It has been one month since I started my weight loss journey, and I am here for my first weigh-in! I am trying to have a better attitude towards weight loss this time around than I have had in the past. Rather than looking at it as a chore, I’m focused on changing my unhealthy habits and replacing them with better decisions that will benefit me and my family in the long run. Below are a list of goals I have set for myself, but they are things I think are important for anyone trying to live a more healthy lifestyle!
Change habits. I do not want to be focused on what I can’t eat or what I can’t participate in. In the past when I was dieting, I would avoid anything that would tempt me with unhealthy choices. However, I now realize that this is part of the reason I keep going up and down in weight. I’ve never taught myself how to be in these types of situations. I’ve simply avoided them until I achieved the results I wanted. This was a short-term solution to a recurring problem. I’m no longer going to miss Sunday football gatherings with my girlfriends because I am trying to avoid bar food and beer. These are challenges I am going to be faced with for the rest of my life, and I need to learn how to navigate them appropriately.
Find what works for me. I am sure we’ve all heard the phrase, “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle!” Yeah, I used to roll my eyes at that phrase too, but in all honesty, it’s 100% true! In order to be successful with any type of health or weight loss plan, you have to find what works for you. If it is not feasible for you to spend 90 minutes in the gym four times a week, find a fitness plan that fits your schedule. It can be as simple as walking during your lunch hour, taking the stairs everywhere instead of the elevator, or parking in the furthest spot at the store and jogging to and from your car. You shouldn’t think that you need to be in a gym in order to be making positive health progress. Every step you take is a step towards better health and every little bit helps! I have found that taking classes work the best for me. I push myself harder when there are other people around and one hour in an intense Zumba, boxing, Pilates, or yoga class goes a million times faster than a session on the treadmill or elliptical.
Be nice to yourself. My girlfriend text me the other day out of frustration because she had been working out and eating right all week. However, when she weighed herself, she found that she had gained half a pound. This is a big reason I am only doing monthly weigh-ins. I find that my weight goes up and down practically in a matter of hours, especially now that I am in my 30’s. Why? Who knows? Stress, water weight, too much salt this week, the scale was off, etc., etc. The point is, I don’t need the stress of worrying about my weight on a weekly basis, and I need to put my energy into eating right and exercising. That doesn’t mean I do not want to see the number on the scale move down! I’d just rather focus on how I am feeling, how my clothes fit, and the progress I am making in my strength and endurance. We are our own worst critics. Don’t be too hard on yourself! If you slip up, give into temptation, and eat too much ice cream, don’t worry about it. Get back on the wagon and start again tomorrow. Do not beat yourself up for being human!
Set reasonable goals. You are not going to start running today and run a marathon next week. Losing weight, getting fit, changing habits, and increasing your strength and endurance are difficult things to do. If they were easy, everyone would be fit and healthy already! I think one of the main reasons that most people fail with diets is because they try to completely overhaul their life overnight. I’ve done this myself, unsuccessfully, many times. I am going to try to focus on one major thing that I want to change every week in the beginning until it becomes a habit. For now, I am trying to plan my meals every week so that I do not give into convenience when I have just finished a workout and am starving. I’ve been trying to do my weekly shopping on Sunday and prepare my meals for the entire week as soon as I get home. So far, it has worked like a charm. Removing the guess-work from what I am going to eat for lunch or dinner has really helped me watch my calorie intake. It’s hard to justify grabbing a burrito on my way home from the gym when I have a perfectly good salad already prepared in my fridge!
Be an Elf for Health! When I started to draft this post I was thinking about awesome it would be to be able to tap into the internet community for additional support. There are so many resources and communities out there that it can be hard to weed through them all and find the one that works the best for you and aligns with your fitness goals. I was thinking about how beneficial it would be to be able to share progress, tips, and motivation with anyone who is interested. Just as I was thinking about this, I read about Elf for Health on Twitter. This idea was created by Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean (same blog that hosts Foodie Pen Pals!) and Elle from NutritionElla. This is exactly what I was looking for. I had to sign up! The full details for Elf for Health can be found by clicking the image to the right. It’s totally free to sign up and it serves as an additional layer of motivation to get you through the holidays.
You get paired up with another “elf” every two weeks and are charged with keeping them motivated throughout the holiday season. In turn, they help keep you motivated! You are asked to email your buddy 2 times per week:
- Monday: Send your buddy an email to help them with the challenges for that week. Ideas of things to include/attach: your own personal tips & tricks, inspiring words and/or images, a new, healthy recipe or workout to try.
- Thursday – Saturday: Any time during these days, check in withy you buddy! For example, ask them if they tried a new recipe, workout, or had fun with any certain challenges. Feel free to tell them how you did with your challenges, too!
There is also a list of printable daily challenges. Challenges can be something for the body like do a circuit workout today. Or, it can be something for the soul like buy a cup of coffee for the person in line behind you. Sound fun? Round 1 starts on Monday and Friday is the deadline to participate in the full-length of the program.
Ok… weigh-in time!
Starting weight: 155.5 lbs.
Current weight: 152 lbs.
Down 3.5 pounds. Yay!