That is the number of pounds… lbs, that i have dropped since the 27th of October. thrity-eight .8 total since July. Why did it take so long to drop those first 14.8 pounds? Effort. Plain and simple.
My eating got a bit out of control during the first lockdown of Covid. I’m sure no one else out there can relate.
It was as if I was trying to make my caloric intake match my stress levels. Not good. Especially not good when the clothing stores in my area began to go out of business. Trying to buy clothes on the internet is difficult especially when the Chinese size guide thinks plus size is anything over a size 8!
I desperately needed to make changes in my weight. All of us have more riding on our health than we might be able to imagine. I do not want to compromise my health with food. I do not want to be useless to myself, or to others because I could not find a better way to manage my stress than by shoving food into my face.
I decided desperate times call for desperate measures. I had been doing ok on my own. Those first 14 pounds didn’t just fall off on their own. I figured since psychiatrists went to therapists and in the world of Kung fu (I know right?) even the masters have masters, I decided to ask a friend of mine, who is also a personal trainer, to put me on a meal plan and draw up a workout plan. I told her what workout equipment I have and she got to work. A few days later, I was looking at a meal plan that made my heart sink… but gave me hope. I knew my eating was out of control so of course the first thing to do is clean up that diet. What I didn’t realize is many of the things I thought were healthy (dolmas- 80 calories each) were not.
Even things like chia seeds, flax seeds and supplements can quickly add calories to your day. Just the three powders I added to my coffee everyday increased the caloric content by 130 calories! Those calories plus the calories in what you eat for breakfast can quickly add up. Every calorie counts… every single one.
Here are a few tips for you (if you’d like) to help you be more mindful when eating.
- Keep a log of what you eat. I know this can be tedious and boring but boy howdy can it be an eye opener.
- Count every calorie that goes into your mouth. You may think this is redundant to keeping a food log but you might, like I was, not be considering the calories in supplements, or the calories in a handful of some snack you grabbed as you walked past it. Tis the season for snacking goodness. How many mini-candy bars do you eat per day without taking notice or keeping track? id you grab a handful of nuts or chex mix to munch on while you paid the bills? It adds up. It adds up faster than you thought.
- Measure, measure, measure. You might think you know what a serving size looks like but not if all you do is eat take-out or processed food. It is easy to sit and eat a bag of chips. Measure out a single serving size and eat it with a big glass of water.
- Snack calories count so count those snacks. This might seem obvious but maybe not so much. How many time shave you sat and eaten a snack, mindless of the amount of calories it contained, then asked yourself… ‘What’s for dinner?’. Whatever snack you just ate most likely contained the same amount of calories, or more, to equal your dinner. You can either over eat additional ‘dinner’ calories adding to what you just ate, or you can use it as a teachable moment and go without dinner and save some calories.
- Go on a site such as Pinterest and look for fit bodies which you would like to emulate. Make a page/board you can go to for inspiration.
- Find new. POSITIVE, ways of dealing with your emotions. Start keeping a journal. Workout when you are upset or go for a walk. Walking, and working out in general, have a positive impact on your mental health.
- Drink more water. Drink enough water during the day (usually about a gallon) so that you are visiting the bathroom on a regular basis. Sweating and urination are two great ways to remove toxins from our bodies. Tears, urine, and sweat are made up of the same thing. They just vary in their levels of concentration.
- Eat more vegetables with every meal. replace white potatoes with green veggies or sweet potatoes. Corn and bananas are basically sugar. Avoid them.
- Get a grip on your eating now or you will gain even more weight during the holidays, adding to your lockdown weight.
- Go to Pinterest and look for healthy recipes. Avoid recipes such as ‘keto’ bread or ‘paleo’ brownies.
The other two things I learned over the last couple of weeks is, I was not working out hard enough, and I really don’t need a gym membership to lose weight. I do need equipment, but buying my own equipment and setting up a workout area at home has really paid off.
Here is a list of my equipment I use. It was bought over time. Not all at once. Look at it like this; buying items to use to workout at home is a lot cheaper than: chronic illness (have you priced prescriptions lately?), it is cheaper than covid-19 treatment (many of the people being hit hardest by the pandemic or obese and have other health issues related to their weight), it is cheaper than a gym membership (in the long, and short run), you get to workout and use your own shower, you don’t have to haul around a gym bag, you don’t need a lock for a locker or to keep track of a key or membership card, you can workout at home and not have to deal with traffic trying to get to the gym, you don’t have to worry about being stared at or hit on while you workout, the list goes on but the best part of saving money with an at home gym is your family not needing to come up with the money for your funeral you died while still in your fifties.
Here are some tips for working out for a better result.
- Workout smarter. This means pay attention to your body. When a workout you have done before becomes too easy, it is time to either use heavier weights, more reps, or try slow, controlled reps. Our bodies adapt quickly to physical stresses placed upon them. As odd as it may sound, you need to trick your body sometime sin order to get it to do what you want.
- Your cardio might need to be more intense. A mosey on the treadmill is not going to cut it for very long when it comes to weight loss. You can do circuit training which is when you combine weights and cardio to achieve more caloric burn. (Look it up and find a workout you can do.). If you walk outside, try to either go farther in the same amount of time or do your normal route faster. You should be short of breath but able to talk when doing cardio. This is measurement used when you do not have fancy heart rate monitors or fitness watches. Check out the image for more information.
3. Do not be afraid of training with weights. Muscles burn more calories than fat, even at rest. This is important because you want your body to burn calories efficiently even when you are not working out. One of the reasons why we stay fat is because fat cells do not burn calories, muscle cells do. Muscles are important for daily living. It is not vanity to workout with weights and build muscles.
4. If your budget allows, hire a personal trainer for one month. Be upfront with her and tell her why you hired her and what you want to accomplish. You do not need to hire a trainer for the rest of your life. Let them know you wish to be educated on how to workout and eat right. Then maybe do a follow up session once a month or once every couple of months to evaluate how you are doing and what needs tweaking in your program. This is money well spent. I wish companies and insurance companies would do this more as part of wellness programs.
5. Plan for success. Have a shopping list when you go to the grocery store and stick to it. Avoid going down the temptation aisles. Only buy enough fresh produce that you know you will eat before it goes bad. Except for corn and white potatoes, buy produce you will eat. Avoid creamy dressings or using too much dressing. Calories hide everywhere! Plan your workouts a week in advance so that you know what is coming and can plan for it.
6. Stay motivated. Don’t give up.
7. Look for fitness and work out plans on the Internet and adjust them to your fitness level. Yes, you can find ‘The Rock’s’ workout plan on [interest but chances are that if you are at a beginner or intermediate fitness level you will not be able to use as heavy of weights as he does. Adjust the weights down to your level so that you can complete a full workout. Remember, even ‘The Rock’ has to workout to keep up those muscles AND he was not born looking like that. You are looking at decades of hard work in the gym which brings us to our final tip…
8. Do not become discouraged. Dwayne Johnson did not build his physique in a day and neither will you. You did not become out of shape in a day nor will you reclaim your health in a day. No matter what, you will not accomplish any goal if you do not get started so START!! TODAY!!
This article is meant for entertainment and educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your physician before beginning any fitness program.