Okay. It may seem very simple, but as you get older, it doesn’t become as simple. Like, I was appalled when I realized I was 10 lbs heavier than I was used to being. My eating habits hadn’t changed, but I was older, so my metabolism slowed down. I wasn’t ready for that one. And at that same time I learned that as I was getting older, with my slower metabolism, I didn’t need as much food…yet, like I said, my eating habits hadn’t changed.
Well, guess what happened next? I kept getting older, changed jobs and wasn’t walking nearly as much (I rapidly walked the halls at my last job, now I drive to people’s homes all day), and my eating habits got to be pretty bad. AND, I was stressed all day and night dealing with a “personal” situation (you know what THAT was). So the job change, plus my getting older, plus my poor eating habits, plus my stress level was the perfect formula for me to gain almost an additional 10 lbs! What the heck?!
Food is not really the culprit. Let me tell you what is:
- Instant Gratification: we want everything right now, or at least I sure did. When I was hungry, it was, “Whatcan I get FAST?” That usually meant fast food, something instant, and or something highly processed. Trust me, the fastest isn’t usually the healthiest, unless it’s raw—like a vegetable. I never really considered meal planning. I don’t even think I had ever really been aware of such a thing.
- The Emotional Rollercoaster: my emotions (happy, then sad, then frustrated, then relieved, then confused, then angry, then happy) were all over the place and many times I ate for comfort—what was going to make me feel better, what was going to be a special treat for me. What I didn’t realize at the time was that that medium bowl of ice cream (350 calories), that Snickers candy bar (250 calories), and that piece of chocolate cake (250 calories), all added up to 850 calories! Now multiply that times 3 days and I was packing the pounds AND the cottage cheese onto my butt and thighs! Now my treats were really treating me nicely, now weren’t they?
- Food Ignorance: I never knew the fat, sugar, protein, or fiber content, or calorie count, on anything I ate. Nothing. (Except that I DID know that water had zero calories.) I guess I didn’t need to know the exact count, but if I was going to eat like a pig, I should at least be somewhat aware of the damage I was doing, don’t you think? I should have at least tried to balance everything out. You know, eat more salads, more lean meats, drink more water, add more fiber. Nope. I did nothing…zilch…nada. Yay me.
- Lack of self-control: Or gluttony. You’ve heard of it? Yeah, I had that going on too. It was all a part of that emotional rollercoaster thing. I just didn’t control myself. It was bad enough I had all of that stuff, but all of that 3 days (or more) a week was just out of control. Just downright sinful. Eventually I ended up saying to myself, “Joy, get ahold of yourself!”
- Poor stress management: My emotional state, added to my job frustration, caused me to have a crazy amount of stress that absolutely was not being managed at all. When I could, I would sleep to escape it all, to get some relief. Or I’d vent to a friend…and vent…and vent, which didn’t really help the stress subside…much. I didn’t even meditate or listen to music like I once had. I learned the hard way that WORRY is a form of stress and I did my share (and yours too) of worrying. Not good.
- Lack of Physical Exertion: I ended up wearing my stress in the not-so-lovely form of fat. I did nothing physical to alleviate the stress that my body was feeling…and wearing. I didn’t do weight training, run, jump rope, walk, get on the elliptical, do yoga, do a fitness program…nothing. I simply went to bed…or watched t.v. and reveled in all of my jiggly-ness that I was somehow oblivious to. Go figure.
Then I had my wake up call. My eyes were opened. My cellulite revealed. And I started to make changes.
Since becoming more aware of the state of my health and fitness I have lost 19 pounds and usually maintain that loss within 5 pounds. I’m on myfitnesspal regularly encouraging others and often use a fitness program when I need some at-home structure to my workouts. (I use similar fitness programs in my challenge groups.) Now that my weight is under control, I need to focus on “toning up” more. I need more muscle and less jiggle. Someone in the fitness world said, “If it jiggles, it’s fat, not muscle.” Umm, yeah. I want a whole lot less jiggle. What about you?
I don’t know how you are with your health and fitness. I don’t know how your stress levels are. I don’t know how your blood pressure is. I don’t know if you’re overweight, or if you are, by how much. But, I urge you to take a look at yourself to see what you can improve and what you are willing to improve. I urge you to consider if there is anyone that could benefit, besides you, from your getting healthier. Then, if you’d like to do something to improve your health and fitness, 1) join me on myfitnesspal (it’s an app on smartphones) and 2) consider joining my next health and fitness challenge group. Click here to request info.