We’re just three weeks past New Year’s Eve and the ever-popular resolution to lose weight and get in shape. Three weeks and light years away it would seem. For the first week everyone is all gung-ho and on the wagon. They all call to check in, they watch what they eat and only drink water. The first week weigh-in is a huge success. Most people lose five pounds or so and are stoked.
Week two starts off on a high from the first week’s weight loss and people are moving and grooving. Everyone is back to work and the kids are back in school and things are starting to fall back into the normal ebb and flow. Then there’s the weigh-in and lo and behold people have once again lost weight. Oh boy! This isn’t as hard as we all thought it would be.
Off we go, trotting into week number three of the New Year, full of our big losses and ourselves. Now is when we get sick of drinking water with every meal and between meals. We’re tired of reading the no/low/light labels on every package in the market and trying to figure out how much of it we can eat at one sitting. That’s when we hear the cookies or worse, the cookie dough calling us. We look at the calorie count and we figure out how many we can eat and figure out the points and somehow talk ourselves into bringing them home. After all we need a little reward every once in a while. We should be allowed to have something sweet just to satisfy that craving. It’s more than a want; it’s a need.
And then we have that day, the one from hell. We get up late, we don’t feel quite ourselves, our clothes don’t feel right, everything at work goes wrong, the school calls about one of the kids, and the dog ate your new magazine. What to do? Of course you’re going to eat those cookies. Cooked, or raw it doesn’t matter. You tell yourself you are only going to eat one but then you find the calories for two. Before you know it you’re losing the battle. Your taste buds and your bad day are conspiring against your resolution. You try to stop after three, then four and then four more. Before you know it there are none. Even though the box said they only weighed 12 ounces the scale says they weigh three pounds now that you’ve eaten them.
Discouraged and disgusted we berate ourselves internally and vow to get back off the chuck wagon and back on the exercise bike. But the whole time we say that we have another little voice telling us we are only human and we all slip up and since we have already ruined it for the day why not go all the way? So we do. We eat everything that appeals to us in vast quantities and keep getting on the scale to see how much we are setting ourselves back.
A few tips, first off don’t be so hard on your self. The bad habits of a lifetime or even a year are not going to be broken and changed in two weeks. You are only human. You will have cravings and there will be days when the diet just goes down the drain. You will have days when you don’t feel like exercising. It’s okay to have those days. Even Richard Simmons has to have an off day every now and then.
Secondly don’t throw the whole day out because of one little slip up. You don’t need to start over tomorrow you need to get control of today. Just because you ate three or four hundred more cookies than you were supposed to after lunch that doesn’t mean you should skip supper or eat half a cow. Chalk it up in the ‘oops’ column and move on with your day. Eat a sensible supper – it will serve you better in the long run. Don’t skip dessert or snacks after supper either. If you normally have it you should still have it. Forget about the slip up. Make off like it never happened and move on.
Exercise, or the lack of it, is another issue. If you just can’t find the time there are a few things you can do that don’t take up too much time and you can work them into your daily routine. First off get a pedometer. Your goal is 10,000 steps a day. For around four dollars you can get one at your local department store. Do your regular routine the first day with the pedometer and see how many steps you take. Ten thousand a day is more than equivalent to the recommended 30-minute work out three times a week.
I was abysmal. So I came up with a way to add steps to my day. First I park in the very last spot in the lot and walk. When I go to the market I make a point of walking up and down every single aisle even if I don’t need anything on it. I also add a lot of steps by doing laundry. Yes by doing laundry. I put the basket in the living room then fold and put away one piece at a time. This means walking twenty steps from the living room down the hall to each bedroom for each piece of clothing. One basket of laundry was 500 steps today. When bringing in the groceries from the car bring in one bag at time. If your family is like mine that’s about 20 trips up and down the 20-foot walkway and five stairs.
I’m not saying this is the fastest way to getting fit and losing weight but it is a way that won’t burn you out or make you feel inferior. Small steps add up to big changes.
If your curious about how the New Years gang is doing or if you’d like to join us on our quest you can check out the whole skinny on my blog: http://blog.myspace.com/42915897