I'm just an average chick who one day looked in the mirror (or heaven forbid, at a picture) and didn't like what I saw. To my horror, I had reached 275 pounds without quite knowing how I had gotten there. Okay, yeah, I had some idea, but it all just crept up on me so slowly that I didn't really pay that much attention. My blood pressure was almost literally off the charts and my blood glucose level had started drifting into the "pre-diabetic" range. I knew I needed to do something, but what?
I know enough about myself to know that I would never be one of those people who could give up sweets or junk food altogether. I'm not about self deprivation... in fact that kind of mind set is what has led to me failing so many diets in the past. So I set out to create a genuine lifestyle for myself that I knew I could stick to. I really didn't have any specific ideas in mind... just to not deprive myself of any of the foods that I love and to find some kind of exercise that I could do on a regular basis and not want to slit my throat every time I thought about doing it.
I ended up adopting a regimen that included green smoothies every day to make sure I was getting in my fruits and veggies (I'm not a good veggie eater!) in lieu of one of my meals. The caloric content isn't really any less than what a bowl of cereal or a couple of slices of toast would be, but the nutrition content is so much better... I began feeling better fairly quickly. Over time I was able to reduce the amount of sweets I consumed and amazingly, I no longer crave sweets. That's not to say that I don't enjoy eating them, because I most definitely do, I just don't go through the kitchen scrounging for something sweet to satisfy me anymore.
I also adopted some self disciplines which I stick to even to this day.
- I weigh myself nearly every day. Good or bad, up or down, I don't let the number rule my life, but I want to be aware of it. I know if the number is on the way up or down... I think awareness is a big first step... what is it the 12-steppers say? #1 recognize you have a problem...
- I take my blood pressure reading and my blood glucose reading every day. These are no longer necessary, but again, I just feel like it's a good discipline for me to know these numbers and be able to recognize if they are in their proper ranges.
- Most of the sweets are completely out of our house. I don't do a lot of baking anymore. We do have some sweets around, but at least initially it was like an alcoholic keeping a bottle of bourbon in the house...
- As much as I hate to admit it, I now count calories... both in and out... almost every day. I don't beat myself up if I go over my limit one day, but again it's about me being aware of myself and my habits.
- Exercise has become an important part of almost every day... hence the running... I started out slow, only walking 20 minutes a day and I'm now up to running 90 minutes 2 days a week along with a long run (2½ hours) once a week as well as working out in some cross-training activity another 2-3 days a week... my regular runs are now close to 7+ miles and I do long runs of 12-14 miles.