Thursday, 28 March 2013

This lifestyle change is full of ups and downs...

Photo courtesy Steveage, licensed CC-BY-SA
It seems like each week I am on a high, or a low with my new lifestyle.  Some weeks it is an effort just getting on the elliptical every day, where my fasting sugars are high, where the weight seems to be coming off only in ounces at a time - - if at all.  These are the weeks that it is difficult to stay motivated and keep working my plan.  After all, what's the point in working so hard if I'm not going to see any results? These are the weeks that I feel like I am constantly walking uphill into a headwind, and making no progress.

Then there are weeks in which everything seems to click.  My sugars are low (or at least decreasing), I have a ton of energy and practically fly on the elliptical, and my mood is positive.  These are the weeks the weight seems to practically melt off me, and my lifestyle doesn't even feel like work.  It's as if I'm not doing anything, and I'm seeing all these good results (even though, in reality, I am working just as hard as ever - - it just doesn't feel like work when it all clicks).  In these weeks, I feel optimistic, like I can do anything, and my goals are all within reach.

It's not as clear cut as all that, of course.  Some weeks my sugars are awesome, and the scale refuses to budge.  And some days I just have more energy than others, regardless of whether the weight is coming off or not. 

Thinking back on it, though, a lot of my my high and low weeks are weight-related.  When I lose weight easily, I feel empowered and motivated, because my effort is delivering immediate results.  By the same token, when the weight sticks around despite my best efforts, it's frustrating, and demoralizing. 

Because I know that I need to see progress for my effort, I track many many different metrics.  Weight, fasting blood sugar, body fat%, measurements, # steps walked in a day, # minutes worked out, calories burned, # workouts, clothing size, inches lost, calories consumed, carbs consumed, and now, sodium consumed.  All of this is important because I know that if one metric is not moving (I'm looking at you, scale!), then something else usually is.  It's these little glimmers of progress that I cling to when the weight is hanging on, as proof that all my hard work is paying back results, even if they are not necessarily the results I prefer.

This week is one of the good weeks.  I upped my free weights last week, and as per the usual pattern, the first week of a new routine was a tough slog - - exhausting, and no huge weight loss.  This week, the weight appears to be dropping (although I won't know for sure until my official weigh in tomorrow morning), and the free weight routine feels more comfortable.

On a related note, this was my first week of really looking at my sodium intake, and the numbers so far have been pretty good:

     Monday = 1,928 mg
     Tuesday = 1,298 mg
     Wednesday = 1,952 mg
     Thursday = 1,434 mg

All of the sodium levels this week have been in the 1,500 - 2,300 mg recommended daily range, and I am happy about that.  I have had to change up some of my eating habits and be aware of serving sizes, but overall, it hasn't been as difficult as I feared to keep my sodium in a good range.  It's still early days yet, but this is certainly promising.

Tomorrow is the official weigh in day, and I will be doing measurements as well, because it's close enough to the end of the month.  Fingers crossed!

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