Big Goals–Small and Steady Means
For years now I’ve attacked this whole weight loss/fitness thing with gusto! An all-or-nothing approach, if you will. I participated in several “ultimate loser” competitions at my gym that required strict calorie counting along with daily (sometimes twice daily) vigorous exercise. I’ve dived in head first to several different “diets.” All of these things have worked for a period of time. And…I’ve found myself exhausted at some point and given up.
My current strategy is little by little, baby steps, managing one good habit at a time. I’ve had a really hard time being specific about long-term goals because I know I have so much work to do on the small and every day. But…..I want to put my big fitness goals out there. So here goes….
I will lose a total of at least 190 pounds from my all time high. My all-time high was 335. I’m currently 313. That means I have 22 pounds under my belt and at least 168 to go. (Incidentally, I was looking back at some data and the first “ultimate loser” I did, my starting weight was 313–I need to make it stick this time). My hope is to lose 10 pounds per month. I should be able to do 10 pounds per month. If I can do that, I’ll be where I want to be in as little as 17 months. On some levels that seems like a long time, but I started that first ultimate loser about 84 months ago, so….not really
Fitness level is even more important to me than what is on the scale. And, over the past 7 years, my faith in my ability to achieve and maintain a healthy fitness level has been undermined by poor health. I fear this the most. AND I need to kick FEAR out of my life. It may take longer than I want, but I can be fit! In a perfect world, I would be ready to participate in a half-marathon by fall (even if I just walk it). So, I’m setting my goals on this one: Minnetonka Marathon. That gives me 8 full months to get ready. Certainly I can pull it off!
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m approaching things one by one, step by step. My first step was to quit my habit of drinking diet soda by the gallon. I quit on December 6. I’ve had a few swallows since that time, but only in an attempt to verify (which I did) that I no longer want or need soda in my life. YAY!
My next step was to cut animal products out of my diet. The impetus for this is the dairy allergy I discovered several months ago. I like dairy way more than I like meat. And, I seem to do better at staying away from the dairy when I stay away from the meat. It makes it more difficult for me to justify something at the fast food drive through because a lot of their plant based options are just boring and yucky! I did great with this for 11 days, then I had a few days of struggling. I’m back at it now and more convinced than ever that I feel better and my body operates better without a large amount of meat and with no dairy. While I’m striving to be plant-based for three months, I don’t know that I’ll be strictly plant-based after that. Time will tell.
The next two things I want to tack are exercise and sleep. I think I may try them together because I think they lend themselves to each other well. More exercise should certainly improve my sleep and more sleep should help out the will to exercise. So, starting today I pledge to put in at least 30 minutes of physical activity 6 days per week and to be in bed with the tv/lights off no later than 11 (hopefully I can work into this being 10, but its a start). Once I have this down, I’ll move onto something new. Hopefully it will move me in a direction that will help me reach my goals.