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Calorie Count Blog

When Numbers Aren't Enough


By +Carolyn Richardson on Feb 01, 2012 10:00 AM in Tips & Updates

If you woke up thin, your life would not change very much. It’s nice to think so when you’re trying to lose 50 pounds, but the truth is your new life begins at the point you decide to make a positive change and seek a better life. While weight loss appears to be the goal, many who want to lose weight want a better life. What a better life means is as varied and complex as fingerprints, but it’s not a total mystery. Gaining confidence, improving health, and living longer are usually mentioned, but typically the most frequent answer to having a better life is finding happiness. When our weight seems to be the only thing we can readily change to be happy, a look into our lifestyle may tell a different story.

The Shift

The sum of the decisions you make and the experiences you encounter because of them are all you have to work with. While some have an ah-ha moment and turn their lives around to follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen, others of us struggle to get on track despite the will, ability and knowledge to do so. Either we’ve lost and gained weight time and again, or a major life event brought on the extra pounds. Regardless of how the weight was gained, without exploring your change in behavior because of it, you’re only half-equipped to lose it.

What’s Eating You?

Once you explore the nature of the shift, that is, when it happened, what behaviors did you change, and how your feelings/thoughts about yourself and life were affected, you can make better sense of why you act the way you do. That starts with self-monitoring. Not only your current, but explore your past eating and exercise behaviors. Did you start eating more when you got married? Did you stop exercising after college? What positive behaviors have you given up, and what can you do to restart. Someone else’s prescription for your life changes will not last if you don’t apply your life experiences to their plan. If you’ve never eaten healthfully, or exercised regularly, it’s harder to explore how to stick to new positive behaviors, but for many, being sedentary or overeating started somewhere you can pinpoint.

Life Happens

Now that you know the specifics of the parts of you that don’t line up with a healthy lifestyle, it’s time to assess what it will take to make the switch. This has to do with changing behavior parameters. Write down your strengths and weaknesses with diet and exercise as well as the risks and benefits of changing certain behaviors. Now you’re ready to set goals with a realistic view of the time and cost it will take to gain success. Be sure to consider both weight loss and maintenance in your planning and go for it. 

Along your journey, here are some resources to accentuate the positive.



Your thoughts…

Beyond calorie counts, pounds, and macronutrient breakdowns, what variables are you missing to make your healthy habits stick for life? 



Comments


Time and energy.  I have a family, a dog, a home to keep clean, meals to prepare and clean up after, grocery shopping, banking, bill paying sessions, laundry...not to mention a full time job. Take into account appointments for doctor's visits, car repair, hair cuts, vet, dog grooming, etc., and occasions like birthday or other parties and extended family/friend obligations, and general self-grooming (showering, self-maintenance, etc.).  When I get some "me time" I'd rather crochet or knit and be somewhat creative and at the same time mindless, or take a well-deserved nap, than do crunches or take a walk.  I can't get motivated to exercise consistently.  I don't want to feel guilty for, at the end of a long day, watching t.v. or reading a magazine.



Original Post by: thecarlens

Time and energy.  I have a family, a dog, a home to keep clean, meals to prepare and clean up after, grocery shopping, banking, bill paying sessions, laundry...not to mention a full time job. Take into account appointments for doctor's visits, car repair, hair cuts, vet, dog grooming, etc., and occasions like birthday or other parties and extended family/friend obligations, and general self-grooming (showering, self-maintenance, etc.).  When I get some "me time" I'd rather crochet or knit and be somewhat creative and at the same time mindless, or take a well-deserved nap, than do crunches or take a walk.  I can't get motivated to exercise consistently.  I don't want to feel guilty for, at the end of a long day, watching t.v. or reading a magazine.


WHOA!! Talk about having a lot on your plate. Your life makes mine seem like a walk in the park, though I am expecting my first child in April, so I'm sure my free time will be cut significantly. At any rate, best of luck to you. And whatever you do, don't give up on your weight loss/helath goals. 



I agree, children seem to put a huge cramp in my staying fit lifestyle. I tried very hard to keep up my every other day gym dates but I couldn't find a sitter or would take one or both of my sons and they would get sick and the gym  doesn't want to bring your child in there sick so I was polite and wouldn't bring my child in sick and miss a week and  then take the child with me again and he would get sick again! Finally i gave up!~ Now that they are older and can stay home alone I don't have an excuse!! One good thing, my son now wants to go with me so he is a motivator! YAY! 



Original Post by: ebaskin

Original Post by: thecarlens

Time and energy.  I have a family, a dog, a home to keep clean, meals to prepare and clean up after, grocery shopping, banking, bill paying sessions, laundry...not to mention a full time job. Take into account appointments for doctor's visits, car repair, hair cuts, vet, dog grooming, etc., and occasions like birthday or other parties and extended family/friend obligations, and general self-grooming (showering, self-maintenance, etc.).  When I get some "me time" I'd rather crochet or knit and be somewhat creative and at the same time mindless, or take a well-deserved nap, than do crunches or take a walk.  I can't get motivated to exercise consistently.  I don't want to feel guilty for, at the end of a long day, watching t.v. or reading a magazine.


WHOA!! Talk about having a lot on your plate. Your life makes mine seem like a walk in the park, though I am expecting my first child in April, so I'm sure my free time will be cut significantly. At any rate, best of luck to you. And whatever you do, don't give up on your weight loss/helath goals. 


It sounds like you're being pretty active already! Walking the dog, shopping, cleaning. All of those things are physical, and while they aren't as intense as running, they will add up over time. Give yourself credit for what your doing and work in a few things where you can (I jump rope on commercial breaks when watching my favorite shows. It's easier to convince myself to do something for 3 minutes than for 20 late at night, but the 3 minute breaks add up too!). Good luck!



I can relate to your situation! I often hear that people are "making excuses" to not exercise. These are not excuses, your situation is real and genuine. And the dominant culture, in spite of a lot of lip service, is toxic to efforts to prioritize health. Something has got to give--the trick is, to give yourself permission to let that "something" be the housework, extra hours at work, the extended-family obligations, etc., instead of your health. Naps and crochet are essential to your mental health, so they get to stay. The surprise for me has been that when I prioritize my self care, the people around me are actually better served and happier, because I'm happier.



Basically Moms get screwed! Unless you have tons of money for help.



I think timing is everything! If I get in 30 min.s one week and that's all, I'm okay with that! If I get in 10 hr.s in a week, I'm okay with that as well!  I think its important to remember -- as another mother said -- to prioritize your health.  The house, laundry, dishes, etc. will be there. And also to remember that even if you only do a 20min. Jillian's workout, you are already ahead of the game!  So many people don't do anything, we are so sedentary as a society! Just getting up and doing something for a few minutes a day or a few times a week is a phenomenal start! And try to find something that you enjoy!

I also believe in not focusing at first on my weight, but instead on what I can DO! whether it be increasing what I can lift or how far I can walk/jog/run!

 



I agree 100%.  Time and stress,plus the expectations of others on me did not allow any time for myself to think about health, exercise or diet.  Taking care of my mother with Alzheimer, having a 3 year old and everything else the first lady wrote was also on my plate. Plus a 5,000 sq ft house with white carpets and cherry wood floors were hard.  I also do two websites for two different volunteer organizations, and am on several city boards. I'm an officer for Rotary, and a webmaster for two organizations, in my "free" time. Being a perfectionist didn't help. It was all or nothing with me.  I created several laws for myself.  

My mom died in October, freeing me from that responsibility.  I quit my job at Hospice (a very hard job) at the end of the year.  I backed out of a lot of other commitments. I made a plan to keep things up at home.  Last year I spent the year getting mentally prepared.  I listened to books on tape regarding weight loss and mind sets, as I put my makeup on each morning getting ready for work.  I listened to them in my car.  I re-newed my mind.  I prayed and journaled.  I took time mentally, because I didn't have physical time.  I followed read articles and dreamed about losing weight and exercising.  Sometime I really wanted to do, since seeing how hard it was for me to care for my mom, an obese lady.  I read every night before turning out the light at night.  I made lists of foods I really liked, looked up the calories and wrote them down, so I'd be ready here on Cal. com to log my food choices.  

Jan 1 was launch day.  I was ready.  I started to weigh and measure all foods.  I eat only things I really enjoy.  I work out 5 days a week with a great video called Walk Away the Pounds.  I had tried working out in the gym after work but I was discouraged watching others run pass me.  Walking at home in my own living room, without makeup or good looking workout clothes, fits me.  I'm still listening to audo books about weight loss, winning, creating a future, etc.  I spend Sundays planning next weeks food, weighing and measuring portions out and labeling them. I have 8 sm bottles of water in the fridge all the time.  I drink those.  I'm up to 5 a day now.  My goal is to do 8.  I released myself from laws.  If I mess up one day, I start over in the morning.  I've flipped the switch.  I'm doing this!

The result - I lost 10 lbs this month. BTW, I'm 61 years old.  It's not exactly a walk in the park, but when winter ends, I intend to walk there. 

You can do it, you can make it, and you're lookin' good!



soskmb I am so sorry about your mother. My mother died of complications from Alzheimers also last year. It was very hard and I understand the commitment. I had to move to her state for several months to help out when she couldn't be left alone with her live in anymore (who was worthless). BTW, hospice was great, what a hard job. 



Time is a real problem for me too.  I work two jobs (12 hours a day), three kids, pets, a house and husband all demanding my time.  I'm struggling with eating healthy with very little time to prepare meals.  The hardest time is for me is at night after the second job.  I get home at 10:00 p.m. and I'm starving.  I know it's not good to eat that late.  I've gained several pounds in the last couple of months and feel like I'm not maintaining as I should.  So here's where I need advice:  are there any healthy snacks recommend so close to bedtime, or should I avoid eating?  This has really been bothering me so any imput would be greatly appreciated.



Original Post by: sucomp

Basically Moms get screwed! Unless you have tons of money for help.


Hey hang on a second.  I'm a dad, and even though my wife and I are together and have been for over 12 years I am just as busy as any mom out there.  My wife is in school, we both work full time.  We have two boys, ages 11 and 3, we have two dogs, we have the housework, the oldest son's schoolwork (which thanks to middle school is now tons of PROJECTS!!), my wife's schoolwork (because the nights she is not actually in class she is doing schoolwork or studying), so I do practically 90% of all the house work, cooking, cleaning, taking kids to and from school, helping with their projects or extracurricular activities (soccer, baseball, school clubs (thanks again Middle School), etc. etc. etc.  So I know just as well as any mom out there what the pinch of no "me" time feels like.  Not trying to start an argument or discussion about the merits of one parent vs the other.  Just stating the fact that being a parent, period, regardless of gender or role assumed is a busy busy thing.  Worth it by all means, but so very very busy.

So I think a better phrasing of your over-generalization would be: "Basically Parents get screwed!  Unless you have tons of money for help."



This article is very sound: choose to eat healthy and live healthy.  

None of you who are complaining about not having enough time to exercise are couch potatoes, you are busy with life.  That in itself is not unhealthy.  Raising children and keeping a clean and healthy home environment can be quite physical (been there, done that).  Like someone said above "give yourself credit".  But if you are living an active lifestyle and struggling with your weight maybe you should take a close look at the quality and quantity of what you are eating everyday.

Not a sermon, just thought.Smile  God be with you.



Original Post by: soskmb

I agree 100%.  Time and stress,plus the expectations of others on me did not allow any time for myself to think about health, exercise or diet.  Taking care of my mother with Alzheimer, having a 3 year old and everything else the first lady wrote was also on my plate. Plus a 5,000 sq ft house with white carpets and cherry wood floors were hard.  I also do two websites for two different volunteer organizations, and am on several city boards. I'm an officer for Rotary, and a webmaster for two organizations, in my "free" time. Being a perfectionist didn't help. It was all or nothing with me.  I created several laws for myself.  

My mom died in October, freeing me from that responsibility.  I quit my job at Hospice (a very hard job) at the end of the year.  I backed out of a lot of other commitments. I made a plan to keep things up at home.  Last year I spent the year getting mentally prepared.  I listened to books on tape regarding weight loss and mind sets, as I put my makeup on each morning getting ready for work.  I listened to them in my car.  I re-newed my mind.  I prayed and journaled.  I took time mentally, because I didn't have physical time.  I followed read articles and dreamed about losing weight and exercising.  Sometime I really wanted to do, since seeing how hard it was for me to care for my mom, an obese lady.  I read every night before turning out the light at night.  I made lists of foods I really liked, looked up the calories and wrote them down, so I'd be ready here on Cal. com to log my food choices.  

Jan 1 was launch day.  I was ready.  I started to weigh and measure all foods.  I eat only things I really enjoy.  I work out 5 days a week with a great video called Walk Away the Pounds.  I had tried working out in the gym after work but I was discouraged watching others run pass me.  Walking at home in my own living room, without makeup or good looking workout clothes, fits me.  I'm still listening to audo books about weight loss, winning, creating a future, etc.  I spend Sundays planning next weeks food, weighing and measuring portions out and labeling them. I have 8 sm bottles of water in the fridge all the time.  I drink those.  I'm up to 5 a day now.  My goal is to do 8.  I released myself from laws.  If I mess up one day, I start over in the morning.  I've flipped the switch.  I'm doing this!

The result - I lost 10 lbs this month. BTW, I'm 61 years old.  It's not exactly a walk in the park, but when winter ends, I intend to walk there. 

You can do it, you can make it, and you're lookin' good!


Bravo!  You're one month in and soooo successful.



Comment Removed

As a busy mom, I definitely can relate to the time constraints & obligations of parents! Last year, my mother had her leg amputated from small vessel disease, a rare bone disorder, & complications with her type 1 diabetes. Everything she had is believed to be hereditary & even though she was born with her diabetes, it is believed that you are 50% more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if you have a parent with either type.

I was under a lot of emotional stress taking care of her, my 2 children, the dog, my husband & everything else, that I forgot about me. I ended up gaining weight from getting my meals in a hurried rush, not sleeping much & definitely not exercising! I ended up getting sick & my doctor worried that my fasting blood sugars are pre-diabetic. He is a great doctor & told me that it was imperative to my health & rising anxiety levels that I put myself first. So as hard as it has been, I schedule into my calendar my workouts & have been trying to plan my meals & grocery shopping to reflect my new healthier life style.

Just as Lucyhully stated above, I have actually noticed that my family is much happier because I am less stressed & they have been very encouraging of our new life style! I say "our" new lifestyle because even though my kids are pretty active & I feed them mostly nutritious food, they are excited to help out with my food selections, do more active things as a family, & encourage me on my weightloss. My husband is very supportive, too!

My advice to any busy parent out there, is to try to schedule time for yourself & include your family in the process. I had to stop volunteering so much & sometimes it's still difficult to look at the calendar & say "I'm sorry, but I can't do such & such because I am working out then." At first, there were a few people that thought it was silly or selfish, but soon even they could see a positive difference in me & my family. The one friend that doesn't, we'll....I think she is just having issues & I'm sure she'll come around.

BKMP66: I can relate to the late night need for a snack! I try to plan out my snack or several choices for a snack ahead of time. When I go grocery shopping, I try to think of a 200-300 calorie snack that includes some protein to keep me satisfied. Things like string cheese with a piece of fruit, a piece of toast with some peanut butter or even half a sandwich on whole grain bread. I try to plan it into my overall calorie intake, so I won't go over. It's hard at first, but if I have like 3-4 choices lined up ahead of time, then that really helps! Good luck!!


This is an excellent article and it has certainly gotten the mental juices flowing. A focus on weight loss only is a sure ticket to fail. Weight loss is a byproduct of a healthy lifestyle.



Original Post by: senior_awesome

Original Post by: sucomp

Basically Moms get screwed! Unless you have tons of money for help.


Hey hang on a second.  I'm a dad, and even though my wife and I are together and have been for over 12 years I am just as busy as any mom out there.  My wife is in school, we both work full time.  We have two boys, ages 11 and 3, we have two dogs, we have the housework, the oldest son's schoolwork (which thanks to middle school is now tons of PROJECTS!!), my wife's schoolwork (because the nights she is not actually in class she is doing schoolwork or studying), so I do practically 90% of all the house work, cooking, cleaning, taking kids to and from school, helping with their projects or extracurricular activities (soccer, baseball, school clubs (thanks again Middle School), etc. etc. etc.  So I know just as well as any mom out there what the pinch of no "me" time feels like.  Not trying to start an argument or discussion about the merits of one parent vs the other.  Just stating the fact that being a parent, period, regardless of gender or role assumed is a busy busy thing.  Worth it by all means, but so very very busy.

So I think a better phrasing of your over-generalization would be: "Basically Parents get screwed!  Unless you have tons of money for help."


I used to think I didn't have time because I'm a parent as well, but now I've learned to MAKE time. I'm a working single mother, and I have my daughter every evening but one. I used to try to go to the gym after work on the evenings she was at her dad's, but I became so inconsistent with it and never got into a habit. I also tried doing it after she went to bed, but as you stated earlier, at that time I just wanted to RELAX.

Now, I make time to workout at home every morning for about 30-60 minutes before she wakes up. The workout keeps me energized throughout the day, and I have more free time at night to chill out, clean up around the house, etc. If I oversleep, I will either walk around campus (I work at a school) on my breaks or just count it as a "rest" day.



Original Post by: senior_awesome

Original Post by: sucomp

Basically Moms get screwed! Unless you have tons of money for help.


Hey hang on a second.  I'm a dad, and even though my wife and I are together and have been for over 12 years I am just as busy as any mom out there.  My wife is in school, we both work full time.  We have two boys, ages 11 and 3, we have two dogs, we have the housework, the oldest son's schoolwork (which thanks to middle school is now tons of PROJECTS!!), my wife's schoolwork (because the nights she is not actually in class she is doing schoolwork or studying), so I do practically 90% of all the house work, cooking, cleaning, taking kids to and from school, helping with their projects or extracurricular activities (soccer, baseball, school clubs (thanks again Middle School), etc. etc. etc.  So I know just as well as any mom out there what the pinch of no "me" time feels like.  Not trying to start an argument or discussion about the merits of one parent vs the other.  Just stating the fact that being a parent, period, regardless of gender or role assumed is a busy busy thing.  Worth it by all means, but so very very busy.

So I think a better phrasing of your over-generalization would be: "Basically Parents get screwed!  Unless you have tons of money for help."


You are not the norm.  I wish there were more men like you.  Your wife is a lucky gal.



I think the article is right on! We need to look deep to get an understanding of what triggered the gain...Physical, Social, Emotional or otherwise.

I am having difficulty nailing it down because it has happened gradually over my lifetime, ten pounds at a time. Ten when I quit smoking, Ten after childbirth, Ten when I switched to a desk job, Ten from menopause and Ten since my bilateral mastecomy. As you can see I have pounds that I can attribute to almost every catagories and Truthfully I have never been successfull at losing weight my entire life.

 I am really sick and tired of the weight and really want to be healthy...but I have been unable to even get started at all this time. I have not made it through one full day of logging my food, or even drinking more water...etc. Can anyone give me advice to help me just get started?



I can well relate to that busy parent lifestyle. I have always struggled with my weight but when I got married 4 years ago I started gaining more weight. I was up to 189... the heaviest I have ever been and I started having more problems with my back, hips, knees and even my feet! I thought OMG I'm too young to feel like my 86 year old mother. But time wasn't and still isn't my only problem ... support is. I take care of my mother and although she wants me to be healthy (at least she says that) she constantly complains when I try to make healthier meals. My 7 year old step son is a better eater that her! He is always willing to try new things. He even says he wants to eat healthy (something I know he has been learning in school... they have been learning about nutrition). My husband, who is from the Caribbean,  loves it when I make healthy, natural foods from scratch the way they do down there... however when you are a working mom it's not easy coming home and having to try making a meal all from scratch. I try staying away from boxed meals, canned goods and most prepackaged stuff and use more frozen veggies. I also try making more lean meats like chicken and fish and only have beef or pork once a week. However my mother does not support any of this and complains about not liking the veggies unless they are boiled (to the point of limpness). She won't eat chicken breast, only dark meat. She only likes her fish when it's fried to a crisp (which is the opposite of how my husband likes it). And when I don't have to deal with her unhealthy eating style, I have my siblings (4 of them) that come over constantly with their poor eating habits. They were not happy when I stopped buying sodas. They hate it when I serve more veggies than starches during a meal. They are all overweight and they complain about MY eating habits. I love my family but the only ones truly supporting me in my opinion is my husband and son. For them I thank God because they are what keeps me going. I want to be around for them and if I kept eating the way I was brought up I fear I wouldn't get to see my son graduate much less have a family of his own.



I like the introduction, alot.



I totally sympathise with the family/life/work thing. 

HOWEVER.  What it takes is to #1 Prioritize oneself.  No one else is going to do it and a family will suck you dry--what you give will Never be enough.  So the boundary has to be drawn by oneself. 

I thought, if I can't have ONE hour of the day (and I maximized that hour by putting on my runners at minute 1 and leaving the kitchen door), then there's something wrong here.

It took making exercize THE priority.  Behind which everything else had to follow.  Healthy/Happy Mom/Wife......Healthy/Happy everyone. 

My two are now 23 and 25.  The self Esteem and habits I set then, I have continued with ever since.  My two became athletes also.  I had been sedentary before that.  And I thank my lucky stars every day for that one hour a day that has added up to A million health blessings over the years and accumulated into the outstanding quality of life I enjoy to this day. 

YOU'RE WORTH IT!!  No one else but you will put you first.



Wait, wait, wait......  Why is the woman with children and a full-time job doing ALL the cleaning and chores?  Time to sit your man down and tell him to start pulling his weight.  A good marriage involves splitting the LABOR, not the money.  Who gives a crap if he's making more than you?  Making more does NOT necessarily mean his job is harder than yours.  I make more than my husband at a job that requires a lot of skill and even more hours---we're looking at 50-60/wk all year round.  But do I expect him to be my slave?  NO.  He works full-time, too, and goes to school online for accounting.  We split the chores straight down the middle--which are considerable.  He takes out the garbage, washes the hand-wash dishes, and does the laundry.  I tidy up around the apartment, load and unload the dishwasher, and put away laundry.  We alternate taking the dog out to crap, and we cook dinner together as a hobby.  If your man comes home at 7 and parks it on the couch while you vacuum, cook and play with the kids by yourself, it's time to get yourself a new man.

For those of you complaining about having to clean a large house yourself:  We have chosen to live in an apartment instead of buying a house so that we can afford biweekly cleaning service.   Those of you living in large houses, who complain about how much work it is--you CHOSE to live in that large house, and that's why you can't afford cleaners.  It's all a matter of where your financial priorities lie. 

For those who think a dog factors into lack of exercise:  Try exercising with your dog.  Walk him.  Run him.  Or just plain play with him--he won't tell you to stop!  Have "family walks" after dinner with everybody. 

Ultimately, everything is an excuse unless you are living in severe poverty and working two jobs with no health care, and unable to afford anything but fast food.  I've recently come to accept that my weight gain was my fault--that no one was forcing me to OVER-eat just because I was severely poor and severely overworked.  That was me, stuffing my cake-hole rather than going for a (free) outdoor run.  We can argue about time to exercise and cook until we're blue in the face, but ultimately what we put in our mouths is our choice.  Granted, I haven't come to accept this fact until my circumstances have become much better upon getting my current job.  When you're in the weeds, it's harder to see the sunlight...



U know u can workout with your kids run around the park have a dance party! I make my workouts fun, like lifting my son up and dwn we both giggle the whole time! And my daughter loves to mimic my jumping jacks! Think of fun and new ways to work out and play at the same time! And some days a nap may just be better for you after A long day! A lil is bttr than nothing at all! <3


Thank you.  I am praying for all of you to be successful in your journey to health.  The crux of it is renewing your mind...Changing your thoughts.  When I wake up in the morning the first thing I think of is:  "I GET to exercise today."  It's so different than dreading it and feeling like I have to exercise, or I should exercise, or I need to exercise, or I hate to exercise.  I GET to!  For some reason it puts an excitement to the whole idea.  So glad we can walk this road together. Be blessed!



Exactly!  I learned all about the right mind set from the messages I listened to on tape.  I GET to exercise.  I don't have to, I GET to!  Yay!  Mental preparedness is a good part of the situation.  Plus, PLANNING.  We must plan our food choices so we don't grab stuff we really don't want to eat.  Planning and making choices before we actually eat is key. 



Working out at home is so much easier.  We can sweat, get cleaned up and out the door.  When I went to the gym, I had to have my makeup on, get dressed, and pack my after the work out bag.  But, for others the gym is their thing and I'm happy for anyone who works out.  It is life changing.



Original Post by: ladyessy

I can well relate to that busy parent lifestyle. I have always struggled with my weight but when I got married 4 years ago I started gaining more weight. I was up to 189... the heaviest I have ever been and I started having more problems with my back, hips, knees and even my feet! I thought OMG I'm too young to feel like my 86 year old mother. But time wasn't and still isn't my only problem ... support is. I take care of my mother and although she wants me to be healthy (at least she says that) she constantly complains when I try to make healthier meals. My 7 year old step son is a better eater that her! He is always willing to try new things. He even says he wants to eat healthy (something I know he has been learning in school... they have been learning about nutrition). My husband, who is from the Caribbean,  loves it when I make healthy, natural foods from scratch the way they do down there... however when you are a working mom it's not easy coming home and having to try making a meal all from scratch. I try staying away from boxed meals, canned goods and most prepackaged stuff and use more frozen veggies. I also try making more lean meats like chicken and fish and only have beef or pork once a week. However my mother does not support any of this and complains about not liking the veggies unless they are boiled (to the point of limpness). She won't eat chicken breast, only dark meat. She only likes her fish when it's fried to a crisp (which is the opposite of how my husband likes it). And when I don't have to deal with her unhealthy eating style, I have my siblings (4 of them) that come over constantly with their poor eating habits. They were not happy when I stopped buying sodas. They hate it when I serve more veggies than starches during a meal. They are all overweight and they complain about MY eating habits. I love my family but the only ones truly supporting me in my opinion is my husband and son. For them I thank God because they are what keeps me going. I want to be around for them and if I kept eating the way I was brought up I fear I wouldn't get to see my son graduate much less have a family of his own.


Ladyessy - Sounds like you need to put your foot down and stand up for yourself.  Why are you taking care of your mother when you have 4 other siblings?  They come to YOUR house and complain when YOU cook THEM food.  Someone needs to be told where to get off in my opinion. 



ladyessy- I agree that you need to stand up for yourself.  You can do it kindly by saying, "I'm on a weight loss program right now, and I must cook and serve the foods that help me reach my goal.  If you'd like something else, please feel free to go ahead and fix yourself something.  Please clean up after yourself when you're done."  At times I tell my family, "I've prepared this for dinner tonight.  If you prefer something else, there's.....and....and......(what's ever in the fridge-like a grilled cheese sandwich, p-nut butter and jelly, or a hotdog.)   You'll have to fend for yourself."  

I tell them I'm not only doing it for my physical health, but for my mental health. I use to say, "Hey, I'm a real person, with real thoughts, intents and purposes too."  Just as a reminder.  They get it now.  It's not a problem anymore.

 



Dear soskmb,  I could never have put it so eloquently, but I have been there also and agree 100% - don't beat yourself up anymore!  Life IS too short, and you must take time to smell the roses along the way, or if not - you have done without, maybe no one else has gone without.  Only you know when you must insist on your own survival and you must stick to your guns, or carrot sticks, or sweet peas or whatever it is that can help you get through it.  I need to crunch my food personally!!!  It gives me the feel of success!!  And I know my body can handle anything if I just stick to it.  Thank you team - I feel better already - I hope this works for you :) aea



This blog helped me tremendously and motivated me in a time of need!   I am on my fourth day of a lifestyle change to eat better, exercise regularly (without doing the on again/off again dance) and stay motivated and positive about my changes.  I also found a good trick for me to make sure I'm drinking enough water.  After my breakfast I jog and walk for 30 min, then I have a protein shake then I take my daily supplements.  If you are anything like me the aging process has ensured that my body needs more of what I don't get on a normal basis so I take around 7 supplemental pills a day.  I use to cram half in my mouth swallow with some water and do the second half with more water, well I have a much better way now.  I take each pill separately with water which enables me to take in a large amount of water ultimately filling me up quite a bit and giving me at least 2 8oz glasses right away. 



I think that so many of you have hi the nail right on the head.  Health needs to be your priority, or it will not happen.  It seems like some of the commenters are having a hard time making the change to a healthier life style.  I think that it is important to remember that you do not have to make a huge change over night.  It is not all or nothing.  When i decided to become healthier a little over a year ago, I made small changes.  I first focused on cutting sugar from my diet and drinking more water.  I think anyone can do that, It was not hard.  Gradually over time my diet became healthier and healthier because I made it a priority.  Preparing food from scratch does not need to be a big ordeal.  It really does not take that much more time or effort, once you get used to it.  It also saves a ton of money.  And you are teaching your children how to be healthy, which is very important to me.    

As for exercise, a trip to the gym may help some people stay on track, it is not for everyone.  A little exercise goes a long way.  You do not need a full blown hour long exercise session to get any benefits.  I usually exercise in short 15 min. bursts.  When I wake up in the morning, I do some crunches, leg lifts, and other short strength training exercises.  When I am shopping I park far away and walk briskly.  Sometimes I even swing my arms into a power walk.  Other times I throw in a Billy Blanks dvd, or jump rope, or hulla hoop, or jumping jacks.  The kids can join in.  It is fun.  It also gets the kids moving and teaching them to be healthy as well.  Move around, dance wile you clean, shake your butt.  It all adds up. 

I have noticed that the healthier I am, the more energy I have and the more I can get done in a day.  It just takes the motivation to get started.  Oh, and 8 hours of sleep a night.  Sleep is so important to your health.

Another thing that I would like to add is that when you make health a priority, it affects your decisions.  Both big and small.  You do not need to be rich to be healthy.  Their are plenty of unhealthy rich people and healthy poor people.  Nobody ever has enough money or time.  Be grateful for what you have.  My family is full of morbidly obese people(including extended family).  I did not want that for my family.  There are only a few healthy people in my family because they make it a priority.  My husband and I have made some tough decisions in the past couple of years.  I had an opportunity to take a job that would make a lot of money, but it would also mean a lot of extra time away from my starting family.  I decided to stay at home instead.  We bought the way smaller house in the way less desirable neighborhood, and we really do not have very much money.  Our furniture is from thrift stores and our cars are more than 10 years old.   But we are happy and healthy, and that is what is important.     

 



This year I am learning to say No to many stresses and yes to myself.

My kids are both out of the home now away at college.  My husband is on night shift for the first time of our life,  He has always been days.

I don't have to cook or answer to anyone in the evenings, so I finally feel after 30 years I have time for myself.

I still work at a job I love, but I cut back my hours this year.  I quit watching so much tv and started to walk the dogs more. It is not longer about me walking the dogs.  It is about the dogs walking me.  We do intervals of very fast and then slower, and many hills.  

No fancy treats from the staff room anymore, my lunch is packed with good foods, and when I am to busy I have a few protien shakes nearby to help hold off the cravings.  

I am in love with Calorie counter, I have tried every diet in the world.  At 50 years plus, I know what to do, I know how to do it, but I find the layers of keeping track annoying.  But Calorie Counter is telling me instantly where I stand. 

It is like " Finally, something I really understand"  Easy to track and Easy to see where you messed up.  

Wish me well, I have lost 7 pounds since the start of Janary, but 5 came just in this last week when I started to count calories. 

I am getting daily inspiration from reading the many stories on this website. 

 



You go girlfriend!  We're all in this together!



wowsers....I was commenting on this:

Your thoughts…

Beyond calorie counts, pounds, and macronutrient breakdowns, what variables are you missing to make your healthy habits stick for life? 


We are all leading terribly busy and time-consumed lives.  Everyone.  What I would love is the luxury of time.  I am already incorporating healthy eating into my life.  I even do exercises at work--like when I go to the ladies room after washing my hands I do some squats...then some push offs (hands on the sink's counter and push off).  Sometimes I take a nap at lunch time and while I'm in the well room I do crunches, leglifts, situps.  I find it sad that I have to use those moments to get a bit of physical activity.  Not that I want to go to the gym...I don't.  Come spring/summer/fall, I'll go take a walk now and again.  However, it is TIME that I am short of.  Time is so precious that when I get some, exercising is the missing component....cuz I just don't have the strength or desire to exercise; I'd rather use that time to crochet, knit, read, take a relaxing bath or a nap.



Ladyessy: Just keep on cooking healthy and do it for yourself, your husband and your son.  Tune your Mom out. When I was a kid, I ate what was on the table or went hungry.  Maybe you need to have the same attitude with Mom. Sorry if it sounds harsh, but you're trying to do what's best for everyone, including her.  Tough love.Wink



Mom's don't get screwed, we allow ourselves to get screwed. If a mom has a significant other in her life she needs to ask him/her for help. It is a shared relationship (hopefully) and the burden of all the appointments, dog walking, bill paying, and tending to the children should rest with both. I thank God every day for the man I am married to (31 years strong). He got up with the kids in the middle of the night. He does laundry, dishes, prepares meals just as well as I do. We sit down together to do the bills. We SHARE our life together. Ask your partner for help and TAKE time for yourself. 



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