Monday, May 20, 2013

Fit by Forty-_____!

 I'm at that place in my life again where weight-loss is very much needed, but instead of setting some unrealistic goal like, 'fit in four weeks" for some big event, I've decided to put not the least bit of pressure on myself and just loose the weight by learning how to live right. This diet is for the long-term-a new life style for me.

Most people say, "Fit by Forty," but I'm past forty and so I have set a different goal: fit by forty-___ blank.  Forty-what? I'm not sure. It doesn't matter so much to me as to the when, as it does the fact that I need to just get started.

It all started back in January when I noticed my neighbor out walking one morning. Then I saw her walking the next day and the next and the next. It didn't seem to matter to her if it was a terribly cold day or even rainy. She was out walking. Then a few weeks ago she announced on Facebook that she had lost twenty pounds! I was so proud of her. She did it and she did it through walking. I had always thought that you might start out walking for exercise, but eventually you would get into jogging or running. I'm not a runner and never have been so the thought of jogging for weight loss has always been very intimidating.

Well, I invited her over last week to ask her how she did it. How did you change your life style? How do you stay committed to being healthy? How do you stay committed to exercising every day? She answered all my questions and I learned a lot.

1- First thing she told me was that she bought a fit bit -a pedometer. She clips it on in the morning and she doesn't have to think about it the rest of the day. Her daily goal is to walk 10 miles a day! And she does it! So, I went out to Wal-Mart and got myself not a fit-bit, but a pedometer just the same. I've clipped it on and  I am walking! I have made my goal at walking 5 miles a day. I walk 2 in the morning, 2 in the evening and with all the walking I do with six kids it's easy to get in the last mile!

2- I asked her 'Where do you walk?" Being a New Yorker I am nervous about walking alone around the block at any time of day. She told me that she is nervous about it too, but she sticks to the major roads. I was encouraged. I now know where to walk. For whatever reason I thought I had to walk around the block. I am so glad that I made myself vulnerable, asked stupid questions and got some really solid advice.

3-I asked her, "Doesn't it get boring?" She said no because she walks when her favorite radio shows are on. She walks in the morning and catches the news and feels set for the day. Call me crazy, but I hadn't ever thought of listening to the radio. I keep adding songs to my playlist, but in a few days am bored with them and then bored with my workout.

4- I asked her, "How do you stay with walking when let's say you get down?" I find for myself whenever I get bad news, I get disappointed with myself, I'm missing my best friend, or simply someone hurts my feelings, I actually feel physically weak. I'll tell myself, "You're feeling down- give yourself grace and take the day off from working out." Well, with that comes all the emotionally eating! I'll binge for the day, get more down and disappointed in myself and before I know it I've not worked out for not just one day, but for the week! Well, she said, "My fit-bit keeps me going. I don't want to let it down." WOW! I totally got what she was saying. The pedometer has become like a coach egging her to work out and keep going! That helped me a lot. She also said that she has now been in this routine lifestyle for 5 months and it really has become part of her life. Working out seven days a week is not a struggle. (I can't wait until I can say that!!!)

5- The next thing she told me was that she wrote everything down. Every day she weighs herself, keeps count of her calories and her mileage and writes it down. She not only has a record of success, but she said that in writing down all she ate, when she would want some junk food she found herself not wanting to write that on her chart. Keeping the record of all she walked and ate helped keep her to be accountable to the weight loss goal she had created. I was very encouraged. Okay, so for me I find I don't have the time to do all the calorie counting and typing into my computer all that info, but I did create a calendar center where I can write my daily weight and miles walked. As far as calorie counting I have decided to drink an Atkins drink for breakfast, a huge green salad for lunch, a 90 calorie snack and then a portion sized dinner. That's the best  I can do right now and I'm good with that. To be totally honest with you, I am not a detailed oriented person. I get frustrated with trying to find the calories of each little thing I eat, adding it up and all of that. I've tried it, got so frustrated that I stopped dieting! For me, I just need to be conscious of what I eat - no more bingeing! (I am working on an article about my emotional eating. I hope to have that out soon!)

So, the next day I got on my walking/exercise clothes, tied my laces and set out...with my son. I had not expected a partner. Running/walking on the treadmill all these years I've been alone, but now with the open outdoors my son asked if he could come with me. I was honestly a little resistant at first. I wanted to walk out the door, independent, radio in hand, ready to smack my fears down alone, but what could I say? Well, I said, "sure," and boy did he talk a stream. We sped walked for 2 miles, (in a little less than a half-hour), he never was at a loss for words. It was wonderful! I never get a full thirty minutes uninterrupted with my child ever! I got to ask him questions and my son and I just talked. It was amazing. He walked with me for two days. When my next oldest child saw that my son stopped walking with me, she decided she wanted to walk with me. I must have smiled the entire time. She talked faster than my son and she certainly got in a lot more in than he did! She and I talked about so many things it was truly wonderful.

Yes, there have been days I have walked alone and they have been special too. I am determined to walk alone or with a child of mine. Through this new adventure of walking and loosing weight I can also use the time as a little date time with my children. God is blessing this and I am very grateful for this new season in my life. I hope someone out there learned something or is encouraged to get started.


  1. Ellie, my first response was "Wow! I am sooo proud of my sister!" Then, I really loved your insights, your questions, your honesty about the real struggles we ALL get in with emotional eating and emotionally checking out of our exercise routine. But the part that made me tear up was reading about your precious children walking with me. I cried and am still tearing up thinking about how precious they are and that time was. You GO GIRL!

  2. Thank you Dena and Sarah =D
    It is a daily submitting and dying to self!
    Thanks for your encouragement!- I need it!