Sunday will mark 25 days since I began my 75-35-15 challenge (75 days until my 35th birthday and I want to lose 15 lbs).
Looking at the big picture of needing to lose 25-30 lbs is too overwhelming. So I set myself a milestone goal (my birthday) and a couple mini-goals along the way (5 lbs off every 25 days).
Status update: I am down 5.2 lbs as of today!
So far, it’s not enough that I’m noticing a difference in how my clothes fit. I’m not even really feeling different, physically – although, that could be because I’ve been sick with a chest/head cold for the past week or so. Maybe once this cold is gone I’ll feel amazing. But I am feeling different mentally.
I feel proud of myself. I feel in control. I feel strong. I feel hopeful.
What am I doing?
I’ve made three simple changes…
1. For lunches at work I eat fruit, veggies (with dip), yogurt, and occasionally a couple small pieces of cheese. No breads, pastas, rices, or leftovers. And you know what? I’m not feeling deprived or overly hungry! If I do get the munchies, I have extra fruit on my desk.
2. I have a Dasani water bottle in my office, and I am committed to drinking at least one full bottle throughout my work day. It’s not a lot, given the recommended 6-8 glasses of water per day, but it’s more than the zero water I was drinking previously.
3. I’ve decided not to snack after dinner from Sunday to Thursday. I’ve still been having chips or ice cream or popcorn (even a glass of wine) on Fridays and Saturdays. But something interesting has happened… I no longer eat until I feel like I might burst. I eat for the enjoyment of the treat, and stop when I’m not hungry. (The best thing is that this change hasn’t required amazing will power on my part! Because of the overall healthier changes, I just don’t feel like having a pig-out fest.)
I haven’t been exercising. No counting calories or points. Nothing is off-limits.
I just made three relatively small changes, and will let other healthy changes come naturally. For example, I know from experience that once I hit the 10 lbs down mark, my energy will shift and I will actually want to exercise. I know from experience that adding too much junk food when you’ve been healthy makes a person feel bloated and gross, and my body will naturally begin to reject the salty and sugary treats I used to love.
Sometimes I think we all go too crazy over the entire “lifestyle change” concept. Shows like The Biggest Loser with their dramatic results give us the mindset that: #1 – we need dramatic results and #2 – we must do something dramatic to get them.
The older I get, the more convinced I am that the secret to making change is one step at a time…one good decision at a time…slowly and methodically. Not just as it ties into becoming healthy and losing weight, but in all areas of life. Building a strong and healthy marriage. Developing a faith walk that shows growth and maturity. Parenting. Being a good friend. Managing finances.
We’re about one month away from the new year – the time when everyone commits to dramatic lifestyle changes. How about we consider approaching our goals with a couple small changes instead?
I’d love for you to share what areas of life you’re hoping to work on in the new year – and what small choices can you make to bring you towards those goals?