To have success, you have to have a plan and the right tools to get there. Unfortunately, I have jumped into this weight loss journey too many times to count--each time thinking that I had unlocked the key to success and vowed this time would be different. I think this time I am seeing the journey as a work in progress more than a diet and exercise plan. Is this the right attitude for me to have? Who knows...I suppose only time and my future track record will tell.
My Tools for this journey so far...
- My Fitness Pal app and website.
My fitness pal is a free app that allows you to track your food, exercise, and will tell you how many calories you need to reach your weight loss goals. I love this site, because it allows me to plan my meals, tracks the calories and nutrition in what I eat. I enter what I plan to eat during the day each morning, and then modify it if I stray from the plan. It has a section where I can see the overall nurtition of what I ate, and helps with tracking things like carbs, fat, and the vitamins that I need to keep an eye on. The website has a lot of good information, and provides a facebook type community of people who are tracking their eating and exercise.
- Digital Food Scale and Measuring Cups
This one is pretty self explanatory. I will be tracking food, so I need to make sure that I am not putting too much or too little into a serving. This keeps me honest...and makes it impossible for me to unknowingly cheat. It does take a little extra time, but it is worth it.
- An Elliptical, Exercise Bike, Miscellaneous Workout DVDs, and the Track at the City Park.
I suppose it is confession time....I had a membership at the gym and rarely went. Instead of commiting my money to something I may or may not be too tired to use when I get home from work, I have decided to use the tools that I already have that were collecting dust.
When I went to the gym, my cardio routine was bike and elliptical. I would throw in the weight machines once every blue moon. This time around, I am doing this via my house. I can workout at home without having cute workout clothes, doing my makeup, or even doing my hair. I have been known to work out in PJs. The plus to working out at home is not having to wait for someone to get off of a machine so that I can get my workout going. I also have no excuse about being to tired to get ready and go out in public, and the it is too hot/too cold or too tired excuses do not work when you have a bike and an elliptical sitting in the middle of the den. Another plus is that I do not have to worry about what other people think while I am working out. The workout at home thing nips alot of my excuses in the bud--which is a good thing.
- My Ipod full of good, motivational music
To be honest, this is the only way that I survive a workout. I have made myself workout playlists that I workout with. In doing so, I planned strategically where to put my super motivational or fast paced songs. I stick with stuff that inspires or motivates me to keep going, even though my legs feel like they are going to fall off. I also tell myself one more song...until I finish serving my time doing cardio. Since I am a musical person, this seems to work as a HUGE motivator for me.
The Game Plan
- Plan all meals BEFORE I eat.
It is easier for me to plan what I am going to eat before bedtime or when I first wake up in the morning. These are two times when I am not stressed or hungary. Since I am not hungary and stressed, I can think clearly and make better choices. Another big reason for planning ahead is knowing how many calories you are eating before you sit down to a meal. I use the my fitness pal app / website for this. I plan ahead, and even plan what I will eat when I go to a restraunt before going out. This keeps me from falling off the proverbial wagon.
- Weigh or Measure all food
Like I stated earlier, this keeps me honest. I can not unknowingly cheat when I know how much I put on my plate. This does take a little extra time, but it can become a routine when you put the tools in a central place and fix your plate there.
- Track all food that is eaten
This is where My Fitness Pal comes in handy for me. It has the nutritional information for alot of foods and restraunts. I can just type in the food and it logs all of the nutritional stats. It even gives me a rundown of how many calories I have left...just in case I need an unexpected snack.
- Drink 8+ glasses of water a day
I am giving up diet sodas for this one. My rule is no unsweet tea, coffee, etc. until I drink at least 8 glasses of water. So far, I have gone 3 days without a soda and I have not missed it a bit. The more water I drink, the more satisfied I feel and the better I am feeling.
- Do cardio at least 5 days a week
I need to do this to get stronger and have better endurance. I need to do this to get rid of stress. I need this to help myself mentally. I need this, so I can see that I have accomplished a goal and be able to do what I want to do. I need to do this so I will not have to worry about high blood pressure, cholesterol or high blood sugar levels. I need to do this to boost my self esteem. I need this so my body will release endorphins that make me feel really good after I finish working out. I need this because it is tough to do and I need to toughen up!
- Track all cardio time
I want to do this so I can set and break my goals. I do this to see what I have accomplished and how much stronger I am. I have found a couple of apps that allow you to track your exercise. My favorite is the nexercise app. You get points for working out--and they reward you by earning giftcards and free stuff. It is not anything huge, but if I have to do something and I can get something for free by doing what I need to do anyway, then count me in!
- Do Strength Training 3 times a week
This is where it can get fun. I have no weights or dumbells so I will be doing push ups, lunges, dips, etc. I spoke to a trainer and she is sending me ideas to strength train using my body weight.
- Weigh daily
I know most people say once a week, but I get a little rush when I see a smaller number on the scale. I am typically an all or nothing kind of gal--so if I do not get into a daily routine, then it probably will not get done.
- Blog daily about the journey and be brutally honest
The main purpose of blogging this journey is to help myself and to see things that I would not normally take the time to analyze and see. I also know that when I have read about someone else's successful journey that it inspires me to get started. I also know that thoughts is full of people who know more about this subject than I will ever know. I also know that I have some great friends who have been an encouragement and an inspiration to me.
Please know this is for me, but if it can help someone else, then it is icing on the cake for me (not that I could have it at this point lol). There are going to be good days, and there will be bad days. Such is life. Just know that when the bad comes that I am NOT looking for a pity party. Truth be known, I can blame pity parties and emotional eating for a good bit of baggage I am trying to learn. I want this to be a real picture. I hope I have your permission to be honest...even when it is not pretty.
Like I stated earlier, I am not an expert at this. To be honest, I probably do not have a clue (if I did, I would not struggle with weight issues). I just want to share, learn, and grow through this process.