Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just one day....

In the everyday, non-weight-centered portion of my world, I embarked on something I called a Gratitude Adjustment. I realized I had a crappy attitude about some things, and I needed to readjust. Either the day of my epiphany or the day thereafter, I saw a church sign that said, "Thanksgiving is one day; thanks-living is every day."

True. Very, very true, and a portion of that applies to the weight-focused realm as well. It isn't any specific special occasion that immediately puts 15 or 20 extra pounds on us. It isn't even the 6 weeks between Turkey Day and New Year's (or even that extra Bowl Week) that pads an extra 50 on our frame, although it has been said that the average American gains 17 pounds in that time. (YOW.) It's the day-in, day-out nibble here and nibble there, and the BLT's and the extra can of soda....... It's not Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas Day or even the Easter ham that piles it on.

So how do you get it off? Same way -- a little change here and there. Two or three little long-term, gradual changes: forgoing sweet tea for unsweetened or (even better) water; skipping the extra can of Coke; having a smaller portion but eating more slowly to enjoy it; parking a little further out at work or the mall; taking the stairs instead of the elevator; substituting healthier ingredients or lower-fat, or lower-sodium versions of a favorite.

Here's a great example of how small changes can make a huge difference. Let's say you're drinking two 20-oz bottles of Coca-Cola per day. That's 240 calories per bottle (yes, you read that correctly). 480 of your daily calories are through drinking them. Now ..... cut out just one of those bottles per day, without changing anything else -- no additional calories consumed nor expended -- and you may lose up to a half-pound per week. Now imagine how much food you could eat with those 240 calories! Let's say you cut out that extra drink, *and* decide to walk 15 minutes a day. Depending on your current weight, and the pace of your walk, you can burn maybe 65 calories. There's another 475 calories a week that you're burning with JUST the activity. That's 2155 calories per week that you're not consuming: just slightly under 5/8 of a pound this week. Now...... make it a 30-minute walk, or walking the 15 minutes at a faster pace, then maybe cutting out one snack a day or choosing a healthier option (the apple instead of the apple danish). See where that's going?

The whole point is that it doesn't take much to make a real difference. The biggest change you'll make is your outlook and attitude. Decision and determination are where the challenges lie -- in realizing that you need to make a change, and that you need to do these things for your own best interests.

So yes, Thanksgiving happened. It was a day. Christmas is coming. It's one day. The holiday parties are just one event (okay, a chain of events). But the whole point is NOT to give up. Control what you can, and stop sweating the rest. And every next meal, hop right back on the wagon. There is no need to let 6 or 7 weeks of your life sabotage you. Who's in control, you or a calendar? Is baking a tradition? Make it healthier, make fewer, don't make them at all. Are you baking because you have an event, or well, it's Christmas and I always make snickerdoodles at Christmas, and it just ..... stop. Who is in control, you or a calendar?

Fall off the wagon, but don't let it roll over you. Hop back on. Never allow a lapse to become a collapse!

It's one day. Not your life. Think smart, act smart.

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