I love how everyone asks, wow you've lost weight, how did you do it? I'm so tempted to say, I don't know, I woke up one morning and it was just gone! Actually, I think I have said that before... But really, you want to hear my secrets? Besides being on a doctor-enforced starvation diet? Before I enlisted the help of a medical professional, I was able to take off a lot of weight on my own. Here are my secrets to success:
1. Drink LOTS of water. How much water? Take your weight in pounds. Divide by 2. That is how many ounces of water to drink, minimum. That's like a gallon of water a day! you say? Yup, indeed it is for some people. I drink a minimum of 3 liters, or about 100 ounces of water a day. Do I need this much? Not per the recipe. So why do it? It makes me feel good. It helps keep me feeling full. It burns calories, since I drink it ice cold (see calculation below). It helps keep me regular (along with sufficient fiber). It helps cleanse toxins from the body. It relieves pressure on your liver and kidneys. It helps keep my skin moisturized and clear!
2. Eat less. I never starved myself. I started out eating 1600 calories a day, and losing 2 pounds a week! I started measuring out everything I ate, so I had an exact calorie count and I logged it all. If it passed through my lips, it was logged. Beverage and food alike. When I hit my limit, I was done for the day.
3. Move more. Exercise is probably the key to my success. Just as little as half an hour a day of intense physical activity makes a huge difference. I'm more prone to up to 3 or 4 hours a day when I have the time. I generally do about an hour of exercise every morning, between taking my thyroid pill and having breakfast. What a better way to spend that hour I have to wait for anyway? Most evenings I do something. At least PM yoga to relive the stresses from the day.
That's it. My 3 secrets to weight-loss success.
The reason why I haven't kept the weight off is because I get bad bouts of depression and start pigging out again. And the bouts tend to be long term, 6 months or more. This is why I'm on my 3rd time down in weight. But each time, I'm a little smaller. So at least I don't have to buy any new "fat" clothes! My arms are currently the smallest they have EVER been. And I'm pretty close to my all time top weight (186, from 196). I'm still wearing size 14 jeans. The last time I was this heavy, I needed size 16 jeans. My legs are also pretty small, not the smallest yet, but we're getting there! I'm about 1/2 inch away from being the smallest ever. My bras are already fitting right again. Usually that doesn't happen until the 170s! So, I must be doing something right, despite the yo-yoing weight!
*Calculation: 1ml of water requires 1 calorie to be heated up 1 degree celsius. So, an 8 ounce glass of ice cold water is about 250ml. Ice water tends to sit at about 4 degrees celsius in general. Body temperature (which the water needs to be at to be absorbed properly) is about 37 degrees celsius. So that's a 33 degree change. Each ml needs 1 calorie for each degree. So 250 X 33 = 8250 calories. So each ice cold glass of water burns about 8.25 kcal (kilocalories), and 1 kcal is the same as the "calories" we talk about when counting calories. How about them apples?
Posted on 02/29/2012 by lizard053
You know that little inner voice you have? Make friends with it and use it to help! It can be a huge motivator, instead of a voice nagging at you. Mine loves to tell me I'm lazy or fat or ugly. But since making friends with it, it now tells me I'm beautiful, I'm worth this weight loss journey and I deserve to be fit and healthy. It now tells me just do it when my motivation is lacking. It keeps me going. What a nice change, right? Open a dialogue with your inner voice. Tell it, forcefully if you have to, that you will not stand for any more negativity. It will listen! And then work with if for new things to tell you.
Positive self-affirmations really do work. You know the old phrase - fake it until you make it? It's so true! Get some little sayings to keep you motivated. Put them on your mirror, your refrigerator door, the snack drawer. Use "I" phrases. I am worth it. I will make my goal weight. I can do anything I set my mind to. I will get healthy. I am beautiful. I am a good person. Before you know it, you'll believe it; and once you believe it, you will make it happen!
Posted on 02/23/2012 by lizard053
NSVs, or non scale victories, are equally important on this journey as the numbers on the scale. NSVs consist of anything that encourages you to keep going on this journey that are not actually weight loss. This is why taking your measurements is important. Noticing how differently your clothes fit. Breathing better, getting more instense workouts, running a mile for the first time, eating right despite temptations everywhere. They are so important to acknowledge! Every little victory leads you to huge success in this journey! So log those little victories, they are important!
Posted on 02/22/2012 by lizard053
There is a lot of misinformation out there. And who knows where these people got these ideas! The best thing you can do to protect yourself from it is to do the research yourself. Do internet searches, go to trusted sites, look up the actual research papers. You don't have to understand every word in the paper, but at least grab the findings in the conclusions of the paper. Instead of relying on a forum where you've got all sorts of people with all sorts of opinions on topics where they don't really know anything. You can see the craziest claims! Make sure there is science to back it up before blindly following the advice. Take the time to learn! Find a reputable source for your information. I use WebMD a lot, because they take the research and distill it down for all of us non-medicine people to understand.
I may not know everything. I am trying to digest everything I learn from others, from books, from websites, from professionals, and from my own experience into common sense advice. I'm no diet expert, and I never will be. I have tried and succeeded at losing weight, but I have yet to find the formula to maintain my weight loss. I've been up and down in weight from one diet to the next for the last 9 years. I'd like to think I've learned something from it all. And I really hope that what I have to say is useful to others.
Posted on 02/20/2012 by lizard053
We have always heard the old standard, lift lower weights with high reps to tone, high weights with low reps to strengthen. You know what? That paradigm has changed, too bad no one has told the high school gym teachers! Word is, there is no such thing as toning. Low weights with high reps does absolutely nothing for you. Words straight from a personal trainer! For women and men, high weights low reps is the way to go!
Here's the deal, people are afraid of weights because they don't want to look like a body builder. You know what? My personal trainer friend, and bellydance instructor lifts a LOT of weight, and she looks dainty and feminine. You will never look like a body builder unless you take the steroids and testosterone they take to look like that. NEVER! Most men do not produce enough testosterone to look like that. We are not built to look like that, ever!
No more fearing those weights! Go for it and enjoy the burn of high weights and low reps. It's worth it! "Toning" and strengthening are basically the same thing. I feared them once too, but after learning this from my friend, I'm going as heavy as I can!
Posted on 02/19/2012 by lizard053
Think about it. What do you spend the better part of your life doing? Eating, drinking, sleeping, cleaning, working, exercising, showering, etc. How much of that do you consider fun? It's all essential to a healthy lifestyle, and needed if you wish to go out in public. Why would your weight loss journey be any different? Weight loss is not easy, or else we'd never have people get stuck overweight or obese. If it were easy, everyone would be in "healty" range. But it's not, and we're not. If every minute of your life were about fun and excitement, you'd probably be miserable too. I need the me time I get while doing my maintenance. It helps me feel better in general.
I wish everyone could have fun all the time, and enjoy doing all those little manditory things. I hate doing laundry as much as anyone else, but what I do enjoy is dancing around the room while I'm folding and putting it away. It's about finding the pleasure in the little things too. Just because you have to do it, doesn't mean you can't enjoy it too! Not everyone has a job they love. I wish people could, but it's just not possible. But find something in it you can enjoy, even if it's just the company of a coworkier. You don't have to dread going to work. Or school, for that matter! Surely there's something at school you enjoy, even if it's just lunch!
If you want a better life, and a better you, face it. You have to do the maintenance. And it's worth doing the things you don't enjoy to get to the parts you do! So eat that salad, because it means you will feel better later. And you can pat yourself on the back for doing something right!
Posted on 02/18/2012 by lizard053
Your diet is the food you eat. Really, that's it! To lose weight, you need to engage in a total lifestyle change, including your diet. Then to keep that loss off, you need to continue to engage in your lifestyle change. A weight loss program - here is what most people think of as a diet - that is effective must address how to live a healthy lifestyle, and what that means. It's not just about restricting calories and exercise. It's about changing your relationship with food. You can enjoy your food, but it's still only fuel for your body. Food cannot soothe you, comfort you, or love you back! Food cannot replace friends, pets, family or even counceling. All food can do is fuel you, or in excess turn into fat on your frame. It doesn't care. It doesn't hate you. It's just what it is.
A healthy lifestyle has 3 major components. Diet, exercise and hydration. A diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy carbohydrates, fiber, healthy oils and fats, and even a little treat now and again leads to good nutrition, and over time can help prevent many medical conditions that occur with poor diet. Exercise is not just for people trying to lose weight! Exercise helps keep your heart healthy, your lungs strong, your brain functioning, and even relieves stress. It's part of any healthy person's lifestyle. Hydration is important to remaining healthy as well. Now, you don't need to get all your hydration from drinking water. It can come from the foods you eat as well. Most people live their lives slightly dehydrated, which is why the suggestion of 8 8-ounce glasses of water a day came about. It's just a suggestion! You don't HAVE to drink that much clean, pure water. However, drinking plenty of water is still part of a healthy lifestyle. When you drink enough water, you can reduce bloating, reduce water weight - when you get plenty you don't need to save some for later, help purge toxins from your body - it helps keep your kidneys functioning properly, and even help your complexion! Every person requires a different balance of these three things.
A final necessity for a weight loss program and a healthy lifestyle, is sleep. Getting enough, quality sleep does wonders. In a sleep deprived world, we forget what it's like to get a solid 7 or 8 hours of sleep at night. It's such a waste of time - I've heard that so often! It's not a waste of time! It's worth it for your mental well being, and physical health. It truly is needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If I get a poor night's sleep, I can't exercise as much or as hard, it's harder to eat right because I just don't feel like making anything. It disrupts my entire weight loss program! Sleep is an essential in a healthy life.
So, of course I'm on a diet. I'm also in the progress of adapting to a healthy lifestyle and losing weight!
Posted on 02/17/2012 by lizard053
How many pleas have we seen like this? You know what? If you're sick, focus on getting healthy first, then worry about what to eat and exercise. If you don't give yourself sufficient time to recover, you could just end up hurting yourself in the long run. You get sick because your body is no longer strong enough to fight off every invading "bug" that comes along. When you are fighting off the bug, don't worry about anything else. Your body will be working over-time as it is! The last thing you need when sick is to restrict your calories or try to exercise. If you try to, all you do is drag out the illness longer making it more difficult to get back on track when it's over. Yes, you may gain weight. A lot of it will only be water weight which you can flush out with lots of water. See why getting fluids is so important while you're sick? It truly can get you better faster.
When your normal workout is just too hard, or you're too tired to do much of anything, this is your body telling you that is needs some rest. Take it easier for a day or two. Be kind to yourself. Heal. If you can hear it saying please stop, listen! Your body really knows best. You have to listen to it. And when you're sick, it's never been as important! It will let you know when you can get back to your normal pace too. You'll crave it! It really does work!
It keeps boiling down to this... Listen to your body.
Posted on 02/17/2012 by lizard053
With my blog growing in popularity, I figured its important that I get this up sooner rather than later. Loving yourself is as important to weight loss as what you eat! How can you get to a body you love, if you don't love the body you have? I'm 100% serious about this one. You have to treat yourself with the respect you would give anyone else!
How would you feel if a stranger walked up to you and said "You're Fat!" What would you do? Would you run and cry? Would you slap them? Would you pop them one in the nose? I'm serious! Would you take this from a stranger on the street? Then why, dear reader, would you take it from yourself?
A major part of the journey I have taken these last 9 years is learning to love myself and to treat myself with the respect that I expect from others, and with the respect I give to others. I'm just as important to me as my coworkers, friends, and people from my spiritual community. The weight drops amazingly fast once you learn to treat yourself right.
It's time to make friends with your inner nag. Get that nag to quit with the insults, becuase you are better than that and deserve better treatment from yourself! Put that nag to good use. Have you exercised? Not, get off your a$$, lazy bum, but a gentle reminder that you'll feel better when you're done. Eyballing a tempting treat? Not, you can't have that you fat slob, but you know that is going to make you feel bad later (not guilty but sit in the stomach like a ton of bricks!). How about that glass of wine? Not, don't drink that you lush, but are you sure you can take the alcohol at your new lower weight? It's not always an easy transition, and that nag really likes to sling those insults. But you can retrain it to help you instead of hinder you on this journey.
A simple exercise I try to do every day to help improve my own self image is this, use the mirror. Better if you have a full length mirror and be naked, but I'm not that brave. I have the full length mirror, but I trade off between being fully-dressed or half-dressed when I do it for now. Look at your changing body. Learn it's every curve, bump, roll or blemish. Appreciate them as they are a part of who you are right now. Each day, take notice of the subtle changes that are happening. Is that cellulite less noticeable today? Where did my back fat go? Hey, my bra is fitting better, with no spillage. No more muffin top! My arms look tiny! When did that happen? You wouldn't believe how much better I feel after doing this! It's like night and day. Keep it up for two weeks. You'll be surprised!
Posted on 02/16/2012 by lizard053
This is advice I give whenever someone asks about eating exercise calories, about eating more in general, or if they are hungry alot. Listen to your body. The biggest come back to that is usually "that's what got us here in the first place!" But you know what? It isn't. It's NOT listening to your body that got you to be overweight (or underweight for that matter).
Your body is truly a well oiled machine. We've developed over thousands of years to work the way we do now. But in a society where we are run all the time, eating at specified times, required to clean our plates (because there's starving children in Africa, like we're gonna send our leftovers there or something) and portion distortion, it's no wonder that we've learned to ignore the sometimes not so subtle clues our body sends us. Is your stomach growling? Do you feel like it's so empty it's going to digest you from the inside out? Then it is time to eat something! Eat slowly, mindfully, enjoying every single bite. If you can do that, you'll notice a change. You'll feel full at a certain point. Then it's time to stop. But you must get away from the boob tube, and actually pay attention to what you are eating to do this. Any distraction can lead to overeating yet again.
Ever notice, when you're at a meal, there comes a point where you set your silverware down. Your plate isn't empty, but you do it anyway? That's a clue that you need to stop eating. Don't pick up that silverware again. If you don't have that cue, then try putting down the silverware between every single bite (or set down your sandwich!). You'd be surprised at how much less you eat! The VERY first time I tried this, I ate about half what I used to. Your body really knows what it wants, so listen to the clues it's sending you.
Got a craving? Usually it means there is something in what you are craving that you need. Even if it's junk. A few bites. No more than a serving. Slowly, and mindfully. Your body will tell you when you've had enough. When it no longer tastes as good as it originally did, it's time to stop. Even if it's 2 bites in. That's all your body needes!
You don't need some crazy diet plan. You don't even need to count calories if you can learn to do this! For now, continue to count calories, but give it a try. You'd be surprised!
Next up, love thyself!
Posted on 02/15/2012 by lizard053
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