I mentioned in my story that 7 years ago I lost 100lbs in less than one year. Before I begin to put my effort into losing again, it is important to look back and think about some of the things that worked well for me, and some of the things I would like to change. Over the past 7 years I have dieted enough that I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve lost 100lbs again but in small doses that I just put back on each time I lost a few.
Things that worked!
- Sleep! Making sure I got enough sleep helped with cravings, energy level, and focus. My plan is to make a rule of lights out at 10:30pm every weeknight, unless I am at work until later than that.
- Water! Drinking water is good for so many parts of weight loss (overall hydration, metabolism booster, skin elasticity, energy, etc) I find that I need at a minimum of 2L of water every day – if I’m working out hard I definitely need to get closer to 3L.
- Meal Planning! For the first month or two it was really helpful to plan out my weekly meal plan – I tend to plan it loosely so that there is always room to change my mind, but having a plan means there’s always something I can eat. In recent diet attempts it has been really helpful for the first week but then I tend to lose steam with planning additional weeks. My goal is to loosely organize several weeks so that I can’t make any excuses.
- Easing into exercise! I tend to get REALLY excited when I start a diet – I plan a daily trip to the gym, eat a bunch of salads and burn out before I make any noticeable changes. This time around I’d like to put most of my energy into being on track with the diet portion and spend time moving around with Preston just having fun instead of tedious trips to the gym – just for the beginning.
- Sharing my success with other people! I like to hide my weight loss attempts because I fear failure and having to share that with people. I decided to start this blog and talk openly about my goals to help hold me accountable and have other people to celebrate the victories with!
Things I’d like to change!
- “Cheating” When I was extremely successful I didn’t “cheat” for 5 months straight. Then I destroyed my success in one meal (mentally). Since then I’ve allowed myself one “cheat” meal/day and I tend to binge on those meals and it reintroduces cravings and thoughts about food that aren’t very helpful. I would like to eliminate the word “cheat”. Some days will have more calories than others. On the weekends when I spend time with my family over a meal I can eat what they eat but continue to be thoughtful about portion size and nutritional content (avoid white sugar at most times).
- Measurements! In the past I weighed myself on Sunday mornings and that was the only measurement I took to track my success. This time I would like to track waist, neck, thigh, arm measurements and how they change – as well as BMI and body fat % My hope is that tracking all these areas will help me when the number on the scale doesn’t reflect the work I think I put in. And it creates additional goals to work for and track.
- Rewards! Let me be honest, I can get really motivated if there is a tangible reward involved. Many might argue that losing weight and feeling better is reward enough. And it is in many ways. But when I say things to myself like, “if someone said they’d give me five bucks for every pound I lost I would be so motivated”. Since no one has stepped forward in all these years to make such an offer I’m thinking maybe something like every 20 pounds I go get a massage. I don’t know – just something to keep me pushing forward.
What kind of strategies have helped you shed the pounds? What kind of rewards do you set up for yourself to continue to motivate you to reach small goals? Do you have any fun ‘out of the gym’ exercise ideas you’d like to share??