Regarding the great hamster wheel of life…
I’m so far behind, I think I’m ahead!!!!
Week 4 of our Campus Fitness Initiative has long passed. I do want to mention that all of our teams received a “progress report” for this particular week.
Our team, the Rampaging Regionals, came in 2nd place for overall fitness minutes. (No one’s officially announcing their weight loss totals yet, though, so who knows how it’s all going to “shake out in the wash” by semester’s end?)
I was never good at that whole secret-keeping thing, sooooo….
As for our team, let me give you a little (belated) update on how it unfolded for us during Week 4:
- 1,748 minutes (29.13 hrs) of fitness exercise logged, for a total of 128.61 hrs. in the past month
- and…I THINK only 2 lbs. of weight loss. (I’m not sure if 2 of our members actually reported in.)
The weight loss report may seem discouraging, but it’s not all bad. We’re coming to a time when some may have more muscle mass to gain than unwanted pounds to burn. Fitness & Health are the important key issues here.
However, one of our members was injured this past week and is now in a boot. She’s had to rethink some of her own exercise strategies (such as modifying to upper body weights and feasible core work-outs). It’s also been a difficult week with all of us going in several different directions, without the opportunity to take our 1-month comparison photo or (more importantly) to cheer one another on with encouragement.
That being the case, it’s been more essential than ever for me to think of ways to entice myself to stay on track (literally & figuratively – as in my literal figure!). 🙂
After one month of dietary changes, there are two important issues to address:
- First, I can’t become complacent, satisfied that what I’ve done is “good enough” (thus allowing poor dietary habits to creep back in). I’ve just reached a habitual threshold of 31 days – when changes have a higher likelihood of maintenance.
- Secondly, I can’t fall into the trap of being so regimented and legalistic that my dietary changes become burdensome and I resent them. (I have a tendency to be a little rebellious when surrounded in legalistic, rules-oriented environments. Bet no one else can relate to that, huh?)
That’s why I’m going to look for ways to psychologically program myself to maintain good habits. The best part is that, even having a conscious awareness that I’m doing this, it still has great likelihood of success! (As a consumer – of foods, in this case – I’m taking a cue from advertisers.)
Enticement Creates a Powerful Emotive Response.
I’m going to purposefully entice myself with positive visual stimulation designed to build upon my strategies to reach my goals.
Case A: Having a 15-year-old son who can consume 5,000 calories per day and still manage to unintentionally lose weight can be beyond irritating, exceeding the bounds of exasperating if we weigh in at the same time. It can be downright dangerous. I can avoid his high-calorie protein shakes that remain sealed tightly on the bottom shelf of our pantry. But all those other sweets and treats that he likes to sit on the middle shelf at eye level can become too tempting and tantalizing after a long day at work, a growling belly, and dinner still an hour from being completed.
Exhibit A: This week, I rearranged the pantry. I placed his snacks on a lower shelf, out of my eyesight, in specific deep bins according to what they were. He knows where to find them; my eyes don’t have to be drawn to them. Conversely, I rearranged my refrigerator bins to assure that the beautifully best and most colorful health options sat in the front, where the eye was drawn to them when the fridge was opened. And then…I purposefully took a variety of those fruits from the fridge and moved them into a beautiful dish, front and center, on my countertop – hoping not only to tempt me, but anyone else with a snack craving, to be enticed to have a health-enhanced encounter.
Case B: We had a church picnic one evening this past week, in which barbecue pork was the main dish and everyone was asked to bring a side dish and a dessert. First, I knew I wouldn’t be eating the pork, so I had to rethink my protein options. Secondly, I know how those side dishes and desserts turn out. Just as I’d predicted, they were full of sugars, dairy, gluten – and plenty of mayonnaise – along with plenty of tempting invitations to try each one. Had I not thought ahead, it would’ve been a frustrating meal.
Exhibit B: I wanted to be sure to entice myself (while also providing for my needs – both dietary & psychological), while enticing others to possibly have some healthier options (thus, providing for their needs – we have many diabetics & other health issues among members of our congregation). For dessert, I sliced a seedless watermelon that was deliciously sweet. It went over big, since everyone knows that melons are leaving us for awhile, as our season changes. For my “side” dish (my main dish), I made a Strawberry Spinach salad, substituting the sugar with Stevia (which no one seemed to be able to tell any difference – I asked).
Did I do my job in enticing you to want something better?
If so, then here’s the recipe to get you going!
Sight-Stimulating Strawberry Spinach Salad
1/3 cup Stevia-in-the-raw
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs poppy seeds
2 Tbs sesame seeds
3 tsp minced onion
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 cup Olive Oil balsamic vinegar dressing
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Stir together in a bowl, seal & refrigerate(for at least 2 hours, if possible (to set the flavor), though the wait time is not required.
Finishing touches (these are negotiable, according to what makes your tastebuds tingle!):
In a large bowl, mix together:
2 pkgs. (or 1 very large pkg) fresh spinach
As many strawberries as you dare! (probably about 2 pints)
1 pkg (or less, if you prefer) sliced honey-roasted almonds (these are in the produce/salad section at my store)
~1/2 pkg reduced-sugar Craisins
Add the dressing & mix together for a scrumptious protein/veggie/fruit treat of a dish!
Serving Hint: Once you add the dressing, the spinach will get weighted down & will “compress” in your bowl. If you’re taking it somewhere & want the freshest presentation, you may wish to wait until you’ve arrived to stir in the dressing. Your choice. Either way, it’s going to be delicious!
Serving Size: 1-1/2 cups
Approximate Calories: ~175