April is a rather important month for me, for two good reasons. First, my birthday is in April, and I'll be turning 29 years old. This marks the beginning of the last year in my 20's, and I'd like to finish it strong. I would like to be in the best shape that I can be, crossing that mile marker, you know? *grins*
The other nifty thing about April is that it is the last full month that I have during the first leg of this journey. In May, I will have been walking this rocky path for a year. That is a big deal for me, because I've never managed to really stick with these kinds of lifestyle changes in the past. To me, a year is a HUGE deal. I am excited to reach the end of it, and charge into year number two. It is my plan to take off the remainder of my excess weight over the course of the second year. Hopefully it won't take me a whole year to do that, but it'll be fine if it does. This next year is going to be very important, as I learn how to transition from losing weight to maintaining my weight. As I've said before, I'm devoting just as much attention and dedication to the latter as I am the former. I will consider the first full year of maintenance to be as vitally important to this journey as those first steps were.
I've got a little time to play with before I get there though! So, I am going to pounce on April and just devour it. To be honest, I'm not sure what the scale is going to do. However, I am going to try my hardest to drive my numbers down. I've been putzing along lately, just knocking off around 1 lb. per week for a little while now. My body has been changing, but the scale is only reflecting a little bit of that. Some of that is just a desire to relax minutely and enjoy some of the experiences in life that also involve food stuffs. I could skip all birthday cake or choose not to have a small ice cream cone on a hot summer day. I know that I can't live like that forever though, so I haven't cracked down on myself real hard. Hey, pounds lost are pounds lost. I'm happy to just not weigh the same amount that I did this time last year.
While I don't feel comfortable spending the rest of my life without ice cream or good Mexican food- that doesn't mean that I can't dig up the willpower for 4 weeks! It's only one month. One. I can do that. I'm going to look at these 4 weeks as a type of "bootcamp". I'll exercise for a solid 2 hours, 6 days per week. I'll eat 1,500 calories, which I think will be enough to keep me from dropping into a 'starvation' mode. If I don't see results, I'll increase the calories by 200.
I was working on a meal plan today, along with my week #1 menu plan. Since I'm going to be working so hard, I want to make things as easy on myself as possible. I am going to eat the same foods for one week, so I can easily cook all of my dinners at the beginning of the week. I managed all of my food choices until I had all of my nutrients where I wanted them to be. What colors I don't get into my diet during week #1, I can work in during the other 3 weeks. I'm going to just try and go through the rainbow and be sure to get in a little bit of every color I can find. I'll probably skip blue though, since I'm not fond of blueberries, and I can't think of anything else that is that color. I think that I'll even give eggplant another try, maybe as some kind of "burger", or in chili. I'm still thinking that one through.
According to my internet research, I'm supposed to drink 4 liters of water each day while I am being active. I have a liter bottle that I am carrying around with me, and I refill it whenever I finish it. I haven't been paying much attention to how much I'm actually drinking though. I'm going to focus more attention in that area through April. I want to be sure that I am drinking all 4 liters of water. My other beverages can be counted separately.
Another change that I'm making is to cut way back on my useage of sweeteners. I want to dial that back a bit, because I think that using them causes me to want to increase the sweetness of nearly everything. I actually put three packets of sweetener in my cup of coffee this morning! That is just too much. I need to tone it down with the sweet stuff, at least for 4 weeks. That should help to "reset" my sweet-tooth.
Lastly, I'm sending myself to bed earlier. I have been staying up later and later, even though I know that I shouldn't. It's been pretty common for me to stay up until 2-3 a.m. lately, and that leaves me feeling like crud in the morning. I sleep in later, which I don't like. It just puts the whole day off. Besides, I don't eat in my sleep. *laughs*
I think that that is all of the changes that I'm adopting for my "Squishy Bootcamp". I would be wonder-ifically ecstatic if I could work myself down to a comfortable size 14 before my fit-iversary. Since I'm in some rather loose 16's now, I'm sure that it is possible. I may not be on "The Biggest Loser", but that doesn't mean that I can't drop some serious poundage if I put my heart and head to it.