*Disclosure: this post contains Amazon Affiliate links.
I almost feel bad about writing this post because it seems every other site on the web (especially around this time of year) is about how to lose weight.
I don't feel bad when I realize how my weight loss journey began. It began by me reading and listening to as much information as I could on how to lose the weight. As frustrating as it can be sometimes to read and listen to all of the different testimonies and steps and new fangled ways to lose weight, it can be a very important step if you are just starting out on your journey for the first time. It helps you in two ways. First, you get to hear more than one option on how it's done and secondly, I believe that it feeds your heart. I believe that everytime you read or hear someone's story it feeds your faith and gives you the faith and strength that you need to believe in yourself to take the first step down your road to healthier weight.
So when I think of it that way, I don't mind being one more voice in the wind to encourage at least one person to get to where they want to be.
Now on to my story:
After hearing and reading and thinking, I found my path and here it is...
In my 20s and before I had kids I didn't have to think about what I was putting into my body although I now believe that we should always be mindful of that at every age. Even though I didn't have to think about it, I remained active. Mostly because I'd been in the military and was used to running and moderate weight training so I continued that and it worked easily and perfectly. I'm sure most women can relate to that pre-kid, high metabolism phase of life.
After my first child I lost 40 of the 50lbs that I'd gained by doing nothing and the 10 lbs that I kept still landed me in a healthy weight range for my height, which is 5' 7.5". After my second child, not one pound budged ultimately and I found myself faced with having to lose weight for the first time. I tried running again and I loved it. I could run 5k distance with ease but would only drop 7-8 lbs. I hadn't changed my eating enough to drop any more than that.
I also ordered a famously marketed dvd off t.v. I built my stamina and strength but only lost 7-8lbs. I then got serious and attempted the eating plan that came with the dvd. That lasted as long as it possibly could before I was bored with it and wanted more. For 3 years I tried several different recipes for success.
In the meantime, I kept reading, listening and desiring to lose the weight. One of the books that helped me a LOT was this book by Bob Greene:
Then one morning after eating 3 peices of pizza the night before and getting on the scale and seeing 181 lbs. I got up and walked around my nieghborhood for 30 solid minutes. It totaled 6 laps around. I did it everyday for a week and added more fiber to my diet. I didn't change anything else about my eating just yet. I felt great! I got on the scale at the end of that week and saw that I'd lost 2 lbs. That excited me to no end.
I added more laps and kept eating more fiber and dropping 2-3 pounds per week. It literally felt like magic everytime I stepped on the scale and saw weight loss week after week. After a month, I decided to change my eating a little more. I started to control the portions of my favorite meals. I didn't stop eating those things. I didn't make a special dinner for me and a "regular" dinner for my family. Instead of a whole manwich sandwich, I'd eat half (with cheese) and double up on my broccoli. I was satisfied both in quantity and with flavor so I didn't have that feeling of deprivation and starvation.
Over the course of time, I was walking 24 laps around my neighborhood (which is 6 miles) 5 days per week. I would also go to a beautiful park about 5 miles from my house and walk there on Saturdays for 7.5 miles. The weight continued to come off. I had one plateau that lasted 2 weeks. It was discouraging but I kept going blindly hoping that it was temporary...and it was.
The end result was 25 lbs. in 4 months!
I still walk to this day because every time I stop, I gain 5 or six pounds back after about 8 weeks. LOL! It's funny to write about but not funny to go through.
I'm thankful though that I've learned what works for my body and lifestyle. With the kids and being a one car family; going to the gym at my husband's job (for free) was just not an option anymore. Not to mention that I am not drawn to strenuous exercise as much as I was in my 20s.
I am such an advocate of walking. Once the weight started to come off faithfully, I said to myself and others, that I'd never run again because I didn't have to to lose weight. Truth be told though, I still do sometimes run. Sometimes when I'm walking my legs just want to go faster, my muscles want to dig in deeper, my heart longs to beat harder and so I do. It's not often that I do, but I do it from time to time. Sometimes, I start my walk with a one lap jog to get my heart rate up quickly. And honestly speaking, there's nothing wrong with a deep grind every now and then. At any rate, I enjoy walking so much that I also have ordered a few walking dvds in order to stay home with the kids but still get my walk in. I didn't know such a thing existed until a very close friend of mine mentioned them to me. I have never seen them marketed on t.v. before but once I ordered my first one, I've been hooked. My favorite is this one:
I have two more but this one is by far my favorite.
In this post, I hope you hear that:
- There is not one set way to lose weight.
- You have to do what works for your body and lifestyle.
- You do have to change your eating habits but not drastically and you can make bigger changes overtime.
- You will have to go into maintenance mode once you've reached your goal.