Thursday, January 7, 2010


Over the past couple of days, I have read a lot of blog posts and articles about goals and resolutions. Many of the goals I read were about eating “better” and exercising more. And I guess a lot of people have the same goals since “my” gym is pretty crowded.

Seeing all the new faces at the gym made me think about how many of them I’d see in a few weeks, or even just next week. I also thought about my own journey. I have certainly had to make some changes over the years when it comes to eating and exercising. Seven years ago, I went through a very stressful period in my life and pretty much “forgot” about eating healthy foods in the right portions and exercising. I still was exercising a few times a week, but it was not enough. Plus, I ate way too much food. I used food to make me feel better, which by the way – big surprise – doesn’t work.

So I found myself in a body that I truly didn’t know. I have honestly no idea how much I weighed at my highest point, but I think it was probably about 50 pounds more than today. Yes, 50 pounds is a lot. I’m tall, almost 5’11’’, but still, I definitely weighed way too much. The reason I don’t exactly know how much I weighed at my highest point is because I had conveniently put the scale in a corner in the garage, behind a bunch of heavy boxes… After I lost what I had thought was a significant amount of weight, I went into the garage, moved the heavy boxes and weighed myself and was shocked by the number I saw. I couldn’t believe how much I was still weighing…

I knew I had to change, but it took me quite some time to actually make some lasting changes. It’s not as simple as eating less and exercising more in my experience. Sure, that’s what you have to do, but in order to do these things, I had to make other changes. Here are some of them. For one, I had to put myself first. Besides raising a family and working long hours, I also volunteered for at least three different organizations at the time. And each commitment was very time consuming. While I truly believe in giving back, I had to let go of some of the commitments to have more time for me. Second, I had to learn that exercise was non-negotiable. That meant I couldn’t cancel my exercise appointments when other things came up, rather I had to get in the mindset that exercise was non-negotiable, and I could reschedule but not cancel. Third, I had to stop feeling guilty about taking some time for myself every day. I had to realize that taking care of myself made me a happier and healthier person and therefore a better wife, mother, and friend.

I got to a healthy weight (although still a bit heavier than my "happy weight") before I became pregnant with the toddler and then gained 50 lbs. Oops. The first 35 of them came off very quickly, but the other 15 hung around forever it seemed. I again had to make some changes. Here is what I did to lose those 15 pounds and then an additional 15:
  • Varied my workouts and included several high intensity aerobic workouts each week. 
  • Started to get serious about lifting weights.
  • “Cleaned up” my diet: eliminated most processed foods, increased fruits and veggies, ate out very little.
  • Started to plan meals; this one was huge as it did so much for my well being; I feel less stressed, and I again enjoy cooking week night dinners. What used to be a time of stress is now my favorite time of the day.
  • Planned “interesting” snacks and always carried some nuts and a Larabar with me.
I have found that making changes gradually and slowly works best for me. If I change too much too quickly, I get overwhelmed. Also, having a plan with small steps to take one after another helps. Finally, I let go of trying to be "perfect."

Questions: Do you plan to change anything in your life? Do you have a plan on how to accomplish these changes? Do you believe in slow change?

You have until 9:00 p.m. PST tonight to enter the Chobani giveaway. I will announce the winner tomorrow.

Be well,