I turned 40 years old in August, and frankly, I was exhausted. I was tired, and I lacked energy. I could not even run around with my kids. I have three children, ages 10, 16, and 21. They were getting older, and I was not getting any younger. It was time to get re-energized. That meant getting healthier by losing weight.
People ask me why I decided to make it my FIRST goal to lose 100 pounds by July 2015. The answer is simple: my family. I’m a healthy person: I have low blood pressure, I am not diabetic, and my cholesterol is in a healthy range. But, I did not want to worry about my weight and its effect on my health down the road. My parents both have high blood pressure. My father is diabetic and had a heart attack recently. That was a wake-up call for him. I watched him lose weight, going from 419 pounds to 280 pounds.
So, when I turned 40 years old, I got my wake-up call – and it was my kids. I could not run around with my 10-year-old anymore.
I’m taking my weight loss in small steps. I am making little changes. By making those small changes, I have already lost 31 pounds. I’m on my way! I’m already one size down in my clothing. A long time ago, I bought six pairs of jeans in the wrong size – and guess what? – now they fit. It feels great.
Here are some small changes I have made that you can make, too:
- Cut soda out. I was drinking 2.5 liters of soda per day. I have cut that down significantly. It’s empty calories.
- Track it. I now use a FitBit. I wear it on the back of my name badge to count steps. I also use the food tracker. It has truly helped me understand my physical activity and my diet. I was eating a lot of high-calorie foods.
- Trade up. I would much rather eat more of a low-calorie healthy snack, like carrots, than a tiny piece of high-calorie cake or 14 measly chips. So, that’s what I do!
- Just start moving. I’m not going to do an Ironman race anytime soon, but I am moving more. I walk around my block at home at least one per day when weather permits. I also purchased an elliptical as part of winning the Grand Prize in the UVM Medical Center’s “June Jumpstart” Facebook Contest. The moving part is hard – I am still heavy and I get tired, but I push myself to just to a little bit more every day.
- Quit the really bad habits. I quit smoking seven months ago after smoking for more than half my life. Enough said.
- Make it a family affair. My son and my daughters are such cheerleaders! My husband has lost 20 pounds, too. Even my little one is paying attention: she actually started to log her exercise and write down her exercise. She will ask for fruit a lot — she just tried Italian plums and loves them.
- Get people on the boat with you. A support system is key even if they do not want to or have to lose weight. Having someone to motivate you keeps you energized and accountable! My family and friends at work are in my corner.
- Don’t get discouraged!! You will occasionally have things that are not the best choice. You will have that piece of birthday cake or that piece of lasagna. You will also have weeks here and there where the results are not what you were expecting…maybe even a small gain…AND THAT’S ALL OKAY! Just get right back on the path and keep moving!!
I feel great! I can’t wait for July 2015 – when I will be 100 pounds lighter, wearing shorts, and running after my kids. There is no great reward for changing your life.
Lori’s Sinless Cookies
- 2ripe bananas
- 1cupquick oats
- 1/2cupdark chocolate chips
- 1 1/2Tbspnatural peanut butter
- Mix all ingredients well and place dough on a cookie sheet in one teaspoon large balls. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!
- Serving size: 1 cookie
- Calories per serving: 52 calories
- Carbohydrate: 8.2 grams
- Fat: 2 grams
- Protein: 1.3 grams
Lori Fliss, CCLPN, is a nurse at University Pediatrics at the UVM Medical Center Health.