Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What Are You Doing?

Mother/Daughter Hair Make-Overs to celebrate my 45 lb weight loss.

The most common question I am asked regarding my weight loss is: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"  It comes from folks who haven't seen me in a while, friends on Facebook, or strangers who over-hear conversation bits pertaining to my transformation.

And the reaction to my answer is always the same: amazement, bewilderment, and even disappointment.

Nope, I have not found a magic, cure all that instantly turns your cellulite into muscle.  I do not pop pills and hope for everlasting success.  I don't even starve myself.

I simply watch what I eat, how much I eat, and I exercise when I can.  

I have learned some simple principles that are often overlooked in an attempt of a "quick-fix".  These aren't just weight loss goals but are now my lifestyle habits.

Here are a few little lessons that have made a big impact in my life:

  • Calories count.  One pound equals 3500 calories.  Losing weight is simple math.  If you want to maintain your weight, you should eat no more than 2500 calories a day.  To lose weight, you should eat less than 2000 calories a day.  Eating less than 1200 calories a day causes your body to go into starvation mode and keeps your body from releasing any excess fat.  (I try to stay under 1300 calories most days unless I have burned a considerable amount of calories and then I eat around 1500.)  - The amount of calories you should consume is based on the amount of calories you burn.  Lead an active life?  You need more calories.  Lead a lap-top, based life?  You need less calories.
  • Fiber makes you full.  Feel hungry all the time?  Eat an apple.  It is loaded with fiber and other nutrients, but only has about 55 calories.  It will make you feel full and tied you over until your next meal.  
  • Water, water, water, water!  Prior to beginning this quest to healthy living I only drank water as a last resort.  I heard it preached often enough, but felt like I got enough 'liquid' from my Diet Coke to justify doing without it.  That's not the way it works.  Our bodies are made up of 80% water.  When we do not drink enough, it causes our organs and muscles to dehydrate and not function properly which leaves us feeling drained of energy, stressed, and fatigued.  It is recommended to drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water daily.  I typically drink between 8 and 15 glasses each day.  
  • Soda sucks the life out of you.  I was a "Diet-Coke-in-the-hand-at-all-times" kind of girl.  When I initially stopped drinking it is when I had my most dramatic weight loss.  My husband stopped drinking Mountain Dew at the same time I stopped drinking Diet Coke.  That one change in his lifestyle has dropped him thirty pounds since the first of the year!!  The sodium is not worth it.  It will make you retain more fluid than you are aware.  
  • Green, unsweet tea can be substituted for water.  
  • See that label that says "serving size"?  Pay attention to it.  Eat that amount and no more.  And no going back for seconds! 
  • No, you are not being wasteful if you don't finish the whole meal.  You are being conscientious and your body will thank you for it!
  • White carbs kill.  This one was hard for me too.  I LOVED bread. And white rice.  And potatoes.  And the list goes on and on, but I no longer crave it the same way that I once did.  It is true that your body craves what you feed it.  Stop feeding it the bad stuff, start fueling it with the good stuff, and you really will learn to love healthy food! 
  • CHEW YOUR FOOD.  I think for most this is kind of obvious, but for other mothers of  multiple, "stair-step" children, like me - you've got to learn to chew your food.  Taking care of four toddlers, I felt like I had to scarf my food down to get on to the next thing.  It has been quite a few years since my children were toddlers, but the bad habit that I started when they were younger continued even as they grew.  Instead of taking time to enjoy my food, I felt like I was in a race to finish.  By doing so, I always felt hungry again shortly after.  By not properly chewing my food, my body was not getting the nutrients needed.  My meal was in vain.  Now that I have learned this lesson, I savor my meals bite by bite.  I get all of the available nutrients and feel full longer.
  • MOVE.  Pro-longed inactivity leads to weight gain.    Less movement = more flab.  The more you move the more toned your body becomes.  It's that simple.  Don't have much time for exercise?  Have a desk job that restricts movement?  It doesn't matter.  Just move!!  There are several websites available at the touch of your finger that can tell you simple exercises to do while sitting in a chair.  Any   amount of movement is better than none.  So get off your bum (or not) and get going!!        

These are just a few of the many changes I have made in my own life as I pursue serious change.  I hope maybe they help you too.

(Wondering what I eat?  I'll post a typical day in the life of my diet later this week.  Check back!)

The shirt from www.woggleonline.com that I happen to be wearing today.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Firstly congrat's on the weight loss-great job and no easy task. I love all your tips, they are so right on. Secondly, I love the hair cuts-you both look so beautiful with the new do's. Also, this may sound really silly but I'm so glad you have your old blog name on the sidebar because I had forgotten you changed names and then saw the old blog title and thought "oh yes, here they are"-us older gals sometimes need help and since I loved your old name so much it helped me connect here. I drink lots of water too with some teas during the day and know how helpful it is. Thanks for sharing your tips for healthy weight loss.
    Hugs, Noreen


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