One of the most liberating moments through this incredible journey has been giving myself the permission to do things in smaller increments. Making those changes and doing them on a smaller scale makes it a habit.
If you are like me you have always thought that if you aren’t working out for an hour or more a day then you aren’t doing anything. NOT! This is totally untrue! As long as you’re doing something each day then you’re doing more than you were before! So each day I do a few small things. Am I working up a sweat and burning hundreds of calories? No, but I’m moving and trust me, after years of being sedentary this is an improvement.
Each day I do side and back leg lifts, 15 reps, three times a day. When do I do this? After I’ve discharged a patient, in my exam rooms! Yes you heard me, in between patients at work is when I fit this in. And working in a busy pediatric practice, it takes speed and skill to make this work.
Every time I go to the bathroom, I do 15 wall push ups. I can’t do regular floor push ups because of my knees being so bad, but the resistance on the wall still works my arms. This is true for at home too. And it only takes about 30 seconds.
My new thing is crunches. WOW this one is hard. But in our house we relax at the end of the night with a little TV, so while the fam is watching that nights selection, I get down on the floor and knock some out. I’m shocked at how many I can do before my tummy starts to hate me! Last night I did 25! And the cool thing was that my youngest boy joined me.
I also have a stationary bike that I ride, though it’s loud and obnoxious so I don’t ride it as often, but when I do I choose to do it for 20 minutes or so.
|Our family minus two. Location: Oregon Coast.|
One of the most beneficial things I started doing was eating off of a smaller plate. Obviously post op I can’t eat much at one time anyway (about a cup) but before surgery I had to start getting used to the idea of smaller portions. They also wanted me to lose a certain amount of weight prior to going under the knife. So switching to that size a plate helped so much. I also would look at how much I would normally pile on then only put half that. Soon it became a habit.
I also started packing my lunch. And when I say that I don’t mean a sandwich, chips and cookie. It looks more like, fruit, yogurt, a few crackers or pretzels, small containers of peanut butter or humus, a veggie and maybe a salad or some left over chicken from last nights dinner. I snack on this all day. A little bit here and there (again between patients). And sometimes I don’t finish it all and it stays at work for the next day.
It has taken some getting used to but there are even times I don’t eat dinner. It’s hardest on my husband because he worries I’m not eating enough. This strikes me as funny since I over ate for so long LOL. I will still sit at the table with my family and maybe have a yogurt or something small while they eat their regular meal. I have learned to listen to my body and if I’m not hungry, then I don’t need food. This is a huge change from my previous life.
This is still a major work in progress, as is everything else in life. But I found this wonderful blog years ago called www.flylady.net and she has the best tips on keeping up with your home. My favorite is doing one chore every day.
Here’s an example:
Monday: Clean toilets and wipe down mirrors
Thursday: Sweep and mop
Friday: Clean out refrigerator
Sunday: This is my day to make sure I’ve got things prepped for the week.
Now there are things that must be done each day ie: making your bed, general pick up, one load of laundry (at least), dishes or dishwasher and wiping down the kitchen counters (my kids do this after dinner clean up)
I’ve found that by starting these small habits they’ve wielded big results. Of course my new tool (my tummy) helps me with my weight loss, but the eating habits I started prior would have continued to help me as would the exercise. And my home, though not always perfect, has been easier to keep up on. And there is no shame in slave labor! Kids should have to do their part too. Mine all have chores that they do each day and NO I don’t give allowances. I feed and clothe them, that’s enough. LOL