"Trying out the lifestyle of where you want to be is good advice. How is it different from where you are now, other than the weight part?"I thought it was a good question and spent some time thinking about it. How would the healthier, happier, and hopefully thinner version of me live her life?
One big part of that is having an exercise plan that allows for a balance between routine and flexibility. I like to know what I'm going to do most days but also like to add space for unplanned activities or for an easier day if I need one. I plotted out a workout schedule on a piece of notebook paper, and then spent a ridiculous amount of time duplicating it on my new iPad so it would look pretty. (I used an app called NotesPlus, and creating the schedule was partly to practice using the app and my new stylus.) I have found that I won't do strength work on my own so I signed up for a strength class to supplement my Pilates and yoga classes. Our gym offers early-morning lap swimming time in the outdoor pool in the summer, so I want to take advantage of that. I'm trying to balance out my activities more instead of relying only on running to get me fit -- I have found over and over again that it doesn't work for me to do that. Without strength work, I never seem to reliably lose weight.
My husband and I are also working on decluttering over the summer and spending time each day tidying up. I'm so much happier when things are put away and my living and cooking spaces are neat.
We were inspired by Does this Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? to think about what we really want out of our home and to work to make that vision a reality. However, I'm not being quite as ruthless as Peter Walsh suggests. If I'm not quite ready to give something up, it can stay for now if I can find a place to put it away. It's part of my idea of trying things out and making gradual changes, not necessarily a complete overhaul. I'm also violating the Walsh manifesto by buying some new things. One of my favorite accomplishments so far was that we cleared away some of the plants that were getting overgrown in our backyard and making room for a bigger grill and some new patio chairs with cushions. It looks so cute and it's really nice to sit out there in the evenings now. We already had a great bistro table but the chairs that go with it are okay for dining but not for lounging. Now it's like we have an outdoor dining room and outdoor sitting room.
Speaking of planning, one of the things I have learned is that I tend to do better with healthy eating if I plan out my meals for the week (or at least the next several days) and make sure to go to the store to buy the groceries to make the plan work. I am not, however, going to spend hours putting those plans into pretty iPad charts! I want to try at least one new healthy recipe each week. I am continuing to use LoseIt! to track my calories.
I have to be honest, I really am hoping these activities will get me on track to lose weight, but most of these things will make me happier and healthier on their own even if they don't result in weight loss. I would feel angry if I spent a lot of time doing something restrictive or uncomfortable and didn't manage to lose weight, but all of the changes I am trying out now are satisfying in their own right. It's amazing how easy it is to let things like this slip away when I get busy or distracted, even though I know they make me happy. I'm spending some time this summer trying out what it would be like to do them more often, sort of my own personal Happiness Project.