Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lifestyle Changes and the Battle of The Bulge

I've been thinking about something lately. It's common knowledge that in order to lose weight the healthy way and keep it off, I need a lifestyle change. Small "choices" throughout my day can add up to a big change in the long run. Skip a muffin to lose the muffin.

But isn't the opposite also true? It's also the small lifestyle changes that cause me to gain weight. It's not one overindulgent meal or one missed workout. It's a change in lifestyle. It's going from drinking a decaf tea after the kids are in bed to eating a snack instead. Or no longer walking to the store after selling my BOB. Those seemingly innocent "choices" that I make aren't so innocent after they become a habit.

How do I know this? You know the answer. But it's more than just adding a few pounds to my figure this past year. I've been making lifestyle changes with regard to food my whole life. Some of them good and some of them bad. Consequently, my weight has gone up and down.

I am told that from birth to about first grade I was thin.

Then my mom went back to work and I started going to a friends house after school. Every day (EVERY DAY PEOPLE) her mom would sit us in front of the TV with a ham sandwich and a can of pringles.

Let's do the math...

Plus (+) this

Equals (=) this...

WOW! I can't believe I just posted this picture. It's official. I'm an open book. P.S. Couldn't my mom have helped me find a more flattering bathing suit?

I figured out the pringles connection years ago. But this week I realized that was a lifestyle change.

After my parents divorced, mom moved with my brother and me to Huntington Beach. I joined flag team (laugh if you will - it was GREAT!) and moved my body. And said goodbye to pringles forever. Without knowing it, my lifestyle changed. Without trying, I slimmed down. Not skinny, just less chubby.

The battle with the bulge continued from then until now. I'd pick up running and lose weight. Develop a taste for wine and cheese and bulk up. Discover Stroller Strides and slim down. Start school, stress eat and gain a few pounds. Give up diet coke and put on a few more...

Let's do some math again.


is greater than (more calories) than

Gosh, this is getting long. Sorry. This is probably so boring for those of you who don't have weight issues. But then again, you probably have already closed out of this and gone to another blog that is filled with happy crafts and skinny jeans.

Okay so I'll get to my point. This realization, that small lifestyle changes can cause me to gain or lose weight is HUGE. It is liberating!

Instead of just jumping back into my never ending cycle and getting my diet back on, I am first figuring out where I got off track. I am evaluating my current eating habits and see what unhealthy habits have sneaked in. The good news is I see them. I see little habits that I've started without thinking. And this alone, without tracking points or measuring my breakfast cereal, has helped me get back on track. I am being mindful of my lifestyle. Regardless of what the scale says, I feel like I've won a small battle with food.

My hope is that if I pay attention to my diet/exercise lifestyle and become mindful of any changes (good or bad) that my weight will level off to a place I can be happy with.

Sorry for this long post. I guess I was using this as a way to think this out. :)


  1. I think this is a BRILLIANT post. It's so great that you've analyzed the patterns in your life, and now can choose to DO something about it! That is the absolute best "diet" in the world. Way to go Summer!

    PS - I'd much rather read about real life than crafts (which I despise, unless they're with Nancy) or skinny jeans (don't even get me started!)...

  2. I think our biggest emphasis should be on being/feeling HEALTHY, rather than such a concern with diets/skinny! You sound as if your a mindful, beautiful, & healthy Woman!!!! No such fret needed, life is much too short my friend!!

  3. Hi, stopping by for the first time. Great post. Little (bad)habits really can add up. Wine was always my weakness. Now I limit myself to one glass/week.

  4. Great post! This applies to so many things, not just food. When you have a good grasp on what makes you feel good it's so much easier to live life with healthy moderation. Way to go!!

  5. I love you for this Summer! How true it is, too. Seemingly small things (in the big scheme!) make a big difference. Like I lost weight when I started college (go figure) because of all the walking I was doing. It was completely unplanned, just a life style change. I'm inspired... Laura M.

  6. So true! I use to make excuses for eating a few oreos for one day... it won't make me fat right? Come to find out I was making this excuse everyday!

  7. Well I think you look cute in your picture that you can't believe you posted. Not chubby at all, it was just the stripes that maybe weren't so hot. :)

    Good luck with your new lifestyle changes. I have never had to watch my weight my whole life, until I had kids! Why is that?! I have come to accept the fact that my body will never be like it was before I had kids, and that's ok. But I do have to watch it much more carefully now.

    Now that you've written out your game plan, I bet you'll do great!

  8. Great post,youre definitely on the right track!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  9. I have to agree with Genn -- the suit wasn't much, but the person looked pretty good :)

    Great post! Really. Usually when I read the phrase "let's do the math" I run away and hide (English major), but even an English major can do the pictures of Pringles and glasses of wine and such.