February 13, 2013

Stop Calling Weight Loss Simple!

I have read at least two blog posts in the last couple days from people who said something like the following:

"All I did were these simple techniques and the weight just came off."

Well fucking lucky for you that you were able to apply "simple" techniques such as eating less and taking a walk around the block at night and magically lost weight.

Imagine for a second having issues with weight management YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. Being called "thunder thighs" in jr. high (true story). Having a guy dump you because you gained weight (yup. also a true story). Imagine for a moment someone who applied these oh so simple techniques with NO RESULTS. Frustrating, right? Welcome to my world. Welcome to the world of so many others that I know who have/are struggling too.

I truly believe there is not one all-encompassing weight loss tactic that works for all people. I am not a dietitian or a personal trainer, but in my many (MANY!) years of trying to lose weight, I believe that everyone is different. What works for you will not work for me and what worked for me is probably not going to work for someone else.

Every program out there needs to deal with the larger population as a whole (no pun intended). So how do you find the program that is going to work for you? You have to keep trying. You have to know when to walk away from something that isn't working and try something different. A lot of people think Medifast is a fad diet. While that may be true in some ways, it was THE ONLY program that worked for me after a lot of years to lose a lot of weight. For me, it wasn't a "finish the program and move on" thing for me. I will need to have ongoing tools and support for the rest of my life. While Weight Watchers did not work as a weight loss program for me, it has worked perfectly at helping me to maintain and for that reason alone, I will continue to pay for my monthly online access as long as it continues to keep me on track.

My point is... It's just not SIMPLE. So, please PLEASE stop calling weight loss simple. If that were true, everyone would be skinny and there wouldn't be such an obesity epidemic. I am happy that your weight loss was easy. I am jealous that all you had to do was eat less and go for a walk around the block.

All your easy journey does is make me feel sad and resentful. Why can't this be easy for me? Why couldn't I just lose the weight and have it stay off? Why does this forever have to feel like so much work? Why can't it be SIMPLE for me, too?

For the most part, I have accepted that weight management will never be simple for me. I will always have to work hard against my genetics and against my anti-carb metabolism. Healthy living will have to be a part of my world forever if I want to remain a size 8. Will I screw up? Absolutely. Will I have to work double time make up for it? Yup. Welcome to my every single day.

So please, if you are one of those people who found your weight loss to be easy, can you just lie to me instead?

Thanks!

February 08, 2013

Fit Friday: It's a Lifestyle

I was having a conversation with my close friend the other day about my insane workout schedule, and he said to me, "I need to catch your workout bug!" To which I replied, "It's not a bug, it's a lifestyle."

While I continue to struggle in the nutrition department, I am proud that I have made fitness such a necessary and regular part of my routine. When I contracted walking pneumonia in December, it put me down for a month. As in NO exercise. None. At all. I cannot believe how much I missed it and craved it. I suppose it is entirely possible I am overcompensating right now for that month away in trying to do both a 10K training program and the 30 Day Shred at the same time (yes, it is possible that I am also certifiably insane). However, I feel like I have a lot to make up for in missing those 4-5 weeks of pretty much zero activity.

I also gained about 7 pounds thank you to the ridiculous amount of Christmas cookies and alcohol I consumed over the holidays. Holy shit. Did I mention my Super Bowl Sunday sins? It wasn't pretty friends. Not pretty at all. Between the wings, the chips, the dip and the beer (to mention just a few) I gained an additional 2 pounds this week putting me officially 7 pounds over my goal weight threshold.

I have a lot to make up for. Losing 7-10 pounds may not seem like a big deal for most people, but for me? I may as well try to climb a mountain. Losing weight does not come easy for me. I can't just "give up" something and the pounds magically come off. My body does not work that way. It took me 2 years to lose 50 pounds. Yikes.

Despite the fact that I am sore on a daily basis because of my buddy Jillian, I am strangely enjoying the torture. Sore means I do not use those muscles enough. Sore means I need to work harder. Sore means I should probably be drinking more water (as I run to the kitchen to fill up another bottle). I don't intend to keep this workout pace forever. Getting up before 5:00 in the morning really, really sucks. So why on earth am I putting myself and my body through this agony? I'll tell you why: to prove that I can. To prove to myself that I can set a 30 day goal and stick to it without wavering. If I am truly "shredded" at the end of this, that will just be the icing on the cake. It will also serve as proof that her program works.

Even though I started out pretty sore with the Shred, my body has been growing stronger. I found that I don't have to do the modified versions. My run pace has increased from 11 min/mile to 10:45 min/mile (which may not seem like a big deal for the very seasoned runners, but this is huge for me- I have been trying to break 11 minutes for over a year now). If there are any takeaways from doing the Shred over the last 15 days, it is showing me the importance of cross training and strength training and how much it can make a difference in running.

For someone like me, who very easily stumbles off the wagon when it comes to diet and exercise, it is extremely important for me to constantly be making very specific goals to stay motivated. I don't think motivation to exercise is my problem. I've got that part down. However my nutrition... it is the monkey on my back... the bane of my existence... the reason for all of my weight management issues.

What I need is to find a way to incorporate my motivation that I had towards Medifast towards REAL food. Why is it that I was able to follow Medifast meticulously, but when I switched to eating real food I have absolutely zero willpower? I have been tracking points on WeightWatchers and it has done zero for me in terms of losing these extra pounds- hell, I actually GAINED weight since I re-started my WW online tools. I've tried SparkPeople, I've tried My Fitness Pal. I signed up for a free week on JillianMichaels.com but really hated the site (compared to the WW site, it is like it was built by a college grad out of someone's basement) but I did get a free copy of Ripped in 30 out of the deal which I will do post-surgery, probably starting in May or June.

So, now what??? I need a meal plan, but do not want to do anything expensive like Medifast, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig or Seattle Sutton (etc etc etc). So,  I decided to try SpecialK.com. No, I'm not doing the Special K Challenge (i.e. eating cereal for every meal like a college kid). They actually have a really nice meal plan with simplified, healthy recipes for busy people like myself. What I like about it is that it is specific. I think where I get in trouble with Weight Watchers is that it is so wide open to interpretation and with that much flexibility, I get a little too relaxed and that is when I start to cheat. I literally make justifications for my shitty choices. It is amazing. With a very specific and set plan, I am much more likely to stick to it. Of course I need to stay mindful of the insane amount of calories I am burning while running and doing the Shred; however, the "plan" will at least keep me in check. Just like with Medifast, if you stick to the plan, it works.

If you stick to the plan. It works.

If you stick to the plan. It works.

If I say this mantra a million times over, will it stick?

P.S. I just chose an apple over a Girl Scout cookie. Progress has been made. As for the wine I am about to consume one hour from now... that is another issue altogether.

 
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