Effort = Results

Happy Month 5 of The Sparkle Plan, my made-up diet and wellness plan. What’s the Sparkle Plan? Check out the inaugural post here. (Short version: I set off to lose weight and feel better about myself by setting small monthly goals to help me achieve larger goals.)

As reported last month, I had a very hellacious couple of weeks of traveling and being so busy that I didn’t know what the heck was going on. And yes, I ended up gaining weight from it. However, after my Month 4 post, my brother offered me some advice. I’m going to share it with you now.

  1. Drink lots of water.
  2. Avoid sodium because it makes you feel icky and retain weight.
  3. Don’t snack unless it’s a banana, almonds or something healthy.
  4. Prioritize your own health over everything else. Work out first thing in the morning even if it is just walking for 30 minutes.
  5. Get as much sleep as possible.
  6. Eat fish or chicken and vegetables. Avoid steak and pasta.

“Keep this in mind – walk as much as possible. It adds up over time. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, park far away from the store. All that stuff matters over the long term. Don’t worry about short-term results. Do the right things and good things will happen.”

He ended with, “Always invest in yourself first. You deserve it.”

Here's a picture of me and my wise brother.

Here’s a picture of me and my wise brother.

This advice came at the exact right moment and I really needed to hear it. Item #4 particularly resonated with me because even though I hate admitting this, I’ve gained about 15 pounds since August. Why?

I got my dog, Harry, last August. Yes, we go on long walks, but these walks don’t get my heart rate up (except when we go into unexpected interval training while chasing after a rogue squirrel.) I haven’t been able to get into an exercise routine because I feel guilty leaving Harry all day at work and then coming home and leaving him again to go to the gym. Even though I know I need to exercise.

So with my brother’s advice in mind, I made some changes. I go to bed earlier, even if it means DVRing my favorite TV show instead of watching live. I go to the gym both weekend days when I have more time. During the week, I run twice – but instead of using the treadmill at the gym, I run around my neighborhood. That cuts my time away from Harry in half. Two other days, I do weight and ab workout DVDs at home. Harry even joins in by standing on my stomach during crunches or dive-bombing me from the couch.

Well guess what? This effort has paid off. I’ve lost 9 pounds this month! Woo-hoo! I’m so proud of myself and I’m already feeling better!

Let’s chat in the comment section. Do you make yourself a priority or (like me) do you feel guilty taking time for yourself?

*I am not a doctor or anything close to a doctor. My brother is also not a doctor. While I happen to think we are both brilliant and I know our mother would agree, take our advice with the knowledge that I majored in English and theater and my brother majored in business. Also, we both hate sick people. Always consult your own physician before embarking on any fitness or eating plan.

26 thoughts on “Effort = Results

  1. First, I love the pic of you and your brother. You totally look like siblings! Second, I love his advice. I, too, like #4 because it works. And 9 pounds in one month?!!! That’s amazing!

    1. Thanks Pintip! It’s funny – some people think we look exactly alike and others don’t see it at all. 😉

  2. Love getting to see brother Kerri, you two look great! The best part of all this for me is that sly little, furry personal trainer of yours. Rogue squirrel! I also like that the advice your brother gave is something we can realistically do. Seriously, drinking 8 cups of water a day is probably the easiest thing a person can do! But if we’re not taking the time to prioritize our own health, even something that simple can fall to the wayside. Now that I’m nearing 40, I’m finding it more natural to think of my own health and make it a priority. Your post was awesome today Hero. Congrats on seeing such great results for all your hard work!

    1. Thanks Hero! Now the question is, what would Harry do if he actually caught a squirrel? What would I do? Besides throw up in my mouth. 😉

  3. You Go Girl!!! That is awesome, and a healthy amount to lose in a month – On wise Kevin!!! I wish I would get up an exercise in the morning, everyone says that is best time…So proud of you!

    PSA:you totally have to watch out for the VA/DC squirrels, Harry knows…

    1. Oh you know how these squirrels are down here! Crazysauce! I admit, I haven’t gotten up early to work out yet, but I have been forcing myself to do it after work. It’s tough – but worth it!

  4. Love your brother’s advice. It’s very sound. Mr. Silver lost A LOT of weight about 2 years ago, and he’s maintained the loss by doing all of what your brother said. H makes time for the gym, and keeps health snacks at hand. Everyone asks him how he lost all the weight, and you can tell they’re hoping for some sort of magic pill, but his answer is always the same, “diet & exercise. and by diet he means healthy eating of protein, fruits & veggies- no fad diet.

    1. I soooo wish Mr. Silver WOULD invent a magic pill. He needs to work on that! In the meantime, I’ll continue the boring but effective healthy diet and exercise. Sigh… 😉

  5. Kerri,
    I always love your Sparkle Updates. Congrats on the nine pounds.
    Here are my comments to your list (you love your lists, don’t you?):
    #1 I only drink lots of water when I’m home. Otherwise I have problems. I’ve had five kids, three well over nine pounds. Things don’t work the way they’re supposed to. Enough said.
    #2 Love salt. So not an option. Although I don’t put salt on my pizza anymore, so I consider that progress. And my blood pressure is so low I’m practically dead.
    #3 The key to not snacking is to do things away from the kitchen. I’m too lazy to walk too far.
    #4 Love this one idea. Oh, how I wish I had some energy in the morning. And I know everyone (by everyone, I mean my husband) says you have to exercise to get energy, but that’s kinda a catch-22 deal. I hate those.
    #5 Love this one!!! With five kids and coordinating their activities, sleep is a luxury I wish I could afford. But I do try. How I try…
    #6 I do eat chicken and veggies. Yay, me. That’s not to say I don’t eat the steak and pasta, too, though. I just eat it all. I’m not prejudiced against any one food group. I love them all. 🙂 I’m all about supporting diversity in life.
    Loved your post, Kerri. And the pic of you and your brother is awesomesauce (Kerri speak). And since I don’t have a dog, and my cat takes off after rogue squirrels, this doesn’t help me run any faster.
    I think you could jog with Harry. Just sayin’. 🙂 Try that one.

    1. Oh Kim-Mermaid, you’re so funny! Jogging with Harry goes like this:
      1. Out of nowhere he starts charging at full speed.
      2. I scramble to keep up.
      3. The wind is in our hair (fur) as we fly along the path.
      4. Oh look – it’s a squirrel/bird/other dog/stick.
      5. Sudden and abrupt stop by Harry.
      6. Kerri almost dies.
      7. Harry trots along again, oblivious to his mommy panting like she’s about to have a heart attack.

      You know I LOVE lists. They make me soooo happy!

  6. You go girl!! So proud of you, Kerri! I too ended up gaining weight the two months I was in Germany. I came home a few weeks ago and started getting back on track. Though I walked a great deal while I was away, I gained from the wonderful food (even Gluten-Free). Now, I’ve lost five pounds since I’ve been home and working on another five. I still do my morning walks (2 miles/30minutes) and I have a couple of videos for ABS and toning, plus XBOX/Kinect sports games I do in enclimate weather. Took over cooking from hubby–whole foods, whole grains (minus wheat, barley, rye), and lots of fruits and veggies. More water–less sodas. Now trying to cut back on sugars…my down fall. It’s a slow process but learning.

    I need you to keep me motivated. Between sitting at the keyboard (in edits right now and working on a new series) I’ve got to get away and do more activities.

    Hugs to you!

    1. Thanks Loni! Welcome back, btw! Now time for some motivation. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!! 😉

    1. Thanks Jenny! Wish I could get more sleep but someone has been climbing up and sleeping on my head the last couple nights. Don’t want to mention any names… Harry!

  7. Kerri-sister-mermaid, that is a fabulous month! Now, how shall I curb my new need for salted pretzels, huh? Obviously not good for me. I’m trying HARD to keep away from bad foods and get more sleep!

    I even joined the wnyc.org/sleep project. So far, I’m doing… sort of meh. But I’m enrolled!

  8. What a great picture! I’m so proud of you, Kerri! You’re actively seeking ways to change your life for the better, something I need to do more of

  9. Great results – and a super message. “Pay yourself first” is somethng I’ve always heard ascribed to financial goal setting. What a no-brainer to branch that out into other aspects of my life – like health and writing. I dig this Sparkle Plan!

  10. Susan – I hear ya. I am all about the salt! It’s probably the hardest thing for me to cut out.

  11. Thanks Keely! I wish it was easier to pay myself first – I still struggle with this. But I’m working hard on it every day. 😉

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