My blood pressure was in the 150’s/100’s again. The doctor added a 3rd medication to control my hypertension. I had quit smoking 3 ½ years ago, in the hopes of avoiding the same fate as my father: a heart attack in his 50’s followed by a fatal one in his 60’s. Not smoking has certainly added years to my life, but my health was still at risk. I was about 5 pounds into the obese range for my height. I needed to loose at least 45 pounds. A chronic back condition had made exercising a challenge. I felt I was at a turning point. Something had to be done.
Yet I wanted to live! I wanted to see my amazing daughter complete graduate school, get married, and continue to flourish. I wanted to see my grandchildren grow up. I wanted to spend my golden years with my husband, whom I love dearly. This time had to be different.
I decided to combine my love for The Virtues Project™ with my weight loss goals. There had to be certain virtues that I could call upon to help me succeed this time. So begins the first in a series of blogs about the virtues I call upon the most in my weight loss journey. Ellen Menna, our treasurer, is on her own weight loss journey and will be writing her version of weight loss virtues too!
to the same old problems of diet and exercise.
I looked for innovative ways to add fiber and protein to my meals. Aha – the discovery of Chia seeds! If you don’t know about these, do look into them. I have them on whatever I’m eating for breakfast. I explored several protein powders and bars before selecting my favorites for their taste, texture and nutritional profile. I expanded my concept of breakfast and modified a few recipes I liked to fit into my eating plan. Spaghetti dinner is now lentils and spaghetti sauce on spaghetti squash. Yum! Getting creative with food ideas, meals and recipes has been key to the beginning of this weight loss journey. Find something that works the best for you then creatively adapt it to your lifestyle and nutrition goals.
I decided to try a different water aerobics group at my community pool. What a success! Our instructor is a wonderful Puerto Rican Zumba instructor with lots of energy and enthusiasm. The members of the group are friendly and welcoming. If what you try at first doesn’t work, get creative and try something else! Try the same thing in a different place! Keep searching till you find what works!
The other thing I did was go back to something I had loved in the 3rd grade – square dancing. Seriously! I loved it as a kid, so I looked into as an adult. There is something called contra dancing which is very similar, and there were events in my area several times a month. Although I’m often in some pain afterwards, I absolutely love it and make it every chance I get. It’s much easier to muster the enthusiasm for doing something I enjoy than for something perceived as a “workout.”
So far I have lost 10 pounds in 2 months. I’m pretty excited about it. But challenges await. As I write this, I am traveling and visiting those beautiful grandkids, so I am out of my “safe” element at home with my perfectly planned meals. In fact, I’m sitting in a Panera’s where temptation lurks! So next, week, I will explore another virtue I’m calling upon – Perseverance.