My employer has a program annually called “The Weight Race” where you can log/track your food & workouts while trying to attain your weight loss goal. The race goes for 12 weeks, & the team that loses the most weight wins. The incentive to sign up is, of course the potential weight you could lose, but you also earn credit towards your deductible if you sign up.
My department is buzzing this week talking about teams, how they’ll hold each other accountable, & how they plan on losing the weight. I’ve had a few people approach me & ask me to be their “coach”, helping them along the way & giving them advice.
While I’m not an expert, nor am I certified (yet) in anything.. I do have a story of my own on what worked for me. Today, I’m going to share a few of the steps I took to accomplish my 50 lb weight loss goal! It took me 2 years to lose the weight & I lost it with good old fashioned diet & exercise. Except, I hate the word “diet”. I did not diet, I completely changed my eating lifestyle. No fads or quick fixes here, my friends.
I picked a workout & stuck with it. I downloaded the couch to 5k app because 30 minutes on the elliptical at the gym every so often just wasn’t cutting it. It was July & I wanted to be outside. The app already had a goal built in (run a 5k.. but, I wasn’t running 10 minute miles, therefore it was more like couch to 30 minutes running) so I had something to work for. I stuck with it 3x a week. My advice: find a workout you love. or at least find one you hate the least. Spin classes, running, weight lifting, speed walking, tennis, etc.
I tracked everything I ate in My Fitness Pal. And I mean everything. When I started inputting my meals in, I couldn’t believe the calories I was eating. It was a huge wake up call! If I was eating crackers, I’d count out a serving size. I was strict about it & it was something I actually enjoyed when I was in the thick of things. MEAL PREP! It’s so important. Don’t allow yourself to be without a plan, or else the first thing you’ll go to grab is something sugary & unhealthy just to get you through the day. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
I didn’t restrict myself. I started out small. If I wanted a bagel, I’d eat half the bagel. If I’d go out to eat, I’d get a side salad instead of fries. I gave myself one cheat meal a week which was usually on Friday nights. I’d let myself have whatever I wanted, Chipotle, Chick Fil A, even McDonald’s. But it was one meal a week & that was it. I lived for those cheat meals!
I joined a group of people that helped hold me accountable. I talk about this a lot, but Pro Bike + Run really helped me get to where I am today. I was encouraged, supported, & I met a lot of people doing the same thing as I was. There is nothing better than going through a weight loss journey with other people. You can lift each other up when you’re struggling, you can offer each other advice, & even better: you can help others who want to join in too.
I stayed committed. It is hard. Losing weight is not an easy thing to do. Maintaining it is even harder. If you fall off the horse, get back on it the next day. We all have bad days & we all have been through our fair share of slip ups. One bad day will not derail you from the hard work you’ve been putting in. What will derail you is if you let that one bad day turn into a bad week or a bad month. If you had a bad day, notice it, own it, & move on. Tomorrow is a new day.
Last but not least, know that this will not happen over night. My weight loss journey began in July 2014 & I lost my first 10 lbs by the end of August. You will not lose 10 lbs in a week, or even 2 weeks! Not safely, at least. Understand that changing your life & body takes time! Be gentle with yourself. Your body is the only one you have & we should treat it properly & with respect.
I hope this post was informative & I loved writing it! Until I become an expert, the only advice I have is this story & I love telling it. Everyone is different, so what worked for me may not work for you. Please see your doctor before starting an exercise regimen!