Sunday, August 22, 2010

Getting Started

My daughter was taking a picture of me at thecomputer.
Sometimes getting started after weeks or months can be hard. I know that even a few weeks off from exercising can be incredibly difficult to start up again. Gaining weight just makes the body feel sluggish, uncomfortable, and exhausted when the process of working out begins yet another time. Beginning the routine again is difficult and is made worse by the fact that the diet hasn't been exactly perfect either. So now there are two battles to tackle.

July 2009 I began by simply omitting some foods in my diet and committing to an exercise program of 30 minutes 3 days a week. Back then, my goal was to establish some type of realistic program that I could practice and maintain to develop consistent behavior patterns. It was always easy to start a program, but maintaining it was always difficult. This time, I didn't want to become overwhelmed by doing too much when I had numerous family obligations and responsibilities to attend to daily.

I remember going downstairs in the evening to workout and saying to myself that "it's only 30 minutes...and then I'll be done." It worked. Sometimes I fought it, cursing initially, and making up lots of excuses, but I did it anyway. Afterwards I always felt accomplished and proud and reminded myself that "it's only 30 minutes."

I eliminated cheese, white bread, and reduced portion sizes and sweets. Those few changes along with the 30 minutes 3 days per week made a huge difference. After a month I eliminated other foods, added healthier fats and other foods and increased the number of days I worked out. I was set on not changing how long I worked out. 30 minutes was all I was willing to workout, unless I went to Paul's Body Warehouse classes.

I told myself what I needed most was to maintain new and consistent behavior patterns before I made any other changes. July of 2010 I decided I would make more changes to my nutrition and exercise programs.

Even though I am working now towards entering a competition, I couldn't have come this far without establishing some consistency this past year. The practice of "doing it" has made a world of difference in being more mentally tough and sticking to it on days when it feels unbearable to continue moving forward.

Just the few changes that I made initially with my diet and exercise and consistent behavior allowed me to drop a few pant sizes. That felt good, especially since I didn't need to burn myself out with crazy unrealistic goals of working out an hour at a time or cutting calories drastically. In fact, I never counted calories until recently (working towards a competition is a much different scenario). A good rule of thumb I used was stop eating when I'd had enough, not wait until I was full.

A few changes goes a long way.

FYI: I was going to post pictures of my face dolled up with make up this week, but I never got around to it. I'll try to post one next week. I ordered some dark competition foundation, so that way I could practice applying make-up over it. I'll let you know when it comes in.

"To will is to select a goal, determine a course of action that will bring one to that goal, and then hold to that action till the goal is reached. The key is action."  -Michael Hansen, American Mathematician


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