How to Lose Weight – Week Five

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):

BEFORE -ARMS

 

After Weight Lifting (March 2011):

AFTER

 

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?

 

How to Lose Weight – Week Two Check In

How to Lose Weight – Week Two Check In

How was this week? This week’s challenges may have been more difficult.


Getting rid of the all the junk food in the house was probably the hardest part of this week’s checklist. I for one hate wasting food. I don’t know why it drives me nuts to throw food away, or waste money, but it really does. Hopefully you were able to get over that hurdle and get the temptations out of your house.

You can read Week One to catch up. Here’s a quick recap:

Step One – Measure Your Body and Weigh In

Step Two – Count Your Calories

Step Three – Get a Journal

Step Four – Set a Goal


This week we did a few crucial things:

Step One – Remove All Junk Food From the House

Step Two – Exercise

Step Three – Don’t Drink Your Calories

Step Four – Make a List

I don’t expect many people to comment on this ongoing series. It’s more of just a way for me to answer a lot of the common “How do I start?” questions. The basic concept of losing weight: burn more calories than you eat. While that can be something super simple to understand logically, emotionally it’s difficult. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the entire task of losing a lot of weight.

One reason it’s harder to DO than it is to KNOW is because our bodies need food. No matter what. We have to eat. It’s not like we can just stop eating and lose weight like an alcoholic would just stop drinking. Plus as Americans we live in a nation of excess and moderation is not something that is very common. I used to think that a restaurant portion was a portion. What a difference awareness makes! Holy cow! Was I wrong!

So I will continue this series because I know that someone, somewhere, will appreciate it. Maybe they’ll read the steps and something with click for them like it “clicked” for me.

QUESTION: What was the most difficult challenge this week? How did you do with the other steps?

Check back in on Monday for Week Three.

 

The Gorilla Diet

Recently I read an article about how Gorillas living in captivity are prone to heart disease. The gorillas, specifically Western lowland gorillas, were dying prematurely from heart related diseases.

 

The article went on to talk about how two male gorillas have lost 65 pounds by eating a diet of endive, romaine lettuce, green beans, alfalfa hay, dandelion greens, flax seeds and multivitamins. They eat about 10 pounds of this green leafy salad every day. Compare that to their previous diet: on their old sugary, starchy diet they were overweight and less mobile.


Animals are so smart. They just intuitively know.

What I find the most interesting is that they are basically describing a raw food or vegan diet in a way. I don’t have any experience with a vegan diet. I was a vegetarian for about 12 years (and did everything wrong). While I’m a full-fledged meat eater now I’m fascinated by this topic. Maybe because in a way I am attracted to whole food diets. The more that Michael and I Meal Plan and eat healthier meals, the  less processed foods I want to eat.

I’ve noticed that I feel better since the Meal Planning. We’ve both also lost some weight. I am listening to my body even more and I see what types of food fills me up the most: protein and fiber. It’s great seeing the correlation and progress.

 

QUESTION: Are you vegan? Or do you eat a raw diet? Thoughts?