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