Ladies and Gentlemen, it seems that for the umpteenth time in the last 20 some-odd years I am embarking upon a quest for my illusive goal weight. I was in the best shape of my life 4 years ago, but after having a baby, going through divorce, and licking my wounds in some unhealthy ways (i.e. eating like a pig and not exercising regularly) I find myself in a conundrum. I was tipping the scales at a horrifying 205, and seemed unable to lose a single pound, or inch, or ANYTHING!! What’s a chubby girl to do?
As a single Mom, it’s sometimes hard to find the time and motivation to make a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and really make it stick. I mean, I really just wanted to get my hot body back, and be cute and comfortable in my own skin. However, faced with the fact that I was not getting any thinner, and that anything short of a very concerted effort was not working, I decided that I needed a serious overhaul.
This began about 6 weeks ago. I knew that I needed to look closely at what I was putting in my mouth and how much I was really exercising. It was time to get honest, to get real. After several weeks of tinkering with my food and exercise with no visible results or progress on the scale, I ran into a friend of mine who is a trainer at the gym. He gave me a few pointers, and talked about how important diet was, and asked me if I wanted to train with him. Impulsively, I said yes. I am so glad I did!
Since I started working with him I have seen visible results and lost 6 lbs on the scale. My clothes are fitting again, and my figure is coming back slowly but surely. I am working very hard to get results. I have along way to go, but feel like I am have already made some huge progress by breaking through some barriers. I want to share some of the secrets of my recent success with you!
TALK TO A PRO
I have been athletic all my life. I know how to eat healthy, and I know how to work out. However, there is something to be said for expert advice and help. After all, if I had cancer, would I try and cure it myself? Nope. So, I enlisted the help of a trainer. This has several benefits. I feel accountable to him and want to stay on track so that he will be happy with me. I also have made a financial commitment to him, so I feel the pinch in my pocketbook to take the training and diet seriously and not waste my money. Most importantly however, I have a trainer who knows what he is doing. He sees my specific build and body type and knows what is going to work to get me a long, sleek shape. It’s a good idea to try and find a highly qualified trainer who understands that every person needs a tailored routine, and if they understand diet, it’s even better. Otherwise, you may want to also consult with a nutritionist. Even if you only work with a trainer for a month to kick start an exercise routine or go to a dietitian a few times, it’s worth the time and investment.
WRITE IT DOWN
An invaluable tool for the last 4 weeks has been keeping a food journal. I was writing down what I was eating and bringing it to my trainer to show him my progress. The first 2-3 weeks I did not see a big change in my weight or in how I felt. Well, after looking at my food log I could see that it was partly because I was eating protein bars (at least they weren’t cookies) whenever I felt I needed a sweet treat. So, even though my trainer had said protein bars were OK, too many calories is still too many calories…and at the end of the day a huge part of weight loss is simply the math…burn more calories than you consume and viola, you will lose weight. By writing it down, I started to see the patterns that were keeping me stuck, the foods that were causing me to crave and binge (I call them TRIGGER FOODS). So, after 2 weeks of over indulging on certain trigger foods, I decided that I needed to eliminate protien bars from my diet. Since then I lost another 3 lbs, and the cravings have gone away.
TUPPERWARE AND BROWN BAG IT
Another huge help has been preparing all my meals the night before and planning them in advance. I eat basically the same thing every day with some slight variations. A huge help has been measuring, preparing and packaging all my meals the night before. When I am hungry in the morning and have no willpower, I just heat up the omelet I made the night before and enjoy some fresh fruit that was cut up, and don’t have to think about it. It saves me money on eating out, and ensures that I adhere to my diet. I had gotten into the habit of binging on sugar in the morning, which is the worst way to start out your day, and probably a huge factor in my weight gain. Preparing my meals the night before has put that madness to a stop, and resulted in weight loss and more even blood sugar levels throughout the day.
My diet consists of only low-glycemic foods. This keeps my blood sugar levels in check. According to my trainer, a person who is overweight has become insulin sensitive. It takes 1-2 weeks off a sugar-y diet to get your blood sugar levels evened out, and your blood sugar levels need to even out before you can lose weight…so be patient, the weight will not come right off at first. Give it a few weeks. Before I started this low glycemic diet (also known as a diabetic diet) I experienced energy level crashes, uncontrollable cravings, binge eating and the depression that comes with this unhealthy cycle. After eliminating all foods from my diet that are high sugar (this includes breads, certain fruit, sweets and many grains), I have experienced very few craving (and controllable at that), sustained energy levels, better sleep, weight and inch loss. I feel really good emotionally and physically.
I have a secret addiction. It’s green tea. Green tea is an anti-oxidant, known to aide in blood sugar regulation and weight loss, and when sweetened is just plain lovely. Yummy in fact. I have portable packets that I use called ULTRA LEAN GREEN. It’s tasty, staves of hunger, and forces me to drink more water and put down sodas that bloat and have no redeeming nutritional value. I love Ultra Lean Green (or ULG). Using it, I was able to quit my morning cup of coffee, which gave me a yucky waaaaay up and waaaaaay down kind of feeling. I like being able to integrate elements into my lifestyle that enhance my overall health. It increases my chances of losing weight and keeping it off long term.
I fancy myself a student of life, and my quest for a whittled waist is no different. As soon as I made the decision to start on my weight loss journey in earnest, I started reading about others who has achieved similar success. I read about the people who did Body For Life, picked up Fitness magazines and looked for their “success story” section where they feature readers who has lost weight and kept it off long term. I love reading tips from top trainers like Jillian Michaels, or her success stories from The Biggest Loser series. They are inspirational. I adopt their attitudes, diet and work out routines into my life and see what works for me. It’s been invaluable and I find that I feel supported just knowing that there are others out there who are on the same path, or who have lost a large amount of weight and kept it off. Inspiration is awesome.
MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH
I have become very busy with work, and spending more time at the gym. I am not as social as I was a few months ago, because this goal is a high priority in my life right now. I will never apologize for making health a top priority in my life. One thing I do not skip is my prayer, mediation and reading uplifting literature. Regardless of your religious or spiritual views, I belive these kind of practices are universally beneficial. I have found meditation and introspection centers me and gives me renewed commitment to my weight loss and health goals. I also use visualization to forecast how I will look and feel when I reach my goals as a form of meditation to propel me further into having the healthiest body that I can have. Mediation for me is just simply a time where I stop, am quiet and take an internal temperature, refocuse and re-energize. Yoga, prayer or mediation are all good ways to fit a little bit of serenity into a busy day.
I am excited about my recent success, and I know a lot of other women and men who are trying to lose weight or just feel healthier. I really believe that anything that works should be shared! Hey, good PR is everything, right? I share my diet tips with anyone who wants them, I give out my trainers number and I try and encourage those who I know are on the same path to keep on moving forward. I like to share my success because I know how hard it can be to lose weight, and how emotionally devastating it can be to not have the body you want. At least it has been for me. I hope this blog help others in the same position to be encouraged, enlightened and uplifted! Please ask me any questions you have so that we can all get healthier together!