Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Guest Post from Amanda!

Time for another guest post peeps... this time from my pal Amanda Carter.  I've been following her fitness journey on her facebook... and she's a newbie to working out and watching what she eats... and she's made some big changes.  Something I think we can all learn from, here's her story:

While I’ve never been heavily overweight, I’ve never led a healthy lifestyle either. I’ve always had a sweet tooth and can’t resist dessert at a restaurant, driving past a bakery, at the grocery store…you get the idea :) Add to that the fact that I inherited a hatred of sweat from my mom, and you get a girl who doesn’t watch what she eats, and isn’t moving as much as she should.

Over the past year or two, I became uncomfortable with the extra pounds – especially around my midsection. And I know that’s a very dangerous place to store fat.  It raises my risk for heart disease and heart attack.

So I made some half-hearted efforts at losing weight. I would do some bicep curls for a week and expect to see bulging muscles in the mirror. I would skip my nightly bowl of ice cream for a day or two and be disappointed when the numbers on the scale didn’t go down. In fact, I was weighing myself every morning, and became so frustrated that the numbers never seemed to budge. No matter what I “tried”, my weight always seemed to stay the same.

So what changed?

Some friends and co-workers were having luck with Weight Watchers, and I decided to give it a go. I set my goal and thought, “No big deal – I can do this in a month!” It’s been 2 months now, and I’m not at goal yet. But I’ve lost 7 pounds, which is almost 5 % of my body weight, and I’m making progress. Yes, it’s going slowly, but I didn’t want to be on a “diet”. I didn’t want to change my life so drastically that I can’t maintain those changes long-term. Yes, I could eat nothing but salads and lose the weight faster, but I want to get healthy along the way and find a new way to live.

And you know what? I’m so happy with my body now! I’m not at my goal weight yet, but I know if I stick with these changes, I’ll get there. To move from having a sweat-phobia to enjoying the feeling of a good workout and the sweat that naturally comes with that is a huge deal for me. I like looking in the mirror and seeing changes that I brought about, instead of zeroing in on what I wish was flatter, tighter, etc.

If this is your time to change, or if you want to continue your healthy lifestyle, here are some things that have worked for me:

*Exercise! I actually work up a sweat now, and enjoy it! I started off walking outside, then stepped it up with Leslie Sansone’s 2 mile walk-at-home video, and now alternate with her 3 mile speedwalking video. I also try to do Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred video a few times a week, and I’m doing the hundred push-up challenge.

*Weight Watchers meetings. I love having the accountability each week of weighing in and also getting re-inspired in the meetings.

*Track what I eat. Thanks to W.W., I write down (most) everything I eat in a food journal and calculate my points. For each item of food, points are determined based on calories, fat grams, and fiber.

*Therefore, I eat more fiber! Foods higher in fiber are lower in points, so I’ve started eating fresh fruits and veggies more – they are a great natural source of fiber. I also regularly eat Fiber One yogurts and Gnu bars – 12 grams of fiber packed in one portable snack bar!

*Eat more often. I’m a mostly “pescatarian”, which means I eat fish, but no other meats. Since I don’t often get protein from a meat source, I tend to get hungry often. Now I know that I need to stay on top of my hunger and eat before I’m starving, or I’ll get stupid and make bad choices.

*Eat less sweets and drink less wine. These goodies are mostly empty calories, and while I can’t bring myself to cut them out completely, I know they’re not doing my body any good. And it’s hard to justify 2 points for a glass of wine or 7 points for a Snickers bar when I only get 19 points a day!

Kate back... I have more from Amanda for another future post... and you can shoot Amanda any other questions in the comments here, or on her facebook page: Amanda's Facebook

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