As the old adage puts it, you have to roll with the punches. That saying appropriately points to my experience in April as far as my getting fit program is concerned. Or perhaps the one about our best laid plans would be better because my experience in April was more of a change in plans than a setback.
Overall I am once again reasonably happy with my progress this month but I definitely ended up with a different experience than expected. I will share some of it in this report because I think in the end this is a positive move that will only improve my long term chances for success at getting fit.
Steady Weight Loss Continues
Initially I looked forward to continuing the increased weight loss pattern seen in March. However, almost from the beginning of the month I adjusted this thought as I initiated a different and long anticipated change in eating pattern a little earlier than originally anticipated.
Still I lost another four pounds (bringing my weight down to 195 pounds) which is the consistent progress I have made over the course of my getting fit program. A steady pound a week weight loss may sound small, especially in view of the ridiculous claims of weight loss promised by the popularly advertised weight loss programs but it is the realistic and healthy way to go in my opinion.
Especially for folks who are getting a little older this is no doubt the only reasonable way to go. Some of us may be in better shape than others but very few of us could burn up calories as we did years ago. Marathon runners over 65 or 70 are not unheard of but certainly not the norm!
Physical Activity in April
After doing exceptionally well in March, my exercise program in April was not strong, but sometimes things happen. At the beginning of the month I seem to have picked up a bug of some kind and missed a week due to the associated fatigue. Then, just as I got back into the groove, I somehow injured my lower back which sidetracked me for another week.
Still, I am feeling fine now, and have made some changes in my overall activities that will significantly improve my physical well being no doubt. Over the last few years I have drifted more and more into working on things like my websites and away from activities that required more physical involvement, like my gardening and shop work. But during the course of this month I decided to take steps to reverse that trend.
As our weather has now improved and temperatures are good for working outside I am already enjoying more time spent in the yard and garden. This is particularly exciting for me as I look forward to cooking up the healthier foods that are fresh from our own vegetable patch.
Yesterday, for example I worked with my grandson, Tom, to drive fence posts and set up eight cattle panels to use as supports for tomatoes, sugar snap peas, pole beans and cukes. Now I won’t deny that he did the heavy work, but I still got some pretty good exercise.
Learning to Eat Right
Perhaps the most important part of getting fit is learning how to establish healthy eating habits that are sustainable for the long term. This is the most part of maintaining an appropriate weight instead of reverting to new weight gain rising to previous or even higher overweight or obese levels.
It is no secret that the vast majority of those who lose weight gain most of it back in no more than a couple of years or so, and often they gain more than they lost. The obvious reason is that they followed a diet to lose weight that they could not sustain over the long run and never developed new long term healthy eating habits.
As a yo-yo dieter myself over the years, I planned from the beginning to make my long term major commitment not to just losing weight, but to learn new permanent eating habits that I could enjoy and consequently keep. Until now I have thought in terms of losing the weight first with food choices that made counting calories easy, and then develop the longer term eating habits.
Recently, however, I have come to realize that as I near my weight loss goal I should begin easing into the new eating patterns sooner rather than later. There are a number of good reasons for this. It takes time to develop new tastes even though the foods I have been eating have been pretty good and I have different preferences already that are much healthier.
In addition, I want to learn how to prepare foods for myself from fresh food sources rather than depending so much on the folks from Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers. This is part of a long term eating plan for more flexibility in meal planning as well as essential for reducing such unwanted content as the high amount of salt contained in many of the prepared meals.
Slowly, over the course of the past month I have been adding foods to my diet that provide a somewhat larger meal but contain ony a few more calories. For example, I have incorporated extra ingredients to my meals such as additional vegetables to my frozen dinner. Also, many days I have added one or two snacks of a fruit such as an orange or apple.
Exciting Days Ahead
While I have some concerns that beginning to eat more food in this way may slow up my weight loss, and I do not like to see that, I am really looking forward to eating more interesting foods. Over the last month I have already started in modest ways to add servings of cole crops, onions, or mushrooms to some of my meals, for example.
If done right I will continue to lose weight while I initiate some changes in the direction of more permanent eating habits. If necessary I am prepared to revert to my more restrictive eating pattern for a while longer but I am hopeful that will prove unnecessary. We will see.