This morning I stepped onto the scale, and discovered I am down again, getting me to my first weight loss milestone, 5%. While 5% sounds so miniscule I could feel a bit depressed about how many more percents I want to add to it, I am trying to focus on the positives. And, it turns out, they are many:
"For most people 5 percent is enough to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Your weight-loss success may also mean that you help to lower your blood pressure. There are many other health benefits, too – research has shown that a loss of 5 percent–10 percent of your starting body weight can make a real difference.
~Lowers your body’s cholesterol levels
~Can improve blood sugar control
~Reduces aches and pains
~Can improve your breathing
~Helps you to sleep better
~Reduces the risk of sleep apnea
~Helps prevent angina – chest pain caused by decreased oxygen to the heart.
~Decreased your risk of sudden death from heart disease or stroke
~May stop the need from regular medication
~Reduces the risk of certain cancers
Here's the even cooler thing: on this plan, I don't feel like I'm giving things up. I mean, sure I have to decide to have a salad with grilled chicken and a few bites of cheese pizza rather than 3 slices of pizza smothered in parmesan. But if I get hungry, I always have a go-to snack in fruit (bless the zero point fruits on WW!). And I find myself not even hitting my target points most days, much less using the flex points. Not only that, but while the evenings are so amazing here we're taking advantage by walking with the kids in the wagon every night we can. This is great not only for the health benefits, but the kids love it and seem to sleep better after their evening dose of crisp, fresh air. And Darrick and I? Well, that time together without the distractions of the little ones (who contentedly play together and make each other laugh and do battle over the sippy cup of water we bring with them) or a TV or a dog breathing her snarf breath in our faces or the dishes to be done or or or or....it's doing great things for us. We get home, eat dinner, hang out for a bit, then all head out together for a walk. Sometimes we talk the whole way. Sometimes we walk in silence. Most of the time the evening's quiet darkness is punctuated with various conversations and laughter.
I'm almost humiliated to admit what a difference not shopping mindlessly has made for me...and by proxy for us as a family. I went through our bank statement for last January, added up the 'fun spending' and the amount I put toward that totally useless part of our budget was shocking. Avoiding falling into that mindless money management has been a bit more challenging that I'd like to admit, but I've managed and honestly for every time I've desperately wanted to just browse the clearance racks at my local Target, I've had more times when I've felt sweet relief while peeking at our checking account balance.
Here's where I admit a dirty secret: January 2011 will be the first month since Rohan started daycare in August 2009 when I haven't held my breath in suspense, anxiety gnawing at my belly, while checking our account balance. So far this month I've saved $300 over last year just by keeping my debit card in my wallet. And it would have been even more ($100 more) had I not needed a new laptop power cord (a necessity in our house since the laptop is our only computer and we do so much of our daily tasks online) and a new memory card for my camera (also a necessity given the thousands of pictures I take a month). That savings is not too shabby and even more impressive is that one of my Target trips this month totaled $28.11. That's pretty much unheard of, right? I think Target automatically debits $60 from my checking account each time I walk through their front doors!
So when I open my account summary online now, I feel about $300 less anxiety. It's a great feeling to know that I don't have to scrimp and save all this week while we wait for our paychecks to come through on Friday. It's nice to know we can still go out to eat (salad for me, dressing on the side please) once or twice a week and rent a few movies without once having the "Do we have enough money in the account right now to cover this?" conversation in earnest.