There are few things more challenging for someone trying to lose weight than a big change in routine. As a teacher headed back to school this past week, that’s exactly what I had to face.
This is my fifth year teaching and one thing that I have learned is that NOTHING is the same from year to year. This time we’re dealing with a new grading system, new standards and a new set of students — plus it’s the first time I have faced a school year while trying to trim down at the same time.
The first hurdle was making it past the back-to-school teacher appreciation breakfast. It’s the kind of event where everyone brings a dish to share, so you end up with 10 times more food than the group could possibly consume. Those dishes tend to take one of two forms, too — “I did my mama proud” recipes and “I stopped at the store and grabbed the first thing on sale in the bakery” items — neither of which tends to be very diet-friendly.
My strategy was the one I use when confronted with buffets: to make an initial lap around the tables to take note of both good-for-me and I-really-want-to-try options. On my second lap, I filled about 90% of my plate with things from the first list (in this case, mostly fresh fruit). Then I went around one more time to choose one thing from the second list to fill in that last open space on my plate. That approach worked well, and not only did I not go back for seconds, but I also successfully avoided the teacher’s work room, where all the leftovers took up residence, for the rest of the day.
Food wasn’t my only challenge, though. In order to make it to school on time, Jody and I have had to change our workout time to be with the early-morning crowd at the gym. I’m a night person, so getting up in time to be out the door before 6:00 AM isn’t easy. Luckily, Jody is a morning person. She wakes me up 10 minutes before we have to leave, and if I act at all reluctant to get out of bed, she reminds me that if we don’t go, all the time we spent the previous evening preparing for the day so we wouldn’t have to do it in the morning will be wasted. That gets me going.
I’ve noticed that 6:00 AM seems to be prime time at the gym for the more hardcore exercisers, like those riders already going full-throttle by the time I pass by the spin studio. Then there was the guy doing box jumps who must’ve cleared 5 feet at one point (I kid you not), then moved on to jump rope faster than anyone I’ve ever seen (even the other major league gym players stopped to watch). In the past, all of this hardcore-ness would’ve felt either intimidating or, at the very least, completely unconnected to me. But now that I’ve gone from being unable to tie my own shoes to running a 5K in just a matter of months, I’m starting to feel as if my fitness possibilities are endless.
As I run through my workout routines at the gym, I can hear the voice of my trainer, Wendy, in my head, saying “Just two more” when I feel I’ve done as much as I can on a certain move. So I somehow manage to do two more. Who knows? People might start to think of me as hardcore soon! I’m just starting to get a handle on the latest routine (I’m not clearing anywhere near 5 feet on the box jump, but I’m getting better). Ready to give it a try? Challenge yourself to go through it two or three times this week if you can.
Despite the many back-to-school changes this week, I managed to lose a little over two pounds, putting me at a grand weight loss total of … drumroll, please … nearly 77 pounds! My latest goal was to lose 75 pounds by the start of school. Mission accomplished!
But I’m not done. Now, it’s on to 100. With your help, I know I can reach my next goal — and so can you!
Do you find changes in your routine challenging when it comes to losing weight? How do you handle them? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below, or visit my profile page to friend me and post a message. When we support each other, there’s nothing we can’t do!
Join the largest health conversation in 140 characters or less! Tweet what you want to talk about to @SharecareNow and let’s start chatting!
File under: Lose It