I have quite a bit of weight to lose. A lot of it is postpartum baby weight and more than I want to admit is just flat out negligence to my body weight. I *know* how to eat right and exercise, I just...don't. Every now and again I will get on a kick that I want to do better and it lasts about a day and then I want dessert and that's that. *sigh* So here's my question: How do you do it starting out? How do you change your lifestyle? I'd love any personal stories and expirences.
Oh, and how long has it taken you to lose? I think my idea of weight loss is unrealistic. I got very discouraged the last time I really made an attempt to lose weight because my weight didn't really change at all in a two week period. I have about 50lbs to lose (on the low side) and I think this should only take something like six months but then again, I think I may be greatly underestimating that??
Thanks for any input!
For me, I typically start with just adding more veggies and fruits and watching my portions. I don't give up dessert or cut out anything entirely. I know that won't work for me long term. I just start with the basics. And I drink a lot more water.
I have found that I never lose any weight without exercise. Ever. I can cut portions and stop eating junk, but I won't lose a single pound. I usually walk several times a week and lift weights a the gym at least twice. When I was losing the weight after my last was born, I biked to and from work during the nice weather months. I think I lost 10 lbs the first month I did that.
I have also had great success with jogging.
I would just focus on finding a few things you can do to eat better and start with modest exercise goals.
It sounds nitpicky, but I started by keeping a thorough food diary for 3 weeks (I really didn't need to do it that long), weighing and estimating calories. Totally non-judgmentally, just to see. Some things shocked me. I always thought sugar was my biggest bugaboo, but it turns out that good bread and cold butter are my real nemesis. And juice!
What I'd do with this information was to chip away at what I ate. I switched the cream in my coffee for half and half and slowly reduced how much I put in. I would slowly reduce the amount of sugar in it until I could stand less. My berry-and-plain-yogurt breakfast got less and less sugar sprinkled on top. Little by little, no big moves.
Also, I tended to notice where I was hungriest, usually lunchtime. Like june'smom said, I didn't cut out dessert. What I did was weigh it and estimate the calories (yikes!) and reduce it little by little. If I ate something really fatty and heavy for lunch (like lasagna) I would have soup for dinner. The day after a celebration was a "soup day"-- usually chicken soup with loads of veggies in it. (Soup days are a good thing now and then to reset your habits, but too often becomes a grind. Use them sparingly!) Second helpings were out. But if I was hungry, I would add something else. So, the main course would be followed by a salad. Still hungry? Added a sliced apple. Still hungry? A few prunes. Then maybe a tiny bit of dessert. But never seconds.
Like I said, my biggest meal is lunch. Dinner I try to eat less. The hardest thing was breaking myself of the habit of eating snacks after dinner, but it was key. I had to completely drop bread, butter and juice for a while, but I can have both. I'm a little bit better at self-control now.
As far as total weight loss, forget it. Set a goal weight and forget about it. Can you lose *one* pound this week? Just one? Remember, for us it is still a victory if we can just maintain! that's where I've been since losing 40lbs (which took one year to lose), maintaining at 148, but for months and months. However, it has crept down because I know a few months ago I was maintaining at 152. It is still an amazing victory, even though with my small frame I could still stand to lose 20 or 25 more.
Yes, and load up on fruits and veggies. Skipping sugar and bread completely for just 2 or 3 days really reset my appetite for fruit, but I love my sugar too much to want to drop it entirely.
Good luck! Walk walk walk, do yoga videos, even just for 15 minutes (YogaKids ABC is really nice for my back, so I have no qualms when the kids want to put it on!)
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
I track everything I eat on fitday.com. It is absolutely eye opening. I weigh and measure my foods, I try to improve what I eat constantly.... adding in more veggies, cutting more carby junk, etc. I dont eat sugar (or honey or agave or any of that), so fruit tastes like a treat to me now. I also started exercise slowly... water aerobics and then i did couch to 5k and then I started running longer distances and thinking about marathons :) I then got pregnant, but am getting back on track now that my baby is earthside. I track my workouts on dailymile, which is motivating to me because I can see my fitness increase overtime regardless of my weight.
Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.
Thank you all for the responses! Honestly, I've been hiding from this thread because I'm so freaked out about starting something and then not following through. But, DH and I discussed some things yesterday and so here I am, trying to psyche myself up.
Anyway, DH and I made up a list of several items that have become rather staple-y in our house. Things that really are NOT healthy and just shouldn't be a part of our diet anymore. These include fast food, soda, Chinese takeout, large bags of candy and pizza. There are several things on there that are going to be cut out in the immediate but that I don't plan on keeping out long term. Just until I/we have better control over our willpower on those items (choc chips are a big on in this category).
As much as it pains me to say it (because I really want to avoid this), I really should do a food journal. I don't foresee myself being one to count out, weight and measure my food, but I do need to be more aware of what exactly I am eating. I do have an account with My Fitness Pal that I can use for this. So starting tomorrow (or so....) I will start a food journal.
I'm glad to see that it can take a year or more to reach my goal. For whatever reason I have this unrealistic idea that it should take less than six months to drop the kind of weight I need to drop (50lbs on the low end). I need to really remember that it can and will take longer than that and that is ok. The most important part is how healthy I am, not how much I weigh.
Thanks again, I really appreciate it!!
A good plan is to not keep the things in your house that you can't control easily. That doesn't mean you can't ever have them, but you can have small bits out and about. I just ate waaaay too many biscuits just now, but my daughter loves them. That's hard! The thing is, you must retrain yourself to eat, and old habits die hard. You can tell yourself that you can have another serving tomorrow, sometimes that helps. I have developed bad habits from a lifetime of bad habits. No wonder it's hard to get going! First, don't judge. Make a food journal just to *know* what you are eating, that's all. Then after a few weeks and you have an idea as to what areas are the trouble (if it takes that long) then give yourself a soup day, and preferably eat no sugar or honey for a day or three. It will reset your tastebuds, give your pooky belly a head start (it's an illusion that your belly is trimmer, but it feels really good and gets you motivated!)
And easy does it. Your goal is not to "lose weight". It is first to reset bad habits and pick up a few new ones. And then, at first the pounds might just slide off. It the last few pounds that are the hard ones. Don't get discouraged! It is for a lifetime.
And, yeah, sometimes you fall off the wagon. I know I feel chubbier just *thinking* about those biscuits. But, well... (sigh).... I am still working on it, you know.... Still, I'm 35lbs down and I feel way better. (You actually feel younger! I swear..... all that extra weight on those bones......)
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
You should count on 1-2lbs a week.. So really 6 months is on the short side of how long it "should" take to lose 50lbs. I'm down 130 in 17 months (that includes baby weight ;-) ) It's not easy. Some weeks there are big losses other weeks nothing. Just keep on keeping on! If you want to follow me I'm blogging my progress at http://arealwomanssweatjournal.blogspot.com I'd love it if you'd check in and help keep me accountable!
Mom to Reya (13) and Little baby Lila 9/22