My weight loss secret

A lot of companies, and some individuals I know, want to convince you they have the secret formula to weight loss. This diet, this pill, this exercise, etc. I have news for you, there is only one way to lose weight: burn more calories than you consume. Now, how you go about it is a bit more complicated. And it is different for every person and can even be different for the same person at different stages of their lives.

If you really want to lose weight and keep it off permanently you need to “know yourself“. Your likes and dislikes, your limits, your interests, your weaknesses.

For some people eliminating carbohydrates works wonders. For others it’s only raw foods and juicing. For me, NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I would feel so deprived after a week on any diet that cuts out entire food groups I wouldn’t stick with it. And then I’d binge on a bag of potato chips (Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream) and a carton of ice cream (Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia and/or Dreyer’s/Edy’s Samoa) washed down with an extra salty margarita.

Studies show, running is one of the best exercises for weight loss. For me, NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I loathe running. It hurts. I have tried a few times and just end up exhausted with shin splints every single time. I have never felt the runner’s high, EVER. No matter how much I stretch or ease into it, start slow, etc. I just don’t like it. So, like highly restrictive diets, I will end up quitting quickly.

Some people like to workout with others, deriving motivation from having someone else there. Some, like a cousin of mine, turn gym time into competition time and try to outdo the guy next to him (unbeknownst to the guy next to him). Some like fitness boot camps with a personal trainer. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Number one, if I am doing a cardio workout I shouldn’t be able to talk a lot of the time or I am not working hard enough. Number two, I like to have it as my alone time, just me and my thoughts. Well as much as I can be alone with my thoughts while listening to “Mommy is it my turn to dance on the step. Mommy can I play with the weights.”

In late 2006 I reached a low point in my life. I sprained my ankle (while mopping!) and when I weighed in at the doctor I was over 190 pounds. I thought about how much weight that was on my ankle with every step. I found a great website based on sound scientific data that I had been taught in college. I may not have mentioned that I was a Physical Education major, and more embarassingly, an elementary/junior high Physical Education teacher. So, I should know a thing or two about fitness. And that’s what I needed, to lose weight and gain muscle strength.

I never bought a scale. I bought some dumbbells that could be connected to form a barbell and some 2.5 lbs and 5 lbs plates.It was a plan of cardio (I chose walking and modified step aerobics), weight lifting and “carb cycling” (2 days are low carb/ high protein followed by a higher carb day).   I had a measuring tape to monitor progress.  In a little over 6 months I lost over 7 inches in my waist line! I didn’t need to weigh myself, one look in the mirror told me how much progress I made.

Then in early October I started ballooning up again. In almost 9 months I was up to over 200 pounds. I had an acute case of Primigravida. 🙂 And I do mean a “cute” case.

He still is cute, but he still doesn’t sleep through the night every night, and never more than 10 hours. You’d think after dragging him in the bike trailer 3-4 days a week to preschool for the last 2 years I’d have been able to lose the last of the baby fat. But I felt I had to eat a lot to keep up my energy and mood, since I wasn’t getting enough sleep. But those days are over. School is now two blocks from our house!

After letting my body recover for a few weeks it is time for me to get the job done. I know what worked for me in the past, but there is no way I have the time or energy during the day to obsess over macronutrients like I could in the past. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

What I am going to do is go back to basics. I am trying to keep the overall calories consumed around 1500 a day spread out over 5-6 meals. As for burning the calories off I am back to cardio 3 days a week and weight lifting another 3.  I really missed you, my old friends.

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