I know this is an exercise blog (5k on Saturday) but it is also about living healthy - so I wanted to post some thoughts on weight loss. I've recently (again) lost almost 50 lbs. I use the Weight Watcher system, mainly because it works, you eat normal food, and you don't have to "cut out" anything. But, here are some lessons/thoughts I have learned/had this go around:
1. If you are unwilling to do without _______ the rest of your life, don't cut it out to start with. Because once you add it back into your life, most likely some of the weight will come back on.
2. Discipline. Yes - it does take more discipline to eat healthy, exercise, etc than to not.
3. Choice. Its all about choice. Would I rather go to Red Robin and clog my arteries and gain weight every Sunday after church, or go to Cafe Lou Lou and get a salad and split a hummus platter with a friend once a month? What about frying french fries or roasting 2 small new potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and some rosemary? A Cherry Coke or Sunkist or a Gold Peak Unsweetened Tea? Watching movies all day on Saturday or watching 2 movies on Saturday and having time to go for a nice long walk around the neighborhood and lifting some weights? These are the choices I am talking about.
4. The scale does not run your life. I am one of those people who weigh every day and every night if I am home. I am curious to see what different foods do for weight gain, times of eating, types of exercise, etc. I record my weight once a week. But, a friend pointed out that it was running my life. God used that little spur to get me to see I had made the scale a little g god in my life. The scale would determine how I felt about myself and how I behaved that day. Now, every time I step on the scale, I proclaim the gospel of Christ on my life, my weight, who I am, how the blood of Christ covers me, etc.
5. Encouragement. You need encouragement in this process. If most of the people around you are sabotaging your weight loss endeavors - it will be so TOUGH! I have people around me who are encouraging, who are my cheerleaders. That helps. And people will try to "not help" you. There are people who fuss at me and wonder why I'm not eating the junk food for breakfast or don't have this. You have to either have a kind response or say nothing at all. And on the flip side - encourage other people. I love being able to share with other women the journey that God has taken me throughout my whole life or weight loss/gain/loss/gain - you get the picture. It has been a journey. One that has definitely left me seeing more of Christ this go around.
6. Try new exercises. I picked up running in January - now I'm doing more yoga and kettlebells mixed with walking. Mix it up. I love hiking and biking - that will happen more in the next few months. If you get bored with exercising, you'll give it up. Find a friend or family member to do it with you.
7. I love to cook. I've learned to cook more healthfully. But, that doesn't mean I've quit cooking the stuff I love: muffins, brownies, cookies, pastas - I just cook them less and share them with others.
8. Study food. How it effects your body? How it fuels your body? Why do you need it eat it and when do you need to eat it? I've found that I eat most of my food before 6pm. I very seldom eat after then. I've learned that works for me. Everyone is different - God is a very creative God. None of us are the same.
9. Goals. Don't set goals that are so unreachable. I didn't say in April 2008 "I want to lose 68.2 lbs". But, I said, I want to lose 10%, or just get below 200 would be nice. And have other goals but scale number goals. Have a particular outfit you want to get in, or a fitness goal (5k completion, etc).
10. Remember, especially by this blog post and by this blog post that weight/eating is a spiritual issue and discipline.
20 hours ago