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.
You can read Week One, Week Two, Week Three and Week Four to catch up.
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.
If the weight machines intimidate you (they intimidated me) ask someone at the gym to show you how to properly use the machines.
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?
I’m afraid of reaching a plateau, and I think lifting weights would definitely help me when it happens. I need to read up on how to do it properly.
Anyway, I’m a new blogger and you’re such an inspiration!
A lot of gyms will give you a free introduction with a trainer. Just ask and see if they will show you how to use the machines/free weights.
Thanks for reading!
Weight lifting really does wonders for one’s body huh!!!
It does! I was so surprised!
I love your arms – nice!! I need to do more strength training – thanks for the pep talk – I needed it!
Sure! I wish I had listened to everyone else who told me I should be lifting weights. I wasted so much time!
Amber from Girl with the Red Hair
I really need to get into weight lifting again… I was hardcore into it a couple of years ago (also right after I lost 25 pounds) and I looked awesome and was at my lowest weight ever at that time (I’m currently 10 pounds heavier than I was then!)
BUT I just can’t stick with it because I don’t enjoy it as much. I really need to find a program that works for me because I struggle enough with fitting my runs and yoga classes in every week it feels like!
I was that way too….I just couldn’t fit weight lifting in. I am so glad I learned to enjoy it. When I lift weights I feel stronger and empowered. It keeps me coming back.
Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun
My biggest belief with weight loss is to do things that you can do CONSISTENTLY and HEALTHILY. I have been steadily losing 1-2 lbs/week pretty effortlessly by just working out regularly and eating balanced meals. It happens because I can keep up with those healthy choices.
Yes! Consistency is a big factor. In my posts about “how to lose weight” it’s just advice about what has worked for me. The tips won’t work unless people actually do them consistently. Anyone can starve themselves for a month and lose weight but that’s not healthy and as soon as they eat again (their old ways) they’ll gain it all back.
meg @ pinkgiggles
Congrats on your weight loss!
Thank you Meg!
You have some BUFF arms!! I bet swimming helped too! Can you win an arm wrestle match over your boyfriend!!?
Thanks! I’m getting there!
I’ve never tried to arm wrestle Michael. I doubt I could beat him but I’d give him a challenge. 😉