For the past twelve weeks or so, I have started to make a conscious effort to better myself -- health wise. I feel like if I better my physical health, the rest will fall into place (more or less). It has not been easy, but I have done a lot of soul searching and research and found a method that is slowly working for me. So, why the sudden change in heart? It occurred to me that if I don't take control of my health NOW, then I am going to die. Yes, of course, we are all going to die....but if I don't get control now I am going to die before I should. I would hate to leave my children and husband before my time because it was so important that I eat with abandon and work on deepening the butt groove on my side of the sofa.
Well, how have I approached my new lifestyle? Well, I will share that now...
- I did my research -- I found out that a lot of things were compromising my metabolism. I learned that soy products (especially the processed ones) and artificial sweeteners were screwing with my hormone balance and this was having a direct influence on my weight loss. I had gone weeks where I thought I was eating well, but my diet included a lot of soy and sweeteners. During those weeks, I never lost (and sometimes gained) weight. I also learned the harm in processed food products. So, I have also decided to eat more cleanly. A really great book on this topic is Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels. She has some great advice -- most of which I have followed. The only thing I cannot get fully on board with is the concept of eating all organic foods. I am sorry, but it is not economically feasible for me to purchase a quart of strawberries for $6.00. I try to buy organic products when I can, I am just not fully on board with purchasing these products exclusively.
- Calorie Counting -- Weight loss is basically calories in and calories out. I decided to begin counting calories instead of following Weight Watcher points, etc., so that I can know exactly what I am consuming and burning. I have had success with Weight Watchers, but not knowing the calories seemed like a disadvantage to me. Plus, it wasn't working for me any more. People think of calorie counting and they think of it as being tedious -- which I am sure it can be. I began using an awesome (and free) calorie counting website called My Fitness Pal. Here I can keep track of my daily calorie intake and burn. This is all done with a very user-friendly online diary. They have a data base which includes nearly every food you would need-- including restaurants. You can even scan bar codes off food items and it will find it in the data base for you. I have found very few foods which were not in the database. It is a fantastic resource.
- Exercise -- One of the most noticeable elements missing from my lifestyle change was activity. I have never been athletic or really had ever found a physical activity that I didn't ultimately get tired of after a short amount of time. During the first week, I started off by walking on the treadmill. That was boring to me. So, then I started jogging -- well that's more like it! So, I was walking/jogging a mile or so every night. That was good and all, but I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere. I wanted to increase my endurance, but I wasn't sure how to go about it. Then, after seeing other friends post about it on Facebook, I decided to pursue the Couch to 5K program. I started it and I haven't looked back. It really works as far as increasing endurance and the intervals in the beginning stages are a great means for burning fat. It has also increased my self confidence. I am proud of myself! I never believed that running would be an activity I could do for any length of time -- let alone enjoy! I am signed up for my first 5K (The Color Run) in October.
Starting Weight: 263
Current Weight: 249
Total Loss: 14 pounds