Encouraging, Exercising, and Diet

Yesterday I mentioned that I was getting a little discouraged with the whole weight loss thing.  This morning, I stepped on the scale and it said I had lost 2 more pounds.  That was definitely an encouraging sign!
When I opened my email, I had a message from Denise at Just Me, Being Me. When I visited her blog to reciprocate the Hodgepodge reading, I read her previous post as well.  She's inviting those of us who need encouragement to continue to exercise and eat right to join her!  Talk about perfect timing!  Hopefully she'll start a facebook page so it will be easier to give (and receive) encouragement.

I've done the "gym thing", and honestly, I just don't want to waste my money on a gym when I have a wonderful park right next to the house, as well as some hand weights.  I've been around the gym enough to know how to exercise, and what to do.  
I've also done aerobics, step aerobics, and aqua aerobics, as well as played quite a bit of tennis.  But, now that I'm older, my knees just can't take the tennis and aerobics (minus the aqua), and on top of that, I started getting headaches after working out.  I had a doctor tell me that it was probably due to dehydration, but I hydrated as much as I could before, during, and after.  And then I found out a couple of years ago that this happens to a couple of my sisters as well.
I went to a dietitian about 10 years ago when I needed to lose about 50 pounds.  On top of the diet (which I'll get to in a minute), she told me I had to walk 30 minutes every day.  30 minutes...that was all.  For overall cardiovascular health, The American Heart Association recommends:
  • At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150

  • At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity

  • Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.
On Instagram, I follow a teacher who is documenting her weight loss/toning up journey.  Even though I could probably be her mom (age-wise), she is quite the inspiration.  Some days, she gives me the encouragement by just looking at her pictures and seeing the transformation!  I'm not so naive to think that I will end up looking as great as she does, but hopefully I can show some improvement in myself.
So, my exercise regiment goes something like this:  I walk 2 of the dogs in the park between 6 & 6:30 in the morning.  The walk around the whole park takes about 30 minutes.  Being in E. Tn., there are hills, so my upper legs/butt are getting a workout.  Walking so early means that I pretty much have the park to myself.  I may see a couple of people, but that's it.  And, Laika is doing a pretty good job (most of the time) of not pulling my arm out of socket!  After I get back to the house, I get my weights and do my arm exercises:  overhead press, triceps chop, dumbell curl, tricep kickbacks, and concentration curls.  After seeing 5 Low-Weight Exercises, I may add a couple more to my routine.  

As I mentioned, I went to a dietitian some years ago on a physician's referral.  I was fortunate enough that my insurance covered the cost of most of her fees.  She was absolutely wonderful.  The first thing she did was sit me down, and ask me about my schedule:  when did I get up, eat meals, go to bed.  Then, she told me when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat.  My eating plan looked something like this:
(Click for a bigger picture as well as the credit)

The exception was that I only have 1 snack in between lunch & dinner that consists of a starch and a dairy. The first couple of days are miserable, but after that, I don't even want anything sweet.  That's really saying something, because I have a horrible sweet tooth.  If I do want something sweet, I'll get a sugar-free popsicle, jello, or a mint.  (The popsicle & jello are "free".)
I'm a bit surprised that they have a fruit down as a snack. My dietitian told me to never have fruit by itself as a snack since it increases your sugar quickly, and then sends it crashing, making you more hungry.
As far as drinks, I mainly drink water.  I may have a diet green tea with dinner (Mixed Berry is my favorite), and I'll have a cup of coffee mid-morning.  I haven't given up my creamer, though!  I've pretty much given up diet cokes all together.

So, there you have it. I've lost 7 pounds so far; 30 more to go.  What is your diet/exercise routine?  Any suggestions for me are welcome!


  1. 7 lbs already!?!?!?! Are you kidding me? That's awesome!!!!

  2. Walking is great exercise for bone health as well. I've been diagnosed with osteopenia, and in addition to increasing my calcium and vitamin D, my doctor ordered increased walking.

  3. I think you're doing OUTSTANDING, Mary! Don't give up! Stick to it...you've got this! Rootin' for you every step of the way!!!

  4. You are doing great, very proud of you.

  5. You go girl. Wishing you much success.

  6. Seems like you are doing good and you have a good exercise routine and trying to do the healthy eating and hydrating. WTG on the 7 pounds gone. Hubby and me walk 30-45 minutes 3-4 times a week; I need to do it 5 times a week. I think we need to walk a bit faster, but can't get my hubby to pick up the pace. I would prefer a treadmill here at home, but need to win the lottery first :)

    Keep up the good work!


  7. Mary, this is FANTASTIC!!! Thank you for all the suggestions and for sharing with us what you are doing. David and I were just talking today about how we need to start getting motivated on exercising again. You are inspiring me!

  8. You're doing awesome! I think consistent walking is huge, as is avoiding refined sugars. That's the one that gets me every time. I can eat a little here and there, but if I eat too much refined sugar, I will add weight, even with all my hiking and stuff. Keep up the good work!

  9. The looks like a great meal plan. Wishing you complete success. We can all accomplish weight loss when we set our minds on it. Congrats on the 2 pounds!

  10. Wow. You are doing great already! I always notice a big change in myself with constant exercise. I think I eat fairly well….but I've got to move my butt to make any improvements. So nice to have that park right there!!!
    Oh….have you tried hula hooping yet?? :) Keep up the good work!


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