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Getting Lean in 2013 - My Manifesto

Posted Jan 07 2013 6:00am
Nearly 5 years ago, I started what would be my last diet, and I had GREAT SUCCESS (please read that in Borat voice for maximum impact).  I lost over 100 pounds, changed the way I ate, started exercising on a regular basis, and kept the weight off.  Most importantly, I finally released myself from the notion of diet/eating success as defined by what the scale says - the scale had a hold on me akin to mental strangulation ever since I was a teenager, so this has been a huge milestone.  It's been well over a year since I weighed myself, and while the scale was a big part of my original weight-loss journey, I don't need it for validation that I'm doing well, or self-flagellation if my eating is less than optimal.  That said, I do think there is room for improvement in how I've been eating, and I plan on making some changes for 2013.

I will never fully let go of the overweight person that I was for so many years, and while I believe that you can't hold onto the past if you're going to grow, remembering some of the less-desirable things helps me with my commitment to stick with my healthy lifestyle.  I don't want to go back to being the person who stood (sat, really) on the sidelines and watched everyone else participate in all the fun things that life had to offer.  Been there, done that, for way too many years.  Nowadays, if I decide to not participate in something, it's by my choice, rather than not being physically able to do it.  This is such a gift - if you've never been overweight for long, you probably can't quite understand the magnitude of finally knowing that there really is nothing to stop you from doing things - well, except for your own mind, but that's another blog post!

This last year was a big one for me - I was able to start running again, and I literally had to start from ground zero.  But to go from walking with a tiny bit of running thrown in, to finishing the year out with a half marathon, is something I'm very proud of.  Becoming Runner Shelley version 2.0 was definitely harder than version 1.0 - not sure if it's because I was a couple years older, or that my injured ankle hurt me pretty much throughout the entire year, but I had a lot more mental stumbling blocks to get over, and I'm still working on them.  The important thing for me is that I AM working on them - I haven't given up.  The old, overweight me would have thrown in the towel long ago.

One thing that running allows me is to be less stringent with my eating.  I can get away with eating things that I used to automatically turn down.  Not gonna lie - it's been pretty awesome to be able to eat treats and not feel guilty, nor feel like I'm going to gain a bunch of weight by doing so.  But while it's been fun, it's time to rein it in before that kind of eating/thinking gets to be too automatic.  Plus, I'd like to see if by eating better and exercising a little smarter, I can tighten and tone up my body a bit more.  I don't have a specific size goal in mind, nor (obviously, since I don't weigh myself) do I have a specific weight that I want to get's more that I want to do better by my body in the way of nutrition.  So things are changing a bit in our household.  Luckily, Jeff is completely on board - in fact, he wants to lose some weight (side note: I am SO GLAD that I'm not trying to diet with him, because I know how discouraged I would be to see how quickly the weight falls off of him).

What am I going to do differently?  In a nutshell, I'm going to concentrate on eating a bit more lean protein and a lot more vegetables and salads; I'm going to change up my lunches by having some smoothies/shakes, and I'm going to eat lower carb in the beginning of the week.  I still need to eat enough carbs on Thursday/Friday to carry me through my long run on Saturdays, plus I have to reduce the amount of veggies or else my stomach rebels during the run.  Fruit will be the main snack around here, and frozen yogurt will be limited to once a week.  Saturdays will still be our treat-meal days, which feels right for us since we run long on that morning.

None of this is terribly difficult, nor will it make me suddenly svelte - this is a long-term way for me to continue living life as a not-overweight person, feeling healthy and fit.  I'll be getting lean in 2013 - and beyond!  Join me?
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