Ya know, maybe it's just me (and it's probably not), but one thing that I wished more bloggers (particularly those uber 100+lb loss bloggers) would post more about what exactly they are doing/did to lose the weight. I've noticed that the typical pattern is that bloggers talk about their plans at the beginning and then just fail to mention it again; however, there are new readers joining every day AND if you are anything like me, your weight loss "plan" changes as you go along your journey (in fact, it almost has to!)
Recently I made some pretty significant changes to my weight loss routine, while others I just solidified and today, I'd like to share what I'm doing to lose weight. I BY NO MEANS am a weight loss expert or can say that what I'm doing is the most effective way for everyone (or even for me!) but it's what I've discovered so far at this point in my journey and I'm excited to share it with you all today! BUT FIRST... it's weekly weigh in time!
Previous Weigh In: 264lbs
Today's Weigh In: 261lbs (-3lbs)
Total Loss: 91 pounds!!!
For the last two months I have been consistantly losing weight, 8lbs in just the last 2 weeks actually, and I believe that the new changes I've made to my plan have not only helped me break past the plateu I was on, but have also been significant in the changes that I've been seeing in my body. So let's cut to the chase- here's what I am *currently* (as in the past 2 months) been doing to lose weight:
- I adopt the general principles of weight watchers, however I count calories rather than points (I just find it easier and I'm more thorough with it). By "general principles" I mean that no food is completely off-limits. For example, I almost never eat fried chicken (although I love it) because it is not healthy for me, but it's not necessarily off-limits. As soon as I decide that I can no longer have something, I will automatically start to crave it and my rebellious side will lead me into eating it even if I don't even really want it. With WW, no food is off limits, it's about choices & balance- so if you eat something higher in fat/calories for breakfast, have a lighter lunch. This journey is one that I will be on for the rest of my life and I cannot realistically sustain a lifestyle that I don't like- and telling myself that I can never again have a cookie, a slice of pizza, or even fried chicken isn't realistic. HOWEVER (see next bullet point!)
- I eat between 1200-1500 calories a day- there is no way around this. I write down everything I eat in a food journal, which is where I keep my calorie count. I do not necessarily restrict or count any other nutritional value (fat, sodium, etc.) although I'm sure as I continue to get smaller and it becomes harder for me to lose weight, that I'll need to pay more attention to those things. HOWEVER (again, see next bullet point! ;)
- A month or so ago I had to have a heart to heart w/myself- my weight loss wasn't happening very quickly and while I was tempted to blame it on a plateu, when I looked back over my food journal, I realized I really wasn't giving my BEST in regards to what I was eating. Now, this might tick some people off (and please keep in mind my first bullet point), but the truth is- I (nor anyone else) will not consistantly lose weight by eating pizza, drinking fatty coffee drinks, indulging in fried food appetizers, or having 3 cookies for dessert. It's just a cold hard fact. Sometimes just because I no longer sit down for McDonald's or Taco Bell lunches I can trick myself into thinking that these little "extras" that I indulge in don't count- WRONG.
- I am beginning to pay more attention to carbs but am not entirely sure where this will go (I know it won't go to an Atkins lifestyle!) but I'll keep you posted :)
- In short: No food is completely off limits, count my calories, stay between 1200-1500, write it down, re-evaluate often. If you notice, these guidelines are really checks and balances of eachother (ahhh balance!)
Fitness: This has been the most signifcant area of change that has take place in the last 2 months. Previously, I my fitness routine looked like this: I went to the gym 3-4 times a week and did the elliptical for 45 minutes each time, I would also try to do a circuit on the machines once a week and toward the end, I started going to Zumba. And, if it it were not for my great friend turned trainer JZ, I would probably still be doing the same thing, dreading every second of it, and not progressing in weight loss or in my phyiscal strength and ability. Now my fitness routine looks something like this:
- I now workout 5 times a week. The truth: anything less shows that this is not a top priority of mine. Sure, there are weeks that it may be less, but it will be less because of a weekend trip, funeral, or I'm literally on my death bed- NOT because I'm super tired, a friend asked to go to dinner, or I need to go to the store. Savy?
- I now focus ALL of my workouts around HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). This is where I may really rustle some feathers (and believe me, JZ ruffled mine big time when he was trying to get me to understand this), but our bodies adapt SO quickly to what we do that me doing 45 minutes of straight cardio repeatedly was not doing me very much good concerning weight loss (while it is always good for my heart!). From doing research, I now understand that the fastest and most effective way to lose fat is through high intensity interval training. This has been a DRASTIC change in my mindset and workouts. I'll have to get into all that this means in another post, but essentially, I now do HARD short periods of strenght training AND cardio, followed by short periods of rest instead of long periods of cardio at a maintainable pace. Truth is: while you may burn more calories in a 45 minute cardio session than in a 20 minute HIIT session, you will continue to burn calories for up to 72 hours after you end your HIIT session because of the muscles you have torn down and consequently end up burning more calories in the end. I know there may be some skeptics, but check out this article.
- Variety is key for me- I refuse to hate exercising which is why I need to not feel like I'm doing the same thing every day so this is what a week of exercise looks like for me: Monday: Rest, Tuesday: 30 minutes of jogging intervals (Jog 1 minute, Rest 2 minutes) which as the weeks go on change (for example: next week I will begin Jogging 1:30 seconds, resting 2 minutes) followed by 15 minutes of HIIT strength training, Wednesday: 1hr Spin Class followed by 15 minutes HIIT strength training, Thursday: 45 minute cardio class followed by 15 minutes HIIT strength training, Friday: 1hr spin or 30 minutes elliptical followed by 15 minutes HIIT, Saturday: Rest, Sunday: 30 minutes HIIT strenght training.
- Update: Yesterday I went to my first spin class!!! Thoughts: It was definitely a good workout, challenging, doable, and my crotch is killing me today (aka- I'll be purcahsing a gel seat asap!)
- In short: I exercise 5 days a week, place equal value on cardio & strenth training, I do everything in intervals, make sure I don't get bored or complacent by doing switching things us, and NEVER think that I'll be keeping this fitness routine forever because it has to change and get harder as I become more and more fit!
Alright folks, so that's what I'm doing. I will say that everything I've shared is important but I wouldn't be able to do ANY of it if I wasn't mentally strong and have the right set of beliefs about myself, my abilities, what I want out of life.
SOOOooOOO let me encourage you bloggers to begin sharing what YOU are doing to lose weight on your blogs so that other bloggers (like myself) can learn from you!
Peace out girl (and boy) scouts!