Well, another week has come and gone. After struggling on a difficult plateau for awhile - plus several days of entertaining that threw off the calorie count - I seem to be dropping regularly again. This week it was 2 pounds which is the goal I had chosen. As always, I hit a new low and then it bounces slightly up and down for a few days, but each low is followed by a new one. I had lost 5 pounds before I started and have now lost 10-1/2 pounds in my 6 weeks on Lose It - so 15-1/2 pounds since February.
Over this journey, I want to remind readers that this is my body's own unique way of losing weight. No two people will ever have exactly the same experience, so it's always an exploration of what works best for you. For women, there are many outside issues that can have an affect (links to articles included for more info) - hormones, menopause, thyroid and adrenal, and for both sexes, stress and insomnia. So give yourself a pat on the back for following a program day-by-day no matter how slowly it comes off. Every time I get discouraged I pull up a mental picture of what a one pound block of butter looks like in the dairy aisle at the grocery store. Every pound lost is one of those blocks being carved off your body.
My eating habits definitely did need polishing and being accountable for every bite that goes in my mouth certainly has helped. That said, I had explored a lot in this area including food intolerances (none) and had lost 5 pounds before I started - then totally stalled out. So what do I feel is the biggest difference? It's the daily hour and ten minute bike ride I started doing.
Looking at all the possible ways to exercise, this one seemed to fit in with my life the best and burned the most calories per minute - way more than walking which is what I used to do. Seeing Lose It add the calories burned on that ride to the calories I could consume that day was a huge motivation and just what I needed to stay on track. I have no idea what I will do when the weather changes as the gym just isn't as appealing.
My notes -
1. Pick a reasonable goal. I chose 20 pounds ABOVE my weight when I was married - approximately what I weighed after 3 pregnancies and a bit of aging. It is not realistic for most of us to reach and maintain what we weighed in high school. After I reach this goal I will re-evaluate whether to stay here or go a little lower. Life is for enjoying, so set a goal that will fit in with how you want to live. Include joy in the equation.
2. Give daily exercise a chance to work it's magic. Over time it helps to raise your metabolism. This doesn't happen in a week or two. I was feeling a difference by week two in less stress, better sleep and more, but it's week six where I seemed to break the plateau I had been on and the nights I missed my goals didn't seem to have as big an effect on the weigh in the next morning.
3. Drink lots of water. I can't stress this enough. I offered a link to an article in week five that talks about the importance of water in losing weight. If you didn't read it, I would suggest you take a moment. Try to aim for half your bodyweight in ounces each day - 150 pounds means 75 fluid ounces.
4. This is not about dieting. What calories you chose to consume are up to you. The app is simply calories in, calories out. I still have my beer every afternoon with my feet up. BUT not all calories are equal and most treats of any kind are high in calories and fat. Try to make sure 90-95% of those daily calories are wise choices that allow you to eat more or this will be just another failed attempt at finding that healthy body again.
5. Unless you have a food intolerance, don't worry about specific foods. It's all about moderation. No one food is bad, just higher and lower in calories and fat.
For inspiration this week I copied the getting started tips below HelpGuide.org. The final advice at the end is in particular something you need to hear. Your body is unique - your journey to a healthy goal will be unique.
Getting started with healthy weight loss
- Think lifestyle change, not short-term diet. Permanent weight loss is not something that a “quick-fix” diet can achieve. Instead, think about weight loss as a permanent lifestyle change—a commitment to your health for life. Various popular diets can help jumpstart your weight loss, but permanent changes in your lifestyle and food choices are what will work in the long run.
- Find a cheering section. Social support means a lot. Programs like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers use group support to impact weight loss and lifelong healthy eating. Seek out support—whether in the form of family, friends, or a support group—to get the encouragement you need.
- Slow and steady wins the race. Aim to lose one to two pounds a week to ensure healthy weight loss. Losing weight too fast can take a toll on your mind and body, making you feel sluggish, drained, and sick. When you drop a lot of weight quickly, you’re actually losing mostly water and muscle, rather than fat.
- Set goals to keep you motivated. Short-term goals, like wanting to fit into a bikini for the summer, usually don’t work as well as wanting to feel more confident or become healthier for your children’s sakes. When frustration and temptation strike, concentrate on the many benefits you will reap from being healthier and leaner.
- Use tools that help you track your progress. Keep a food journal and weigh yourself regularly, keeping track of each pound and inch you lose. By keeping track of your weight loss efforts, you’ll see the results in black and white, which will help you stay motivated.