I found my scale in the back of my closet a few weeks ago and got on it. When I saw the number I almost passed out. I was so surprised and disappointed. I currently weigh more than I have ever weighed in my entire life. The number on the scale was 180 pounds. I am 5 feet 6 inches tall. At this weight I am officially overweight according to this scale, right on the edge of obese.
It’s time to take action. Going on a diet has never worked for me. What does work is making a decision to change the way I behave. My post for you today is how I’m preparing to radically change my behavior for the next three months. I’m changing my behaviors with the intention of making these changes last the rest of my life, not just the next three months.
Along the way, my hope is that my body mass reduces by 20 to 30 pounds. Part of my motivation is that I would like to live a long life. Evidence is strong that calorie reduction as we age is valuable. Here’s a great article about this by Phil Maffetone. It’s compelling and now that I’m 55 years old, it’s time to reduce my calorie intake. I’m not ready to go fully keto, but I’m thinking about it. After all, action starts with thought.
Here’s my assessment of what I’m working with as my start date for my big behavior change is Tuesday, October 27th, 2020.
What’s working against me:
- Losing weight when you have type 1 diabetes isn’t easy. Navigating low and high blood sugars while cutting down on calories requires extra attention to details.
- Losing weight when you have crossed the menopause line is harder and I had my last period in December of 2012, a good long time ago.
- I have gotten in the habit of eating gluten-free cookies, non-dairy ice cream and rice pudding many times a week.
What’s in my favor:
- I’m determined.
- I’m disciplined.
- I’m goal oriented.
- I have two athlete friends who want to pay attention to their food fitness with me as I undertake this mission to become more lean.
- My job at the University of Minnesota has a wellness system that includes wellness coaching. I’ve scheduled a once a month call with a coach for the next 4 months. I earn points and will have someone who will cheer me on!
Behaviors I already do that are in my favor:
- I cook healthy foods such as soups, salads and stir fries for the coming week on Sundays.
- I swim twice a week for 35 – 40 minutes each session.
- I run three times a week, totaling about 2.5 hours a week.
- I bike at least once a week for about 2 – 3 hours.
- I walk Sam, my dog for about 1 hour a day.
All of the above exercise equals at least 10 hours of cardio each week, and I feel really good about that.
- I do strength workouts for at least 7 minutes 7 days a week. Of note, I am very aware that muscles weighs more than fat.
- Almost every night I get 7 to 9 hours of sleep.
Where I can and will improve:
- Reduce the amount of sugary dessert I eat. For 3 months, I can reduce it to zero. Apples, pears, oranges and blueberries all make a tasty, healthy desserts!
- Stop cooking ALL dessert items, even the gluten free, lower sugar desserts.
- Stop purchasing dessert items like dairy free ice cream and pudding.
- Stop buying and eating cheese. That one crept up on me and isn’t good for me.
- Cook roasted vegetables every weekend and eat those for snacks. YUM!!!
- Pay attention to why and when I am comfort/emotionally eating. When I notice this, write it down in my phone and process this with my wonderful therapist.
- Write down what I eat in MyFitnessPal app. I am willing to do this for 3 months. Not every single day. I will decide on Sunday afternoons how many days the coming week I will record exactly and everything I eat those days. Each week I will decide on one focus area, such as: no cheese, limit nuts, pay close attention to portion size and so forth.
- Make sure I’m walking Sam after every meal. This allows me to reduce the insulin I’m taking. Walk even after lunch! 15 to 20 minutes makes a huge difference.
- Lower basal insulin overall a bit when I start this effort on Tuesday, October 27th. First day of my week-long vacation.
- Consult with my endocrinologist about my diabetes strategies as I enter these three months of focused attention on my calorie intake.
Writing this post has inspired me!
In fact, thinking about what changes I am making has caused me to already pay better attention to the calories I am eating. I am pleased to report that from October 2nd when I recorded my weight at 180 pounds, until today as I’m writing this post, my weight has dropped to 176.6 pounds. That’s a reduction of 3.4 pounds with very little effort. I am going to remind myself that changing my behavior to improve my health is worth the effort it will take.
Since I am a very goal oriented person, I do want to point out that I am not focused on the scale. My goal isn’t to reach a certain number. Rather, my focus is on changing, once again, my eating behaviors. I will proceed with good support and solid self-love and self-compassion.
Have you ever focused on your calorie intake? Have you had success? What are the strategies you use? In the comments below, please share your strategies! We can inspire each other.
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