Happy New Year!
As a blogger and, well, member of the human race, I’ve been inundated these past few weeks with discussions about New Year’s Resolutions.
One post that caught my eye was Jess Howland’s here on Ottawa Mommy Club entitled Tip’s to Keeping your Fitness Resolutions.
The main bit I zoned in on was the daunting (lack of) success statistics for keeping resolutions. Apparently by two weeks in, almost half will have already abandoned their goal. And after six months? Only 12 out of 100 will have kept their New Year’s Resolution.
Last year I was one of the 12. Here’s my story:
Last January, I was about mid-way through my second maternity leave and determined to lose my “baby weight”.
I hopped on the scale and had one of those horrible epiphanies. Despite dutifully going to the gym four times a week since September, the scale – after the initial drop – hadn’t budged.
It was a sad moment. Anyone familiar with it? That moment when you realize the weight maintenance rules of your 20s no longer apply in your 30s? Sigh.
Anyway, I took a hard look in the mirror; realized I could no longer exercise to compensate for lifestyle (read: excessive Eat, Drink and Merry); and joined Weight Watchers.
Over the next five months I slowly lost 30 lbs. And seven months out from there? I am maintaining a healthy weight and still fit into my new clothes.
So, for those considering, or having just made a weight loss resolution, I thought I’d share a few thoughts from my success in the hopes it might help or motivate someone else to stick with their resolution.
Everyone is different. This is just what worked for me.
1. I was ready to do it; I had time to focus on it; and I made it a priority.
There have been so many times in the past that I have thought: “Wow, I should really lose a few pounds.” I’d then skip wine with dinner; do side salad instead of fries; say no to a bag of fuzzy peaches; feel better about myself; and promptly forget it. I wasn’t ready.
2. I found a plan; paid money; and followed the plan.
I spent a few days researching different weight loss programs to figure out what would work best for me.
I’m not hawking Weight Watchers, but I support having a plan. Following a plan is what gave me the structure and guidance I needed to figure out for myself what I’d been doing “wrong” on the food front. And it gave me the flexibility to decide where I wanted to use my “fun” calories (Answer: wine). I used their online tools; I tracked everything; I followed the rules; and I saw results. It started a positive cycle that kept me going.
The other bit that was important to me was that I invested money towards my goal. I think, for me, something about the financial commitment, rather than just a “I think I’ll lose weight this year” goal, helped.
3. I learnt how to cook and found some favorite “go to” recipes.
I’d never learnt how to properly cook and had always found it somewhat intimidating. So I use to eat a lot of take out and, even when I didn’t, I never really thought much about what I ate.
So I got over it. I took some classes through Continuing Education to overcome my initial cooking fears, and then took to Pinterest to find healthy recipes I’d like that would fit with my diet plan.
4. I eased up on fitness, but added variety to make it “count” more.
I like running. So I run. But I learnt that always doing long steady runs really wasn’t the best use of my workout time if I wanted to lose weight. So I incorporated hills into my running and replaced one of my runs with a boot camp so I’d do more resistance work. I only exercised 2-3 times a week for about 45-60 minutes at a time, but with the diet, that was enough.
5. I incorporated sites and blogs about fitness and weight loss into my Twitter and Facebook feeds.
This one might sound silly, but it helped. I read somewhere about how “changing the conversation around you” can help you meet your health and fitness goals. One suggestion was to follow sites and people on Twitter who promoted healthy living. In addition to the suggestions provided (and additional recipes I found), just having healthy “background chatter” helped me to strive to BE healthier.
6. I got over my “fear of the scale”.
For years I didn’t weigh myself. I use to joke the scale was an instrument of female oppression. To maintain a healthy weight, I realized I needed to know what I weighed. So once I finished my weight loss, I still weighed myself weekly to make sure my weight didn’t creep back up without my realizing it.
As mentioned above, since May, while I’ve fluctuated a bit, I’ve managed to keep most of it off. It certainly is lifestyle change, but it’s one I’m glad I made.
What about you? What has worked for you for healthy weight loss or maintaining healthy weight?
Bio: Louise lives in Ottawa with her husband and their two daughters: ages four and one. She works full-time for the Federal Government. She likes to write, so: blog hobby. You can visit her blog at http://babygatesdown.wordpress.com.
Image courtesy of Apolonia / FreeDigitalPhotos.net