Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Rescue Mission : The Decision

I don't do diets.

And I don't (generally) do New Years Resolutions.

But this year I finally decided that enough is enough, and it is about time I rescue the person trapped within this current body.

My objectives this year will be:

Lose Weight - I am not ready to give a specific number, but let's just say that some 11+ years ago when I got pregnant, I was already carrying some unnecessary weight on my hips and thighs. Then I gained 50 pounds with the pregnancy. Two kids and too many years of excess eating and too little exercise later, I am now above my peak pregnancy weight. So I'm carrying even more weight now, and don't even have a baby to show for it.

Increase Flexibility - I'm tired of struggling to tie my boots, and being frustrated when the kids forgot something upstairs, and I need to go back, and then re-tie the boots. Being able to touch my toes again would help in everyday life.

Increase Stamina - I remember before the kids were born, going on 8 hour hikes with my husband, with little difficulty (except a knee which used to give me some trouble on the downhill sections). But lately I'm out of breath walking the two blocks uphill to school.

Become Pain Free - More on this in later posts.

Kick-Start my Thyroid - When I didn't seem to be losing weight after my daughter was born, my doctor diagnosed my hypothyroidism, and I've been on Synthroid ever since (although slowly reducing dosage over the years). God willing, I'd like to kick-start my own thyroid function, and eliminate the need for the Synthroid altogether.

I don't have a real detailed plan of attack yet, but here are some initial guidelines I've set out for myself. I hope to expand on my strategies as I learn and continue along this journey:

Find a sustainable exercise program - Something which is not too onerous and will fit into my lifestyle, but will build up some flexibility and endurance.

Introduce natural foods - More fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is said that the more you can recognize where a food comes from, the more healthy it is.

Learn what hunger really feels like - Much of my eating recently, probably half of it, is "reactionary" eating - in response to stress, or frustration, or just because I see it, and can reach it (i.e. the infamous "see food" diet). I suppose I don't really know what hunger actually feels like, since often after I eat, I still think I'm "hungry".

Stay off the scales - This radical idea was inspired by Melissa of Empress of Dirt. I've been following along her 30 day fitness program since Nov 10, 2009 (actively at first, until I got sick, and sort of fell off the wagon - or in my case, the stationary bike). Melissa has been measuring progress in "strength and clothing changes". Funny thing, when I read this, I immediately recognized that my reaction to stepping on the scales is almost always to gain more weight. So I've decided to only let myself step on them once at the end of each month.

Be patient - Since I've been building up weight over years of neglect and overeating, the change will not be quick. It is a long-term commitment to live healthier, and take better care of my body. For this reason, I have started a new blog called the Rescue Mission to track my progress. I am hoping it will help to keep me on track, or at least feel accountable if I derail.

I hope you will join me as I start this journey to better health.


Ellen Rathbone said...

You are not alone. It seems like suddenly one day you look in the mirror (or, more often, at a photo someone took of you) and you just don't recognize the person looking back at you. How did that happen? When did it happen? It creeps up on you so slowly, yet at the same time it seems to happen over night.

All you describe could easily be me. We have a group forming locally - first meeting tonight - we'll see how that goes.

Good luck to you!

Kate said...

Good for you! May I make a suggestion? I made this same resolution last year though I set my goals pretty low. I hate diets and I have no willpower. I pledged to lose a pound a month and that was fairly easy to achieve. Instead of stalling out it got easier over time because it wasn't such a terrible sacrifice. I'm excited for you - though, I'll readily admit counting calories is a pain in the ass... Keep us posted!

Garden Lily said...

Ellen - You are so right. One day I remember looking at my bum in the mirror, and realizing that it wasn't even a round bum shape anymore, it was just flat. And being taken off guard, wondering who is that fat lady in the photo standing next to my kids (now I've learned to stand behind them, it's not so bad)?

Kate - Absolutely. I don't even know what a "calorie" is, and don't care. I plan to eat more healthy foods, and when I'm hungry, and that's that.

Tim said...

Good on you for having a plan, and taking personal accountability. There are way too many people who depend on some magic diet, only to blame the failure of its success on the diet itself.

Shady Gardener said...

Sounds like a great plan! I'm needing to get back on the treadmill! I had a miserable cold, etc. that lasted 4 weeks... in which I didn't get any exercise. I can tell that has taken its toll! Happy 2010 and Stick To IT! :-)

Garden Lily said...

Thanks for the encouragement. If any of you are inclined that way, please come join me at my Rescue Mission blog. It's a bit lonely out there, and I could use your moral support.

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