How do you eat an elephant?

This weekend I participated in the Chartiers-Houston Relay for Life. The 24-hour event was incredibly moving, memorable and truly an experience I will never forget. But that’s not the reason I’m writing this post.

At Relay this weekend, I met a member of my husband’s extended family – a cousin who has run marathons; Iron Mans and insert every other kind of crazy fitness activity imaginable. I was very excited to meet him when he drove down from Rochester, NY after his black belt test just to walk all night for our Relay Team – yes that was the only reason.

Naturally, as a new lover of running and walking, I simply had to meet him. I wanted to pick his brain about what I could do better. We have conversed several times on Facebook over the past week or so about different things. I told him about my journey and he gave me some very (strange) great advice.

“How do you eat an elephant? One bit at a time! How do you run a marathon? One step at a time.”

This really hit home for me this weekend. I’ve been thinking a lot about how far I’ve come with losing weight. While I’ve hit a plateau – mostly due to an incredibly insane home life at the moment –  but I’ve never gave up on my journey. I’m still taking it one day at a time.

There are no secrets to weight loss or running marathons – it’s simply one step at a time. Take one step today that will change the rest of your journey – be it quitting smoking, giving up soda for water, taking the dog for a three block walk with the dog – just take one step to change your life and you won’t regret it.

This weekend, I watched people take thousands of steps in their journey. People logged their “feet” for every seven laps (one mile) during the 24 hour event. I heard people revel in their 16 miles, 20 miles, 30 miles and more. Necklaces with small feet were everywhere around Allison Park Elementary School with smiles on their face.

These people weren’t marathon runners? Some walked with canes and crutches – but they still walked. It’s not about how fast you finished your laps or how much weight you’ve lost – every journey starts with a single step and you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.  

How do you eat an elephant?

This weekend I participated in the Chartiers-Houston Relay for Life. The 24-hour event was incredibly moving, memorable and truly an experience I will never forget. But that’s not the reason I’m writing this post.

At Relay this weekend, I met a member of my husband’s extended family – a cousin who has run marathons; Iron Mans and insert every other kind of crazy fitness activity imaginable. I was very excited to meet him when he drove down from Rochester, NY after his black belt test just to walk all night for our Relay Team – yes that was the only reason.

Naturally, as a new lover of running and walking, I simply had to meet him. I wanted to pick his brain about what I could do better. We have conversed several times on Facebook over the past week or so about different things. I told him about my journey and he gave me some very (strange) great advice.

“How do you eat an elephant? One bit at a time! How do you run a marathon? One step at a time.”

This really hit home for me this weekend. I’ve been thinking a lot about how far I’ve come with losing weight. While I’ve hit a plateau – mostly due to an incredibly insane home life at the moment –  but I’ve never gave up on my journey. I’m still taking it one day at a time.

There are no secrets to weight loss or running marathons – it’s simply one step at a time. Take one step today that will change the rest of your journey – be it quitting smoking, giving up soda for water, taking the dog for a three block walk with the dog – just take one step to change your life and you won’t regret it.

This weekend, I watched people take thousands of steps in their journey. People logged their “feet” for every seven laps (one mile) during the 24 hour event. I heard people revel in their 16 miles, 20 miles, 30 miles and more. Necklaces with small feet were everywhere around Allison Park Elementary School with smiles on their face.

These people weren’t marathon runners? Some walked with canes and crutches – but they still walked. It’s not about how fast you finished your laps or how much weight you’ve lost – every journey starts with a single step and you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.  

It was bound to happen

see yourself I knew the day would come and I was hoping it would be soon! Today, I had that moment. The shining moment where you put ony our clothes and look in the mirror and feel like you’ve really accomplished something.

Today I pulled out a shirt I normally layer because I hated the way it hugged my curves (that I didn’t like). Normally, this is where the sweater over shirt comes into play but I just put it on and … (gasp) I looked great. It laid correctly, it didn’t hug everything I hate and it was actually loose on my body.

People kept telling me that I’d wake up and finally see the changes. Six months into this transformation (and really about 12 weeks), I finally see the differences in myself.

I’m literally jumping with joy! It’s the happiest I’ve been in a while. I know I’m getting one step closer to my goals. I just wanted to share that joy with you!

I <3 My Nutritionist

Recently, we discovered a little hidden secret – our insurance will cover up to 7 nutrition appointments with a dietician FREE OF CHARGE. That’s with our Highmark insurance, but others may follow suit. Since there’s a dietician at our gym I must certainly signed right up to use all seven of those appointments before the end of the calendar year (when they reset).

I had my first “official” appointment last night and boy was fantastic. I feel like I’m finally going SOMEWHERE with this progress – even when I feel like I’m moving backwards. It began when I exported my food journal from September 1 – present. I sent this to her via email to review. Naturally, there was a lot of data but she got the gist of where I’m struggling. Since she really doesn’t know me yet, I had to fill in the gaps on how it can look like I’m really screwing up … but if you know the history you’ll see how it’s little wins.

Instantly from my food journal, Jackie knew what my major problems are:

  • Sweets, sweets and more sweets (like that wasn’t obvious lol)
  • Eating out

While the change in our eating habits has curbed some of the eating out, we’re still doing it a lot more than normal. What is really noticiable is just how much we do it on the weekends. I knew it was bad, but once she showed me I was shocked. There were weekends where we ate out almost every meal – every meal!

As far as my second problem, with sweets… I can honestly say the changes I’ve made have curbed my sweet tooth greatly – even if it doesn’t look like it on paper. I will freely admit, prior to September I would buy a 1/2 gallon of ice cream every week and consume the whole thing before the week was over by myself. I’ve cut my ice cream down to maybe 3 times a week, but I still need to cut back even more.

Some people told me to go cold turkey on cutting out my sweets – I voted against that option by scaling back slowly. I tried cutting my sweets entirely out of my life… that didn’t end well. Food addiction is truly like any other bad addictions, some people need to ween themselves back rather than say goodbye.

Jackie and I agreed on several goals:

  • Cut my sweets to 2x a week or less (preferrably)
  • Find a better multivitamin (currently just stealing Bella’s). She’s recommending Nordic Berries … which Bella can actually take too!
  • Find an omega 3 fatty acid supplement
  • Increase my calories from 1500 to 2000

I believe these are all doable if I put my mind to it. The only one I’m really worried about it cutting out the sweets. My sugar is really higher than it needs to be and while much of the sugar is good sugar – it creeps up on you when you don’t realize some of the things that have natural sugar.

I really felt great after leaving my appointment. It’s nice to have someone to look at your food journal and help you improve it. Our plan is to meet every week for the next couple weeks, then every other week for the rest of the year. Then my insurance resets and I’ll have 7 appointments for 2012 which I plan to space throughout the year. I’m pretty confident that once I get myself on track by the end of the year, those spaced appointments will merely be for adjustment purposes.

In other news, my amazing friend Sarah gifted me a Body Media arm band which I’m proudly wearing for the first time today. I had it on for a few hours yesterday and in just that short time the data collected was incredible. I went to the gym with it on and you can see, down to the minute when my heart rate was most elevated, when I was running … walking, etc. Pretty much, I have no excuses when I show it to someone. I absolutely love it.

I’m very excited to take it home today and plug it in. I can’t wait to see what it will tell me after a whole day of wearing it. This model is old and it’s getting me started but I’m hoping before Christmas I might be able to pick up the newer, smaller model with bluetooth download (so I could see it now) before the holidays are over.

I thought I’d be annoyed with the band today since I’m not comfortable wearnig things on my arm, but surprisingly it hasn’t drove me crazy. I knwo it’s there and now and then I need to give it a tweak adjustment but it’s not annoying. I’m really happy right now. Finally starting to get back in the swing of things!