Winter is (finally) almost over, and while we have had a banner year for snow, I have not allowed it to stop me from exercising at the gym, pushing myself to do more each week. It is working—I have lost inches and pounds. My clothes are becoming looser, and with confidence and determination I know that this will be my last season in these winter clothes.  The possibilities are endless, but  my focus is one day at a time and also one pound at a time.

The first few weeks in January were difficult for me as it was hard to let go of my old habits regarding food. Previously, I used food as an emotional tool to deal with my everyday stress filled life due to chronic medical issues from my husband and myself and the last 9 months dealing with my grief and finding a new life by myself. After some soul searching, I decided to start making daily conscious choices regarding what, when, how and even why I ate food.

I have taken the advice from my nutrition session as I plan my meals to make healthy food filled with nutrition like calcium, protein, vegetables and whole grains. To eliminate unhealthy choices in food I went through what I had in my kitchen and donated any foods that didn’t fit my new criteria. I do explore websites for healthy recipes which can be fun and sometimes aggravating trying to find something I am willing to try. I take vegetables or fruit to work for any time that I find I need a snack to eliminate a carbohydrate filled food. As I eat my meals I try to concentrate on that I am eating, filling my body with nutrition and not just mindlessly eating. I start each day with getting on my scale to keep track of what I weigh to help me keep focus and acknowledge my progress. Some mornings I want to skip getting on the scale but I know that would an easy way out of not working towards my goal of losing weight and being healthy. Exercising and healthy food choices are good life style changes for me.

I am walking on the treadmill 3 miles each time at the gym and have gotten my time down to under 50 minutes. A few times when I wasn’t feeling the best I could only do 2 miles and I discovered that I miss the extra mile. Besides the treadmill, I have been working out on the elliptical machine. The first time I tried this I hurt my back, since I wasn’t doing it correctly. A week later I tried a different brand, and now I am approaching 30 minutes and gradually pushing the incline and tension higher. It wasn’t my favorite machine at first, but I have found my rhythm with it and it provides a good, sweaty workout.

My doctor had told me I needed at least 120 minutes of sweaty exercise each week which I achieve and then some. Exercising was more difficult in the beginning with sore muscles, aching body parts but each week I find that I can do more than the week before. At work, I find reasons to take a lap around the office a few times a day so I don’t sit at my desk continuously and I use the stairs. My arm still limits me in what I can do, but that is my focus, what I can do—not what I can’t do. Each time I lose a pound I tell myself good work, keep going.


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