Ups and Downs on the Road to Fitness

Caution SignIt has been 3 weeks since I started down the road of healthier choices with a view to becoming more fit. I’ve had some encouraging victories:

  • Cutting out snacks  – I no longer crave food in the evening. During the day I have felt hungry a few times between meals, but I’ve been able to satisfy that by drinking water and putting my attention elsewhere.
  • Eating more mindfully – Just the act of paying more attention to what I’m eating and when has made a difference. I consciously slow myself down and enjoy the flavor and texture of my food. I have been amazed at how I feel satiated even though I’m eating smaller portions.
  • Birthday HatAllowing myself some treats – Somehow this decision has freed me from craving “forbidden” food. If I want a treat, I allow myself to have one, but pay more attention to the serving size than I used to. I also try to eat my treat along with a meal so that my blood sugar level is not affected so drastically. Finally, I don’t sweat it if I’m invited out. This week I celebrated my birthday and thoroughly enjoyed my black forest cake with a generous helping of homemade ice cream.
  • Consistently using the treadmill – Up front I decided I would use the treadmill 6 days out of 7, giving myself Sundays off. In the past 3 weeks, I have only missed 1 day and that was because I left home at 6:15 in the morning and didn’t get home until 8:00 at night. The i-fit routines continue to challenge me – I’m now up to 30 minutes at a speed of 3.4 miles/hour and an incline between 5-10%.
  • Losing some weight and becoming more fit – I am down 7 pounds from where I started. I know the first pounds are the easiest to lose. This past week I only lost 1 pound, but at least I’m still heading in the right direction. And weight aside, I’m getting more fit. The other day I only had 20 minutes to spend on the treadmill. I challenged myself to walk at speeds between 3.5 – 3.8 miles/hour at an incline of 2%, and barely broke a sweat. This is a huge contrast to three weeks ago when I huffed and puffed my way through 20 minutes at speeds between 3.0 – 3.3 miles/hour.
  • BibleMemorizing scripture and learning – While I’m on the treadmill I alternate between Scripture memorization and watching videos on my iPad. (TedTalks is one of my favourite apps on my iPad.) In the past 3 weeks, I’ve memorized 5 verses; not a lot, but more than 0.

Last Saturday was one of the “downs” in my road to fitness. It’s the day I left early in the morning and arrived home in the evening. I wasn’t able to spend time walking. I did eat breakfast before I left home, which I was very thankful for later in the day. After breakfast, I spent 3 hours driving and arrived in Edmonton just in time for a meeting to start. The meeting lasted just over 3 hours and then a few of us chatted for another hour or so. During our visit I ate a gluten free cookie and some cheese. About 3:30 that afternoon I was feeling light-headed, so I stopped for a Wendy’s hamburger and some water. Then I went shopping. That’s when the craving kicked in. I was tired, I hadn’t eaten well, and I had another 3 hours of driving ahead of me. I gave in and bought chips, chocolate chip cookies, and some chocolate. Not healthy choices at all!

When I had time to reflect, I decided I should have planned ahead a little better and taken some healthy snacks with me, like carrot sticks, nuts, etc. If I had snacked during the meeting, my energy levels and blood sugar would have remained more stable. However, I was able to move past this “downer” and the next day I was back on track again.

What tips and tricks do you use to keep yourself going when you “fail”?