What Works (for me) – Part One

Recently, I have been asked several times what “magical” thing I am doing that is causing my body to change shape (into something smaller).  It makes me think back to all those times I was “trying” to lose weight and was fascinated by others who were actually doing it.  I, too, wondered what “magical” secret they had that I did not.  Funny thing…there is no “magic” involved at all.  Just pure hard work and determination.  No “quick fixes” or “miracle cures” for fat – not here anyway.

So, as far as what *is* working for me, here it is:

Exercise.  This is vital.  Not only does it help sculpt my body (and hopefully avoid excess skin as I lose the weight), but I actually feel energized after working out.  I love it.  Exercise has become a big (important) part of my daily life.  I count the hours until I am stepping foot in the gym, honestly.  Of course, the gym is not for everyone (or every budget), but exercise is a must.  Even if this means walking around your block five times a night, exercise has to be part of the equation.

Mindset.  This is probably the most important of all ingredients to weight loss.  I have heard many people say over the years, “Mindset is key.”  Honestly, I never understood what in the world they were talking about.  I always thought, “Of course my mindset is there.  I *want* to lose the weight, so my mindset is golden.”  It was not, though.  I never claimed my unhealthy relationship with food.  I never acknowledged that I was eating too much, and *why* I was eating at all.  Majority of the time I was eating, I was not hungry.  I was bored, angry, hurt, lonely, socializing, watching television, etc.  Hungry was rarely a factor for eating.  Now that I have owned my unhealthy relationship with food, and have started making myself accountable for what goes into my mouth (and why), the battlefield finally seems leveled.  I am winning, once and for all.

Goals.  Reasonable goals are important.  Even more so are *small* goals that are quickly achieved.  Before I would just set the goal to lose my weight by such and such a date (usually six months or less away).  The problem?  I was setting myself up for failure, every time.  How I changed that?  I decided to celebrate *all* my successes – big and small.  So, my initial goal was to exercise three times a week (even if that meant only 30 minutes each time).  That was easy, and I felt good about meeting my goal.  Then, it was lose 10 pounds.  I accomplished that within two weeks.  Incremental goals, not overhauls of your entire life…that’s where it is (success).

Weigh-ins and measurements.  Honestly, I used to weigh myself every day, but I never took measurements.  This was bad for two reasons.  #1 – weight fluctuates throughout the week (from day to day).  #2 – muscle weighs more than fat, so even if a loss is not seen on the scale inches may be coming off.  This time I failed to take my measurements right at the beginning, but I did take them about five weeks into it for comparison.  So, I will not know exactly how many inches I will have lost, but I will have a ballpark.  I have also decided not to weigh myself every day anymore.  I get too upset to see anything gained on the scale from one day to the next.  So, once weekly it is for me.

Food.  Delicious food.  This is probably the hardest element of weight loss (especially as an addict).  Unlike a drug addict or alcoholic, food is something we *need* to live.  We simply cannot walk away from all food, which means moderation and determination play a *huge* role.

I’m just going to put this out there – I’m not a calorie counter.  I cannot bring myself to calculate every little morsel I put into my body before it goes in.  I find it time consuming (and a little depressing).  That is not, of course, to say that you should not be conscious of your daily caloric intake.  You should, you must.  Instead of counting calories I decided to eat more sensibly, and more often.  I typically eat five to six times a day now, but I usually do not eat “meals.”  All that being said, just yesterday I decided to check out Lose It!, and signed up.  I logged all my food into their system (much easier for me than actively counting calories as I eat), and it turns out I am doing A-OK anyway.  I consumed about 1,500 calories yesterday, and I felt satisfied all day long.

I was going to go into what foods I have been eating (and what I have been avoiding), but this post is getting a little on the “novel-long” side.  Instead, I think I am going to break this into two posts where I cover my eating habits in its own post.  So, be on the lookout for that one to follow shortly.

How have you been doing this week?  Have you accomplished any incremental goals for the week?  What are your goals for this upcoming week?

-Erica

2 responses to “What Works (for me) – Part One

  1. Gosh, we’re like spirit sisters or something. Your story is my story. I’m sure most people with food addiction or weight issues have similar stories, but it’s always great to hear other people say it, too. It helps you know you’re not alone in your struggles. I’m still working on getting my mind in the right place. The switch keeps getting flipped – on then off then on again. Thanks for reminding me that it’s the small accomplishments that actually make the biggest impact. Non-scale victories are just as important as on-scale victories. Great post!

    • I’ll be honest, my mindset was the last thing to “fall into place.” As I already mentioned, I always assumed my mind was golden, but I was wrong (seriously wrong). I was allowing myself to self-sabotage all those years. I allowed negative thoughts to overrun my mind, and they made me give in (and give up). I would slip once and mentally beat myself up over the whole thing, which led me to eat more (of course). Now, I am not trying to say those little negative voices are not still lingering…they are (in a big way). The difference is I am not listening anymore. I hear a negative peep from the peanut gallery, and I just keep pushing on. I will not give in or give up, ever. I have come too far, and feel too good to quit now.

      As for the little successes (off the scale)…I cannot tell you how excited I was when I was able to move my bra fastener to the next tightest row of hooks. LOL – You would have thought I won the lottery! 😉 I even told the personal trainer GM at my gym (who is a man, by the way). Of course, he high-fived me and did a little happy dance right along side in the lobby of the gym. A support system is a *must* for a great and victorious journey, too. 🙂

      -Erica

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