Weighty Matters

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A Magic Motivational Switch

Over the decades, I frequently wished for a magic switch that I could flip on at will and trigger constant motivation to lose weight, exercise, live a healthier life. Any time I started out great guns on a new diet and did well, I felt like I’d flipped the switch. Unfortunately, it always eventually felt like the switch had gone down into the “Off” position and killed my motivation. I’d give up the positive efforts, regain the weight, etc. etc. etc. Soooo many times of ups and downs, losses and gains. Is it any wonder that my metabolism is probably a bit screwy?

Right now, I feel like my switch is on. It isn’t that these products I’m using for the cleanse and protein shakes have magical ingredients that trigger my success. I know it’s all about my attitude, coupled with my willingness and determination. I’m on Day Four of my 31 Day Challenge and I feel great. Physically I haven’t seen massive internal system changes or results from the cleanse (How’s that for tactful, non-graphic information.) although I’m down a couple of pounds since Sunday. The positive feelings are mental and emotional. I feel strong in my effort. I’m not white-knuckling the recovery which means that each day I’m finding it relatively easy to stay on track with the food plan. I’m not eating compulsively. I’m saying no to carbs like bread, potatoes, chips, and the like. I’m exercising. All of the last few days have transpired exactly as they should. This is how I achieved success for many, many, many months.

I am hopeful that this will continue. Actually, I’m determined to make it so. Thirty-one days of this will result in strong weight loss and great health build. I know this for a fact. The challenge is for me to keep the switch on and not be tempted to flip it off when I hit an emotional challenge. There’s no magic involved. It all comes down to me making the positive choices – every time a choice is presented.

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31 Day Self-Challenge

Today is Day One of a challenge that I’ve designed for myself. I’m tapping into my competitive side to kick start my body and rev up my efforts. I’ve hit a summer lull. I feel sluggish in body and attitude. I’m maintaining but not losing weight and I’m getting a little lazy with my fitness. I talked about avoiding the diet mentality but I also recognize my current need to provide more structure for myself.

Hence, the 31 Day Motivational Challenge. I’m beginning with a 7 Day Cleanse using a product by a company called Arbonne. The nutritionist has checked out all of their products and likes their components. I checked them out too. I also have friends who use them and like them. As long as nobody tries to sign me up to sell them – I have no interest in network sales/multi-level marketing stuff – I’m good. Since I regularly drink protein shakes, I’m always interested in trying new products for taste variety. The ones offered by this company meet my guidelines for calories, carbs, protein, and sugar content. Interesting to me is that they’re vegan and use a pea protein instead of soy or dairy-whey. I made my first one this morning and it was one of the best tasting protein shakes I’ve had – and I’ve tried a lot. The consistency was also more filling than the ones I’ve been using.

For the next 31 days, I’m drinking two protein shakes a day for breakfast and lunch. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks will be either fruit, veggie with a bit of hummus or yogurt dip, or a little yogurt. Dinner will be lean protein, veggies, and the occasional brown rice or sweet potato.

Besides paying attention to fat, protein, carbs and calories, I want to eat as clean and unprocessed as possible.

To keep myself from going completely mental, I’m giving myself permission to have a square of quality dark chocolate when I really feel the need for a chocolate treat.

During these 31 days, I’ll maintain walking, bike riding and Tai Chi. I’m adding a little extra challenge effort from the Tai Chi. One of the foundation exercises is something called a donyu. To most people this looks like a squat, but there are some differences in the form. However, the exercise is similar to squats in that it’s great for leg strength and, I’m pretty sure it helps shape the back end too.

I looked at the popular 30 Day Squat Challenges and modified the numbers a little for the Donyu challenge. I started with 30 donyus today and will be up to 200 by Day 31. No, I will not do 200 at one time. I predict I will break them into four 50-donyu sets.

This morning I weighed myself and made a note of it. I’ve purchased what I need for the next few days and then can replenish mid-week so that I’m using fresh foods.

I’m excited about my challenge. I woke up this morning eager to start. I also took advantage of beautiful weather to take a 12 mile bike ride – before the donyus. I won’t bore you every day with recaps, but will update my progress at least once a week on this blog. Hopefully, I’ll have lots of positive progress to share but, no doubt, will also have some instances of minimal whining if I run into a difficult day.

To help my effort, I’m focusing positive energy and attitude. I need those to build the foundation for any success. To large extent, setting myself on a challenge like this is a mind game, but if it rejuvenates me and helps me reset my goals and efforts, I’ll count it as a good thing.

Stay tuned!

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