Are you at least one pound lighter than you were on 12/31/2011? Have you become more active? Do you eat healthier meals? If you have made progress toward living a healthier lifestyle that is Success!!!
My goal for 2012 was to lose just over 40 pounds. I began 2012 at 177 pounds and wanted to weight 135 by years end. I did not meet that goal. However I have made progress. I lost 25 pounds this yea r (lowest weigh-in for the year was 152), regained 15 and have a solid 10 to count toward my progress. Over the course of the last several years I have lost around 65 pounds. Today I weigh in at 165. That’s a lot better than my original 232. It’s not the number I had set as a goal but it is progress.
Things I have learned this year – It takes almost as much effort to maintain 160 pounds as it did to lose when I was at 232. It is possible to do it. The science is the same, however, the amount of energy that needs to be expended, the amount of discipline that needs to be in place, the reduction in calories necessary, and the time involved are all extensive. Is it worth it? Absolutely! Is it easy? No!
What got in my way? Mostly time limitations and stress. I did very well as the year began. I planned meals, worked out daily, and refrained from eating fattening foods for months. In time my job stress increased, my volunteer hours more than doubled, and I had challenges with family illness, injury, equipment issues, and frequent company and social obligations. With the increase in stress it became difficult to refrain from comforting myself with food. Being stressed and overworked as well resulted in fatigue. The gym became less frequent as did actual menu planning. The plan works, but I wasn’t able to work the plan as easily.
What stuck? Buying and eating healthier foods. My fridge is full of yogurt, salad, fresh fruit, lean meat, water, milk, etc. Eating frequently is a habit I still maintain. I am much in the habit of eating every couple of hours to keep my metabolism up.
What didn’t stick? Exercising in small bursts whenever there was time, refraining from sweets completely, and regularly organizing workout gear and making daily menus.
What food discoveries top the list? Tao Kae Noi seaweed is my all time favorite food find. It eats like potato chips, comes in lots of great flavors, is very satisfying, and is only 70 calories per serving. Food I hated – No calorie “Miracle Noodles” ! They have no flavor and it feels like eating plastic fish worms.
My best friend Vicki has been among my biggest cheerleaders and she keeps me reminded that this is a lifelong journey. Whether I lose the weight slowly or quickly this has to be for the long haul. The losses and the maintenance are all part of the process and all take work. She reassures me that it’s ”What you do most of the time that matters” ! She also warned me early on that the more I lose the harder it will be to lose because of the way the body works. And finally, she keeps me reminded that I can’t always be on 100 % mode. There will be seasons of higher and lower motivation, energy, and success.
I have decided to treat life like weight loss was in itself a competitive event. The first few months of the year are “training season”. I work really had, make ground and get my body ready . The middle of the year is” game season” I will use the pretty weather to be frequently active, eat fresh and healthy foods, and enjoy life and health to the fullest. The end of the year is “off season” where I allow myself a little more leeway because time is tighter, temps are cooler and temptations are greater.
I begin 2013 by changing the group name to “Slim Down Together”! This isn’t all about me! It’s for all of us! I dedicate this to all who struggled beside and supported me!
I set this years goal to lose 20 pounds and be a solid size 7 – 8. That’s half of last years goal and twice what I maintained in loss this year but it’s only 10 pounds below what my ultimate goal was originally. One of the main reasons I am shooting for this is because I realized last year I am much less worried about what I weigh on the scales than I am about composition. A fit 145 will look better than a less muscular 135. I will use the same principles that I used for losing the 65 pounds so far, but will be open to and anxious to learn!