Tuesday, July 14, 2009

You're Not Dieting, You're changing your Lifestyle

Blah, blah, blah, I know you guys are getting sick about hearing about the spa, but a retreat like that, totally centered on health and diet (with a little pampering thrown in) just puts you in a contemplative move.

Prior to my last weight loss journey, I had tried countless times to take off all the weight that just piled on after I hit forty. Every crazy diet I tried either didn't work at all, or only took off some of the weight which piled right back on again once I got off the diet.

The reason I was able to take off so much weight this last time (and keep it off) was that I didn't so much go on a diet, but changed my lifestyle (and the lifestyle of my family as well).

Last weekend during one of the morning aerobic walks, I had a long discussion with a woman who booked herself into the New Age Spa for two weeks. She had also put on a great deal of weight in her forties, and was having health problems. She knew she had to change her life.

She was a single mother and her daughter was at sleep away camp, so she took the opportunity to get away herself. After spending some time at New Age she told me that she now realized that she needed to make changes to her life. She needed to schedule her exercise sessions just like any other appointment, and make it a priority. She needed to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and cut down on grabbing a bagel or muffin at some fast food place on the way to work and eating lunch out.

"How hard could it be to stop at a store instead and just buy some fresh fruit for breakfast?" she said.

I cheered on this woman, and related my own weight loss journey. Two years ago, I too, realized, that I needed to permanently change my eating habits and make exercise a priority in my life if I ever wanted to be healthy again (I was having health issues as well which disappeared with the excess weight).

We also discussed time management. Like her, I work and take care of a family, so finding time is difficult. You have to sometimes look at your life as a whole and determine where you can save time. Two things I did was stop shopping so much (I really didn't need all the stuff I was buying on any account), and cutting back on the amount of housework I did (the house really doesn't need to be spotlessly clean completely picked up every single day of the week).

I also looked for any time efficiencies I could find, and looked to cut my overall driving time by combining chores when I was out (saving gas as well).

As for gifts, I've learned have gift cards to various stores on hand in various denominations. Instead of running to the store every time one of my kids gets invited to a party, I just give a gift card. And, adults really prefer getting a gift card to a store they like then something you think they'll like. And, the hour or so I save by not running back and forth to a store, is an hour I get to exercise.

Think about your own life and how you can make changes to eat better and exercise more. Implement those changes and you'll be happy with the results.

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