Monday, February 07, 2011

Small Changes

At they gym lately I have been drawn to the HGTV on the magical Treadmill and Elliptical TVs (Gosh I love those things a little too much).  It is not surprising as we are in the process of buying our first house and suddenly face the possibility of a space that we own.  Today I watched and episode and a half of Real Estate Intervention.  Basically a Realtor and stager go into a house that isn't selling, tell the owners everything they have done wrong with the look and price of the house, fix it and then the house sells.

So I'm huffing along on the elliptical watching this today and I was struck by how simple (and seemingly obvious) some of the changes that the stager did in the house were - cover the bold paint colors, put kids toys away, add or takeaway furniture to make the house flow and live more obviously.  The changes were small and when taken together they made a huge transformation to the house.  Small changes added up so quickly and eventually sold the house.

Yet, the homeowners at the beginning of the episode were clueless.  They knew something was wrong, and that their home wasn't selling but they couldn't see what could be changed in a place they knew so well and lived in so closely.  It wasn't until someone else saw what could be in the home and began the small changes that they were aware of the impact even tiny alterations could make.

Now this has parallels for me on my health journey.  I look at myself and see a huge mountain to climb.  So much weight to lose, so much to fix.  Even when I see the problems I face, I'm daunted by the immensity of the task at hand.  And that is only where I see them, there are lots that I probably don't.  But nearly a month into this latest attempt to get my act together I need to take a step away for the macro and focus on what has happened on the micro level.  I can't say that my weight has changed more than a few fluctuations but there have been changes.  And if I make myself name them, and see them, then perhaps I can add a few more along the way and they will add up to something big.

So I'm naming my small changes and my tiny successes today.  Here goes:

* I got back into the gym after a stressful and unhealthy week.

* I have found several folks willing to help hold me accountable and with whom I check in regularly.

* I am eating more veggies and enjoying them.

* I am more aware of when I am hungry and when I am full.

* I am more aware of the fact that I feel sluggish after a bad meal and energized after a good one.

* I reach out on Twitter when I need an extra push to get to the gym as planned.

* Our family has gone to the gym together several times - even on a Friday night.

* We have chosen physical activities to do with baby goat in the last month - swimming, ice skating, playing in the snow (with fort shoveling required).

* I am learning how to track my meals with Weight Watchers and holding myself accountable for the food choices I've made.

* I am starting again every morning regardless of the day before.

* My pants fit better right out of the dryer.

* I no longer get winded going up stairs.

* I am trying new foods and making healthier choices.

* I am on track for my No-Drive-Thru Challenge for February.

* I am still working out and working on it and thinking about it every day.

* And when faced with a day, like today, where I have an evening meeting, rather than work a 12 hr day, I took 3 hrs off to eat a slow healthy lunch, finish a book, go workout and write a blog post about the small changes I see so that I don't forget what they are and why I am making them.

What are some small changes you've made and can celebrate?  What are some small changes you'd like to make?


Ruby Leigh said...

Hi Liz - I like your small changes list. Anyway, secretly - I am following you in the No-Drive-Thru challenge. Whenever I think about quitting Fast Food - it seems impossible, but the no drive thru challenge allows for a subway caveat... which makes this doable for me. I work a lot and meals on the go - "feel like a must".

Sara (fleetssara) said...

Liz, I am a couple of weeks/pounds behind you. When pants were not fitting again, partly because of new meds and mostly because of laziness, I enlisted my best friend to help.

She is in excellent shape and is able to work out regularly. So we made a deal to do something every Friday morning. She is giving me good encouragement. The first couple of times she came to my house and we worked out on machines in my building's workout room. I live in St. Paul and she lives in Bloomington. Last Friday she asked to meet at MOA because of her hectic schedule. We walked for an hour. Maybe you can do something like that with one of your friends because it has given us much more time to talk and that side bonus has been the best part.

Thanks for sharing. You help keep me inspired, truly!

Casey said...

Congrats on your small changes! I think if you add all those small things up you are getting some big changes. Way to go! Congrats on the superbowl victory, too. :)

Valerie said...

Liz, that sounds fantastic! You know you have us cheering for you. Keep it up!

trishatfox said...

I love that you are being more active as a family. Modeling physical activity for Baby Goat is so important. I also love how you are focusing on the small changes. They add up. I'm still going on the drive-thru challenge, too.

Kristin said...

Congrats Liz! Keep on celebrating the small victories - they'll help you keep going. And I'll push you if you push me back. I could use some pushing myself.

Denise said...

I started eating breakfast every day, which I haven't done since days of Olaf. I think it helps me make better food choices during the day. Not sure if it is sustainable....

Kate1024 said...

This is brilliant!
The best signs, I think, are:

* I am more aware of when I am hungry and when I am full.

* I am more aware of the fact that I feel sluggish after a bad meal and energized after a good one.

and i love it that you know it's better when your pants feel pretty good right out of the dryer. i go for how clothes fit more than pounds at the beginning. I still track, but for me it's all about how those jeans fit.

Go you!!!

Jen said...

Gosh Liz, those are HUGE changes if you ask me. I would be happy if I could say any one of those things for myself much less so many!

The two of yours that impress me most: not being winded on the stairs and taking time to do something good for you rather than work all day long.