No Pain, No Gain

14 May

When you’re trying to lose weight, there are days when you’re hungry, cranky, and sore. I’m hungry and sore today…and I’d be cranky too if it weren’t so darn beautiful and sunny outside. Our perspective on healthy weight loss has been to not deprive ourselves of things we want but to instead focus on moderation and nutritious choices. But when you’re modifying your portion sizes and eating habits, inevitably there are days when you’re going to feel frustrated. To get through this mood without letting it sabotage my progress, I’m going to try this today:

1. Remind myself that my stomach expanded back when I was eating too much and now I have to shrink it back down to a healthier capacity. If I’m hungry between meals today, I’m going to keep hydrating with water and tea and snack on sunflower seeds. I love sunflower and pumpkin seeds but sunflower are my favorite because I can’t eat more than a handful or two before my tongue gets raw from the salt. So, they make me want to drink even more water and they stave off the hunger pangs. There is no diet, even our anti-diet weight loss plan, without some hunger when you’re changing how you eat. As long as I’m being nutritious in my choices, a little hunger means I’m making progress. I’ll have to try to enjoy it.

2. Remind myself that the pain I’m feeling in my shoulders, arms, neck, and feet is from working out yesterday, so it’s good pain. For Mother’s Day, we took my Mom to the driving range–she loves golf–and we swam in her and her husband’s pool for a couple hours. We hit 100 balls each–the farthest I hit a ball was 130 yards but she and our husbands were hitting farther–and today every arm muscle from my wrists to my shoulder blades is sore. I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to work harder on toning my arms so I have to give myself credit for taking a step in that direction. Soreness means I was working those muscles the way they need to be worked. The rest of me feels a little weak from swimming and playing in the pool, although having a nice tan makes it easier to live with that pain. (Disclaimer: wear sunscreen.) [According to the WebMD Fit-O-Meter, an hour of hitting golf balls like that burns more than 300 calories and an hour of leisurely swimming burns more than 500 calories!]

3. Take lots of stretch breaks. I’ve learned from years of athletic training as a figure skater that the more you stretch, the better your mobility is and will continue to be, even if you are sore. Soreness and muscle aches actually can worsen if you don’t stretch–carefully–while you’re still in pain. This will help you get and stay limber more quickly. If you wait until you’re not sore anymore, your muscles can tighten up even more. A few times throughout the day, I’ll take about 10 minutes to stretch all my limbs out. It feels so good, relieves pressure on my spine, and helps reduce the soreness in general.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress. If you have questions, comments, or tips, please share them in the comments section below! I hope you all had a lovely Mother’s Day weekend and have a great week.

–Michelle :)

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