Less of Me: The Diet, Week One

 

Well, I did it. 

I drug the scale from under the counter, stood on the thing and looked down. It was bad. I weigh more than I ever have. No wonder I feel so lousy.

After reading all the helpful (And I do mean helpful. Thank you!) comments on my first post about this, Picking My Prison: Which Diet Program for Me?  I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a health habits problem as much as it is an over-eating problem.

Not, mind you, that I don’t over eat. Nobody sees what I saw on the scale this morning without over-eating a lot and overeating often. However, there’s a lot more to this than over-eating. I am also exhausted. And totally out of shape. Not to mention stressed.

There are a lot of reasons for this, some of which I can change and others which I can not. I’ll talk about them in more detail in later posts. For now, I want to focus on what I’ve decided to try to do about this in the next seven days. The changes I want to try to make this week are:

1. Start getting eight hours sleep every night. This is my number one priority. I decided on this because I think it is the one thing that will give me the most immediate help in lowering my blood pressure and just generally feeling better. I go to bed at 3 or 4 (or later) in the morning then get back up at 7 or 8. I do that every day. Changing my sleep habits isn’t as simple as just crawling between the sheets at a more reasonable hour. I’ve become so habituated to my hamster-in-a-cage lifestyle that I can’t sleep, even if I do go to bed. I’m just too jazzed. So, my second goal for this week is

2. Exercise every day. I’m not talking marathon here. Fifteen minutes on the recumbent bike is a good start. I’m hoping it will help me sleep. I’m not sure what time of the day I should do it to get the most relaxation/sleep inducing benefits. I’m just hoping it works.

3. Don’t do so much. I can’t get everything done if I sleep 8 hours. I just can’t. So, I’m going to have to clean out my life the way I would an over-stuffed closet. This one may take a while, and it will almost certainly involve saying “no” to some things. But it’s gotta be done.

4. Drink more water. I’m going to fill a 26 oz thermos I have with ice and water and drink it every day. This one’s easy.

5. Weigh. Every Saturday.

6. Blog about it here every Saturday. I’m hoping you can be my support group with this. You’ve been so much help so far it’s unbelievable.

7. Pray about it. For some reason, I have a reluctance to pray about my own health. It’s as if I think it’s something I should handle without God. So, I’ll add this my my daily prayers.

That’s my plan for this week. How does it sound to you?

  • Virginia

    And with utmost love from my heart to yours, Rebecca:
    8. Call your doctor and ask him/her to reorder those labs you never had drawn. Think of it as an opportunity to practice humility; God always loves that. And He always loves you!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      You’re right Virginia. I’ll put that on the list.

  • http://catholiccoffeetalk.wordpress.com Marie Bernadette

    Sounds like a VERY good start. And blogging about the progress is a wise choice, but sometimes it’s hard to be honest. (That’s my personal issue, anyway, being honest with myself.) How about 7.b: is – ask the readers to pray with you! I’m happy to do so. :)

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Great idea Marie! Will you — and everyone — pray with me about this? I need it.
      Being honest with myself is harder than being honest with others. When it comes to my health, I live in the State of D-Nial.

  • Ashley Martinez

    Getting sufficient sleep is always a good idea, particularly if you are worried about your weight.
    http://www.sleepdex.org/weight.htm

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      That’s an interesting article. I eat sometimes because I feel so tired and for some reason eating seems to make me feel less tired; at least for a short while.

  • Paula

    I just stumbled on this post, but I’ve been working on losing weight for the last 25 years, and I think I have finally found something that works for me, (15 lbs lost since mid-May) and I thought I would share it with you.
    The goals you list above are a great start – sleep is important. I’ve been doing interval exercises (http://www.noexcusesworkouts.com) – it only takes 30 min a day – work up to that if you need to. The website offers some 6/10/15 minute workouts. I have found that I can ALWAYS pry 30 minutes free during my day where I can’t find the one hour that I used to try to exercise. Drinking water is also a really good step forward. I have found that when I drink enough water, I am less likely to snack on stuff that is not great for me. Mostly I have found that doing a little bit each day is an enormous win. Progress, not perfection! I hope this helps – at least it is a place to start that might give you some more ideas for what you can do, and it is a super supportive group. Best wishes for you!

  • barbaranicolosi

    I’m also on a diet for the last three weeks, and, what I have learned is, the biggest factor is what I do or do not put in my mouth. It’s awful, but, if you were like me, the portions are just too big. We Americans tend to need about a third as much food as we are eating. Lots more green things. Fruits and vegetables every time you are hungry and then a third as much protein. I’m down thirteen pounds in three weeks from eating green things every time I’m hungry. I wish there was another way….

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I know I’m going to have to change the way I eat and eat less :-( but right now I’m too tired to make the effort. I’m hoping that a regular 8 hours will help with that and the blood pressure. That’s why I’m beginning with sleep. Baby steps.

  • Arkenaten

    Stay positive and you’ll do fine. Just think of it like this. Fuel intake must match energy expended.
    You put in 4000 calories and only burn 3000 the extra has to go somewhere, right? :) Our tummies, usually!
    Best of luck.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you.

  • http://Heartfulmemories@wordpress.com janice oliver

    I am like you Rebecca, I stay up way to late every night. It is a fact that people who do not get enough sleep tend to be over weight. Im heavier now than I have ever been. I keep hearing about the low carbs diet. Of course the portions are the main thing. Im going to join you on this journey. I know the Lord will hear our prayers!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Welcome Janice! We’ll be getting healthier buddies. I am so glad to have your fellowship.

  • http://alwaysadvent.wordpress.com Connie Clark

    The extra pounds have creeped up on me, too, and I’m convinced they’re related to lack of sleep (also possibly the 20 cookies I eat when I’m on a deadline–which is pretty much every day). I don’t go to bed nearly as late (or is it early?) as you, but I do have trouble getting to sleep before 1:30 or 2. Lately, though, instead of reading a novel or some non-fiction before bed, I’ve been reading Faustina’s Diary, “Divine Mercy in My Soul,” right before I fall asleep. I can’t get through more than a few pages–and I’m ready for lights out. Somehow, my sleep quality is better, too. Reading Faustina is like saying a very deep prayer–and I’m convinced she’s interceding for me, helping me sleep!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I’ve never read her, and I need to, anyway. I got more sleep last night and the night before, but not up to 8 yet. Still, I feel a lot better just with 6 or 7. For me getting to sleep at 0130 or 0200 is a HUGE improvement! I do think I’ve been eating for exhaustion. Let’s help each other through these changes we need to make.

  • http://alwaysadvent.wordpress.com Connie Clark

    The extra pounds have creeped up on me, too, and I’m convinced they’re related to lack of sleep (also possibly the 20 cookies I eat when I’m on a deadline–which is pretty much every day). I don’t go to bed nearly as late (or is it early?) as you, but I do have trouble getting to sleep before 1:30 or 2. Lately, though, instead of reading a novel or some non-fiction before bed, I’ve been reading Faustina’s Diary, “Divine Mercy in My Soul,” right before I fall asleep. I can’t get through more than a few pages–and I’m ready for lights out. Somehow, my sleep quality is better, too. Reading Faustina is like saying a very deep prayer–and I’m convinced she’s interceding for me, helping me sleep! I’ll think of you as I read Faustina tonight, too!
    God bless!

  • Laura

    Congratulations on taking these positive steps! I think what you’ve listed is ambitious but do-able. Expect some “push-back” from your body. Expect to overcome it. :)

    Three more comments: first, a big DITTO on going to see your doctor again. In specific, you should get screened for both sleep apnea and diabetes. I don’t mean to scare you, but both would explain your symptoms– and, on the good side, are both treatable.

    Second, regarding exercise. There’s no general answer to what time is best to exercise, other than the obvious (whenever you’ll most likely actually do it, but not right before bed). First thing in the morning is best if your schedule gets out of hand easily … but night-owls often can’t do this effectively. Lunch hour will keep you from going to McD’s, but it’s also hard to do if you’re busy at work. After work is good for relaxation, but that’s also the period of maximum chaos for most people, and it’s easy to fool yourself into dropping your workout “just this once, because I’m so busy”. Try different things and see what works best for you. You should see some improvement in your overall stress level in a few days, but the full effect won’t be felt for 2-3 weeks. Be patient. Also, understand that the first 15 minutes of exercise gives you 80% of the total benefit, health-wise.

    Third, in terms of sleep. Eating to keep yourself awake is VERY common, so getting a good night’s sleep is probably the best thing that you can do to lose weight. Google “sleep hygiene” to get some good tips on how to get rid of some bad habits you may have developed– you won’t succeed if you’re undercutting yourself with bad behavior. One tip I follow: I have a notebook for my “worry list”. If I find myself fretting over something, I get up and write it in the notebook. Then I tell myself that I will get to that issue tomorrow, during my “worry time”; it’s in my book, and I don’t have to think about it now, because I’ll get to it at its proper time tomorrow. Then the next morning, I set aside 30 minutes to fret, worry, whatever over it– and usually I end up finding that it’s either not that bad, or I can do something productive about it.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      These are such helpful ideas and information! Thank you. I’m glad to hear that it takes a while to start feeling the benefits. I have such a sleep deficit built up that may take a while to turn around, all by itself. I’ve got an appt with the the doc on the 4th. I decided to just re-wind that whole deal. I’ll let everyone know what she says, including the scolding for not doing what she told me to do. :-)

  • http://tljax.wordpress.com tl

    I know your pain, Rebecca. God bless you as you seek to become more of what He intended, and take up less space doing it. One of the most helpful paradigm shifts in my eating while I was losing 145 pounds was advice I got from Dr. Joel Fuhrman on a PBS broadcast, “The salad IS the main course!” It is not enough to just east fewer calories; we need to eat BETTER calories! As a child of God, you are worth whatever it takes to live healthy. I’m happy for you, and your decision to work toward that effort. I’ll share the journey with you. I’m still learning too!
    James 1:4, “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you! Thank you especially for agreeing to share this with me. I need the support rather badly.

  • Jo Ann Snapp

    Hi, thanks for visiting my blog.
    I started working on the Diet Free plan after watching it on PBS and I have lost 10 lbs in 6 weeks. It has many of the same suggestions I saw in your blog. The great thing is, it is not a strict diet per se. You eat healthy, I’m seldom hungry and you can still have the tastes you like in moderation. Of course you watch eating too much fat sources. Basically, it is healthy eating of all food groups, sufficient water, and some 10 to 20 minutes of activity a day (can be work, if you have an active job, but half hour walking is considered best)

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I’ve never heard of the Free Diet Plan? How do I find out about it?

  • http://greenlightlady.wordpress.com Wendy Macdonald

    It sounds like you are taking gentle and moderate steps. Good on you! Be kind to yourself. Encourage yourself like you would a friend. If you miss a day or two – it’s okay. Perfectionism is not the goal:Healthy living is.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Great advice Wendy. You said, “Encourage yourself like you would a friend.” Boy, do I need this! I tend to harangue myself as I would like to (but am far too polite to) harangue an enemy.

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    Sounds great Rebecca. I have to do that eight hours of sleep myself. I only got four hours last night and feeling horrible this morning. That’s my number 1 priority too. God be with you in this. I’ll say a prayer for you.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Manny. I need your prayers. It’s so hard to go to bed, isn’t it? I’m like a little kid about that.

      • http://jscafenette.com Manny

        LOL, you’re right. My three year old fights going to bed every night. I have to force him. Maybe someone needs to force me!

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          I’m very much like a three-year-old sometimes, especially when I’m really tired. And yes, I need someone to force me, too!


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