Wednesday, July 28, 2010

If yo u build it, they will come.

My wife has a problem. She is not alone, mind you.  It is a very serious problem that comes every time she walks into a shoe store.  She wants, no, NEEDS a new pair of shoes.  I COULD ask her what type, but therein lies the problem.  She really has NO IDEA!!!!  I don't understand this.  When I go shopping, I know exactly what I want, I am just looking for the best price.  But really, she has NO idea what type of shoes she wants.  She will look for a while, and we will exit the store, shoes in one hand, help wanted ads in the other since I NEED another job to afford her shoe habit. 

The line is always the same.  "I will know them when I see them."

Have you ever been there?  Knowing you want or need something, but don't quite know what it is you want? 

When it comes to weight loss, I think many people are this way.  They know they want weight loss, they just don't know which tool will get them there.  South Beach, Blood Type, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig,  and then there is always the infomercial guy talking about cortisol.  So many choices, which one is right???

When my wife expressed to me her desire to join with me in this journey, she was very much this way.  She knew she wanted what I had, but didn't know how to get there.  My answer when people ask me is simple.  You simply eat less than you burn.  The kicker is that most people have NO idea how much they eat.  There is only ONE way. Count the calories. 

I told my wife that my weight loss started when I put the calorie tracker on my phone.  "You want it on yours?"  I asked. "No, That's ok"  Took her about a week, then I got a call at work.  "Honey, can I get that app on my phone?" 

People don't like to be forced.  Major changes are hard.  I know that my wife wanted me to eat this way for a long time, but I wasn't ready for the change.  I knew I had to give her time. When the time was right, she came around.

Since then, I am happy to report that she has tracked her eating, started exercising, and has dropped 8 dress sizes since January.

The journey is SO much more fun when taking it with your spouse.  She is now asking the right questions.  Going to the grocery store is almost like a date, and I am loving the changes that we are seeing in each others lives, and slowly, the lives of our kids. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Communication

A few weeks ago, my wife and I had a discussion.  She didn't like that I was running all of the time, and she didn't like that I had been so picky lately about what I was eating.  Now, to be fair, she was partly right.  In my effort to eat more nutritiously, I had asked her to modify her cooking, which was wrong and selfish of me.  My nutritional life, while important, is for me, not her and the rest of my family. I am making the change, not her.  If anyone should be inconvenienced, it should be me and not her, but that is a topic for another day.

In our discussion, I was able to peel back the layers of words and get to the TRUE issue.  I knew she really did not resent my running.  She has been nothing but supportive.  The nutrition thing threw me though.  She said she was upset because she had tried to improve my nutrition several times in our married life, but I was resistant (to say the least).  I wanted nothing to do with it.  Now, I had changed my eating habits and started weight loss because if my "hobby"(running).  I could see her point, but even THIS was not the true issue.

Have you ever noticed that, for the most part, married couples tend to look the same?? Not in a twins sort of way, but they have the same general make up.  Many times, if the wife is thin, so is the husband.  If the husband if overweight, so is the wife.  The children follow as well (hmm, maybe its NOT genetic.  Maybe it is the way we teach them to eat...nahhhh). I had been overweight for years, and I had borne no children.  My wife had 3.  Each one adding a little more.

The TRUE message that my wife was trying to convey was "help me".  She didn't know how to say it, I'm not even sure that she knew she wanted to.  But in her own way, she was letting me know that she wanted to change too, but didn't know how.  This was GROUND BREAKING!!! Not for her, not for me, but for us and our family.

We each had tried to improve our nutrition over the years, but never at the same time.  We were stuck in this nutritional tug of war, pulling against each other.  Now, we were getting on the same page.  It was then that I began to see what I had been doing as my "journey" and I invited her to come on this journey with me.  That we do it together. 

Since then, amazing things have happened which I will tell you about in coming posts, but the bottom line is this.  If you are married, engaged, or have a significant other, make sure he/she knows about your journey and make sure they are on board and either (preferably) is wiling to come with you, or, at the least, understands and agrees not to hinder your progress.  It is SO much easier when someone comes with you.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Beyond E>I

E>I.  That is the easy part (see previous post).  The hard part comes after.  Isn't that the way it always is?? Knowing is the easy part.

I knew I was expending energy.  I was a runner.  I also knew that, like I said in a previous post, running only burns so many calories.  Weight loss is far more effective, exercise must be combined with reduced calories.  

I needed to reduce calories.  One big problem.  In order to reduce, you have to know where you start. I started by downloading an app for my Blackberry phone.  I was able to log everything that I ate.  SURPRISE!!  One of the first days that I tracked, I ate pizza.  Now, on my former diet, I didn't eat just one or two pieces.  I ate 5....thick crust..... 4 meat.  Don't remember, but I think the one meal was 1200 or 1300 calories.  That shocked me into reality.  I HAD to get my calories under control  

When I started tracking my calories, it wasn't really that hard.  Counting calories  is like a budget.  If you know that you have 2000 calories to spend for the day, you budget accordingly. If you know you're going out for dinner, have a light breakfast and light lunch.  Log everything you eat. When you reach 2000 calories, you're done.  

The hard part is still eating 3-4 meals a day.  Don't load up on 2 meals and think that because you are below your budget, you are ok.  You have to eat 3-4 meals a day.  When you don't eat continuously through the day your body gets confused.  Its primal instincts kick in.  It remembers when our ancestors lacked things to eat.  It tries to hold on to what it gets and slows down the metabolism.

So, eating is essential.  It seems counter intuitive that eating less calories could cause weight gain, but it does happen.

Starting in the next post, I'll begin with MY journey and how it has affected my life, and my family.

Eat Smart,
St3ven