When I first started doing my walking training, I knew that walking so much would mean I would lose weight. You can’t walk around that much and not lose weight, unless you stuff your face full of tons of calories, and I wasn’t adding to my food intake. While losing weight wasn’t a goal, I figured it would be a nice bennie.
Somewhere along the way, losing weight, getting in shape, and eating right became goals that got piled on to my life list of goals that I want to do (walking across America is one of those life list type goals I’m talking about). I’m not sure why or how it got added on, but within that first month of training, I think, I started altering my diet in a big way, logging my foods so that I would be accountable to myself and also so that I could better learn my eating patterns, and so on.
I guess it just seemed like the thing to do, since by eating better and losing weight, it would be a heckuva lot easier to do my walking. Not so much weight to carry around on my joints, which was sooo painful.
In the process of monitoring and logging my food, I was shocked to learn that even though I have always been a person who watches her salt intake, I have way too much sodium in my diet. I have always been aware of sodium as a problem, and especially so since my husband went on dialysis. I just didn’t realize we ate as much sodium as we do, since I’ve always somewhat watched what we ate. I cook low-sodium meals (when I cook–he likes to cook a lot, too!). I rarely add salt to foods I cook (I could probably count the instances in a year–heck, the last several years–on my hand). I don’t eat boxed foods, and I don’t eat a lot of canned goods (I avoid salty ones like soup altogether). But there is so much sodium naturally occurring in foods, that really, sodium doesn’t need to be added to anything.
The major source of sodium in my diet: all dairy products, olives, pickles, jarred garlic, low sodium soy sauce, ketchup, and pretty much any sauce, dressing or condiment you can imagine. I love tabasco sauces. I love salsa. I love guacamole and refried beans. Any of these items that are made for the store shelves are chock full of sodium.
I’ve cut out pickles (waah), only use fresh or granulated garlic, and use much smaller amounts when I do use a dressing or sauce or salsa. Or I don’t use it at all. I’ve deliberately switched any and all canned goods that I do bother to buy (with the exception of olives–I’ve never seen a no salt olive) to no salt added and have dropped buying others (no more refried beans). I’ve even discovered a no salt added chicken broth. And I learned that when baking bread, you don’t really need to add salt. It doesn’t seem to affect the leavening action. It is really just there for flavor. I’ve reduced the amount of cheese I eat by a LOT.
But me learning to watch my sodium intake is just one aspect of my new diet awareness. I’ve put into practice the principles of Dr. Barry Sears’ Zone diet. I really like what it has done for me, but it can be difficult to follow. Without the help of Calorie Count, I would be an abysmal failure at it. Being in the Zone, though, really makes me feel a difference. I feel good!
I got to looking at my past weight loss attempts and what I wanted as an end goal. I don’t believe in weight loss and standing on a scale as being an answer to everything. While I appreciate what the show the Biggest Loser is doing, their adherence to a scale is disappointing. It is an easy way to track weight loss, but it doesn’t tell you whether that weight is water, fat or your body’s muscle mass. So I decided that I would create three manageable goals for my weight loss, since one giant one would seem soooo out there that I would never get there. The first two are 50 pounds each. I figure those most likely will be fat I’m losing, since I’ve got so much to lose!
The last goal, however, I’m estimating at 50 pounds, but it’s much more fudgeable. I just want to be at a healthy bodyfat and fit. I’m shooting for a bodyfat of 24%.
I’m not sure how many pounds I’ll need to lose to get to that point, but we’ll see. It could be 40 pounds, or it might be 75–I really don’t know, and won’t until I get much closer to my goal.
Which, by the way, is already much closer in sight. I’ve reached my first goal! I’ve lost a total of 51.4 pounds! Only 48.6 pounds to go on my second goal! Whee! I’m hoping that by this time next year, I will be pretty darn close to reaching my third and final weight loss goal.
*using the tv game announcer voice*
And Bernabe runs toward that first weight loss goal, kicks it toward the goalposts…..and it is good! She has kicked her first goal! And the crowd goes wild! This is an event in her weight loss career that will go down in infamy!
I have a very rich imagination. It helps with the hard days.
People have asked me how I’m doing it and I flat out tell them it’s hard. It is. There is no magic pill or silver bullet. Weight loss takes a lot of time and effort. It becomes easier the longer you do it, though. Mostly because it is forming new habits and the new way of living. Changing one’s habits is extremely tough at first. Stick-to-it-ive-ness is key. It’s okay to blow it occasionally. If you don’t allow yourself to be human and make mistakes, that is the quickest way to failing at long-term weight loss goals. Each day presents a new opportunity to do better.
And so I am.