“…a little bit of this, a little bit of that”

the ramblings and musings of an elementary music teacher and aunt extraordinaire

Progress is very motivating December 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — marlise @ 3:30 am

Today marks the beginning of week 4, and I’m doing pretty well with the fitness and nutrition adjustments so far.  I’ve been tracking my progress online at fitday.com.  It’s pretty cool.  I can conveniently set my own goals for weight and nutrition (or they give guidelines.)  Then, I enter what I’ve eaten and what exercises I’ve done.  It tracks my calories eaten and burned.  I can also track my weight and measurement changes.  I’ve also done quite a bit of reading on how to change my habits.  Here are a few things that are working for me:

1.   I’m getting into the workout routine gradually. I have done well with this in the past, but it always takes special effort.  I tend to be an “all or nothing” kind of person.  The problem is that I sometimes overdo the exercise too early, get frustrated and have trouble staying motivated.  This time, I’m started simply, gradually increasing times and weights, and it’s working.

2.  I am adjusting my nutrition gradually. I’ve been reading several things about nutrition, and I’ve been struck more than ever with the importance of choosing changes that I can sustain.  I did check out realfood.info (Thanks, Melissa!), and it fits several other things I’ve been reading.  The general guidelines I’m following are that food that looks most like the way God created it is best for me.  I’m also making sure that I eat some protein with every meal and snack, and my goal for the next couple of weeks is to make sure I spread my calories throughout the day in 5 smaller “meals.”  The things I’m reading say this is good for me, and from a practical standpoint, these are adjustments I can reasonably make and maintain.  That’s very important to me.

3. I’m using help for my fitness plan. I found a free source at freetrainers.com.  It isn’t rocket science, but it’s helpful for me to have a plan and guidance for my fitness, and since I can’t afford a real-life physical trainer, this plan is working pretty well for me.  It’s helpful for me because it is customizable to what materials, time, etc. I have available.  It’s also helpful because it helps me to vary my workout, which I know is key to successful results.

4.  Finally, I’m tracking everything. I mentioned this at the beginning of the post, and I’m bringing it up again, because I’ve been amazed at how much this simple step helps me.  I can’t believe how much more I think about what I’m going to eat when I know that I’m going to have to write it down.  Aside from a minor binge at our Thanksgiving meal, I’ve been doing pretty well.  (The funny thing about the Thanksgiving meal binge is that I thought I was being reasonable until I added everything up and realize how many calories I had ingested.  It was nearly double my normal daily intake!!–I didn’t let it get me down, though.  I got right back to the normal routine.)  The coolest thing about tracking everything is that I can see me progress.  Even though my changes seem small from day to day, I’ve now been tracking everything for three weeks, and I’m seeing a difference.

Here’s the progress I’ve seen over the past three weeks:

1.  I’ve learned to balance my calories. I’m seeing caloric intake on a chart, and realizing that my ratio of calories is changing. Fewer of my calories are coming from fat or cheap carbs.  That makes me feel good about my nutrition, and it helps me make a few more simple changes.

2.  I’ve been exercising pretty consistently. I’ve done at least four workouts every week since the week I started.

3. I’ve lost 7 pounds and 4 inches in these three weeks. That may seem small to you, but I’m pretty excited at the progress, especially since the Thanksgiving binge happened during that time.  And, here’s where I’m totally sold on tracking my progress.  If I hadn’t written down measurements, food, and exercise, I’m not sure I’d even realize that I had made any progress. Since I did write it down and see the progress, it’s motivated me to keep going, because I’m realizing that the simple changes have not been in vain.  And, thanks to Melissa for asking, because that’s a big help, too.  It helps me stay on target to know that other people now know that I have a target, and to know that these same people will probably expect to see visible results in the reasonable future.