Thursday, July 14, 2011

Changing Lifestyle - Not Dieting

I really need to start making more time for blogging. I have so much going on in my life and so much to share but rarely take the time to do so here! I promise I'll try harder!

I  am a "grandma" as of about 5 months ago. My son & his girlfriend had a baby.  While I'm definitely not "thrilled" in many ways because of many reasons (biggest being he's 19 & not married & very unstable as a mature adult living with a very psychotic woman who has some major issues) but I must confess to being fully in love with the little guy that will eventually call me "Gramma" or whatever he ends up calling me.  First I have to share a pic or two.  Here's Ryan at 5 months (taken in July 2011) just giving that adorable smile he gives to melt your heart.  He's a sweetie for sure!

On the "Weight Loss Front" I've really been at a plateau but I must confess I lost the drive I had when I lost my first 100 lbs.  I seemed to be fanatical and while I still eat the same I'm not nearly as fanatical and dine out more often now too.  I don't care what anyone says, you CAN dine out but it tends to lead to bad choices for most of us and when done too often it just isn't a healthy lifestyle.  I have, however, been able to maintain and have small losses.  At one point I had gained about 25lbs or so back of the 100 I lost but I'm not only holding steady at the 100 lost but added on another 10 or so lost thus far.  Part of my issue is not being able to get out on my own anymore. I have no car during the week to get to the gym (I swim and "run/walk" in the pool plus do a bit of aerobics in the pool to keep my back from totally breaking/hurting) like I did when I lost the first 100 lbs and while it's an excuse because I could bus it I just don't.  BUT... I do get there as often as possible with my guy when he's off from work. Sometimes we'll hit the pool after his work but not often. He comes home exhausted from the heat and long days so that's generally limited to once a week during the work week.  But he only works 4 days a week so we generally do get there Friday, Saturday & Sunday.  When he has vacation (like the 4th of July vacation time... 11 days off) we went EVERY day with the exception of one - which was because of my MS & the fact that I literally slept 21 out of 24 hours that day.  So I'm at least getting 3 days a week workout.

The bad part is that I can't do much unless it is in the pool. For those that don't know I had cancer 6x of which the radiation & chemo has led to the deterioration of my spine & literally a crumbling spine. A neurosurgeon has said I shouldn't even be walking (who listens to doctors anyways? LOL) and that there's no way he would operate because my spine is so weak he can't assure that he'd cripple me and have my spine crumble if he were to "fix" the issues at hand from it all.  I'm in constant pain and live on morphine that controls the pain as much as possible but I have good and bad days.  Add to that the Multiple Sclerosis and you can understand why my "workouts" aren't typical and I am very limited.  I got the Dance Vibes Wii game hoping I could do that and once in a while I can but most of the time it results in me being "down" for a few days afterwards with pain so it's not worth it.  I've found the best workout for me is anything I can do on land being taken to the pool.  I jog/run in the pool, walk, do aerobics, swim & tread water for a minimum of an hour when I "workout" and it's truly been a God send as far as finding a way to do any exercise to lose weight without literally putting myself in a vegetative state from pain.  I highly suggest that anyone that suffers from joint or back pain from any reason who feels they cannot "workout" due to that pain to try working in the pool. It's also how my fiance has lost his first 45 lbs so far (since April) without having back aches & joint aches from the pressure of his weight on his body. He also plays some "fun" basketball by himself, just shooting hoops and working up a bit of sweat before showering and getting into the pool to "walk" for about 1/2 hour or so with me in the water but he doesn't have the chronic pain issues either so he can do that.  It's funny but he commented not too long ago that he never realized he could "exercise" without being forced to do things he hated to do. He's played hoops since he was a kid and loves it so I showed him that just walking around, slight jog, shooting hoops can work up a sweat when you're out of shape and haven't left the couch in 30 years and THAT is called "exercise" even if it's not a set class or on a machine.  When he realized simply moving made a difference he couldn't believe that losing weight has been so easy for him.  Of course he's changed his lifestyle in eating but not as much as he thought he'd have to.

As lot of people think that "dieting" is the way to lose weight.  It's not. Simply put "dieting" is a form of deprivation that will result in you going back to your old ways and regaining your weight PLUS more. I am proof of that because of my most recent weight issues.  I had lost 118 lbs total but had gained back about 25 of that by not really doing much exercise plus being a glutton when it came to "treats" I would allow myself. What used to be a rare indulgence was once again becoming an indulgence more and more often.  Basically I was resorting back to my "old lifestyle" and the result was a weight gain.  BUT I was also making sure that I was still buying the same foods, along with the bad for me stuff I was starting to go back to.  I continued to eat my organic yogurts and cereals, etc. along with my bad foods and I am certain that THIS was a major factor in not gaining back more of the weight.  End result, I've put myself back on the path I was on and have lost all but 8 lbs of the original weight lost (I'm at about 110 lbs total right now) and the best part is I feel like me again.  My whole reason for sharing this is that I want people to know that even if you do (and as a human you WILL) start to fall back to your old lifestyle, make sure you continue to purchase those items that you've utilized to have your weight loss from the start because losing weight is NOT a diet - it is a lifestyle change.  You have to be sure you don't resort back to your old lifestyle completely and when you find yourself falling towards that direction catch it and as long as  you've continued to eat the whole grains , the lower calorie/fat foods, the organic foods, etc. that you had success with you may have a gain by going back to those 'bad for you' foods but it won't be nearly as bad as if you were to stop buying the items you've found to be your 'good for you' foods.  In my case, in a years time I had only gained 25-28 lbs at the most and took that back off again almost as soon as I started to get back to the gym and start behaving myself.

My love of sweets and ice cream will never end so I wouldn't be realistic to think I'm going to "diet" and not eat them.  Doing so would only make me feel deprived and angry; resorting in me going back to eating like I did.  Instead I found alternative items.  I still eat ice cream but I eat Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches and treats that are lower in calories and fat (yes I know this is not "clean eating" & I am not a perfect clean eater although that is something I am striving for).  I know I'm not going to NEVER eat a piece of cake or cookies so I either make my own organic, lower calorie, high fiber style of sweets (including cookies to die for) and make smaller batches so I don't over indulge.  I eat bowls of Stonyfield Organic yogurts with oats or fiber cereal instead of big bowls of full fat ice cream with all the toppings.  I try new "recipes" that I find or create myself.  When I used to not even scoff at spending $20 on a pizza with all the toppings I now gasp at that thought while not even scoffing at $4 for a container of organic Greek Yogurt that I'm going to be trying a new "frozen yogurt treat" recipe with or $8 for a container of herbs to help me stay healthy.  I spend $60 a month for a couples membership to a gym without even noticing instead of going out to dinner 5x a week spending at least that.  My point is, priorities have to change and lifestyle has to do a complete 180 to the other side.  Sometimes you're going to slide a few degrees but don't allow yourself to do a 360 all the way back to the way you were.  Let yourself enjoy that INFREQUENT indulgence of a DQ Blizzard (can ya tell what I treated myself to yesterday? LOL) or go ahead and buy a bag of skittles (just not the super sized pound bag but instead a single, small bag) to get rid of that craving.  Basically you have to be realistic about your body, your traits, your former lifestyle and your current lifestyle.

This weekend is my fiance and my birthdays.  We will be celebrating but we have made a promise that we will also be sure to hit the gym as part of our celebration.  We are buying an ice cream cake but ONE to share with many people and combining it for both our birthdays.  This gives us the indulgence one time, as opposed to two times in a matter of 3 days yet not over indulge.  OVER indulgence is what made me obese, not indulgence. In the end, we will do most of our celebrating without food but instead with activities that will burn a few calories and make our birthdays special.  In the end we are simply making it so we will enjoy more birthdays than we previously would have ever seen if we had continued our lifestyle and most of all, giving ourselves more time together.  I didn't find him until late in life so I refuse to give up years we could have together because of poor lifestyles.  Instead we plan to grow old together much longer than we would have had the chance to do with our former lifestyle and we will continue our changed lifestyle so we can hopefully spend a long, long time together enjoying life as we've now seen it can be.

I leave you with this thought.... if you're on the line about "dieting" I say this: Don't do it!  Dieting is not a lifestyle.  Dieting is a life change that is temporary.  Instead think long and hard about your life and how you can change completely, wholly, to bring out the real you that God created.  You were not born obese and you did not get there by eating one candy bar or stopping for one beer.  You will not lose weight by not eating anything you like for the next 6 weeks or even year.  You will only get healthier and in that process lose weight by changing your entire lifestyle, changing your entire way of thinking about you, your life, how you spend your money and what's "worth" the price in various ways from financially to health wise when it comes to lifestyle.  Nobody can make you change your lifestyle and you're not going to do it if  you think it's going to be miserable. YOU have to find a way to create your own lifestyle and be able to enjoy it while getting healthy.  If I can do it, you can do it.  If the love of my life can do it, you can do it.  Most of all, if you have even an ounce of love for yourself and those around you... you can do this.  Make the choice to change your lifestyle not just start "dieting" because it's really true that DIETING begins with 3 letters that just proves you are going to feel deprived "DIE" and you don't want to DIE... you want to LIVE.  Changing LIFEstyle begins with the words you want to.... LIFE.  Best of luck and please feel free to share your ideas, your recipes, your thoughts here on how you are becoming a more healthy person by changing your lifestyle.

Wish me luck on my journey to "eating clean" and  healthy! 
Take care of the one body God gave you, please... before it's too late.
Inspire someone you love to do the same.
And please feel free to comment and share ideas for trying to live and eat "clean" and losing weight by changing to a healthy lifestyle!


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Who Else Helps me get healthy?
These are just a few of the people online that inspire me....


 Joe Gigantino - Fitness Trainer
This is the guy that really set me on the path to physical fitness - Sign up for his FREE newsletter! His tips were very inspirational in helping me take many of his routines to the water so I have less pain while being able to move!

 HK Weighs In

 BWJEN - Another WW Buddy and a 'bookworm' too!?

.Get Fit After 40

Green Lite Bites

Sean Anderson the formerly 500lb man!
Diary of A Winning Loser - Sean is an inspiration to anyone trying to get healthy!
Sean Anderson

*Note I am not affiliated nor endorsed by Weight Watchers® at all, in any way. I highly recommend their program and cannot say enough GOOD about it, but I also have decided that they were my "stepping stone" to making a change in my lifestyle. Any mention of Weight Watchers®, their program or their term of "points®" does not mean they have approved, seen, or endorsed anything on my blogs.

Also, if at any time Points® are mentioned it is always with the assumption that you will analyze the recipes, foods, ingredients and figure the points out specifically for your consumption of any product, as ingredients may vary by brand, size, etc. and Points® is a registered trademark of the Weight Watchers® company.