It’s been about 6 weeks since I started my current weight loss plan and I’m down 10 lbs. Wow! Talk about gratifying success. I haven’t been doing much in the way of strenuous exercise, just making sure I’m on my feet a lot and go to work outside as much as possible. This seemingly little bit of exercise really does burn a good measure of calories that is nothing to sneeze at. Doing laundry, sweeping floors, cleaning tubs and toilets, mopping, cooking, washing dishes etc really can work up a sweat. For example, yesterday morning I swept all the floors, cleaned the bathrooms, scrubbed the floor in the kitchen on my hands and knees, washed dishes, cleaned counter tops, scrubbed the cabinet fronts of little greasy fingerprints and did some laundry just to end up having to shower again (I’d showered just the night before) because I was drenched in sweat. After I got out of the shower I weighed myself (I’ve tried to do this only once a week so I don’t get obsessed) and found that I had not only lost one pound as per my weekly plan, but two!

Getting the garden ready for fall crop planting I think is what put me over the top for the extra pound dropped. I don’t have a rototiller or a tractor I can use to move mulch/dirt so any shoveling, moving or mixing work has to be done with regular old hand tools and my own power. It’s been good ab exercise and my arms are still sore. One of my favorite tools is the Garden Claw that requires me to plunge the tines into the dirt and turn the tool clockwise to make it work. Talk about oblique burn! I shoveled mulched and used a cultivator and a garden rake to sift out the composted mulch into the garden and the whole mulch into the walkways. The pile of mulch has been sitting there at least two seasons so it had shrunken quite a bit from use and decomposition which works for me either way. The harder I have to work the more fat I will burn.

My DH told me yesterday that it looks like I’m losing weight in all the right places (i.e. not my boobs :-P). We’ll see how long that lasts. Short term I’d like to lose 25 lbs. but my long term goal is to lose between 60 and 70 lbs. It’s amazing how gaining just 6 lbs. a year could turn into such a daunting task to lose. Think about that, just 1/2 a lb. gain per month over the coarse of 12 years has turned into 72 lbs of extra blubber that morphed me into a person I do not recognize. Someone who hides from cameras, tailored dresses and high heel shoes. Even with just this small loss so far I feel more confident and my clothes are already fitting more loosely which makes me want to do more.

How can I continue? More veggies, more high fiber/low calorie foods, more lean delicious protein and not cutting out delectable treats. There is something to be said about knowing that you can have a small piece of chocolate, a muffin or a single serving of ice cream. Deprivation just leads to depression and depression kills resolve. I don’t like being hungry or feeling sick because I haven’t eaten enough of the right stuff. I tried a diet that made me eat a ton of veggies but not in a desirable way and very little protein. It kept my calorie count at 1100 calories so I was guaranteed to lose if I kept it up, but I felt sick to my stomach, my head hurt and the thought of not even being able to have a little bit of fruit for sweetness or creamer in my coffee was awful. Treating food and yourself with respect can not only add years to your life but life to your years.

Eating well isn’t about eating huge portions of mediocre food, it’s about eating food that is savory, well balanced in flavor and nutrition that makes you feel good when you are done eating it. There is something supremely gratifying about eating a reasonable portion of rich food that was prepared well, with skill and maybe even a little love, and walking away from the table feeling satisfied, but not stuffed. The knowledge that after a meal like that leaves you feeling happy and not guilty because you were able to stick to your diet brings a sense of well being and pleasure like no other.