Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's Different This Time

When I made the 40 X 40 list, I had "Lose 41 Pounds" as number five. My reason for doing that was that I wanted to make the items on the list quantifiable. "Eat right", "exercise more", "get healthy" are all hard to quantify. At what point would I check "eat right" off a list? What does it mean to "exercise more?" How will I know when I "get healthy?" See the problem? "Lose 41 Pounds" is tangible. I can complete the task and check it off. It makes for a good all-encompassing become healthier goal.

The problem is that "Lose 41 Pounds" doesn't clearly express my actual goals.

In the past my entire reason for making changes was losing weight. Being healthy as an end in itself wasn't on my radar. What would happen was: I would start, I might lose a pound or two, then it would... stall... or there would be cookies... or I'd have a bad day... or there would be chocolate... or I was too "busy" to exercise... or there would be cake... (you might notice a sugar theme emerging) and I would return to my old habits. You know the fridge magnet "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels?" In my case, I can say unequivocally, that there are many things that taste better than being thin feels.

This past year changed that. I was sick for a lot of 2011. Even when I wasn't sick I still felt really icky. I came to the realize that I really, really HATE feeling icky. Go figure. I've also noticed that people who eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep tend not to get sick and feel icky. Go figure. Somewhere along the line my motivation switched from trying to be thin to feeling better. Don't get me wrong, being thinner would be fantastic. I'm heavy and I really, really dislike that, but for me thin isn't sufficient motivation to stick to the changes.

However, now that my motivation changed it seems to be easier to make and stick with the changes. Even if I don't lose weight I still feel better.

So, what changes have I made?

Well, I've started to switch to more vegetarian fare. I've started walking, I've started drinking fresh, homemade veggie juice. I'm snacking on nuts, fruit, and veggies. At the moment, I'm not having that difficult a time sticking to these changes. That might change, but for now I'm feeling pretty good about things.

What changes do I have yet to make?

I'll be adding in some kind of strength & flexibility training and I'll be trying different types of aerobic exercise. I want to find the exercise that I love.

What's still difficult?

Kicking the refined whites, especially sugar and stopping the soda...

Somethings have surprised me. A few months ago I NEVER would have agreed to drink veggie juice. Now I like it. I also would never have considered vegetarianism as an option. I'm also having to adjust some of the personal goals. I wanted to walk three miles in an hour. I did that my second day so I obviously need to set the goal higher.

All I can say is that the change in my motivation has made a tremendous difference. Even if I don't lose weight, I still feel better, and since that's the main goal, it makes a huge difference in my ability to stick to these changes.

What about you? How do you stick to changes like these? Are you someone for whom a healthy lifestyle comes easily?


  1. Making about health not weight loss makes all the difference, doesn't it? I am so excited for you. Hoping to hitch my wagon to your star now that the Harry and David English Toffee caramels are safely out of the house!

  2. hello heather - i'm very happy for you. you deserve to be healthy and strong. if you need more guidance, find a nutritionist. i went to one and learned that i needed more protein to support my running, and more leafy greens to stop sugar craving. it really helped.

    who cares what you weigh if you are healthy and strong? joy and kale chips at whole foods to you!

  3. I think you are absolutely right, and that's my motivation too now - health. I guess you have to feel bad before you get it...

    I have gained a lot of weight during the last three to four years, earlier in my life I have been "normal" or even slim. Now I need to go to a physiotherapist before I can excercise, I have big problems with my shoulders and arms and I'm soooo stiff in the mornings or if I sit down for a long time.

    I have unquantifiable goals, and I know they always say you should have guantifiable ones, but I'm ok with mine for now. :-)

    Hope we both will get healthier this year!

  4. Hi Heather you've made a great start and inspired me to really truly begin the exact same thing. Like you I often feel icky and know I need to be healthier. Gotta make it happen. Also, I've nominated you in the 7x7 link award details are on my blog. Don't feel obligated to pass it on if it's not your thing but just wanted to recognise all your great work on your blog.


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