Saturday, April 30, 2011

Taking Inventory of my Tools

I had to laugh at myself this week. I had to pick up Bethany after her play practice at school, so I grabbed a book in case I got there early and had to wait for a while. I know that’s highly improbable, but I like to be prepared. As I was driving down the road, I noticed what I was using as a bookmark for that book… a piece of toilet paper! Oh, great… I could just picture it: Elaine, sitting in the school parking lot, reading while she waits for Bethany, and just as the principal walks by, a gust of wind blows the “bookmark” out of her grasp and directly into his path. (So now you know… I’m always running late and I have a lively imagination!)

The reason I laughed at myself is that we have no shortage of bookmarks at home. As a church secretary, we get catalogs with sample bookmarks all the time: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Valentine’s Day… you name it, and a company has probably sent us a sample bookmark for that holiday, hoping we’ll buy up enough for the whole congregation. So, I have a few of those, I have bookmarks the kids made me, and bookmarks from special occasions. I even have an embroidered cloth bookmark from Bangladesh sent to me by a missionary we support. There’s no shortage of bookmarks at our house…but I wasn’t using them. I was using toilet paper!

That made me think about other tools and resources I might have around the house that I’m not using, or using to their full potential. I’m at a bit of a crossroads now with my weight loss. I’ve been bouncing back and forth with the same five pounds for several months now, a very frustrating plateau, and now I feel like I’m getting my fire back, and I’m ready to break through. Instead of grumping “I wish we could afford a gym membership so I could get in swimming practice and take spin classes,” I need to focus on all the resources I have available.
  1. LiveFit Revolution – free exercise, nutrition, support. Alysia Gadson and Jason Lily have put together an awesome program and I know it works. They helped me lose 50 pounds last year, and they’ve been helping me keep it off. Now it’s time for me to ditch the last 30!
  2. Internet friends – I have dozens of friends who are also trying to turn their lives around and become healthy. I keep in touch with them through the LiveFit forums, through SparkPeople, through Facebook, by e-mail and by text message. It’s important to be accountable to others! I need to reach out more when I’m struggling, and let them help me through.
  3. My kettlebells – a good kettlebell workout burns a lot of calories. Lately my excuse has been “I don’t have enough time,” but that’s nonsense. 15 minutes of kettlebells is still a great workout! Get swinging! 
  4. Elliptical – we got an elliptical off ebay several years ago. It’s down in the basement, right in front of a TV… sometimes I’ll use it for an hour while watching Biggest Loser. I need to do that more often… with more shows!
  5. – there are a lot of great resources at SparkPeople – free resources, like food tracking, tracking weight loss, keeping track of how many days in a row you’ve met a goal (streaking), etc.
  6. Exercise bike – another bargain find… $50 for a nice recumbent bike. It doesn’t burn as many calories as the elliptical or kettlebells, but I can read or do crossword puzzles while on the bike.
  7. Exercise videos– more than 30 of them! I could do a different workout every night for more than a month – no boredom there!
  8. Bike – and a very nice bike trail in the area!
  9. My MP3 player – lots of music to listen to while working out
  10. Free podcasts for Couch to 5K workouts
  11. Fresh air outside! I can walk/jog on the roads around my house… pick a corner… .8 miles, 1.6 miles, or 3.2 miles!
  12. I have a treadmill in the basement, so I can go for long walks if the weather isn’t cooperating (can’t run on it, though… it’s more than 20 years old and the belt freezes up if you trying running).
  13. Portable DVD player – can be set in front of the treadmill to provide entertainment for long walks
  14. I have the church gym at my disposal. I could do laps before or after work. Doing more than 50 laps around the gym for a 5K is boring, but it’s a good workout!
  15. Weight Machine – when my husband changed jobs more than 20 years ago, there wasn’t a gym near his new job where he could stop and work out after work, so we bought a home weight machine. It’s a great resource, but it hasn’t been used much lately!
  16. Dumbbells, resistance bands, exercise tubing, balance ball – I probably could have given each of these their own number… but I’ll group them all together as exercise gadgetry I’ve accumulated over the years that could get more  use than it’s getting! I could say that I use the balance ball every day… but then I’d have to admit that it’s only to sit on it next to Bethany’s bed for prayer time each night! Not much of a workout there!
  17. My dry-erase board – I have a big page-sized picture frame on the fridge that I can slip a page into and check off with my dry-erase marker. That kind of “do this today” list can be motivating for me sometimes.
  18. My organizational skills. I’m good at making plans… not so good at following through on them, though! I’m working on it!
  19. Books! I’ve been reading “The Beck Diet Solution” and “Help, Hope and Healing for Eating Disorders.” Both are the kind of book you need to read slowly and take notes, and go back to over and over again.
  20. Prayer. This shouldn’t be at the end of the list. It should be at the top. Losing weight is hard. It’s going to be a life-long struggle for me, and I don’t need to face it alone. I forget, though. Instead of praying for strength, I try to do things on my own. Like I said, I’m working on it!
I've got plenty of tools. I just need to put them to work!

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you should gather all your "health" tools into one room and invite friends to join you for a group workout. Maybe that would liven things up a bit. :) Keep at it. You are doing a great job and show others that we can too--if we set our minds to itand make it a priority.
    (By the way, I use TP as a book mark too, though my desk drawer holds 20 or more "proper" bookmarks.)