I gained five pounds during my two-week vacation. I knew I would. I gave myself permission to forget about calorie-counting and I didn’t stress about fitting in time to run. Unfortunately, now I have five extra pounds to lose! I would like to lose, at least, some of it before the Rock ‘N’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon on June 23. That’s why I have a plan.

This plan doesn’t involve running more or counting calories, however. These are small, simple things I can add to my training schedule that I think will help me lose some unwanted pounds.





Here are the four changes I plan to make in my life to improve my health:

  1. Get off the computer: As a writer, I can spend hours on the computer. Unfortunately, I’m not always writing during that time. Instead, I’m mindlessly shopping on Amazon.com or surfing Facebook or watching my Twitter feed. When my laptop is downstairs, I can spend hours on it. I lose track of time and often forget why I opened my computer in the first place. Now, my laptop is on a desk upstairs. Not only do I have to physically go to it, but having it in the office also helps me stay focused when I’m on the computer. I will save social media for my smart phone.
  2. Challenge myself: Two weeks off and I can tell I’ve lost some muscle. I know muscle helps burn calories, but I don’t have the money for a gym membership (or the time to be driving there and back). But I do have some great workout videos. My favorite is Jillian Michaels’s 30-Day Shred DVD. It really helped with my strength during my marathon last year, and I only did the workout two or three times a week. Now, though, I’m going to challenge myself to actually do as the DVD says: 30 days. I started Monday with Level 1. I’ll advance to Level 2 after 10 days, and Level 3 after 20. After that, I may find an early-morning (and cheap) yoga class or start a new DVD. The idea is to challenge myself outside of running.
  3. Reduce processed foods: I don’t consider myself a bad eater, but I do push the limits of how much I should be eating. Lately, I’ve been running to eat instead of eating to run. I also didn’t pay much attention to where my calories were coming from. I will be changing that by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into my diet, and cutting out a lot of the processed foods I crave – like white breads and American cheese.
  4. Prioritizing family: This may not sound like a way to lose weight, but by really focusing on my family first, I feel inspired to get up early and get my workouts out of the way so that I can spend more time with my husband and son. I’ve also started taking my dogs for a short walk twice a day.

What small, simple changes have you made toward a healthier life?