Any time you are setting out to change or add a behavior I find it helpful to establish the goal(s) of the behavior and the motivation for the change. With that in mind, I am going to start off the 2012 Weight Loss/Workout Challenge by stating my goals and motivation for wanting to make the change and add the behavior of working out regularly.
In my early 40’s my health started to decrease and unfortunately for me, my weight started to increase. Much of my increase was due to my health issues but even after I got better my weight seemed hell-bent on hanging on. It didn’t seem to matter what I did, how much I worked out, or didn’t eat the weight just sat there un-yielding to my efforts. For a bit of perspective; before my weight gain I was about 120 lbs. and just under 5’ 8” and after my weight gain and presently I weigh 180 lbs. and at my heaviest I weighed 185 just before my gall bladder surgery and my sickest.
That is how I got to this point, and this is what I plan to do about it; and I hope some of you will join me on this mission. I personally feel that anything worth doing takes some work (OK, we all know that) but is so much more rewarding if you can take others along for the ride. My goals and motivations for the 2012 Challenge are to become a healthy weight (I now realize that my past weight, although natural, was very thin for my stature), I would like to be 135 to 140 lbs. I would also like to gain some more muscle tone and continue on my road to better health by lowering my blood pressure that has become troublesome, mainly due to my increased weight. Also, I have some knee issues from past injuries when I was young and I know the excess weight is not helping them either… So, I have a lot of sound medical reasons for the need to lose weight but I think the biggest motivators for me is that all of my life I have had an image of who I was and what I looked like before my 60 pound gain and a part of me feels very lost. I know that may seem very vein and many may say you don’t look that bad, stop whining, but it is not a matter of how other people perceive me, it is how I perceive myself. I am not losing weight to be more acceptable to others, to have others think I look good, or impress anyone. I am losing weight, for my health, but also to regain that girl/woman that I have known for 95% of my life. Some other motivations are my 30th high school reunion in August and a few formal events that I need to fit into a dress that I own but have not been able to wear.
So, it is all fine and good to have goals and motivations to meet those goals but how are we going to achieve our goals? Note how I have assumed that others are going to join me on this challenge. I know that having support and a team will make success much more likely and a lot more fun. This is my plan, feel free to follow it or find one that works best for you and your goals. I have had success with journaling my food intake and exercise, I like using My Fitness Pal. I have also had many friends that have lost a lot of weight using this app. I don’t think it is the app; it is the recording that helps keep you on track and the app makes it easier. I have also told by my endocrinologist that since I was very athletic before my illness (part of which is a hypothyroid) and now that I am in my 40’s that I might need to increase my cardio to actually see a loss. I have tested this theory and do find that, unfortunately, I need to move more than the average person to actually see a weight change. I am also taking some supplements that help with weight loss, fat burning and energy (L-carnitine, 5-HTP, B-12 and Omega-3). They are all natural but before anyone takes any vitamins and/or supplements you should check with your doctor to make sure it is OK to take. Also, if you are planning to start a new workout routine always check with your doctor before doing anything new. I also believe that what works for one person doesn’t always work for another, so switching routines up or adapting plans to your lifestyle is key to making life long changes. Make a routine, diet or exercise plan work for you, don’t force yourself into something that is not natural; chances are if you do it will not stick long term. I don’t have the time, energy or desire to work out on a planned program every day; therefore I am creating my own plan that is a mixture of many of my favorite activities, as well as some of the things I “have to do”; which will keep me moving and motivated. I am not creating a program that once I lose weight I will stop and then gain it all back. I have to be able to make a lifestyle change not a diet or exercise routine that is so extreme that I will not be able to do it long term.
I am going to strive to keep my calories to about 1500, which means calories in vs. calories out. If I exercise more I can then eat a bit more. This is why My Fitness Pal is great; it figures the math out for me and allows me to be much more accurate. I will be able to stick with record keeping if it is easy and this app makes it really easy. Since I have many food restrictions already I am not formally following any diet routine; my diet is pretty restrictive already. I am gluten- free, for the most part and eat more vegetables than meat and do not eat beef at all. If I could reduce anything it would be watching my sugar intake and may need to check my wine intake, not sure if that is going to happen 😉 I am also going to make sure I do some type of activity every day, which could be anything from a brisk walk, garden work, house work, shopping, or exercise DVD.
Please join me! Let’s help each other reach our goals. We can daily post our highs and lows, share ideas and tips, encourage each other, help keep us all honest and on track, and best yet celebrate when we reach our goal. If you want to join and feel comfortable let us know your motivations and goals for the 2012 Weight Loss/Workout Challenge. I have done Beach Body fitness exercise and one of the tools is to post before and after shots and keep journal of your starting weight and measurements. You do not have to post this but do keep record of it, it is a wonderful motivation. I will post mine, might as well put my money where my mouth is 😉 Here we go, we can do it…
My Starting Point 4/2/12