Weigh the Method, Relish the Outcome

If  you visit my Life List, you’ll find a simple goal: Lose ten pounds.

If you don’t visit, you’ll miss all the thrills and sizzle and eye-popping pink on my website, but still be able to keep up with this post.

Moving right along…

I won’t divulge my actual weight except to say I am ten pounds over my ideal healthy weight for my height and age.

I’m fortunate.

No, I don’t expect to look like I did when I was twenty, and I don’t expect to wear the clothes my daughters wear. I’m 47, and a grandmother to boot. This isn’t about ego (much). This is about health: physical and emotional health.

Will I feel good emotionally when my clothes fit well? When I don’t have to undo the top button of my jeans so I don’t cut off my circulation when I sit down? When people stop asking when my baby is due?

You betcha.

But more, this is about health. May marks my sixth year of glorious remission. I know what it means to be without health. I know what it feels like to lack the strength to get out of bed. And, I know how good it feels to know that, sad and difficult as that time in my life was, that time is now a memory.

Ten pounds is not a lot of weight to lose. I repeat, I am fortunate.

And if it weren’t for fear of this little bug called complacency, I’d be, well, complacent.

Complacency means ten pounds would turn to twelve would turn to fifteen would turn to twenty-five would turn to fifty and soon, what had once seemed doable will become an anxiety-ridden nightmare.

I choose to take action now. Hence the entry on my Life List: Lose ten pounds.

First, I must clarify. I officially joined Life List Club in April, but this life list goal went live in January. Ten pounds in one year? Why, that’s less than a pound a month!

Totally doable.

So doable, in fact, that I hardly had to lift a finger. So I didn’t.

In January, I was ten pounds away from my target weight. In February, I was twelve pounds from my target weight. In March, thirteen pounds.

See a trend here?

End of April, I am ten pounds away.

Before you haul out the bazooka and honk me a victory tune, remember, this is exactly where I was four months ago. Conceivably, I could have been seven or even six pounds away from my target. Instead, I’d accomplished nothing. Instead, I stood still, literally, and stood still in the march toward my target.

Such a simple goal, an easy, attainable target, and yet, my train was chugging in the opposite direction. Why?

The explanation is simple. It was too easy. It was too ‘doable’. As life coach and guru Tony Robbins would say, I wasn’t ‘disturbed’ enough to effect the change I needed to make to meet my target.

Time to raise my standards and up the ante. Which leads me to wonder, if you want to be a champion limbo dancer, do you have to ‘lower’ your standards?

I digress.

What does this epiphany mean? First, ten pounds in four months, roughly, half a pound a week.  No, that little red needle on the bathroom scale still ain’t moving at super sonic speed, but I want healthy weight loss.

Diet is not the problem. Nutritionally, I’ve been good. I don’t eat processed foods. I am aware of my carbohydrate intake, but not fanatical–I do not advocate slashing any nutrient from my diet willy nilly. I eat good fats like avocados and cashews, but tempted as I am, I do not eat a full can of cashews at one sitting. A quarter cup of mixed nuts are a treat I am allowed to indulge in every second or third day. I eat between meals to keep my energy up so I do not binge later, but I measure my snacks. Eight corn tortilla chips with tomato salsa fills the void, yet eight chips measured on a plate means I do not fill my face. Dr. Oz advocates colour in our food choices, so dinner is protein on one side of my plate and colourful veggies on the other.

Now, it’s time to exercise. It’s time to reverse bad habits. It’s time to haul my keister out of bed when the alarm goes off and put on my running shoes. I sit all day in front of a computer, so when I switch to the television screen, it’s time to get busy and use that exercise ball and lift those weights and do those squats.

If blog-hopping were an actual physical activity, I’d lose those ten pounds today. With a click of your mouse you can explore the sixties in my Wildflower post, A Woman’s Place, or read a review of Eloisa James’ A Kiss at Midnight at Romance & Beyond.

Thanks for listening, thanks for keeping me honest, thanks for sharing your exercise challenges and successes in a comment, or just say ‘hello’.


25 responses to “Weigh the Method, Relish the Outcome

  1. First of all, that limbo video is frightening.

    Second, I’m in the same boat as you. I’ve done squat with my exercise plan this year and what’s worse is I’m still paying for that gym membership every month! I know since I stopped going I lost much of the muscle I had, my headaches are back, and I can’t breathe as easily when doing strenuous work. I’ve GOT to get back on track, literally. So I’ll make you a deal. Wanna be buddies for a month and do email check ins? We can set up our goals and then help motivate/recognize/kick in the butt as necessary. I’ve got some great recipes I’ve been trying to at least start eating better, and they’ve helped my honey drop a few pounds. I’ll start by sending you those!

    We can do this!

  2. I, too, have let a few pesky lbs go into double digits. You have given me renewed energy to get back on the ball! To walk more often and farther! The part I have trouble with is the bread – I love the bread!

    • Hey, Karen!

      I feel I should add a Disclaimer: I am NOT a expert on diet or exercise.

      In my humble, non-professional opinion, I apply this philosophy: Moderation, not deprivation.

      Too much exercise means we may do ourselves injury and then we can’t exercise at all. Too much denial leads to a binge.

      The trick, for me, is not to use either as an excuse… I’d better not walk an extra block for fear I might twist an ankle. If I deprive myself these 17 cookies now I may eat 25 cookies later. Snort!

  3. I enjoyed your post Sherry and no, blog hopping doesn’t count as exercise! I’ve also been a victim of the project-is-too-easy syndrome. (Is that similar to complacency?) A pound a month for crying out loud! We should be able to do that while we’re sleeping.

  4. Should is a killer, isn’t it, Gary? If a challenge is easy, it isn’t a challenge. I know this, must put into practice.

  5. Ten pounds? Must be nice to be that close. My advice – do it before you hit fifty. After that it gets increasingly difficult.

  6. Oh, David, I don’t even want to hit 20. Menopause weight is so much more difficult to shed than baby weight. Ugh.

    Hmm. Guess you’ll have to trust me on that one!

  7. Hey Sherry….well, I also am right there with you except multiply the your goal by ten. I have a much longer road and am where you didn’t want to get to. Age and hormonal imbalance has me in it’s grip and holding fast so the pounds are next to impossible to shed. My eating is good, it’s just moving more that I have to improve. I must have a wickedly low metabolism too. But I’m working at it. Good luck to you and Jess in your challenge!
    By the way, I think David meant 50 yrs old rather than lbs. 🙂

    • Hey, Marcia! I could be wrong, but my understanding is that the more you move, the more your metabolism improves. Good motivation to get moving!

    • Marcia, have you heard about doing 2 low carb days a week? There was a study on it recently that looked very promising. I was struggling really hard to shed even a pound with even diet and exercise. I started trying the 2 day low carb thing (not full Atkins, just no grains and sugars…lots of veggies though) and it helped right away. I actually incorporated more low carb days into the mix because I want to speed things up. I try to do 3 days low carb, then 1-3 regular. Plus, it saves me from craving bread and stuff because I know I only ever have to wait a couple of days to have some. Weight’s not coming off crazy fast but 1-2lb a week so far (which is what a good diet’s supposed to do). Plus, it’s doable enough for me to make it a lifestyle.

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  9. First of all – happy anniversary. Glorious remissions are among the most important things to celebrate!
    I think there are few of us over 40, never mind over 60, who don’t have the odd pound or 20 to deal with. I’m going to put my iPad on the treadmill at the gym and see if I truly can lose weight blog-hopping!

    • Great idea, Patricia. I know people who read on the treadmill, I justify watching television because I’m not sitting on my keister. But blog-hopping is a time investment as much as exercise. Keep your mind occupied and the time will fly by!

  10. Darn – I’m late again!

    I am starting to think different goals take precedence at certain times in our lives. The first three months after joining LLC, it seemed the whole platform building thing was the focus. Now, finishing my manuscript by the end of May to submit is my priority. That one is an externally imposed goal (yay!) but has seriously cut out my other goals (blogging, tweeting, and yes, exercising). There is only so much time and energy in a day. I’m trying to learn to not freak out over not achieving on every goal, all the time.

    I wish I could see the limbo video… My computer just hates videos. 😦

    • Aha. Spring is here, summer is on its way… always motivation to lose a few pounds! Maybe in the fall I’ll move on to something else.

      Glad you made it here, Lara!

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  13. Congrats on getting back on track and on only having those ten pounds to deal with now, although the point about that not being “disturbing” enough does make total sense! I go in spurts with being great at exercising or great at my writing goals, but never both in the same day/week because I can squeeze in one or the other before work but never both, and at the end of the day I’m a lump : ). For a while I used needing to exercise as an excuse not to write or wanting to write as an excuse not to exercise. I’m learning that I just have to let them take turns. So I definitely appreciate the struggle and wish you luck in your exercises goals – you can do it!!

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  16. Eek, so sorry I got behind on commenting!

    A big “amen” here. I’ve done the complacency thing with my own fitness for way too long. I do well for awhile, then slip back into old habits. I’m back on a good track again and I want to keep it that way. *Ahem* I have more than 10 extra pounds to take off.

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