So for the last 9 months I have really buckled down on dieting and exercising. I decided to actually try! And for the most part it has been working. I have actually lost over 50 pounds! I feel great! I don't want this blog to seem preachy- but there are so many things that I have learned about weight loss in the last year- and a lot of these things are things I never thought about. Things that I didn't even realize! So here we go!
1. You gotta exercise- I don't care what people say. You have to move if you want to lose weight. I hate exercising- trust me, I do! Running and I have been enemies since my days on the soccer field where I struggled to keep up with my team and had to pretend I wasn't breathing heavy while running mile after mile. Yes, I was a varsity athlete, and I sucked at running!
2. You don't have to exercise in a gym- I am pretty fortunate that I work part time at the Y and a free membership is a perk, BUT I don't work out in the gym every day. I can't do it. I would go crazy! When the weather is nice enough, I run outside. I take different routes every time as well. The easiest way to quit your workout routine is boredom.
3. If you are running outside, run away from home. If you run away, you HAVE to run back. So lets say you run a mile in a direction away from your home, you have no choice but to run a mile to get back :) Also, if you can find a friend who is willing to walk or run with you- take advantage! A good supportive friend asked me to dinner last week. I said can we go for a walk instead. We met at the gym and ended up walking 5 miles, without even realizing it. It was fun! And now we have a date to do it at least once a week, and it is the only day of the week I look forward to exercising!
4. Sooner or later you will need to lift weights. I slowly started working out. I started with walking on a treadmill for a half an hour and then would bike. It then turned into running. It then turned into meeting with a trainer to lift weights. It was crazy how many compliments I was getting once I started lifting weights. It really tones your body and you can highlight certain areas.
5. Utilize your gym if you have one. Most gyms offer some sort of trainer assistance or what not for free. At they y, they offer the wellness program, which lets you meet with a trainer as often as you would like. You sit down with the trainer, tell them your goals, and they will put together a program for you. They will walk you through and teach you how to do all of it. Not only that, they offer awesome support! They are the ones at the gym that notice. They are the ones that will say wow, I saw you ran the full two miles, I am proud of you...or wow you are really looking great. You will not realize how much this motivates you!
6. Find a buddy. This person can be fat, thin, in shape, out of shape- whatever. Just someone who will sit and listen. Thank god for my sister, she has been my rock through this whole process. She is an avid weight watchers participant. She taught my the program and walked me through it and I came up with my own free version :). She has sat on the phone with me for hours, seriously hours, as I would talk about yeah if I sleep in on weekends I am kind of excited because if I can hold off until lunch, it means I can save 300 extra calories for dinner :) The most inate things, but you will find, EVERYONE has these questions, everyone has these thoughts- it will be awesome to talk about them! She also sends me recipes, and gets just as excited when she learns a new fun fact to make weight loss easier.
7. Counting Calories. Do it. Just so you are aware of how much you are eating. You would be shocked to see how many calories you actually take in compared to what you thought.
8. Read labels! This is one of the biggest changes I have made in my life. It is so easy, and so interesting! For example- a loaf of wheat bread. I have no love for one certain type of wheat bread- I would usually just buy they cheapest stuff. Read the labels! There can be up to like a 50 calorie difference between brands, and they taste no different. You are eating 50 calories more for no reason. The brand tastes no better, the cost is relatively the same, but one has 50 more calories!
9. Buy Light. I used to be so anti light products. They have such a small difference in taste- and such a huge difference in calories! And they offer almost everything in a light version- cheese, milk, dressing, etc. I will admit though, I still can't do fat free- that I do taste a difference in!
10. Spray Butter. Zero calories. Enough said.
11. Eating out. Ok, for the first three months of my weight loss I was hardcore. Michael and I went from eating out two to three times a week to only once a month, but I learned that is something we just enjoy doing...but we have cut back. We probably eat out once a week and usually it is for social outings. I am also the type of person, if I am paying a restaurant for a meal, I want something good. French fries are my weakness. I refuse to give them up. And I have decided that is ok!
12. Research restaurants. If you are going out to eat- check out the nutrition information online before you go. This will amaze you. It may even scare you. What you think are healthy choices (aka salads) are some of the worst. Have your meal picked out before you go. If the restaurant nutrition information is unavailable, then don't go. Their is a reason. The only exception is mom and pop restaurants that don't even have a website. I am talking major chain restaurants. I have boycotted several restaurants for this.
13. Avoid fast food. I was an addict. And trust me, the first two weeks are hard. After I got over the hump, I didn't miss it. I miss the convenience, but I do allow myself sub shops. Just try it for two weeks! I also do allow myself fast food breakfast occasionally or if we are traveling (if you look online, they are surprisingly low calorie if you choose right.) And if I have an alchohol induced craving, I indulge :)
14. Fiber Fiber Fiber. I swear by Fiber One bars. Taste just like a granola bar. Cures any sweet craving I have. Keeps you regular. Overall just plain good for you.
These are my biggest tips and I may have more, but now I want to hear about what you guys swear by...what are your biggest tips?