Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Day 8: My 2013 Minnesota Twins Weight Loss Challenge
I have to say, I'm pretty happy with how I handled Week 1 of this crazy challenge. When the notion of this challenge dawned on me, it seemed more like something I was being called to rather than something I decided to aspire to. I'm a firm believe that God works through very ordinary means and through our desires and passions to speak to us. So, He chose to use my favorite baseball team to motivate me to change my health and my life.
Making it through Week 1 successfully, particularly this Week 1, is further proof that I'm not doing this on my own. (That's probably something I'll need to remember in the upcoming weeks and months when the going gets tougher, so I'll try to tuck that notion into my back pocket.)
I started my challenge on Mardi Gras because that's when Spring Training started. I spent the weekend on vacation eating out at restaurants. I had a dinner party, a time when I'm pridefully tempted to show off my cooking skills - and ignore calories in favor of taste - in order to please (and, I admit, in an attempt to impress) my guests. My refrigerator and pantry also contained a fair amount of food that fits into the "not exactly healthy" category. And, I needed to find a way to motivate myself to go to the gym - a place I find very, very intimidating - and workout strenuously enough that it matters, multiple times a week.
Oh, and to top it off, I had already decided to give up alcohol for Lent.
Each of those things challenges me to a greater or lesser degree, but together they create a pretty large challenge for me. And I did it! I don't really do a good job of patting myself on the back, so I'm going to let me myself acknowledge that I was successful this week and try not to feel guilty about acknowledging it. And I know I couldn't have done it without some extra grace and quite a few people who've given notes, words, looks, or prayers of support. Thank you!
This might seem like a natural notion to you, and it probably is. However, for as many times as I've heard it, it's never sunk in. One of my biggest challenges is self-control, and in the past, it's seemed like I'd never have it. While it's not just going to effortlessly stay around, I gained a little insight into how I actually can practice that "fruit of the Spirit".
I know it's only been a week, so it may seem like it's too soon to have had any "aha moments." It's not too soon to have one of those moments, but it is too soon to think I've mastered a new skill or practice. (I do no have the self-control this dog has!)
However, in my first week, I've realized this: In the past, I've tried to solve my over-indulgence by telling myself I can never have a particular food again. I would hold out for a while, and then I'd eventually cave and gorge myself on whatever it was. Once I did that, it was like I lost all self-control over food in general. On other occasions, I told myself that I could have anything I wanted, as long as it was in "moderation". Then, I'd find it was easy to consider moderation a bit larger each time, or to simply be moderate in the quantity of items I ate moderately.
For me, what I've realized and what I'm trying to practice is being mindfully moderate in what I eat. Virtually nothing needs to go on the "never" list. But that doesn't mean I should and will always indulge in a craving, even if it's just a tiny bite. Rather, when I want something to eat, everything has a cost and a benefit. Am I actually hungry? (If not, then don't eat at the moment!) How will what I want to eat nourish me? Since I can't have it everything that sounds tempting at the same time, is having x now worth giving up y? How much of x is healthy for me, and how does that compare to how much of x I would need to have to satisfy my craving for it?
As I grow in self-control, I will learn to respond to my cravings well. Sometimes, I'll choose to say yes, today, right now, I'm going to have x. Other times, I'll decide, it's not worth it this time around, and I'll have it another day. While it's difficult to say "not at this time", it's a lot easier than say "never".
And when I mess up, I won't consider it an unrepairable calamity.
Week 1 Weigh-In Results
Last week's cumulative total: 0 lbs (It was Ground Zero!)
This week's total: -8.5 lbs*
Total weight loss: -8.5 lbs
My nifty weight chart:
*Please nobody panic at the significant weight loss in a short time. Believe me, I was not restricting calories or working out to an unhealthy degree. I could produce witnesses to prove it! It's pretty common for a person to get a "jump start" in the first couple of weeks of a new weight loss program. (Hence the picture at the beginning of this post!) When one is morbidly obese (like I'm currently classified), that is just intensified. There was also a perfect storm of other factors that contributed, and I expect things to level off to a healthy 1-2 lbs per week in the next few weeks, assuming I keep working at it. :)