I have not talked much on my blog about my weight loss journey but it has been such a big part of my life and I feel like I need to share some words about this path I have been on for the past year. This is something I have been working so hard on- losing weight but more importantly, living healthy. And as of March 2011, I have reached my goal weight. Fifty pounds. Gone. Forever!!
My journey to weight loss and healthier living began just a little over a year ago, in June of 2010.
I had known that I needed to lose weight and start getting healthy for a while, but the realization hit me when I saw pictures from our cruise taken on spring break of that year. I avoided getting my picture taken that entire vacation and the pictures that I was in, I didn’t like.
(Spring Break 2010) (Spring Break 2011)
And then finally what totally motivated me and made me realize that I really did need to make a change; was looking at pictures from Tyler’s graduation last June. After seeing those photos from that big milestone event, I made the decision to start exercising and to start counting calories.
I started out simple. I counted calories and I started exercising again.
A big help was an app on my iPhone called ‘Lose It’ to track my food and calories. This helped me to budget my calories for the day and also helped me stay on goal for each day. I also started walking and tried to make it out six times a week and I gradually built up my walking route to a 4 mile loop. Then last August, I joined a gym, which has been awesome especially in the winter months and those hot and steamy summer days. The gym has also lead me to try some new activities and push myself even farther than what I thought I could do.
As hard as it is to lose weight (and it truly is); it is equally difficult to maintain the weight loss. I have lost weight before. But this time it IS different.
With this whole weight loss journey, I have learned some new things.
The biggest thing that I have learned and that I know now in this journey is to get rid of the ‘all or nothing’ thinking that I have had. Previously, I would think I would have to eat perfect… and if I ate anything that wasn’t on my ‘diet plan’ that I may as well give up and go back to my old way of eating. I realize now that this is not a 'diet' but a lifestyle change. Now, I eat and actually crave healthy food a majority of the time, but I don’t deny myself anything either. If I really want that burger for dinner, I will have it; but then I am back to my usual healthier foods the very next meal.
I know that I have to exercise at least 6 times a week. I have to. And actually, I want to now. I usually go the gym Monday through Friday and work out for on our on the elliptical, the StairMaster, the bicycle, or the treadmill. Or some combination of the above. On the weekends, I will usually do an exercise DVD one day that emphasizes weights and I also might include a walk with the dog, a run, or a bike ride somewhere in the weekend.
I know that I have to keep mixing up my exercise routine and challenging myself. To push myself but also to stay motivated. For example, I recently purchased the book ‘The New Rules of Lifting’ for Women by Lou Shuler and am starting a weight lifting challenge through Priorfatgirl’s blog.
I know that I don’t know it all and that I don’t have all the answers. I have to keep learning… and staying motivated… and to keep challenging myself… and finding new healthy recipes… and pushing myself in the gym…. I need to keep doing!
And those pants I wore last year, for Ty's graduation....