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Advice to Someone Starting Out

Friday, August 10, 2012

It feels arrogant to start giving advice when I haven't yet reached my goal, but I did weigh in on a team thread the other day of a young woman who wanted to start losing weight but was overwhelmed about where and how to start. This is what I told her (I thought I'd copy it here so I can refer back to it later myself--it's what worked for me, and I need to remember that for those times when I'm struggling):


My biggest difficulty starting was thinking that I couldn't do it, so why even try? But it really is true that the hardest part is deciding to do it (I mean REALLY deciding).

And if you need inspiration, think about this: On April 1, 2012 I weighed 196.5 pounds and had a BMI of 34.8 (Obese range). Today (8/9), I weighed in at 140.5 and a BMI of 24.9 (Healthy range).

You know that it's all about calories in-calories out. Use SP trackers (track EVERYTHING). Start on exercise--and it's ok to start small. I did the Couch to 5k program with an app on my phone, and that started with 20 minutes of walking and running per day (I started running 90 seconds at a time). You can gradually up it, but for now just commit to doing something physical every day. Now I run 4 days a week, just 4 months later, and I'm up to a long run of 6.5 miles.

Educate yourself--I suggest the Beck Diet Solution to get yourself in the right mindset for losing. Refuse to Regain and Thin for Life are about maintenance, but it's good to to start reading about maintenance while you're losing because it shows how permanent the changes you're making need to be.

Set up accountability structures. In addition to SP, I have a calendar on my bathroom wall where I check off every day that I exercise at least 45 minutes (it used to be 20). Seeing a whole load of green X's is very motivating! I also have a chart on Excel where I keep track of my weekly weigh-ins.



Inspire yourself. I went to a craft store and got a poster board and bought a bunch of fitness magazines and made a huge vision collage full of images and words that I wanted to live up to. I found before and after stories and pictures that I bookmarked. Come on SP when you want to eat, and read up instead.



Basically, you have to understand that losing weight and getting healthy, if you really commit to it, is going to be kind of like a part-time job. It's going to take a lot of time, it's going to occupy your mind and thoughts, and you're going to get kind of obsessed and one-track-mindish for awhile. That's ok, because if you don't, you're only half-hearted about it, and then it will be much harder to resist temptation. My approach, and I know it's not for everyone, is to go whole-hog, 100%. Then you see immediate results and that can fuel your determination for the long run.

Just remember: if you really commit yourself, it IS possible. And you'll be SO glad later. If I could go back and let my 197 pound self live for 24 hours in my 140 pound body, there's no way I'd ever lack motivation--being healthy and active and happy and proud and confident really is its own best reward!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJZHERE 8/25/2012 2:04PM

  emoticon I had to keep looking back in your blog to see if the date you started was truly April 2012. Good for you! This blog so inspired me that I immediately went to library site and put a hold on the beck diet book, thin for life and a few others I found while looking for these. Thank you!

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GODSCHILD2_2011 8/19/2012 9:36AM

    This is absolutely some great advice...keep up the great work.

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DINIE123 8/17/2012 6:15PM

  Another blog filled with good advice. Maybe you should take up writing, you have a wonderful sense of honesty and factual material, I really enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing. Diane emoticon

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CLPURNELL 8/17/2012 4:42PM

    Great advice!

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NALAYB 8/17/2012 5:05AM

    Amazing advice!!! So inspiring!!

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NMINDSEYE 8/12/2012 11:06PM

    Your blog is just what I needed. emoticon

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BF20PERCENT 8/12/2012 5:55PM

    Thank you for sharing a great advice. I think I cannot run but after 5 minutes pass by, I want to finish what I started. You are an inspiration!

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BEECHNUT13 8/10/2012 11:45PM

    Great advice for anyone - not just someone starting out. I also read the Beck Diet, and as a psychologist I know I should be more excited about it... it really is a great book.

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SWEDE_SU 8/10/2012 3:34PM

    excellent advice!

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EGALITAIRE 8/10/2012 2:28PM

    “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets”

“Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

William Hutchinson Murray


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STEPHNS1 8/10/2012 1:02PM

    This is great! Thank you!

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SUSABELLA627 8/10/2012 10:57AM

    Wow! Thanks so much for sharing your journey. You are a true inspiration!

Congrats on your weight loss and much continued success on reaching your goals!

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BOOKWORM27S 8/10/2012 10:40AM

    Great advice!

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