My good friend Tifa asked me to share a bit with everyone about how I've managed so far to set my weight loss goals and achieve them and what I have learned along the way. Well first of all, this healthy eating program (I don't call it a diet anymore, it's the way I live) is the key. Eating the right foods at the right time has made a HUGE difference. I used to be like most people, skipped breakfast, ate lunch late and then at too much of it and made a big meat and potato type dinner every night. Also, probably because I skipped breakfast and over ate later in the day, I would be hungry again in the evening and would inevitably snack on salty carbs - chips, cheesies, that kind of thing. All those late in the day carbs settled comfortably on my mid section and made themselves at home for the last ten years.
So now I don't do that anymore and I have learned that eating well is very satisfying. I'm not hungry at all on this program and my energy levels are way up. I exercise daily, at the gym 5 - 6 days per week and walking my dog daily. As for setting goals, well I started at 234 pounds and decided I wanted to lose about 75 to 80. I am 5'9" and fairly large framed, so weighing in under 150 is too thin for my body type and I know anything under that is not sustainable for the long term, so I am trying to be realistic in setting my goal. I have weighed as little as 125 at this height and I looked like I had a terminal disease. Not for me. This has to be a long term change in my life so I know I need to be logical and not dream of being a size 0. That's nuts. I want to achieve good health for a long life, not develop an eating disorder. Been there done that.
I found it really helped to look at this whole thing in 20 pound increments so I did not get overwhelmed at the enormity of the task ahead. Just one 20 pound step at a time, that didn't seem too bad. I decided to take photos after each 20 pound loss to mark my progress and buy myself a little treat after each 20 pounds (manicure, pedicure, new highlights etc). Well there are two sets of photos (three if you count the "before" shots) on my profile now. I'm down 42 pounds and hope to add a third set by the middle of May - I'll need a pedi by then - it will be sandal season!
The weight came off very quickly in the first two cycles and then slowed down, but I am OK with that. I also measure my body each weigh in day, once a week (hips, waist, thigh, bust, under the bust and upper arm). For those who may be just starting, the inches lost is the biggest indicator, the scale can fluctuate on a daily basis depending on your water and sodium intake, so if you haven't done it yet - measure!
My end goal is still the same. I had initially thought I would get there by May but as the loss has slowed down a bit to between 2 - 3 pounds per week, that will be a bit farther down the road but I am confident I will get there.
To be honest, the biggest help for me in achieving my goals has been all of you. I look forward every day to reading the blogs and hearing how everyone is doing. I look forward to sharing my story and getting such wonderful, heartfelt feedback from everyone, you have no idea how much that means to me.
I get so much inspiration, great tips and recipes, new exercise ideas to try, many, many laughs - and sometimes a few tears shed in empathy - but most of all, such incredible support from everyone here. I only hope that I am giving back as much as I am getting from all of you.
Have a wonderful day!