wasn’t groggy the next morning. Mind you, this is something I observed with my own routines. This might not be an issue for some of you, but it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.
10. Fitness is a journey, not a destination. I learned it’s about doing what works and challenging myself to do just 1% more than what I did before. Different seasons, life circumstances, budget constraints, work pressures can all influence my ability to be consistent and motivated. I learned that my fitness means including sensible choices in reasonable ways. Maybe it can get done in 12 months, maybe in 24. What’s most important is that I learn how to treat myself well and make wiser choices that will impact my health in the future.
I want to thank you, the readers, who are on this journey with me. I’m thankful for the encouragement and that you take the time to read the “comedy and calories” that are in these blog posts. I am looking forward to more adventures in the next stage of this fitness and sharing more stories, struggles and successes with all of you.