Friday, May 16, 2014

My personal-growth project: working out and losing weight

I haven't been writing as actively in this blog as I was last fall. In part, this is due to two personal projects that have eaten up considerable time and energy. One project is a book that I'm writing about how to break a bad habit and create a healthier one. The other is a "reduce my belly" project. 

I'd been meaning to describe my weight-loss efforts here, and I finally found the time to write the initial postings about it. 

It all began last winter when my husband gave me some new pants for the holidays. However, he FOOLISHLY chose to get pants with my actual waist size and not ones that featured a stretch waist. I mean, what was he thinking?! One pair was too uncomfortably tight to wear, and the other wouldn't button around me at all. 

I decided that there was no way in hell that I was going up a waist size, so instead I embarked on a project to reduce my belly. The short-term goal was to be able to fit into my new pants. The long-term goals were to maintain good health (I have high cholesterol), to have a stronger core and more athletic waist line, and, as a super low priority, to add as much muscle as is possible for a man nearing his mid-fifties. 

I'm using three main approaches in my efforts: gym workouts three-to-five times a week that emphasize at least 45 minutes of cardio on an elliptical machine (with some bike), using a modification of the nutrition techniques from Intuitive Eating, by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, and weaving mindfulness techniques into my cardio workouts. Mindfulness and Intuitive Eating are tools that I've used many times to help my life & career coaching clients, so I thought it would be interesting to document their use in this specific project. Because I had back surgery for a herniated disc back in 2007, I'm starting off with the elliptical and working my way slowly into treadmill and other running, paying attention to what my back will tolerate.

I'll blog in more detail later about each of these techniques, and I'll keep you posted on my progress, pitfalls, challenges, and more as I embark on this years-long project. 

As for my initial status report, it's been three-and-a-half months so far, I've lost 10 lbs, and I've completed my short-term goal: I now fit into both new pairs of pants that David bought me. However, as people who've succeeded at short-term weight loss know, anyone can lose some weight in a few months. The real key to success is making the gym workouts and the Intuitive Eating approaches new, long-term habits.

Stay tuned!

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