So here I am, five weeks into my annual six-week weight loss adventure. Yep, from January 1 through Valentine’s Day (February 14) each year, I suck it up and whip myself back into shape by exercising a little self-discipline (not my best gift).
True, exercising does have something to do with achieving my 15-pound weight loss goal, but I generally exercise all year long (tennis, pickleball, refit, biking, hiking) so as I’ve learned from a lifetime of trying everything to keep the pound-padding from getting too thick, waist basket control is best achieved by careful consideration of every morsel that passes my lips for this let’s-start-the-year-off-well, six-week period. You can endure anything if you know it’s only temporary, right?
After I shed my targeted 15-pounds every January & February, I ease back into a “normal” diet (which of course includes Cadbury with almonds) for the rest of the year, thereby gradually gaining most of it back 🙁 . But then the following January 1, I do it all over again until I can once again button my pants.
A little bizarre, I’ll admit, but it works for me. This is my fifth year of the Debbie Do-It Diet. And so far, with a week to go before Valentine’s Day, I’m eleven pounds down and four to go. (I may have to extend it until the end of Feb to knock off the entire 15, but I’m okay with that since I discovered Zero Sugar Added Reese Cups at only 35 calories each – YUM!)
Hey, they also make Zero Sugar Hershey’s with almonds (and without, and some with a caramel center) nowadays, also 35 calories each, that satisfy that bone-deep chocolate craving and thereby make life work living.
Anyway, in honor of the occasion, (and since all I can think about these days is food!), I thought I’d print some of the fitness tips I included in my book, More Beauty, Less Beast. These are under the section called, “Get that rear in gear.” And trust me, they really do work!
- To fight CCCB (Computer Chair Cauliflower Buns), take frequent movement breaks every half-hour you sit. Stand, stretch, squeeze your buns, rise to your toes, do ten jumping jacks. Don’t sacrifice buns of steel for buns of dough.
- Don’t take TV sitting down! Get that carcass off the sofa and watch from an exercise bike or treadmill. No equipment handy? No worries. Jump rope, do sit-ups, sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” during commercials. Become a human pretzel – don’t waste this ideal waist-reducing time. Actively convert those carbs, fats, and sugars into aches, pains, and ice packs.
- Get food out of sight, out of mind, and off the behind. Portion control is crucial. When dining out, box half your meal before you even begin so you can clean your plate guilt-and-temptation free. I save half my meal for the next day – the food tastes better when I know I’m only getting half the calories and it gives me something yummy to look forward to!
- Sip, nip, and dip. Eat and drink slowly (you’ll feel full faster). Share dessert (a few bites will satisfy your sweet tooth and sharing will create more fun with the girls or intimacy with the spouse). And have your salad dressing on the side (dipping the edge of each bite, instead of coating each shred of lettuce) to save a slew of calories.
- Stop in the name of Dove! When snacking, set out only the portion you intend to devour; then stop! Don’t allow yourself a second visit to the box, bag, or fridge. Remember, girlfriend, impulse nibbling is ab-flab’s BFF.
Hope these little reminders are helpful to you as much as they’ve been to me. And listen, don’t ignore your spiritual flab as you work on the ole’ bod.
Discipline is the name of the game in keeping fit spiritually as well as physically. Making vague promises to “do better” with our daily spiritual disciplines like prayer and Bible reading is ineffective. It’s just too easy to get caught up in the bustle and confusion of everyday life and lose sight of our vision and goals. If we don’t make a plan and then diligently stick to that plan, change (improvement!) just won’t magically happen.
“Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart” (1 Timothy 4:8-9 MSG).
Tell me, dearest BFF (Blessed Friend Forever), how do you stay fit – both physically and spiritually?