Remember when Stuart and I went vegetarian for 3 weeks? 3 weeks turned into two months because we lost track of time and it was surprisingly a lot easier than we expected. It was the perfect kick start to our diet and weight loss plan.
Yesterday I reached my 20lbs weight loss marker - the first of a few 20's I think - and it feels SO good. Combined, Stuart and I have lost 46.4lbs. He's getting close to 30lbs off. We're pretty proud of ourselves.
I posted about it on facebook last night and everyone has been really encouraging. I thought I'd tell you some of the things we've been doing to help us reach our goals.
1. We did it together. I need someone there with me to encourage me. We lean on each other for support. We exercise together, talk about the goals, meals, future etc. It's made "getting fit" so much more enjoyable doing it together. We cheer for each other during weigh in. If we put on a little unexpected weight we give a pep talk and encouragement. When we reach our goals it's high fives all around. I love it. If you can't find that support at home you can try weight watchers or exercising with friends - Zumba anyone?
2. Make a menu plan with good healthy recipes found online. We then go shopping for the ingredients and bypass the "snacks" that were our weakness (Doritos). Just walk by them. Don't think about them, don't pick them up, just walk away. You don't need them, even if they are on sale.
The benefit of the menu plan is that you don't have to think about what's for dinner. You can write each meal on a calendar, know you have the ingredients on hand and that's it.
3. Make it a routine. In order to create a good habit you need to put yourself into a routine. Morning or evening is the best time to work out. Morning because it boosts your metabolism for the day and gives you those endorphins to keep you peppy. Evening you have energy to burn off and all the calories you've consumed through the day. We have dinner at 5 and exercise at 7 or 8, giving us enough time to wind down before bed at 10:30. If you can only manage to run for 10 minutes it's still exercise and it's a really great start - especially if you haven't been exercising for a long time.
Maybe in order to create a routine and to keep the pressure off yourself you can go swimming every Saturday with your kids? Keeping it fun is what keeps me going. I'm a fan of the Bollywood dance dvd's. Skipping (with a skipping rope) and hula hooping are two really good ways to burn calories. Even better you can put some music on get going skipping/hooping to the beat.
4. Start off slowly and take your body into account. There's no point pushing yourself further than you're physically able. Because of my back injury I often can't do more than 10 minutes a day. 10 minutes a day combined with healthy meals can make a difference. Be sensible.
5. Invest in exercise material that you love. Treat yourself to a sports bra, work out dvd, water bottle etc. as incentive to keep going. I know I've raved about it before but we invested in Wii Fit. We use it to track our weight and for the exercise routines. Stuart utilised this more than I did because I have to do low impact exercises for my back but Wii Fit gives you options for a whole range of different level impact exercises.
6. Set goals. The other thing we love about Wii Fit is that along with tracking weight we use it to set our weight loss goals. I always set mine for 2lbs in 2 weeks and have never missed a goal. Stuart sets his as 1lb in 2 weeks because he's scared of missing the goal - he always loses more. Underachiever. 2lbs in 2 weeks is an reachable goal. Sometimes it's REALLY close, like yesterday I hit it right on the nose down to the decimal but it works for me.
2lbs in 2 weeks is 15lbs (rounding)/ just over 1 stone in 2 months. Which is 6 stone in a year. Break it down so it feels like you can reach it and you'll feel less swamped by it.
7. Keep a journal. This one is optional but helps me. I have Stuart take pictures of my in my sports bra and pants every few weeks. I post it on a private blog along with my stats (week #, date, weight, BMI, complete amount lost). The results are not going to be visible within the first 10lbs lost except in your face but it's encouraging to have a small group of cheerleaders who point out how much thinner your face is looking or how your ribs are looking less padded. People want to support you and we all know that weight loss is a big, personal goal that is easier with encouragement.
These are all things that have helped us. I still have a good long journey ahead of me but I'm driven and I'm actually looking forward to it. I'm healthier now, my back is still painful every day but I feel like I can handle it better now and I imagine once I shed more of my meat that it'll feel better.
Be sensible and eat properly. If you struggle in the beginning it won't last long if you have the motivation you need. It didn't take long for us to stop over eating. Your body wants to be healthy so it makes changes on its own once you stop packing it full of giant meals and junk food. I've heard people who drink fizzy drinks regularly and quit can lose a good deal of weight by doing just that. If you're drinking caffeinated drinks regularly your body will thank you for replacing those with water.
If you've been thinking about losing weight but haven't found the motivation I hope this has helped you. If I can do it, you can. Seriously. And if you are on a weight loss regime let me know how you're doing so I can be your cheerleader.