Tag: losing weight

What I Wish I Knew Before Starting WW… or any weight loss journey

Things I wish I knew before starting a WW, or any weight loss journey:

1. Plan! This is so obvious, but I wish I had learned to be more intentional about it. I was pretty good at tracking and keeping a food journal, but I was horrible at planning. I need to do a better job. Goals!

2. WW may change the plan, but it will be OK… Over the years that I’ve been in and out of Weight Watchers, or WW, they’ve revamped their plans and changed the points values on dairy, proteins. Some carbs like beans and corn are currently 0 Smart Points when they used to count. Even the name given to points has changed. I’ve seen plain old Points, Points Plus, and now Smart Points on Freestyle. It doesn’t matter what they call it, because they’ve changed the numbers of points that you can have in a day accordingly as they’ve adjusted the points values of food. Relax and trust the process. They know what they’re doing!

3. Food isn’t the most expensive part… it’s the clothes. The best I can tell you is to make thrift stores, consignment stores, and discount retailers your friend. Think Goodwill and TJ Maxx. As you lost weight you don’t want to look baggy, and clothes that are designed to be tailored and fitted are really uncomfortable when they don’t fit. When you wear something that fits after being baggy, people will notice and compliment you. Speaking of people expressing their opinions…

4. Well-meaning people will say things to you that hurt without it being intentional. For example, “You look so much better!” Better than what? Really? I didn’t think I looked horrendous before; losing weight was just as much about my health.

5. Find an exercise program that you love, but it does not need to be on day 1! I am not giving you an excuse NOT to exercise on this one. I’m just saying that it might make you feel less overwhelmed to implement change, and thus stick with your new plan, if you take a gradual approach. For example, if you eliminate sodas, eat less, eliminate foods you love (unnecessary self-imposed torture, by the way), and workout hard every day starting on Monday, you won’t last. Trust me.

Take it easy, don’t be too hard on yourself, but do something. Good luck!

Starting a Weight Loss Journey-Step 1

Before Photo 1

December 2014

Today the topic is starting your weight loss journey. Three and a half years into my own journey, I still get asked by people who haven’t seen me in a while about what I’m doing to get in better shape. I happily explain, but honestly, I don’t know if they really do want to know. In less than a minute sometimes I see that glazed- over expression and I know exactly what they must be thinking. “I can’t do that.” Or, “I’m not going to do that.” Believe me when I say that what I’ve done is not radical or unrealistic or hard. But I did have to make the first steps to change. Obviously, at 5’ 2” and 192 pounds, I was doing something in my life that was not working for me and I needed to right it.

For me, it was as much if not more about getting healthy, and looking better was going to be a nice little bonus. My mother had just passed away from pancreatic cancer, and I was approaching my 40th birthday. Given the history of cancer and heart disease from my parents and grandparents, I decided that genetics were not in my favor. I had very little energy and my back hurt all the time. I knew that I needed to take control of the factors that I could control. But making the decision to do something, even if I didn’t know what, was step one. That was the hardest part, but once I decided that I was worth saving and my mind was set, I got going.

I’m still trying to get it right! I think when you start a weight loss journey you just want to start losing and see progress, and you’re so focused on reaching the goal that you don’t think about what comes after. Like that proverbial dog chasing the fire truck, what are you going to do when you catch it? Losing can be hard, but maintenance is a challenge. Helping anyone who really wants to know how I went about it and manage now is one of the reasons I started this blog. So if you want to know, you’re in the right place and I want to help.

Regardless of whether you’ve never had a weight issue in your life until now, or if this is the fifth time you’ve tried to take control of it, you start out the same way. You have to decide that today is day one and you’re not going to beat yourself up over past attempts. You are not doing yourself any favors when you listen to that little person in your head who tells you this is useless and that you’re going to fail again. I look at failure in this context this way: every failure you’ve had up to this point helped you learn what does and what does not work for you. Because of your failures you know what your roadblocks look like, so now you’re better prepared to either jump over them or find a path around.

I didn’t read that in a self-help book; I’ve lived it. I have lived it so many times that I know exactly what that little person in my head looks like. He’s a fat little version of Where’s Waldo, and he has a slice of pizza in one hand and a taco in the other. Don’t listen to that guy. Listen instead to a voice that says, “You can do this. You are worth the trouble. You deserve this.” Until next time, I wish you the best!