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Jackie's Journey ... The ups and downs
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is third in a series of Jackie’s journey and her effort to live a healthier lifestyle.
Last we met, I was in the process of eating better, exercising and getting back to a healthier lifestyle.
With the help of Dr. Jill Gabrielson at the Healthy for Life Wellness Center in Norway, I am now beginning the third month of my journey.
And there have been some ups and downs.
I’ve lost a total of 13 pounds and am starting to see and feel a big difference, both mentally and physically.
13 pounds may not seem like much, but it has made quite an impact on my life.
I found myself passing by my black sweaters for a yellow one; I don’t even remember the last time I wore black. I always felt I could hide behind dark colors, but now I feel too good to pass up that pretty, yellow sweater!
Over the holidays, my husband and I made our third trip of the year to California to see our daughter and family…that 13 pounds made all the difference in the world riding in the airplane. I was comfortable and actually didn’t mind the seven-hour flight.
It was great to see the kids and feel their encouragement and support though my journey. It also helped that both my daughter and son-in-law are great cooks and very health conscious, especially when it comes to the little ones.
Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t live off wheat germ and tofu. For example, a dinner would consist of grilled fish, roasted asparagus and wild rice.
But fresh fruits and veggies are abundant there; so many snacks and desserts included watermelon, strawberries and grapes.
Instead of going for ice cream, we’d hit a famous frozen yogurt place and I’d have a sugar-free vanilla with berries on top.
On previous trips I’ve had to take a cat nap after a day at the zoo or park, but on this trip, I never took one. My knee, with its torn meniscus, never bothered me once…usually after a trip of chasing two, small grandchildren it’s a call to the doctor’s office for a cortisone shot.
Speaking of doctors, I had my annual physical and to my surprise my blood pressure dropped from 140/89 to 124/83. What a shock that was, especially where last year I got the ‘word’ that if it continued to climb, I would need medication.
And then came January! I was down 15 pounds at that point and slowly, two pounds have shown up on the scales.
Between leaving my babies and coming home to snow and harsh winds, I’ve had a tough time.
It doesn’t help that I hate winter…and I mean, I really hate winter. Give me 80 degrees and a golf cart and I’d be the happiest person on earth. Once the cold of January settles in, I’d prefer to be settling in with a good book and never leave the house till I saw green on the lawn again. I know that’s not practical or healthy.
But, I keep reminding myself that I’m not dieting, I’m trying to change my lifestyle. I won’t beat myself up over it. Trying to think of the positive, I know had I dieted and lost that same 15 pounds quickly, I would have packed on more than two pounds.
I met with Jill and she said that it is normal to have a few ups and down losing weight and eating healthy, especially in the winter.
Her advice to me: Get out the snow shoes! It will be a fun way to exercise and get a little sun and fresh air; helping me both physically and mentally.
And so I did, but I’ve only been out once. I had a great time, but the problem is getting myself to go do it. Once I’m out there, I’m OK.
It’s tough to stay on track and so easy to slip back into bad habits; a little extra helping of this, or a small bite of that.
But, deep down I am still motivated to lose weight.
Losing weight is such a mind game, or at least for me anyway. Dieting tells me I have to deprive myself; changing my lifestyle tells me I don’t have to be perfect at every meal.
For example, I love McDonald’s! And it’s still a rare treat for me now and then. But before, while dieting and depriving, eating that double cheeseburger would have put me in a tailspin. I would have the large fries because in my mind I had already blown it by driving in. Then when dinner came, it was eating whatever I wanted so I can start a fresh, new diet tomorrow. Tomorrow never came.
Now, what few times I treat myself to a not-so-good choice, I tell myself it is OK. I’m not on a diet, so I’m not being bad. With that in my mind, I will choose a small fry and plan on a light supper…it amazes me how the brain works.
I am no longer going to beat myself up for having an occasional French fry or sliver of cake and I am determined to keep a positive attitude.
I have not gained two pounds; I have lost 13. And I continue on my journey to a better lifestyle.