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Things I've Learned

Friday, January 11, 2013

Well, I am almost there! 1 pound to go until I reach my goal weight. It feels great and during my weight loss journey, I have learned a lot about dieting, exercise, motivation, and more. Thought I'd share some of those with you today.

To be successful at weight loss, health and fitness, (and all other dreams and goals):

1. Take advantage of the Spark tools available; nutrition tracker, fitness tracker, team challenges, etc.
2. Measure or weigh food and Track or journal everything that I eat or drink accurately. (Sometimes slip ups are okay, just move forward and get back on track quickly).
3. Stay within goal range for calories, protein, carbs, and fats.
4. Exercise at least 3 times a week doing a minimum of 30 minutes cardio (running, fast-paced walking, riding a bike, swimming, etc. )
5. Set short term goals. After setting them, break goals into manageable steps. For example: lose 1 pound a week, train for a 5k by starting to run for 1 minute intervals for a week, then 2 minute intervals for a week, etc.)
6. No food is bad or good, but moderation and control is important.
7. Mind over body. In other words, I can talk myself into or out of doing the right thing, completing a goal, exercising, eating right. I experienced this a lot during my 5k training. I never thought I could run for 30 minutes, but now I can run almost a full hour. I had to constantly tell myself that I can do it no matter what my body felt like doing.
8. Life happens, we get busy, things will get in the way of exercising and planning nutritional meals. But! I made it a habit. Don't let things get in the way of taking care of myself (See my DO IT ANYWAY blog). I find that when I exercise, I actually have more energy, have a clearer and more positive outlook and attitude and as a result I get more motivated to get things accomplished during the day.
9. Setting small goals has helped me balance all areas of my life. It has also given me the determination to complete all of my goals and feel successful and good about myself.
10. It is okay to ask for help when I need it. When I feel like giving up or need accountability, I ask for it! Sometimes I just need a little spark to get me going in the right direction or to find a bit of motivation to keep moving forward.
11. Be positive and believe in myself. From a very young age I was somehow taught that believing in myself was somehow boastful or that taking care of myself was somehow selfish. Not true! I need to take care of myself so I will be physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy to be able to give the appropriate love, care, and support to others. It's a perfect balance for me.
12. Don't put so much care into what people think about my personal health and fitness goals. I often hear negative comments about my eating healthy foods and even negative comments about running. It is okay to listen and learn from others' point of view or experiences, but at the same time, I have learned what works for me and my body and I stick to that (the negative comments are minimal now after they have seen improvements in my body, mind, and in my whole disposition).
13. Use my experiences to help others. I want others to feel great about themselves and offer any help and support I can. It helps me stay motivated and accountable to myself too.
14. This journey is NOT called a "diet." Diet is anything you put in your mouth; anything you eat or drink. This is a lifestyle change. I simply chose to change my lifestyle one step at a time.
15. Don't make too may changes at one time. When I tried to do that I found it was more difficult to achieve my goals.
16. Don't weigh myself everyday. Once is week adequate.
17. It is not just about the number on the scale. It is also about how I am feeling, how my clothes are fitting, how my body is changing and becoming more fit.
18. Drink at least eight, 8 ounce glasses of water everyday, without fail!

Well, those are a few things I have learned so far. When I get into the maintenance phase I am sure I will have more to learn.

I hope I have motivated and encouraged you in some way. I wish you great success on your journey to a better lifestyle.

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