Reflection upon meeting GW and 10 tips for success
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Gosh it seems like forever since I've had a chance to really be on Spark and that I've had an opportunity to do a blog! Upon reaching my goal weight, however, I find it especially important to reflect upon the things I've learned along the way that have contributed to my success. It is my hope that these things will contribute to the happiness and success of other people, but that they will also remind me of how I've gotten where I am and what I need to do to ensure I stay where I am.
Here is my top ten list of tips for success:
10. Exercise regularly. You've read it on Sparkpeople, in fitness magazines, and on internet articles, now it's time to start believing it: exercising regularly gives one more energy, makes one feel good about oneself, and burns calories. If you want to lose the weight and you want to feel good about yourself, you have to do both cardio and strength training as part of your routine. Start small, and work your way up. 30 minutes/3X a week for cardio is enough to start a pattern. It takes three weeks or doing something or 21 times to make it a habit. Push through those three weeks to ensure that you will keep doing it! To start with, strength train at least twice a week and work your way up. Do more reps with less weight to ton and not bulk up.
9. Find healthy swaps. Eat your favorite foods, but find things that you can easily swap out to make it more healthy. Use olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Laughing Cow Light cheese instead of mayonnaise and cheese on a sandwich. Cut out salad dressings: use salsa or olive oil and vinegar instead. Eat carrots instead of chips for an extra crunch. Use hummus instead of ranch dressing. Find what works best for you, and stick with it!
8. Complete interval training two to three times a week. On the treadmill, for example, walk at a pace that you can still chat with your neighbor at while feeling slightly breathless. Every time you see an increment of 5, bump up the speed as high as you can (so that you could not talk to your neighbor because you are so breathless) for approximately 30 seconds to a minute. Repeat throughout your workout. This will keep your body guessing and burn tons of calories in the process. You can do this with any cardio workout (treadmill, stairstepper, ellipical, bike--inside or outside).
7. Share with others. When you find something that works, share it with those around you. In fact, even when something isn't working, share it with those around you. Camaraderie is one of the keys to success when doing anything goal oriented. Sparkpeople is AMAZING for this!
6. Find support. Share your goals with other people so they can support you. Even it's only one person (your significant other, best friend, doctor, or Sparkfriends), share your current weight with them and let them help figure out how they can support you while you are on your journey. I understand that sharing your highest weight with others is uncomfortable, I have been there before, but at least one person needs to know where you've been so they can build you up when you make the progress you are going to make. Take the time to find the support on your own, even if you are a shy person naturally (that's me!). Step out of your comfort zone and make it happen.
5. Limit your intake of some foods, but don't deny yourself. If you are an ice cream lover like me, don't deny yourself the foods you love the most. The Greeks are spot on with their well known saying "Everything in moderation." How do I handle this? I limit myself. I set goals and write them in a blog whenever I find I'm struggling. You all often see in my goals, "limit ice cream to once this week." I struggle with that, so I have to write it down so that others hold me accountable!
4. Measure out portion sizes. Get a food scale and measuring cups, and measure that stuff out. You will be amazed at how much you are overdoing it or at how much you are "underdoing" it. Portion sizes are hard to measure with the naked eye. You'll be surprised at how much more of something you can eat sometimes if you just measure! It's the little things in life that count, right?
3. Don't beat yourself up. When you eat too much of something or miss a 10 mile run (as I did this morning!), recognize that you screwed up, but get up, dust yourself off, and move on. Wallowing in self-pity only leads to emotional eating and that certainly doesn't solve the problem!
2. Set realistic goals and celebrate your success. If you have a significant amount to lose, break it down into smaller increments and celebrate when you reach those goals. Make a list of goal weights, then attach small prizes to them (go to a movie! get a pedicure! new song from iTunes! etc). GET YOUR PRIZES when you make your goals. They make you happy! If you've never run before, don't start out with a goal to do a half or full marathon. Make it a 5k and take a few months to build your endurance before. Start small and work your way up. Just as in the quote in my signature line, "...knowingly accept that baby steps is the most [you] can do some days." It works!
1. Be consistent and do it for you. This is the number one tip I have. Be consistent and persistent and you will find success. Some days or weeks you won't lose. Some days or weeks you will gain when you don't expect to. Stay the course--it works! Just keep on doing what you are doing, keep getting up when you fall down, and you will achieve all your goals and then some. Even when it doesn't seem like you have the time to get a workout in, do it anyway. The world will wait for you. Your family will still love you, and you will learn to love yourself which will lead to great things!
Thank you all so much for being my constant support and guidance throughout this journey. Your love and showering of encouragement is exactly what I need on most days to get me through. Sunny Gals, I cannot thank you enough for being my rocks when I've needed a place of refuge and rest.
If you have any questions about any of these things or need ideas/encouragement, please feel free to message or write on my sparkpage!
Many hugs, Sparkfriends!