The "PLAN" For Getting Back Down to My "Fighting Weight"

Once I found out that I had gained those 10 pounds, I decided that I MUST take some sort of action...and the quicker the better.  I formulated the "Plan" in my mind completely, before I ever implemented it.  It is a plan that I believe EVERYONE can follow to jump-start their weight loss routine.

Let me begin by saying that "stick ability" is VITAL.  You must mentally MAKE yourself decide to do something and STICK WITH IT.  I realize that some of you will say that this "plan" sounds like the "same old diet and exercise routine".  Well, there is just no getting around it...IT IS!  Remember, I mentioned that all of my blood tests indicated past good diet and physical activity.  My "good cholesterol" was so high that my doctor told me I deserved a metal for it.  He explained that it was a product of genetics along with good diet and health practices.  This proved to me that everything I had been doing was actually working; the inside of my body was very healthy.  I had just run into a few health issues that had knocked me off of my feet (and path...) for a while.  So, I formed my "plan" and then mentally prepared myself for getting back into shape.

I was once told that our bodies had "muscle memory".  Apparently, if one has worked out and taken good care of their bodies, their muscles will remember it more quickly when attempting to get back into shape.  Well, I DO believe this to be the case, but please do NOT be confused...the first few days for me were absolutely MURDER on my body!  I'm not sure there was one place you could put your finger on that did not hurt.  I huffed and I puffed and wondered if I would even make it.  The GOOD NEWS is...I DID!  And I would like to share with you what I did to jump-start" my body into getting back to where it had once been.

1.  Make a "Plan" and STICK TO IT.

     Most people are good at the "making the plan" part, but sticking to it is another thing altogether.  To help me "stick to" my plan, I got a large calendar and split each day into 2 parts:  AM and PM.  I recorded my morning and evening weight EVERY day.  This is part of that "mental" thing I was talking about.  This motivated me to "stay on the path".  I worked harder each day if I knew I would be accountable.  I wrote the number that the scale reflected each day, reaffirmed my goals and continued on.

2.  Exercise is VITAL to losing weight.

     I don't care what all of those commercials say...Losing weight is all about "calories in and calories out".  The only way that one is going to move calories "out" of their body, is to GET ACTIVE!  Since I had not physically felt well in quite a while, I realized that "getting active" was going to potentially kick my butt.  Well, I supposed if I had to take a butt kicking, there was no time like the present to do so.  The only thing that I have been doing so far is walking.  You heard me right!  No running, no weights, no crunches...just walking.  OH...but I do walk (briskly; breaking a sweat...) for 1 HOUR EVERY day.  I put my tennis shoes on and take my i-pod and hit the neighborhood EVERY day.  I keep Parker Ann two day a week, so I invested in my own stroller and she loves to go for a ride, while I get my cardio.  Do NOT cheat on this part.  Your are getting your body healthy on both the inside AND the outside. 

3.  Diet is something EVERYONE can control is they want to lose weight.

     It is my belief that people in our country suffer some of the worst diet habits.  Notice I used the word "habits".  Eating correctly is a habit one must form.  I don't like to think of it as "being on a diet", but just learning what to eat and how much to eat of it.  Obesity abounds, not only with adults, but children as well.  Do you know how many people in this country suffer from Type 2 Diabetes?  Eating properly begins early and it begins in the home.  I am very fortunate that I was raised on home grown garden vegetables and have never really been a "junk food junkie".  Oh, don't get me wrong, I do like the occasional snack, but I'm just not one of those people who can sit around and eat a whole bag of chips or half gallon of ice cream.  I, however, know that there are many people out there that struggle with that problem and that is precisely why I suggest NOT BUYING THOSE FOODS.  If your already have all of that junk food in you pantry...THROW IT AWAY!  If one does not have these unhealthy foods available, they will not eat them.  Like I said, the junk food is not really my problem, so what I focused on eliminating from my diet was pastas and breads.  This is sort of what a day of my diet looks like:

BREAKFAST:  Fat Free vanilla yogurt with a few blackberries
                           1 cup of coffee with artificial sweetener and fat free creamer (don't over do the
                            caffeine)
*NOTE:  Do NOT skip ANY meals.  People who skip breakfast are more likely to "cheat" during the
                day.  Food is fuel that helps one's body run properly.  You MUST eat to properly lose
                weight.*

Some people may need to keep a "Food Diary" in order to physically see what they are eating in a day.  A good rule of thumb is what I call the "Rule of Halves".  Only eat HALF of what you would normally put on your plate.  Eat a small salad instead of a large one, half a sandwich, only one chicken breast.  People in this country have been saturated so much with super sizing and large portions, it is no wonder we are becoming more obese and in turn having more health issues daily.

LUNCH:  I will eat either a garden salad with crackers or a bowl of soup, perhaps a half sandwich on
                 whole wheat bread.  Remember, I don't eat meat (only fish), so you could eat tuna fish or
                 chicken with your salad.  If you do a combination meal for lunch, go for a half sandwich
                 and cup of soup.

AFTERNOON SNACK:  I chose to eat a Kashi granola bar for my afternoon snack most times, but
                                          you could eat a piece of fruit and a small slice of cheese, a few nuts.
                                          Whatever you choose, just be sure to reach for something HEALTHY and
                                           FILLING to get you through until dinner time.

DINNER:  For me, dinner is my biggest meal of the day, however, it does not include fried foods or
                  a lot of carbohydrates.  Generally, I will eat a baked or broiled piece of fish, some sort of
                  green, leafy vegetable and a yellow vegetable or simply a meal of just vegetables for me
                  since I do not eat other meats.  If you do eat meats, make sure they are lean cuts and do
                  NOT batter or fry them.

DESSERT OR EVENING SNACK:  I'm not usually hungry enough for a dessert or snack in the
                                                            evening, but my husband is.  He tends to make fruit shakes or
                                                             smoothies for himself.  He just puts a fresh fruit, milk and
                                                             artificial sweetener in the blender to make a delicious, filling
                                                             treat!  You could also have a handful of granola or some nuts
                                                             for a light snack also.

DRINK WATER:  It has been YEARS since I gave up drinking soda of any kind.  I don't believe
                               that they (regular or diet) are a healthy choice of drink.  I drink water and LOTS
                               of it!  If regular water gets boring for you, get some flavored water, but I do NOT
                               recommend sparkling water; it is carbonated.

WU YI TEA:  I am a hot tea drinker; just always have been.  If you think Green Tea is good for you
                       and has great health benefits, you should try Wu Yi Tea.  The only place, however, I
                       have been able to find it, is on the Internet.  Wu Yi Tea is a very mild tasting tea and
                       here are some of the benefits is touts: 

                       Helps burn fat
                       Good for your skin
                       Good for your immune system
                       Boosts energy and well-being

                       I am very sensitive to caffeine and Wu Yi Tea does not have as much caffeine as
                       Green Tea.  It does not make be jittery or alter my sleep.  I drink a cup mid-morning
                       and another mid-afternoon.

CHEATING:  I realize that if one is just beginning healthy eating habits, it may be very difficult to
                       go "cold turkey" with all of your favorite foods.  What I suggest is, if you are going
                       to "cheat", just use the "Rule of Halves" again.  If you simply cannot go without a
                       piece of candy or small bag of chips, take half of it and throw the other half in the
                       garbage can.  "THROW IT AWAY?", you say.  Yes, if you keep it, you are more
                       likely to come back later and finish it off.  Oh...and don't "cheat" every day; only
                       maybe once or twice a week.  You will find that as your eating habits evolve into
                       more healthy ones and you begin to see the numbers on the scale get smaller, you
                       will find yourself reaching for healthier snacks.

I hope that some of these "tips" will help YOU in YOUR quest to get into shape.  Believe me...It is so worth it to get back into a routine.  The soreness leaves fairly quickly if you stay with it.  Your breathing and stamina get better daily.  And most importantly, you can physically SEE that your health is improving.  You've only got one body...NOW is the time to TAKE CARE OF IT!

                   

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