Here are some observations from dieting and walking during the past three weeks.
- Social media can be much more than Vampire Wars and funny videos. On Facebook, I post near daily updates on my walk, and I've been pleasantly surprised at my online support system. People often add encouraging comments to my posts. Every single comment helps me stay motivated.
- I didn't expect that other people would be motivated by my struggles. Many people have told me that I've motivated them to start or renew an exercise program. I can't even begin to tell you how good it feels to know I've had a positive effect on people I've never even met.
- Even though I haven't lost enough weight to make a difference in my appearance, I look better to myself in the mirror.
- I really enjoy walking. It feels good. Well, the hills don't always feel good, but those climbs are a great workout. Walking makes me feel more connected to the neighborhood. Driving through the streets, I'm isolated from my own surroundings, but putting my feet on the ground helps me feel more a part of the world around me.
- I do not enjoy my stationary bike. It numbs my bum. I'll reluctantly pedal 30 minutes on my stationary bike if it's too rainy to walk.
- For me, exercising is easy, but dieting is hard. I'm not on a counterproductive starvation diet. Instead of "dieting," I'm making an important lifestyle adjustment. For the most part, I try to eat unprocessed foods, especially meats, fish, vegetables, rice, and beans, and I'm cutting out a lot of processed sugar. Basically, I want everything on my plate to look like it does when it comes off the plant.
- I can eat out and still lose weight. Being single and a lousy cook, I enjoy eating out. I eat out less these days, but I'll still eat out two or three times a week. The big difference is that I'm careful about what I order. One of my favorite lunch spots is the Corner Pub in Decatur. I eat lunch there once a week, but I'll order a chicken wrap and a side salad instead of a bacon cheeseburger and fries.
- My knees aren't bothering me as much. They're still creaky though, and I suspect my running days are over, even after I've lost all my excess weight.
- People on the street are more likely to say hello from 6-7 than 7-8. The 6-7 folks are out there because they want to be. The 7-8 people are out there because they're going to work, and they seem grumpier and unwilling to even look at me. Everyone says hello on the weekends.
- I find that I have more time in the day, even though I'm taking an hour of that time to walk. I used to turn on the computer first thing in the morning and get sucked into Facebook or a game. A good chunk of the morning would be gone before I realized it. I also have more energy. The mornings that I spend music engraving have become much more productive.
- I am a cat magnet. I've met several cats during my morning walk. One cat greets me nearly every morning, charging down the driveway to say hello and have her ears scratched. This morning I almost missed her, but she spotted me and chased me down the street.
For the many of you who are too far away to walk with me, I've videotaped a portion of my morning walk. I invite you to click here to take a virtual walk with me.