Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tuesday Weigh In

     In one of my last posts I mentioned that I have lost 65 lbs this year.  Actually, I lost 65 lbs in about 7 months and have been maintaining my current weight for about 5 months. Many people have been asking me how I've lost the weight, what diet did I use, etc.  However, this hasn't been about a diet for me.  This has been a lifestyle change.

     I had "dieted" and lost weight before.  But I had never made a lifestyle change.  I could deprive myself of the unhealthy foods I craved for a limited amount of time...but eventually I returned to them.  I had even "worked out" for awhile and seen results, only to become lazy again when I reached my desired weight.  And then the weight came back. 

     So I had to make a choice.  And this time I decided that becoming healthy was as much about taking care of my temple (which Scripture mandates us to do), and as much about being strong, and as much about teaching my children healthy habits as it was about losing the weight.

     There have been four major keys that I had to put into play to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

          1. Turn to God instead of turning to food.  I will eventually write a post about all the scriptures God has brought to light for me in regards to this, but here's the basic deal.  God says, "You shall have no other gods before me".  Do you find yourself running to the pantry when you are stressed, angry, tired, bored, depressed, overwhelmed?  I did. Sometimes I still do.  But God intended for us to turn to Him during these times.  Consistent prayer, daily Bible reading, and worship has been paramount to helping me turn down unhealthy (but oh-so-delicious) foods and to push me past my physical "limits" as I realized I really could do "all things through Christ who strengthens me."

          2. Eat less and eat better.  Honestly, this is the hardest part for me and it is still a work in progress.   In the beginning I worked on portion control and I counted calories.  I used an app on my phone to keep a food diary which added the calories for me until I felt like I had a good general idea of what I could and couldn't eat each day to stay within my calorie budget.  I still treat myself (too much, really) but I wanted to make a change I knew I could live out forever.  I was surely doomed to fail if I decided I would never have a treat again.  But for the most part, I try to choose healthier foods and only eat until I am satisfied.  (As a side note: I am still about 30 lbs away from my goal weight.  I have just met with a nutritionist to help me more in this area because I know this is my area of greatest struggle.  I'll keep you updated!)

          3. Move more.  There are so many ways to do this, but I am telling you ... YOU MUST MOVE MORE.  Even if you are seeing weight loss with just dieting, get up and MOVE!  Strengthen your muscles and your heart.  It is so worth it.  I have used many resources for this.  Workout videos are cheap, fun, and easy.  My family and I joined the YMCA (free childcare!).  I started running (google 'couch to 5K' for a great beginner running plan).  And we also love to hike.

          4. Find an accountability partner.  I started this process last June (one month after my youngest was born).  Another mom I knew who had just had her fourth baby also wanted to lose weight so we decided to keep each other accountable.  In the beginning we emailed a quick update every day to each other.  Each week we would either call or email what our goals for the week were.  And once a month, we would meet for dinner or a smoothie and evaluate how our month went and what our new monthly goals were.  About month 3 is when we decided we would start running.  We met up weekly while we were training for our first half marathon.  After a couple of months, my husband decided to join in and I can think of at least another half dozen friends who have joined in to make healthy lifestyle changes as well.  I cannot tell you how valuable it has been to have other people to walk this journey with.  When I wanted to quit, I had people telling me to keep going (even though they wanted to quit too).  They understood and we have all pressed on together. 

     ...Which brings me to this meme.  Tuesday has always been my "Weigh-In Day".  I actually weigh in pretty much every day, but Tuesday is the only day it counts. :)  Each Tuesday, I plan to share a healthy lifestyle/weight loss tip and 'fess up about my week.  Are you brave enough join me?  I'd love to hear about what's working or NOT working for you and maybe we can all keep each other accountable.  You are welcome to post your weight loss for the week if that is a goal of yours, but that is certainly not a requirement.  If you blog, write a post and link up below.  You can even snatch my 'Tuesday Weigh In' button up top or from the sidebar.  If you're just starting with your healthy lifestyle change, try writing out what your beginning goals are and what your plan is to implement them.   If you don't blog, then just comment below.  I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

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