My weight loss journey has taught me so much over the last year and a half. One of the main things I have learned is that I have to strategize and plan ahead . . . with everything. As an extreme Type B personality with a massive bent toward procrastination, learning how to strategize and plan ahead has been an enormous challenge, especially when it comes to food choices. I found that if I don’t pre-plan my meals and snacks for the day, I’m prone to snack on junk. That’s what caused my weight problem in the first place, and there’s no way on earth that I’m going back to what I was when I started this journey! Being a Weight Watchers member has helped me immensely, but I occasionally still have struggles.
The same thing goes for my running/exercise plan. I have to be honest . . . I have to get creative with my exercise plan since I work three 12-hour shifts. It’s really hard to get in any strength training on the days that I work, so I’ve had to incorporate little things like planks and pushups on the days that I run.
Strategizing and planning ahead are two of the many keys to success in anything, but as Christians, we have to keep everything in the right perspective. I Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
If my body is God’s Temple, I owe it to myself . . . and, more importantly, to God . . . to daily take time to plan out my meals and snacks. Just as a house will start to deteriorate if it is not properly cared for, so our human bodies won’t function properly if we don’t daily take care of them.
I’m learning to get creative with my running strategy as well. For a while now, I’ve been doing 5Ks at just over 45 minutes. I am pleased with my progress, but I really wanted to do an entire 5K at under 45 minutes at least once. During my running time, I alternate one minute slow/one minute fast. During my slow run, I count to 60 in my head. Even if I haven’t reached a full minute when I get to 60, I will still start my fast run. I keep track of my exact time on MapMyRun. By “fast running” until the timer hits zero, I’ve been adding about 10-15 seconds. By doing it that way I was able to complete a 5K in about 44 and a half minutes! By having a strategy and staying faithful to the plan, successes like that will start to happen along the way.
The same thing goes with my eating plan. By pre-planning all of my food choices every day, I reduce my chances of snacking on junk food. Don’t misunderstand . . . I still enjoy an occasional small bag of chips, but again . . . all of that is figured into my pre-planning.
By strategizing my running and eating plans, I am seeing small successes. In running, my endurance is gradually increasing. I am able to run for slightly longer periods of time without running out of steam. By making a few slight changes to my eating plan, I saw a small loss this week after maintaining the exact same weight for about a month. Even though I am currently in my normal range, there is a certain number that I want to see that is still in my normal range before I start maintaining my weight on a permanent basis. I also did something last week that I never thought I’d be able to do . . . I bought my very first pair of skinny jeans! I even thought I might have to go up a size from my regular pants size since denim seems to fit tighter, and I wasn’t sure what to expect with skinny jeans. I decided to risk it and see if my regular size would fit. When I slid into them in the dressing room, I was so excited about the perfect fit that I started doing my own version of a happy dance! 😉 Those skinny jeans are a small reward for my hard work.
Readers, if you don’t have a strategy, get one. If you do have a strategy, stay faithful at it. Learn to celebrate your successes along the way, and maybe you’ll feel like doing a happy dance too.
Until next time, let’s keep on running!