Monday, July 23, 2018

Healthy Choice Making

I am starting week 5 of a big change in our self care choices.

Back around the end of June, it suddenly hit me, after seeing part of a TED talk on how exercise helps your brain, that I have got to seriously change what I'm doing.

On June 23 and 24, Jeff and I began planning the new diet we needed to follow. On June 25, we started making different food choices. On June 26, I started working out.

I'm going to be really honest now.

Up through April, we had been doing tae kwon do 2-3 times per week. Yes, it's a good workout. But only if you work really hard at it and it would be most beneficial to do tkd a few times per week and be doing something else the other days. Once tkd was done, we were doing absolutely nothing.

My diet was horrible. I was easily eating fast food literally all 3 meals in a day.

I estimate that I could have easily consumer 3000+ calories each day in drinks and food choices. If not more, honestly. Every choice was driven by what I was in the mood for or what sounded good. I gave zero consideration to nutrition.

Breakfast - Taco Bell grilled breakfast burrito and iced coffee with cream and sugar.
Lunch - Jimmy John's with chips and a large soda.  Or maybe a chain restaurant meal - like Abuelo's. Chips and salsa and then a couple of enchiladas in sauces and rice or potatoes.
Dinner - Again with the restaurant choices. French fries was an easy choice for a side.

Snacking happened all day. We always had ice cream, chips, dip available for snacking while watching TV. We were taking the kids out for ice cream several times per week.

We were teaching our kids our bad habits.

Now a month has passed. I am starting week 5.

My food choices are based on nutritional value - does this food have nutrition or is it empty calories?

I am back to wearing a Fitbit and have pretty consistently been getting around 10K steps or more per day.

I signed on for Beachbody - access to all the workouts and am doing daily Shakeology. I do at least 30 minutes of working out Monday - Friday and get out for walks throughout the weekend.

I am logging my food daily on My Fitness Pal.

I am consuming under 1800 calories per day.

And it's working.

I've lost 11 lb. I feel stronger. I've revived my healthy living Facebook group. I feel good. I don't feel deprived.

My first goal is another 9 lb to lose. Then I will reset my goal.

My motivation is our upcoming October trip to Disney - I want to be healthy and strong for all of the activity and walking.

My motivation is setting a healthy example for my kids. I don't want them growing up thinking that potato chips, cheetos, ice cream, and fast food are normal and acceptable ways of fueling yourself. I do want them to love fruits and vegetables and have the knowledge to make better choices. I do want them to value activity and exercise.

My motivation is feeling the way I used to feel. The last time I was this strong in my healthy living choices was more than 6 years ago. I miss having this energy. I miss feeling proud of my accomplishments.

I think there was a series of things that have happened this year in order to bring me to this place where I could finally flip the switch.

1. I made a new friend through church. At our women's retreat, she just kind of mentioned that exercise is really important to her. She gets up super early to workout.  And since then, I can just see how that plays out in her life and who she is. She hasn't talked about it since to me or brought it up at all. But it stuck in my head.

2. I got my black belt in tae kwon do. Which was an awesome accomplishment. But I was also disappointed because I knew I could have been better if I had been taking better care of myself and exercising more. I also knew that reaching that goal meant that the little bit of exercise I was getting was now gone.

3. I recognized that my body was craving fruits and vegetables and I wasn't doing a good job of feeding it. I even had a week where I was drinking fresh pressed vegetable based juices again simply because my body wanted those nutrients.

4. I hit my highest weight ever. Truth be told, I don't know exactly what my highest weight was. But I had a physical in the spring and my weight was... *gulp* 246 lb. I know I gained more after that weigh in. I wouldn't be surprised if I actually started this journey at 250 lb. But I put my starting weight at the 246 I knew to be true in April.

5. We kept having health problems. I knew that improvements to diet and exercise would help with physical health, mental health, and behavior. For everyone in the family.

6. That looming trip to Disney. I would be crushed if we went and my body failed me on a long day in one of the parks. I always make a plan to start walking more before we go to Disney to prepare myself. But because I was so very unhealthy, more had to be done than just trying to get out for a walk each day. I need muscle. I need stamina. I need strength.

I was thinking that I really want to keep better track of when this started. The motivation has stayed strong. The desire to stay on track has remained in tact. I have goals that I want to achieve. I have my husband also participating and going strong. My kids are supportive and understanding of the different food options in our home. Nutrition and exercise is common conversation in our family now.

This next month will be a huge test for me. I have a substantial project at work and will be traveling for 2 weeks. Not even home for the weekend. I will be staying in a Residence Inn so will have a kitchen - won't have to rely on every meal coming from a restaurant. I also traveled my very first week and it ended up feeling like a personal fit camp - I learned I could get up early and work out. I could make healthy choices in restaurants or the cafeteria at corporate. And then I brought those habits home with me.

I am eager to see what happens in the next month - the first month certainly went better than I had expected!

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