January usually brings out the new year resolutions for most folks, but not for me. Just not my thing to make a decision to do anything in particular only to have that resolution die in flames 3 weeks later. My son goes to a local gym where I used to attend, and for the first few weeks of the year it is packed to the walls, but come the end of the month only about half of those people are still around. By the end of February 90% will have stopped going, forgetting their resolution to drop weight and get in shape.
For me, the need to get some weight off is tied to my blood pressure. Being a Medication Aide now, I take vital signs on residents so I purchased a higher end electronic BP cuff. I’ve been monitoring my own and yikes, it was starting to get into the lower end of the high blood pressure scale. Actually some times it is more like moderate. Being a blood donor (if it is too high they won’t take your blood), and a member of a family full of high BP folks, this is a cause for concern. Between my weight and my serious addiction to coffee, I knew I had to start making a few life choices to protect myself. I’m not getting any younger and I want to live a long, healthy life.
My first step was drinking more water. Like a LOT more water. I’ve read that you should divide your weight by 2, and that would give you the number of ounces of water you should drink in a day. This meant 97.5 ounces of water a day for me. Yes, I was sitting at 195 pounds, and that much water made me feel like I could swim with the whales. No one believed me when I told them my weight, seems I carry it well, and being large chested it helps to make the poundage more balanced and less obvious. My blood pressure, however, doesn’t lie.
The second step was to cut back on portions. I’ve not stopped eating my favorite things, I just eat less of them now. I don’t measure, per say, I just eat slower and eat a smaller portion than normal. Especially with dessert, IF I have it at all.
Step three was cutting down on the caffeine consumption. This was really difficult because I LOVE coffee, this girl runs on it. A few months back my daughter introduced me to the wonders of Dunkin Donuts iced coffees. Mama here was in love with the peppermint mocha, but after Christmas this amazing flavor vanished and won’t be back until we roll in to the holiday season again. Now please understand, this girl doesn’t mess around when it comes to her coffee, you go big or you go home. I don’t go home when it comes to java. A large, iced coffee, with the flavoring and NO cream or sugar is 260 calories or so. Um, that is just dandy if you aren’t eating anything but I am good for a breakfast sandwich too, and then at work once the residents have breakfast we can chow down on the left overs. I rarely passed up some bacon or a small danish, maybe a pancake or french toast. I wasn’t gaining a pound, but I wasn’t shedding any either.
I was under the mistaken impression that I needed all that caffeine for energy for my day. The sugar that comes in flavor shots wasn’t hurting the cause either. So, to scale back on the intake of my liquid motivation, not to mention the money spent daily at the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru, I started making up the coffee at home, the night before, so while getting ready for work my coffee is brewing. I grab a carton of muscle milk, my go cup of coffee and head out of the door for work. My calorie intake dropped significantly with the home brewed cup, it is less coffee than I was drinking in the very large, iced variety, and with the minimal calories in the muscle milk I can nibble on a half piece of french toast or pancake at work and not come near what I was consuming.
And last, but not least…SLEEP! I’ve read countless places that not getting enough sleep will impede on weight loss. Now I am in bed and asleep in time to get 8 to 8.5 hours a night, sometimes even more. Once in a while there is an exception, but over all I make it a point to get enough sleep. Between that rest, and the fact that I’m now down 10 pounds for January, I have more energy without the caffeine over load.
Thankfully, the numbers on the scale keep creeping down, so I must be doing something (or things) right!