Who Is Walkerlady?

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I'm the 'Lazy Quilter' who doesn't always take the time to try to achieve perfection. I prefer to enjoy the process of creating instead of agonizing over being perfect. I am 'Walker Lady' who changed my lifestyle and lost over 70 pounds in the process! I wear the hats of a Quilter, Artist, Crafter, Musician, Life Coach, Wife, and Mom, all rolled up into one unique human bean!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Cha-cha-cha-changes!

First off, I haven't exactly addressed how I am doing these days. I feel I am in, or almost in, a maintenance mode now. I still have to track my foods. I still exercise 60 minutes per day, trying to do that seven days a week. It has all gotten so easy that it is scary! The scale doesn't move much these days. I had almost thought this was going to be where I was going to end up being, weight-wise. I convinced myself that this was ok because I was a LOT better than I was. Then I looked at my weight loss chart that one of my programs keeps for me. It looks ok. Then I took a closer look. I realized that I had lost TEN, yes TEN pounds since the first of January! That is very good, in my opinion. Of course MY opinion is all that counts here. I feel better about the slower progress now, especially because it IS still progress!

In other tidbits of news, a month ago we had this:
Snow in Arkansas is not that common, but we usually get a dusting now and then and a storm once in a while too. Notice the 'real' cap and scarf on the figures in this statue? Someone had a neat sense of humor there. This statue is in front of the center that I go to for exercises and the support group.

On one of my trail walks last week I came across this tree:
That is not snow on it though. It is the first signs of spring! It has been a blooming good time here of late. My daffodils have been up for weeks. My crocus just came up last week and my hyacinth are also in full bloom. The tulips will be next. The rose bushes are full of new red baby leaves. I hope we don't have a cold snap as that would really hurt all this spring growth! It makes for nice walking weather and I have been taking full advantage of Mother Nature's hints of spring.

The other morning I was waking up slowly. I stretched. I checked to see what time the clock said, hoping it was six A.M. or later. It was! I had stayed in bed till almost 8:00! To have that luxury of waking up slowly was so nice! Usually I have to get up, and get awake, and get coffee, and get my breakfast, and read a few emails, and get the child up, and be sure the child is still up ten minutes later, and get him going on his breakfast, and let the dogs out, and make the child's school lunch, and remind the child to brush his teeth, hair, and find his glasses, and tell him to get shoes and socks on, and smooch the husband goodbye as he goes off to work, and let the dogs back in, and head out the door in plenty of time to walk the child to school, and then continue walking a couple miles for morning exercises, and so it goes! (And NO, I don't do this in the buff! Of course I got myself dressed first. Geesh!)

This morning was different. I laid there, in the early morning light, just relishing my momentary laziness. My hand brushed down the front of me and I felt my heart beat. In a split second, I realized I had actually felt my physical heart BEATING! I felt again, and sure enough, my hands actually seemed to feel the heart muscle, pulsating. It was strong and regular and it was amazing!

I had no real idea of just how much body fat, masks things on our bodies. If you've been obese or close to it, for most of your life, you just don't know how amazing your body feels when the fat is gone and your body parts are suddenly noticeable.

Not only do I feel my heart, I can feel bones where there were none before. I honestly am often amazed when I find a new bone where I used to just be squishy. There are a few downturns to losing weight though. For some of us, the barriers come down. I never thought I used my obesity to hide from things...or people. As the weight has come off, I feel like I am a target. I don't feel like I look as formative and that someone would be more likely to attack me! It is a strange feeling. I never thought such things when I had size to protect me.

I have also found I don't need to take ibuprofen like I used to! I used to almost eat it like candy for so many aches and pains. Now I only take a few, maybe once a week. I also don't like my glasses anymore. They look huge on my face. I won't be able to get a handicapped sign for my vehicle any time soon either. A year and a half ago, I wondered how hard it would be to get one because it was hard to walk from my vehicle into the store, much less walking around in the store!

All these little things are my little diamonds.
We have a state park in Arkansas that you can go to and hunt for real diamonds. There have been some huge ones found as well as lots of smaller ones. I like to use the analogy of going to that state park for a vacation. You go out every day and hunt for diamonds. Each little gem you find, you put into your bucket. You hope for those big diamonds too. On the last day of vacation you go out and don't find any diamonds at all. You toss the ones you had gotten before, because you are so disgusted that you couldn't get that last big find on your last day of vacation. Now that is just silly, right? You would keep all the diamonds you found, of course, and you'd be happy you had found them and might make money from the sale of those small sparklers.

Yet how often do we start losing weight and when we hit a bump in the road, we say we should just quit. Nothing will work, right? NO! We need to give ourselves credit for every pound lost, big or small, in a week or a month or a year. We need to give ourselves credit for every healthier choice we make. We need to give ourselves credit for every time we say "No, I won't quit." We need to give ourselves credit for every step we take to add any type of exercise into our lives. Often we forget those little earlier diamonds of success. It makes as much sense to quit as it does to toss all the little diamonds out of our bucket, right?

This is why, when I see I haven't lost a pound, or that I have gained a pound, or that I have started smoking again, that I have to remember that I have LOST weight over several weeks, that I didn't gain that much, and that I will quit smoking again. I worked for where I am. It makes no sense to toss my little diamonds out because I didn't find the big one today. Hang on to your diamonds, big and little. You are worth as much, and more, than diamonds. Really!

TIPS AND TRICKS:
What is your biggest food challenge? Is it that you can't give up KFC? Is it that you really want a cupcake? Don't give them up! Work around such things. The next time you have KFC for example, don't eat it in the car, eat inside the restaurant or take it home to eat it. The next time you go, use a fork to eat the chicken. Never touch the chicken with your hands. Don't pick up the bones and suck off that very last morsel of meat. The following time you go, tear off half the skin and don't eat that. Work your way through the trips to KFC until you can take off all the skin and not lick the bones clean. (You can still lick your fingers though!)

You want a cupcake. Do you grab one, tear off the paper, and stand right there at the counter and stuff it in your mouth in one or two big bites? Then you want to eat another? Pretty soon you've convinced yourself that you are bad and you may as well quit trying to lose weight. Instead, try it this way...get a plate and fork and put the cupcake on the plate. Take it to the table and sit down. Get back up and go get a napkin or paper towel. Sit down and now use the fork to peel off the paper wrapper. Then use the fork to eat the cupcake in small bites. Does it have frosting? Scoop off some of that frosting and put it on the wrapper or in the paper towel. EVERY little step you take to slow you down and to make you aware of what you are eating, doing, tasting, smelling, feeling...every step is your little diamond. Don't throw away your other little diamonds because this one has a little frosting on it.

What is your personal challenge food? What can you do to change it? Can you cut out five calories? How about ten calories? How about several hundred calories if you get a bunch of frosting off the cake or the skin off the chicken? Figure it out. Make it better, if only a little bit. These steps are the beginnings of change. These steps are the beginning of your brain rewiring itself to be the thinner person you want to be. Do not discredit little diamonds!

Have you ever eaten a big meal and wanted something sweet within a few minutes of finishing? You know you are full but the craving is driving you nuts! Researchers found that an after-meal, spike in blood sugar often leads to dessert cravings. What this means is that after a meal, many people experience a sharp rise in glucose, followed by an equally sharp decline. People then often crave sugary foods to get back to that food 'high' that they felt, right after that big meal.

Try eating slower or eat like you were at a restaurant. You get the appetizers first, then salad, then the main course. You can divide up your meal to fit within those categories. PLAN ahead and figure adding in a dessert to be had at least 20 minutes after the main meal. This doesn't have to be cake, cookies, pie, or ice cream either. I often have a cup of fat free Greek yogurt with a teaspoon of a high quality jam mixed in it. I savor it and eat it as slow as I can. The jam (not jelly) adds the sweetness and this will satisfy my cravings.

Eat smaller portions or halve your portions and then go get the second half later. Figure out anything you can commit to doing, in order to slow down your meal and to avoid the spikes in glucose. This is mindful eating. This is a good thing to learn!

QUOTE FOR THIS WEEK:
Your body is the baggage you must carry through life. The more excess the baggage, the shorter the trip.

Arnold H. Glasgow

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