Disclaimer: I’m not a dietitian or doctor. I did not go to school to get a degree in Nutrition. Please see your doctor before starting your weight loss journey.
There have been a lot of difficult steps leading up to this point. Removing the junk food from your house, limiting your calories, and being conscious of what you are eating are all excellent lifestyle changes that will lead to weight loss.
Step One – Weight Lifting
One thing I wish I had done at the beginning of my weight loss journey was incorporating weight lifting on a regular basis. I was so reluctant to do it. I used the cardio machines because they told me how many calories I burned during the activity. I had no idea that the machines were completely inaccurate and I did not have a heart rate monitor yet so it was all a big mystery.
I thought weight lifting was a waste of time. I didn’t know how many calories I burned. I skipped it all. Fast forward a few years after I’ve lost all the weight and started running. I became addicted to all cardio. Running was a high I couldn’t recreate in any other activity. Plus I was training for several races.
In my attempts to lose 100 pounds I hit more plateaus than I care to remember. It was frustrating and I know now that the key to fixing that was weight lifting. I wish I had known that then.
When I injured my IT band last September and had to stop running for two months I made the decision to start weight lifting. I did it to stay sane and keep me busy until I could run again. A few weeks later I stepped on the scale to see a 4 pound loss. I was shocked. I hadn’t lost that much weight in one month in YEARS. I know that it was entirely because of weights.
In my rehabilitation to return to running I found a love of weight lifting I never had before. SEEING the immediate, obvious results was astounding to me. It was the motivation I needed to continue lifting. Why did I wait sooo long to do this?
Before Weight Lifting (September 2010):
After Weight Lifting (March 2011):
I hope that my readers trying to lose weight will take this story to heart and give weight lifting a serious try. Learn to love it because it does so much for the body!
Try incorporating serious weight lifting at least twice a week. Spend a good amount of time doing it–not just a quickie 10 minute session. You will see results.
Step Two – Regular, Vigorous Exercise
Continue to workout. Do whatever activity you decided to do. If it’s working out at the gym, maybe taking Body Pump or Kick Boxing, go to the classes and also spend time with the weights.
Step Three – Counting Calories
Continue counting calories. It’s an important part of the equation. I’ve mentioned it before: counting calories are something I will probably always do. It’s easy to slip into old ways when you don’t count.
There was a news story that came out recently about how overweight people think they weigh less than they do. It was a really interesting article because I could relate to it.
“The researchers found 65.8 percent of the mothers surveyed were overweight or obese, 38.9 percent of children surveyed were overweight or obese, 81.8 percent of obese women underestimated their weight compared to 42.5 percent of overweight and 13.2 percent of normal weight women.”
That was me. When I was 250 pounds I thought I weighed much less. I told myself I wasn’t “that fat” and I was in complete denial about what I was doing to my body. I never weighed myself. The only reason I know I weighed 250+ at my heaviest is because I was weighed at the doctor’s office–right before she told me I was pre-diabetic.
Reality is a funny thing. I can easily rationalize bad eating habits. “Oh this is TOTALLY a serving.” Um…no, it’s two times a serving. “These nibbles don’t count!” Yes they do!! Everything counts! Write it down!!
Step Four – Pulling it All Together
This is last installment for awhile. I’ve given you all the tools and tips you need to start losing weight.
Continue to measure. I wish I had measured my body when I first started trying to lose 100 pounds. I think the numbers would have been so motivating. It also would have helped me when I hit plateaus on the scale.
I weigh in once a month. Now that I am in maintenance mode I don’t feel like I need to weigh in every week. But find that happy medium that works for you. If you need to weigh yourself every day in order to stay on track, do it. Otherwise pick one day a week and stick to the schedule.
Write it all down. Continue to journal your numbers. When you’re feeling less than motivated it’s there in black and white to show your amazing progress!
Finally, Meal Plan. It has helped Michael and I in so many different ways. Meal Planning takes out the temptation to eat junk food. It’s easier to eat healthy when the healthy food is planned out and stocked in the fridge!
QUESTION: Have you made any progress trying to lose weight? What was the most helpful thing you tried?
About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.