Monday, January 7, 2013

Getting Lean in 2013 - My Manifesto

Nearly 5 years ago, I started what would be my last diet, and I had GREAT SUCCESS (please read that in Borat voice for maximum impact).  I lost over 100 pounds, changed the way I ate, started exercising on a regular basis, and kept the weight off.  Most importantly, I finally released myself from the notion of diet/eating success as defined by what the scale says - the scale had a hold on me akin to mental strangulation ever since I was a teenager, so this has been a huge milestone.  It's been well over a year since I weighed myself, and while the scale was a big part of my original weight-loss journey, I don't need it for validation that I'm doing well, or self-flagellation if my eating is less than optimal.  That said, I do think there is room for improvement in how I've been eating, and I plan on making some changes for 2013.

I will never fully let go of the overweight person that I was for so many years, and while I believe that you can't hold onto the past if you're going to grow, remembering some of the less-desirable things helps me with my commitment to stick with my healthy lifestyle.  I don't want to go back to being the person who stood (sat, really) on the sidelines and watched everyone else participate in all the fun things that life had to offer.  Been there, done that, for way too many years.  Nowadays, if I decide to not participate in something, it's by my choice, rather than not being physically able to do it.  This is such a gift - if you've never been overweight for long, you probably can't quite understand the magnitude of finally knowing that there really is nothing to stop you from doing things - well, except for your own mind, but that's another blog post!

This last year was a big one for me - I was able to start running again, and I literally had to start from ground zero.  But to go from walking with a tiny bit of running thrown in, to finishing the year out with a half marathon, is something I'm very proud of.  Becoming Runner Shelley version 2.0 was definitely harder than version 1.0 - not sure if it's because I was a couple years older, or that my injured ankle hurt me pretty much throughout the entire year, but I had a lot more mental stumbling blocks to get over, and I'm still working on them.  The important thing for me is that I AM working on them - I haven't given up.  The old, overweight me would have thrown in the towel long ago.

One thing that running allows me is to be less stringent with my eating.  I can get away with eating things that I used to automatically turn down.  Not gonna lie - it's been pretty awesome to be able to eat treats and not feel guilty, nor feel like I'm going to gain a bunch of weight by doing so.  But while it's been fun, it's time to rein it in before that kind of eating/thinking gets to be too automatic.  Plus, I'd like to see if by eating better and exercising a little smarter, I can tighten and tone up my body a bit more.  I don't have a specific size goal in mind, nor (obviously, since I don't weigh myself) do I have a specific weight that I want to get to...it's more that I want to do better by my body in the way of nutrition.  So things are changing a bit in our household.  Luckily, Jeff is completely on board - in fact, he wants to lose some weight (side note: I am SO GLAD that I'm not trying to diet with him, because I know how discouraged I would be to see how quickly the weight falls off of him).

What am I going to do differently?  In a nutshell, I'm going to concentrate on eating a bit more lean protein and a lot more vegetables and salads; I'm going to change up my lunches by having some smoothies/shakes, and I'm going to eat lower carb in the beginning of the week.  I still need to eat enough carbs on Thursday/Friday to carry me through my long run on Saturdays, plus I have to reduce the amount of veggies or else my stomach rebels during the run.  Fruit will be the main snack around here, and frozen yogurt will be limited to once a week.  Saturdays will still be our treat-meal days, which feels right for us since we run long on that morning.

None of this is terribly difficult, nor will it make me suddenly svelte - this is a long-term way for me to continue living life as a not-overweight person, feeling healthy and fit.  I'll be getting lean in 2013 - and beyond!  Join me?

16 comments:

  1. I agree that you don’t have to forget how it was when you were overweighted, it’s good for your commitment, as you also say, but I think it’s also to remind yourself of how proud you can be that you lost all that weight and kept it off.

    Personally I never feel guilty if I eat treats and I think we all should allow ourselves to eat them every now and then but it’s wrong to think you can eat them because you have just run and I think you know that too. Been there, done that way too often myself. I think that eating healthier and exercise definitely will get you leaner this year.

    That all having said I think your plan for 2013 is a very good one and I’m sure it’s easy to stick to it in the long-term. I’m proud of you what you’ve accomplished so far and I’m here for you to help you (if needed) with the getting lean part but I’m sure you are going to do great on your own, you can do it!

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  2. I'm with you Shelley. I have come to far too give up now. I only wish I had been "smart" enough to get fitter many years ago so that I was not just watching life pass me by, but enjoying participating in it. I have no doubt you will achieve your goals this year!

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  3. Your manifesto sounds doable, liveable and reasonable.

    Even as you launch your lean in 2013, continue to celebrate your wonderful successes.

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  4. I think this sounds like an awesome plan. I'm with you!

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  5. Great plan and I know you'll be successful with it. I think it's common for a lot of runners to justify treats "because I just ran ___ miles/minutes!" But I have found out the hard way that too many treats just means you never progress physically which in turn hurts your running.

    While I am not dieting per se, the plan you have going is sort of the same way I've been eating for the last month or so and I have lost some weight. We'll see how long that lasts but in the meantime, I feel better, and stronger.

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  6. I love your plan Shelley! I am loving smoothies, and I never thought I would - it's perfect for you - you can call it the sip and knit diet during lunch! Happy Monday!

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  7. First of all, your running is such an inspiration to me! Secondly, I'm with you 100% I AM weighing (simply at this point as a measure since I am losing again) but I refuse to set goals or whatnot. My body will lose how much it loses when it wants. I'm goign to do everything that I can to get to a thinner healthier me...but quite frankly, there are no poundage goals. Thank you for your post....it probably wasn't what you intended as you wrote it, but it reaffirmed that my 'no pound goal' is the right choice for me at this time!

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  8. Ha! You know I'm right with you on this. Very doable plan. I admire so much all the mental work you've done --that's the hardest part, I swear.

    (At starbie 's on the way to airport!)

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  9. I like that idea of tighten and tone.

    Oh, and I hate how fast weight just falls off of men once they start to diet. So very, very unfair.

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  10. Excellent plan! And I know exactly what you mean about treats getting out of hand. December was kind of a WTF month for me and I could see cravings for sweets starting to escalate with all the holiday munching. It feels good to start the new year with a little more restraint, while still allowing for fun splurges when earned by good behavior.

    And your running is so inspirational! Go you!

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  11. You have the best ideas about balance and living a good life. You are an inspiration on many levels Shelley! And I know you'll reach your goals.

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  12. Sounds absolutely reasonable to me! Yes, maam! I'm on board. Lean and mean in 2013! :)

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  13. What wonderful goals! I love all of your common-sense, no-diet thinking, and I've been enjoying your blog for a long time. I'm not a runner, but because of you, I'm a knitter! Keep it up! I've been blogging about my journey since 2010 http://www.kaki-fitby40.blogspot.com/

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  14. Go Shelley!

    I always have trouble reigning in the eating once biking season winds down. Wish I could do that year round :D

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  15. Wow 100lbs is an amazing achievment, I'm after about 30lbs loss in total. i hope to manage it in year but don't mind if I don't. Running a hlaf marathon is amazing too, I can't run at all! But i hope to find some form of excersize I like doing and can enjoy to help lose the weight a little easier. Just started my diet blog for 2013 so will be following you in the hope of getting some tips!

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  16. LOVE the Getting Lean plan! I am looking forward to following you on this journey too, my friend.

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