Are you as intrigued as I am by those before and after pictures of people who’ve lost a hundred pounds or more? How did they do it? If they’re touting a specific drug or drink or temporary-fix body wrap, I’m skeptical. I only believe those before and after stories if someone lost weight with old-fashioned sweat and lifestyle changes, over a healthy period of time. There are folks who dedicate immense amounts of time and energy to a real fitness turnaround, and I’m amazed!
I’m at a time in my life when I want and need to lose around 40 pounds, and I could complain about all the reasons it’s been difficult for me: I’m busy, I struggle sometimes with emotional eating, my body’s probably been sabotaged over the years by obesogens, I’m over 40, my metabolism’s slow, etc.
Instead, I’m focusing here on 5 reasons I’m not losing the weight-loss battle, and sharing them with you in hopes that you’ll be encouraged in your weight-loss journey:
- I’m moving! Yes, that’s it…the first step. While I do spend a lot of work time being sedentary while writing and editing at a desk, I purposely spend free time doing some kind of physical activity. At home, that might be cleaning house or gardening. Whenever possible, I’m running to keep up with my kids (they run much faster than I do, but that’s okay) or I’m finding something to either do for fun with them or with the grownups at National Fitness Center. I purposely make couch-sitting the exception to the rule of being on the move.
- I’m stronger! I realize this is subjective when I say this, but I am absolutely sure I am stronger than I was just a few months ago. I went from barely being able to complete one pushup to being able to finish 20 of them on my toes. I went from feeling like I might die if I had to stand up during cycling class to being able to handle all of the out-of-the-saddle times during a class. I still stumble clumsily through some fitness classes, but I’m strong enough to stick with them. I occasionally surprise myself by noticing that the bar weight is too light during Body Pump class and I need to add a little more to challenge myself. This has to give me some kind of points in the muscle department, and more muscle helps our bodies burn fat a bit more efficiently, right?
- I’m eating mindfully! This online nutrition tool via National Fitness Center is helping me not only count calories, but check for a balance of nutrients and heart healthy choices. I lost a pound in just one week of adhering very strictly to the Vitabot Meal Plan. It was something I could customize based on food I had available and personal preferences. Instead of grabbing a cookie for a snack, I had a bowl of plain popcorn one day. Instead of cooking with butter (although I’m still a big fan of organic butter) I cooked eggs with coconut oil instead. Instead of a big sandwich, I’d have half a sandwich, and this program helped me notice little ways calories had been sneaking up on me when I wasn’t keeping track in the past. I obviously have to stick to some version of this plan week after week if I want to see big results. I admit, I have some days when I still feel too busy or emotional to count every bite. I have days when I just want to reach for chocolate, hoping the good in the cocoa outweighs the other ingredients. The most revealing part of this experience for me was that the meal plan helped me almost completely cut out refined sugar that first week, which was emotionally difficult but physically energizing. On the seventh day, I let myself indulge in ice cream with sweet toppings along with my kids, and I soon noticed an avalanche of sluggishness and overall feeling blah for the rest of that day. The meal plan concept is helping me balance an emotional craving for certain comfort foods with the concept of nurturing myself with food in the right amounts to fuel my overall well-being.
- I found a support group! I’m going back for the second month to the National Fitness Center Weight-Loss Success Group, not because I have a huge success to share yet, but because I need the encouragement I found there. It’s a safe place to be accountable to one another about progress, to share successes and to even share about inevitable backsliding that can happen on any journey. You can ask to join the Facebook group here, and you can meet with the group in person in the East Tennessee area. The group brings in guest speakers, offers exclusive workshops and tours and is a community resource for anyone concerned about where to start with a real, no-gimmicks, weight loss plan. It’s a hopeful resource, and we all need hope without judgment or shaming.
- I’m not giving up! I realize some of you out there have a get-skinny-quick story to tell me or a product to sell me. You know that according to some research, you’re more likely to backslide later than those of us who approach this weight-loss thing the slow-and-steady way, don’t you? While I may not have a sudden success story to tell, I’m content to model a healthy lifestyle for my girls that includes a mindful approach to fitness and food. I’m in a much better place than if I sat on the couch every day. I’ll have good and bad days, even good and bad weeks, but I won’t give up.
If you decide to check out the programs at National Fitness Center, please tell them Anne sent you. If you need someone to talk to about your weight-loss journey, you are invited to join the Weight-Loss Success Group. I’m blessed to take part in the #teamNFC program that gives me exclusive access as a blogger to NFC fitness resources.