Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What I have learned so far...

One of my subscribers asked me for some weight loss tips.  I told her that I am still learning myself, but here are a few things I have learned so far....

- Start slow. If you try to make too many changes at once, you'll get overwhelmed and burn out. After awhile, things will become second nature and you can add other things to it.

- Don't expect fast results. Be in it for the long haul. The slower the loss more permanent it usually is. I aim for 1-2 pounds a week, but between menstrual gains and occasional falling off the wagon, it could be even less than that.

- Don't get overly discouraged by scale gains.  Between water weight, muscle gain, a full colon and other factors, the number on the scale isn't really the most accurate measurement of progress on a week-to-week basis.

- I set simple, attainable short-term goals in 4 main categories every week to stay motivated: water, food, rest, exercise. (These are key to weight loss and good health).
Weekly Goal Example: 80 oz water a day, one salad and 2 fruits a day, 7 hours of sleep, 3 30-min workouts a week. That way, I am focusing on things I can control; I feel in control, not overwhelmed and not a slave to the scale. (I do weigh in once a week and measure myself every 5-10 weeks to track my progress.) If the goals become too easy, increase them. For example- increase daily water intake and leave everything else the same.
- Have a way to be held accountable. I do weekly update videos on youtube (there's a great supportive weight loss community there, and it's free!) and sometimes post my workouts and pictures of my meals to twitter. Tell somebody. Keep a journal. Anything to track your progress or where you are going wrong.

- Look for motivation and tips. There is so much free support out there if you know where to look for it. You Tube has a ton of workout videos, cooking recipes and other people like me who are documenting their weight loss journey. They have different ways of losing it; some do grocery hauls and have blogs too. Here are a few other resources out there.

- Include toning and cardio in your workouts. Even if you don't have weights, use your ody weight for situps, push ups, etc. No gym membership is needed; dance, walk, do circuit training. Tone up, it helps burn fat faster and you want to have to muscles there waiting when the fat comes off! :)

- Of course, workouts are useless for weight loss (still good for your heart and other functions) if you don't make healthier food choices. Do a healthy grocery shop and pack your lunch more often than eating out. Cook healthier versions of your favorite foods. Don't eliminate entire food groups or make them "off limits" or "bad". (Sure, there are some foods that you should eat in smaller portions or more rarely, but when you feel deprived of certain foods you make yourself crazy. I have lost almost 20 pounds without counting a calorie or a "point", without weighing or measuring my food, without eliminating food groups. I still eat out a few times a week, and have dessert almost every day.)

- Very important- DON'T STRESS, JUST KEEP IT FRESH. Don;t allow yourself to get bored with your healthy living plan. Do what it takes to keep it fun and interesting. challenge yourself to drink only water for a week, try a new exercise, try a new recipe or vegetable, blog, take pictures of everything you eat and tweet it, track calories for a week. whatever it takes to keep it fun and fresh and doesn't make it seem like a miserable chore. if you hate doing it, it won;t be a lifestyle change.
I hope this has been helpful. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask me at:


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blogging the Jogging: Entry #3


Well, I didn't exactly finish the whole thing in one week due to inclement weather and lack of access to a treadmill, but I did complete week one's three days.  It was one day a week for the last three weeks, but they are done nonetheless. 

I was able to get in an outdoor run before the first snow.  Then it wouldn't stop! Good thing my friend has a fitness center in her building, so when I went to visit her last week, I took my workout clothes and took advantage of one of the treadmills in her building to get in my second week one run.  As I mentioned in last week's update video, I ended up getting a 1 month pass to the local gym in the hopes that the weather will be better by the time a month is over, so I can do my jog/walks outdoors.  Yesterday I was finally able to do my last Couch to 5k week one run at the gym. 

I have to say, I am loving Carli's "Running into Shape" Couch to 5K podcasts so far.  They really help to take your mind off the stopwatch and focus on more important things, like breathing, pace and stride.  Plus, it's MY kinda music.  It keeps me motivated, keeps it fun.

I am feeling surprisingly good about the jogging.  Doing the Couch to 5k program actually makes training for a 5k seem realistic and fun. But I have to admit that I am very apprehensive about moving on to week 2.  During each walk/jog period I will be losing a minute of walking recovery time and gaining 30 seconds of jogging when compared to week one.  The program does say that you can take as many weeks as you need to complete a "week" on the program. I have a feeling I will be taking them up on that offer....