Thursday, February 28, 2008

Get in the groove!

One of the biggest problems I had in my constant quest (and when I say constant I mean, hmm, since the age of about 15) for weight loss. When I was 15, I had gotten down to about 135 pounds doing LA Weight Loss. After I went off the plan, I slowly, over the course of ten years, gained close to 100 pounds. I always had an excuse as to why I couldn't lose weight. In college, I didn't have a kitchen and always at at the caf (Servo, for those of you who know!) which we know wasn't the healthiest place on earth. In grad school, I was too busy. Truth is, the habits necessary for weight loss success never sunk into my routine. I was definitely an overly organized person, except when it came to diet and exercise.

Experts tell us that it takes 21 days to turn something into a habit. That applies to our eating and fitness behavior. I have a "diet" calendar on my fridge, where I mark how many weeks I have been exercising and dieting consistently for the year. So far, I'm on Week Seven. That means for 49 days, I have been following WW and my new exercise regiment. It's come to the point where exercise is second nature. I don't even question whether I should work out or not. I know the benefits I'm getting from doing the cardio and weight training. That doesn't mean that some days, I cut my workouts shorter than on other days. But at the same time, I don't know how I never took the time to do something HEALTHY for myself. My time exercising gives me an hour where I don't think about anything but sweating and working my body. No students, no grading, no chasing the tenure clock, no "geez I really need to get that article out to the journal." Just me and the TV (and hopefully when the weather gets nicer the Rail Trail).

Same thing goes for eating healthy. I've blogged before about how hard it has been to change my BAD eating habits. But planning ahead really helps. I keep track of the proteins that I have in my freezer (ground turkey, tilapia, chicken breasts, shrimp, and salmon) and plan my weekly meals around it. It's much easier than coming home every night and getting frustrated trying to figure out what to eat. I've also made grocery shopping a habit. Every Sunday after mass, I head off to Giant Eagle or Kroger and do my weekly shopping. That allows me to buy the produce and other things to get me through the week. I allow myself to buy one "healthy" munchy snack (one bag of soy chips) and the rest of it focuses around veggies, fruits, and proteins. Planning ahead helps you stay on track!

1 comment:

c said...

I completely understand what you mean. It's amazing how quickly it just becomes a part of your lifestyle. I naturally reach for fruits or veggies and less and less looks for something sweet.

I think this is also why the experts say that the slower you lose weight, the better success you have at keeping it off. You have to really learn how to live your new lifestyle and practice new habits. I love how normal it seems now. It does take effort to stay on track but now it's because I want to be that way - not just to lose weight.