Self-monitoring tools can be more effective than you realize.

Here it is, Day 3 of “getting back on track”. I’ve been to the gym twice so far, picked up my harvest box, planned a healthy dish from its contents, but most important of all, kept track of food and exercise using MyFitnessPal.

As I basked in the glory of the loss of a few tenths of a pound, it occurred to me that tracking my activities is not only making me more aware of what I’m putting in my mouth, but of how long I’m sitting, and how much I’m really moving. I spend more time doing things like cooking and cleaning than I’d realized. Simply putting the dish for some of this week’s dinners together meant standing for the better part of an hour, and that doesn’t include the time it took to clean up my mess afterwards, nor to package the leftovers in single-serving containers.

Despite the fact that I watched a few hours of television last night (Tuesdays are the heavy night for my DVR), I found that I was more aware of how long I sat (though the ache in my right thigh from Monday’s pilates class contributed to my inability to sit for very long), and got up to do dishes or just walk around the house much more often, knowing that I had to log it and make sure I exercised enough to cover everything I put into my mouth and then some.

I have friends who swear by Weight Watchers because they love having to be accountable to someone else. I won’t argue the fact that many people see wonderful results, but you have to stay with it forever so you don’t fall off the track. I, myself, lost about 30 pounds on their program many years ago, but since I didn’t continue attending weekly meetings, I gained it all back and then some.

Motivation is similar to validation. Find what works and do it!

I have the utmost respect for people who use Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or any other program which helps to remind them to eat healthy and stay active while giving them recognition for their success. I just don’t have the patience to stay on someone else’s schedule for the long term, so I have to find ways that work for me, and feed my own motivational needs. The last time I religiously logged all of my food and activities on MyFitnessPal, I lost over 30 pounds, and, in fact, have not gained it all back!

By now, it should be crystal clear. Find what works and that you’re most likely to stick with for good. One way or another, you need to be accountable to someone, even if it’s just yourself. Think of it like a To Do List for a healthier lifestyle.

More time in the day means more moving

I have to say that once the motivation kicks in, everything begins to work better. Healthier eating means more energy and less sleeping in. More time means more things get done, and more movement happens. Since the pain in my thigh turned into pain through my IT band, I decided to give my body a gym break, but iced and foam rolled the painful areas several times today. Doing everything just before I headed out to get the rest of the ingredients for my Veggistrone meant that I got to walk out the kinks, and by the time I got home a couple of hours later, I felt a lot less pain.

In my search for a recipe that used a lot of cabbage, I found one for Veggistrone. Of course, I modified the bejeebers out of the recipe and ended up with something even lower in calories than the original, but high in allMinestrone soup with cabbage manner of vitamins and minerals, made even better by my super fresh veggies. I decided to double the recipe so I’d have some to freeze. Silly me! Even with my modifications, I got exactly what the recipe promised; twenty servings. I had one for dinner, put seven in a container in the refrigerator, and the rest in single servings for the freezer. I might be eating the stuff all winter, but it could be a lot worse! However, the promised prep time, start to finish of 1 3/4 hours was a little low. All told, it took me 2 1/2 hours to put the soup together and get it cooked, but think of all the calories I burned in the process (more, in fact, than the bowl I ate for dinner!)

Last but not least (then I’ll shut up about this, I promise) I put my FitBit back on just before I left to go shopping. Despite the fact that I didn’t put it on until after 11AM, I still walked over 5,000 steps and nearly 3 miles! I’m getting so psyched about improving my health that I just can’t stand it! (and I’m sure, by now, you’re rather sick of my raving too!)

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I decided to join CSA. Getting a harvest box every week means I’m eating a lot more fresh fruits and veggies and a lot less crap.
2. I am grateful for my increased energy.
3. I am grateful that I am now actively rejecting the idea of being completely lazy or indulging in take out food. I’m sure my body will be thanking me as well!
4. I am grateful that making positive changes is easier than it seems when I’m at the bottom of the mountain looking up.
5. I am grateful for abundance: energy, health, stamina, joy, motivation, inspiration and prosperity.

Namaste

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