Did you know that husbands are available at your local convenience store? These are the things I am learning as I go along this journey.
My youngest daughter and I went into a convenience store to get frozen Cherry Cokes and I saw the cutest wicker/straw hat that I could wear this summer while I work at ND Countryfest, a weekend-long country concert in New Salem, ND. I tried on a few hats and settled on the one pictured on this page. As I was paying, a gentleman behind me said I looked good in the hat and explained that he likes to wear those types of hats too. He said something about annoying his daughters with his particular style in hats. As we were leaving he loudly asked, “Do you need a husband too?” I didn’t know that hats and husbands were a 2-for-1 deal, but I laughed and said, “No thanks, I already have one of those.”
My daughter was pretty annoyed and wondered how he didn’t see her standing right there. When we got home, we told my family (and present husband) the story and they also got a good laugh. My husband gave his typical response – “Did he have any money?” He seems to think that is the only good quality of a husband.
This story ties in well with what I was planning to write about next – how we all want instant gratification. When we are tired, we want to close our eyes and sleep. When we have a headache, we take some medicine. When we are hungry (sad, lonely, happy or pretty much an emotion), we grab the quickest and easiest food item available. If I could pin-point one behavior that could be blamed for my obesity, it’s that one. I didn’t always give in to my slightest whims – or I would be on the show, My 600 Pound Life – but I gave in enough to weigh over 240 pounds.
But the idea of “dieting” and saying “no” to all of my favorite foods was about the worst thought possible. I knew it would take weeks and months before I lost any significant amount of weight and in the meantime, I thought I would be miserable from eating rice cakes and broccoli all day long. When I did decide to start a new plan, it only lasted as long as my will power. The first day or weekend that I went “off plan” I rarely got back into it again. It was so depressing all around.
There are many reasons why I am doing well this time around, but one of them is how I learned to re-think the benefits of eating healthier and exercising. Rather than listing all of the things I am CHOOSING not to consume, I recite the following list of benefits that happen after only ONE DAY of following the plan.
I savor every meal and snack because I know it was planned out and fits into my day.
My body feels healthy and strong all day because I am eating healthy portion sizes.
After a day of following my eating plan and then a hard work-out – which is rewarding enough – I take a nice hot bath. Talk about INSTANT GRATIFICATION!
I always save 100-200 calories for after my bath when I get to enjoy a fudge bar and light whipping cream if there are enough calories leftover.
After I have entered my meals and snacks into My Fitness Pal, I scroll down to the bottom of the Diary page and get to press that wonderful magical button “Complete Diary” at which point, a new screen appears and tells me how much I would weigh in 5 weeks, “if every day were like today.” When I have been a really good girl, that number is at least 10 pounds less than what I currently weigh. It warms my heart.
Then I brush my teeth, get my pajamas on, pull back the covers of my bed and slide in-between the sheets. The peace and comfort I feel from making healthy choices and being in complete control of my addiction is something I still crave every single day. (The guilty feeling I used to have was crippling.) Not to mention how good my body feels! After the work-out, hot bath and then eating the correct proportions for the day, my muscles start to relax and my stomach feels fairly empty and flat. (I felt somewhat hungry that first week but that subsided quickly and now I just feel “comfortable” at bedtime.)
One of the best perks from eating healthy for just one day is getting a good night’s rest that night! I usually fall asleep quickly and I stay asleep all night! I do not wake up hot and sweaty from all of the excess sugar I used to eat. Quick tip – make sure you have an extra blanket on the end of your bed because you might actually get COLD in the night!
Waking up, knowing you made great choices the day before, is like waking up after a good dream and finding out you are LIVING it. (Yes, my addiction is THAT bad.) I just about jump out of bed because I can’t wait to start my day!
On most days, I head straight for the scale to see what it says. If I overate on a Saturday for instance, I skip the scale on Sunday morning but make sure to get right back on plan. Then I weigh on Monday morning, just so I have a starting point. After I make healthy choices for another day, the scale almost always drops a pound or two the next day. It will most certainly give some pounds back if you are just beginning!
Then I get dressed and see how much looser my clothes are fitting. If you saw the heaping pile of clothes on the floor next to my closet, you would realize that many of my clothes no longer fit. (YAY!!!)
I know I have listed many of these benefits in previous blog posts but even I need to repeat them back to myself as often as possible. I get so hung up on total pounds lost and then when the scale does not reflect my hard work, I often consider myself a failure. But if I think of all of these miscellaneous benefits, I remember that the scale is not the only way to measure my success. Plus, the scale will never feel as good as a nice hot bath or loose-fitting clothing!
While I am at it, I might as well plan my day for tomorrow. It’s just ONE day, right? It can’t be that hard to figure out.
Breakfast (340 calories):
One egg over easy with 2 slices of light whole-wheat toast, light margarine and lightly-creamed coffee
Morning Snack (200 calories):
Angie’s Boom Chic’A Pop (2 cups)
Red and green grapes
Lunch (400 calories):
7-Layor Bar Herbal Life Shake from Epic Nutrition
Energized Cherry-limade Tea (also from Epic)
3 pieces of probiotic chocolates
Afternoon Snack (100 calories):
Cucumbers and ranch (will need to take a break to cut them up and mix)
Finish leftover grapes
Exercise (potential to gain 700+ calories depending on how hard I work):
Zumba class at 5:30pm, followed by weight lifting and walking around the track
Evening Snack (250 calories):
Organic fudge bar with light whipping cream
Liquid IV pack mixed with ice and water (stops the muscle cramping at night!)
Supper (350 calories):
Boneless pork chop (already grilled and leftover in the fridge)
Homemade cheesy hashed browns from crock pot (leftover as well)
Calorie Goal for the Day: +1,280
Calories Consumed: - 1,640
Exercise Calories: +700 (???)
Calories Leftover: +340
Depending on actual measurements, these numbers will adjust, but getting them logged in and planned out now will make it that much easier tomorrow. I already feel like I have a ton of bricks off of my shoulders. My clothes are laid out and I pre-packed some of my food, so I can already tell that I am going to KILL IT tomorrow!
Look at that – another example of instant gratification – feeling great about my plan for tomorrow!
Feel free to use this same plan for yourself and/or tweak to your liking. I know I am a freak about exercise but even if you just walk for an hour, you can gain 400 calories for the day! It’s been the key to my success: eating those gained exercise calories. You deserve them and your body probably needs them!
Just think. Everything in this article can happen in 24 hours! It blows my mind that I am on Day 287 of following this plan. When I began the journey, I couldn’t see past a couple of days and now here I am, about 50 pounds gone (give or take each day), and I have strangers asking to be my husband! (Forgive me if I sound a little conceited but I was a really big girl for about 25 years and it’s nice to finally be objectified for a change – ha!)
Hopefully you got a few tips from this blog post. I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions for the “Instant Gratification List” as well! We are all in this together, right? You just need to subscribe to my blog and then you can post anytime. It’s always free and always much appreciated!