Saturday, April 28, 2012
One of my favorite and most motivational Spark-friends (all 225ish of you do motivate me - make no mistake!) is TIMOTHYNOHE. He and I belong to several mutual Spark teams, including "Men, You are Not Alone." (Yes indeedy, 4% of all Sparkies are hampered by the y-chromosome. )
A newbie in that group posted that he is new both to weight loss in general and to Sparkpeople, specifically. The newbie has a lot of weight to lose, and thus reflects the circumstance of many of us when we joined here. Some of us, myself included, still are there.
Tim offered the following constructive advice, which I have modified ever so slightly (if one cites a reference, it's not plagiarism, right?!?). My editorial remarks are parenthetical:
1. As you start to take off the weight, you will be amazed at how many things gradually improve for you. Your joints will thank you, your heart will thank you....
2. If you go into this with the mindset of "I need to lose 100 pounds (or 200 or 225) and I need to do it by this time next year." I can almost guarantee you won't. Then you will become discouraged and quit. Do not do that.
3. Your first goal should be 5% (of your starting weight.) Shoot for that first. Then go for 10%, etc.
4. Change your eating habits. It is a must. Track every morsel... (I treat the nutrition tracker here as though it is the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld. No soup for me until it first is tracked!).
5. Move. Your goal should be 30 minutes a day of exercise. Exercise more if possible, but anything is good. Do you watch TV? Get out of the chair and maybe walk in-place for 10 minutes. Doing 10 minutes three times a day get in your 30. My first exercise was 10 minutes around the block and I was exhausted. The trick was to do it tomorrow and the next day. By the time winter arrived, I was walking for an hour a day. Then I hit the treadmill...
6. Seek the support of people who are losing weight too (which is easily done by exploring the social side of Sparkpeople).
7. New habits are a must. For me tracking (food and fitness) is one such habit. Every meal I write down what I have consumed. Exercise is a habit for me now. If I don't get it I miss it.
8. (This one is mine. Many of you have gotten it in response to your blogs on the recurrent theme of "Oh My God, What Have I done? I fell of the wagon and today I ate a whole pound/loaf/bag of [insert high-calorie guilty pleasure here]." My tip also has been plagiarized - not from Tim but from Dr. Seuss. "Today was fun. Today is done. Tomorrow is another one." This translates to no self-flagellation, no remorse, no regrets, just relentless dedication beginning again right now. )
Remember, if losing weight and becoming correspondingly healthier were easy, anyone could do it and all of us would have by now. We're on this Caravan together (see my Feb 5th blog!).