Hello all! I have had quite a few people lately asking me for the ingredients of my weight-loss “recipe”. I have to say, first of all, that I feel really humbled by those requests. I did not set out on this journey looking to inspire people. That may sound weird, but it is the truth. I started this journey because I was at a point in my life where I was done… Enough was enough… I was treating my body like crap and being a bad role model for Zeeva and I was sick of it. So it is always a bit flabbergasting when people ask me for advice. In fact, I have only recently started offering advice because I have only recently felt like I am “allowed” to.
With that being said, I am always more than willing to share what I have gone through. I have a blog that is 90% about my weight-loss journey… Yeah, I better be willing to share! But I have never actually written it out and kept it… Every time someone asks, I start from scratch. So I have decided that I need a section of my blog that is just a Cliff’s Notes of my weight-loss journey. That way, when people ask, I can QUICKLY reply, instead of trying to type out a response while Zeeva is climbing all over me. ;o) So here you have it… My Weight Loss Recipe!
I have the ability to have a MAJOR sweet tooth, and I was completely out of control last summer, so I started out my journey by declaring September to be a sweet-free month. It was not always easy, but I did make it through. And I lost 10 pounds in the process.
I am a big advocate of not trying to do everything all at once… I think it is way too easy to get super frustrated and to completely backslide and decide to just give up. So, I did everything in baby steps. One week, I added more water (I now try to drink at least half of my body weight in ounces of water… So, if you weigh 100 pounds, you drink 50 ounces of water a day). The next week, I worked on not eating out as much. Then portion control. It is amazing to me how much food makes me full now, when I was used to eating probably twice as much a year ago. Whatever your particular weaknesses are, I recommend just working on them one at a time.
Weigh-ins… I weigh myself once a week. I know many people weigh themselves every day, or even multiple times a day. That would drive me batty because your weight can fluctuate so much from day to day. So, I weigh myself every Wednesday morning, before breakfast, in the same clothes. in addition to weighing yourself, I really think that taking pictures (starting pictures and every ten pounds lost is what I did initially) and measuring yourself (neck, upper arm, forearm, wrist, chest, waist, hips, abductors, thigh, calf, and ankle are what I do now) are KEY. The scale could not be doing a single thing, but your body can still be changing. It is crazy how much your body can change without your weight budging much! Yes, those first photos and measurements suck, but you will be so glad that you did it!
As far as food goes, I am not following any particular plan. When I first started out, I really just “watched what I ate”. Nothing was off limits and I was very against wanting to count calories. That worked for several months, but then I hit a plateau and I got lazy, so I gained a tiny bit of weight back. At that point, I decided to trying counting calories. I use LoseIt.com (which is also available in an app). It has really helped me see where my calories go during the day and I am pretty good about staying accountable. It even has a feature where you can get extra daily calories for inputting your exercise… I do not use this, because I am skeptical about how accurate that would be. And if I have had a huge workout and am starving, I know it is ok if I go over my calories a tiny bit. My only complaint about the program is that I have noticed that some of the calorie information that the system has is actually different than what the package will say… So I often put in my own information to be safe.
For workouts, I have done a variety of things. I started out doing some easy DVDs and walks around the neighborhood… Nothing huge. Somewhere in the winter, I really slacked off and did not work out much at all. In March, I decided to kick my butt back into gear and did a challenge that was floating around Facebook… The challenge was to walk/run 100 miles in the month of March. I walked 104 “official” miles! That was HUGE for me. After that, I decided to try Turbo Jam, which I got really cheaply on eBay. That eased me into the “more intense” workouts. Thomas got me the best Mother’s Day present I could have ever asked for… ChaLEAN Extreme. We have been doing it together since the end of May and LOVE it. We have both lost some weight, but the amount of inches we have lost is AMAZING. I am so excited to see my final total for my first round next week. We are planning on just starting it back over when we are done with this cycle. One word of warning if you are going to lift weights (which, you really should… It builds muscle, which speeds up your metabolism.)… Your weight will probably go up for the first couple of weeks. It is because your muscles are retaining water in an attempt to heal themselves. It does even back out and is sooo worth it. This also tends to happen anytime you change up your workout routine.
I also think that it is key to find someone you can confide in… A loved one, a friend, someone that you connect with on a Facebook page (I love Sara -Use It to Lose It and 2011 – The Year of Fit, Healthy and Slim)… Just someone who can be supportive and help motivate you when you just are not feeling like it. And there will always be days when you do not feel like it. Always. I have PLENTY of those days. Sometimes the lack of motivation wins, but I really do try to push past that on most days. One thing that really helps me is a calendar that I have on my fridge. I schedule my workouts for each month, so I can always see it. I actually feel kind of guilty now on the days that I end up to doing my workout, which I would have never thought possible.
Goals… These are very important. Especially having many goals. I think I have about 20 spaced out through the 90 pounds I want to lose. And rewarding yourself for reaching those goals is also important. Writing them down is SUPER important. That will give you something to focus on, especially on the days when you just do not feel that motivated.
After saying all of this, I do have one last thing to say… Everybody is different. No two people are going to be able to follow the exact same plan. You have to find what seems to work for you and MAKE it work.
“Never compare your journey to someone else’s. Your journey is your journey.”