Kathy Shares her Struggles and Plans

Kathy's Before and After Photo

I find myself rather frustrated as I think about weight loss. Nearly eight years ago, I started my weight loss journey. It is exactly that, a journey. I have not perfected anything. I work everyday and once again, I feel my weight journey involves emotion. When things are beyond my control, I turn to food. Before I realized it, 5 pounds come back, then 10 and 20 then more. While I still have over 1/2 of my weight off, I need to get back into the game. Get my head in the right place.

In these last few years, life happened. Many joys and a few sorrows and some very stressful situations. That’s what we all face at some time or another. It is how we deal with them, is the true challenge.

I went back to some of my old habits. Those are familiar to me. As much as I hate to admit it, I got comfortable with it again. I quit walking, I started to eat anything that I wanted. The sugar addiction took hold and one cookie turned into maybe 10 by the end of the day. Once again, I would do the “start back on the program” and made it a few days and gradually starting eating poorly again. The old yo-yo thing. When you live that life for 25+ years, those habits come back quickly. Now, to wrangle it all back in.

I found when I tried to get some weight off again, I didn’t do it the right way. I was looking at calories, not paying attention to healthy, just numbers. As I used to say, calories don’t work for me. I need to eat healthy foods to get me on track. I would walk a day or two, get weighed and since I didn’t lose 15 pounds in 2 days, I would get frustrated. Obviously, you can’t lose that kind of weight and I am truly joking about it but that is what I wanted. Don’t we all. Wake up in the morning and the weight is gone. Here’s the situation…I didn’t gain the weight overnight, it will not come off overnight. I gained about 5 pounds a year. That wasn’t horrible if I would have stopped after a couple of years but 7 years later, I now have some weight to lose.

So, here I am, needing to get the pounds off and get healthy again. I went back to my original post and saw how motivated I was and how I went about losing the weight. It is time to get back to where I was.

First thing…start thinking positive. It is amazing to me how your mind can become so negative. My positive self talk went down the tubes. Now I was saying to myself , “I can’t do this. I look horrible, I feel horrible. I have trouble sleeping because I ate too much and too close to bed.” At this point, my clothes are too tight. Now it is time to pick myself up and realize that we all fall down. I am not staying down, it is time to pick myself up and get that positivity back into my head. There were two things that stuck in my mind nearly eight years ago. One…until you take your last breath on this earth, you can make a change and two…negativity breeds more negativity. From this point on, all the negativity has to go.

Second…it is time to start eating clean. I need to focus on eating more vegetables. I got away from that as well. I really didn’t eat a lot of processed foods or fried foods but I still need to be more accountable to everything that I eat. That includes cutting out sugar again. That is my addiction.

Third…I need to start moving again. Walking isn’t hard. It is a matter of just making yourself do it. Don’t start off with an all or nothing attitude. I don’t need to do the 4 miles in an hour like I used to do. Start off slower. I need to push myself but not to the point that I can’t move for days.

Fourth…Nothing is all or nothing. I do that with my exercising but I do it with everything. If I eat something, oh well, the day if blown. No it isn’t. That is life. We can’t be 100% all day, everyday. That is way to much pressure on myself. Small changes lead to big successes. I need to remember that.

Lindsay asked me to blog about my journey once again. It is time to get back to eating well and fueling my body, not feeding my addiction to food. Once a week, I will share some of my thoughts and feelings as well as some new recipes that I want to try. I invite you to join me with my journey and share some of your thoughts and your experiences. So many of us deal with food issues and I find it inspiring when people share their journey as well.

Have a positive and healthy week!

Kathy is a contributing writer at Lindsay Ann Loft. She has been sharing her weight loss story and tips with our readers since 2011. She has a passion for healthy eating and helping others with their journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Walking, DVDs and Sore Muscles

photo credit: stumayhew via photopin cc

photo credit: stumayhew via photopin cc

Recently I started a new exercise DVD and I have to tell you it is really tough. I am stretching muscles that I didn’t even know that I had! As you may know, I am a firm believer in walking. I think it is a great cardio exercise and it is easier on the knees than running. As my leg muscles get stronger, I realize that the upper body needs work. But with all of the core exercises, I am really sore. This led me to wonder if I am just getting too old (I’m 54) for this strenuous exercise. There are other exercise DVDs that are a little easier on the body but still strengthen your body.

I realized that I can try those other DVDs but I am not giving in to thinking that I am getting old. I am pushing the limit, I know that my body will adapt.

I also came to realize that when you do a DVD, you do what you can. I may not be able to keep up right away but as I said with the weight loss process, It is a work in progress. There is no time table for mastering an exercise program. Do what you can. I like to think that I push myself but I don’t want an injury either. If I can only do 15 push ups today, I hope that I can add one or two tomorrow. It is not all or nothing. You don’t have to be perfect. It takes time to learn the new exercise.

The most important thing is that I try. Mentally I feel very good about what I am doing, physically, I am sore but I also feel like I am stretching myself away from some of the aches and pains that I have experienced now that I am getting older.

Not challenging myself just because I am getting older is just an excuse to stay with what is comfortable. I hope that I will always challenge myself to be healthier.

Next week I will talk about the exercise benefits for women over 50.

Kathy is a contributing writer at Lindsay Ann Loft. She has been sharing her weight loss story and tips with our readers since 2011. She has a passion for healthy eating and helping others with their journey to a healthier lifestyle.

The Right Shoes

photo credit: smcgee via photopin cc

photo credit: smcgee via photopin cc

In the past 9 months, I have had a couple of injuries that have prevented me from doing my normal walking.  I had a stress fracture in my knee last fall and this spring I had an injury with my foot.

I have to admit, after the pain that I experienced with my knee, I was very hesitant in getting back outside and walking/running again.  The stress fracture was a result of running and I was very nervous about injuring the knee again.  Since I enjoy walking and running outside, my orthopedist suggested better shoes.  The shoes that I had purchased were expensive enough and they were advertised as running shoes but I have learned that not all running shoes are the same.  The padding can be different between brands and shoes and you need to find the correct shoe for you.  My shoes were great for running on a soft surface such as a track or treadmill but they didn’t have enough padding for the hard surface.  After speaking with someone that is an avid runner, she suggested that I go to a store that specializes in athletic shoes.

I decided to try out one of those stores and I learned a good bit and I think that I was fitted for the correct shoe for me.  In the past, I would buy a shoe that was generally in my price range, comfortable and that looked good.  As soon as I went into the store, I explained my issues about the stress fracture and that I needed something that would absorb the pounding on the pavement.  I was measured to check out the correct size and then the salesperson had me walk in my bare feet to see how I walked.  She also looked at the bottom of my shoes to see the wear of the shoe.  All of that helps in deciding the correct shoe.

After measuring my feet for size, looking at my shoes and the way that I walk and knowing the which type of padding that I was looking for, the salesperson brought out several shoes.  All of them fit my needs but now I had to make the decision about what felt the best. That was the most important to me.  I narrowed them down to 2 different shoes.  I tried them on a treadmill and they both felt good but they did each feel different.  Not knowing which ones to really decide on, the salesperson suggested that I try one of each shoe and try the treadmill again.  That was extremely helpful.  It was easier to make the decision.

Now that I have found the shoe that I like, I will purchase those again.  I keep those shoes for exercising and once I reach 300 miles, I know it is time to replace them.

Exercising doesn’t have to cost a lot but I think having the correct shoes is a must.  I didn’t pay too much attention to it before other than replacing my shoes every 6 months but now I realize there is so much more to getting the best shoe.  Checking out the best shoe for you does take a little time but it is much better than dealing with an injury.  I am very happy with my new shoes and I think that they look good too!

Kathy is a contributing writer at Lindsay Ann Loft. She has been sharing her weight loss story and tips with our readers since 2011. She has a passion for healthy eating and helping others with their journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Seeing Results

photo credit: lululemon athletica via photopin cc

photo credit: lululemon athletica via photopin cc

Adjusting to healthier changes isn’t always easy but it really does pay off. You really don’t have to wait too long to see results whether they are feeling better, improving some heath conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, or seeing results on the scale.

As excited as I was to see the scale drop lower and lower, I have to say that feeling better is what made it easier. I know longer suffered with heartburn every night when I went to bed or was awoken through the night with tingling in my arms when they would fall asleep. I no longer needed my blood pressure medication. (never stop medication without the advise of your physician)

It is amazing how many changes that you will see. Things that I never even thought about changed. Some are silly but they are still changes. The fact that I could look down and see my toes without leaning forward! My husband’s arm is actually able to reach around my waist when we walk together. I can now fold my arms and they fit against my stomach where they are supposed to. (A funny story about this…I was so excited when I could cross my arms that I found myself doing it all of the time. One evening I was having dinner at a restaurant with my daughter and as we were talking I had my arms crossed. Apparently our waitress thought this was my body language for where is my meal. She came over and apologized for the food taking too long! I didn’t tell her about my new found arm crossing but I did tell her that we were fine and it wasn’t a concern.) I can cross my legs again!

Seeing the scale drop and fitting into smaller clothes is a change that we expect but the unexpected changes are some of the special ones! Even if your goal isn’t to lose weight but just to get healthier, you will see and feel some amazing results! These are the things that keep you going! Once you see and feel all of changes, you will never want to go back to the unhealthy way!

Kathy is a contributing writer at Lindsay Ann Loft. She has been sharing her weight loss story and tips with our readers since 2011. She has a passion for healthy eating and helping others with their journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Key To Success: Variety

photo credit: madlyinlovewithlife via photopin cc

photo credit: madlyinlovewithlife via photopin cc

We have all heard the phrase “Variety is the spice of life”. I think that variety is so important to success. The last thing that you want is to allow your healthy eating to become boring or stale. Switching up your meals, snacks and exercise are just a few ways to keep things fresh.

When it comes to meals, plan on making a different meal every day of the month. Obviously you will be eating chicken or fish more than one meal a month but what you do with it is the key. Choosing a new recipe once a week can be helpful. Mix it up. Try using beans as your protein from time to time instead of meat, chicken or fish.

Try new vegetables to have with your meals. Vegetables are so versatile. You can roast them, sauté them, boil or steam them. I like to put asparagus on a George Foreman grill. Try to switch up your vegetables and eating a different one every day of the week will keep you from getting bored.

You have so many options with snacks. Think about what you would normally grab for a snack. What can you reach for that is already to go but is healthy and tastes good. I like to keep sliced strawberries in the refrigerator. Also a bag of carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. I buy them already cut and in a bag together. It may be a little more expensive than buying them and cutting them yourself but not a lot. Planning your snacks out ahead of time can be helpful. Snacks can be a little bit of protein, fruits, vegetables or even dairy. A container of yogurt with fresh fruit with it is a great filler. I also have a couple of slices of turkey breast for a snack or a slice or 2 of turkey bacon. Most of the snacks that I used to eat were basically empty calories. You want snacks that will taste good, satisfy you and hold you over until your next meal.

Switch up your exercise to work on different parts of your body and your stamina. Walking and running are great for cardio. There are many dvds that work on cardio and your core. They can be a little challenging to start but your body does adapt. After a couple of days, it gets much easier. I am a fan of Jillian Michaels dvds, some of the workouts are only 30 minutes. You don’t have to buy them, you can find some on youtube, some cable companies have exercise channels and you can always exchange some with your friends.

Since getting healthier is a life style change, you want to find different ways to change things up. All of these things are easy to do with just a little planning. Getting healthy should not be boring! Have fun making changes and seeing the results.

Kathy is a contributing writer at Lindsay Ann Loft. She has been sharing her weight loss story and tips with our readers since 2011. She has a passion for healthy eating and helping others with their journey to a healthier lifestyle.