I promise this won't be another soul-searching piece, "instead of all that high faluting mumbo jumbo" as Gil complained in Anne of Green Gables. This is a nuts & bolts account of how what's been helping me to drop some pounds already and will help me to work off eighty to one hundred more pounds.
Supporters In the nuts & bolts of my toolbox, I've learned to rely on the nuts: family and friends to whom I can say anything and of whom I can ask anything. They not only tolerate me (though sometimes that's the best they can do – I can be annoying… I mean an acquired taste), they help me bask in success, work through emotional baggage, set new challenges, and inspire and teach me with their stories. I have the most supportive husband & kids you can imagine, and a host of people I'd make wear Team Karin shirts if they'd stand still long enough. J
Weight Watchers Nope, this isn't a paid endorsement – it's an honest one. From WW I've learned how, why, how much, and what to eat. No pre-packaged meals, no pills or snake oil, no forbidden foods.
Mental: A huge part of making WW work for me this time (I've joined more than once) is my commitment to being open, listening, and learning. I alternate between two meetings: one leader reaches in and talks to my soul; the other helps me with the more everyday needs.
Best quote: "Don't use your fork & spoon to dig your own grave." - Carole
Euclid YMCA Last January as part of GoFit (free three-month membership), I became a member of the Euclid Family YMCA. I started out by using the treadmill three times a week for thirty minutes. Pretty soon I increased the number of days and intensity. Then I started trying other equipment. When I first tried the cross trainer I lasted seven minutes (note I didn't say only – seven minutes was a huge accomplishment for me!); yesterday I went for forty minutes and will do more than that next time. The free membership has long since expired, but I continue to do cardio work five mornings a week and strength train two days a week.
Mental: It starts with a little courage: putting one's imperfect body on a treadmill in a room with mirrors and people. It takes determination to not quit. It takes willingness to ask for advice. It takes dedication.
Best quote: "Everyone's part of the club". – David (after I told him that though my hands were blistered from weightlifting, I didn't feel I could wear weightlifting gloves because I wasn't strong & cut like real weightlifters , like I wasn't part of the club.)
the sidewalk In good weather I love to walk in my neighborhood, either by myself or with family or friends. It's free of charge, the scenery is always changing, and it strengthens my sense of community.
pencil & paper I track what I eat and I keep a journal. Tracking didn't come naturally at first – I'd often track well at the beginning of the week, then slack off midweek. Once I did some of the tough mental and emotional work, I found that tracking has become second nature. It's made all the difference in the world.
DVDs I have a small collection (and Euclid Library has a large collection) of exercise DVDs. When I want to try a new exercise, I'll often try a DVD at home first to see whether I want to pursue it. Most recently: I'm trying a WW DVD called Punch. It's an intro to kickboxing(!!!) and comes with pink weighted gloves (which I put on backwards the first time).
Media Books, magazines, newspapers, The Biggest Loser (I learn a ton by watching their last chance workouts): I immerse myself in positive stories of inner strength.
mp3 player Though I can get through my cardio work without music, music makes the workouts much more enjoyable. Look for a blog all about this in the days ahead.
Please note what's not found in my toolbox:
The scale – I used to weigh myself several times a day. Bad idea. A good number gave me permission to eat more that day; a bad number gave me permission to throw in the towel and eat more that day. I fight the fight to only weigh myself once a week (at WW), and now once a month for Lighten Up.
The mirror – A friend has challenged me to not look at myself in the mirror for an entire year. I totally get the challenge and I'm up for it. I'm relying on Team Karin to let me know if I've got fuzzies on my shirt of a string hanging off my dress.