Do you know how silly I feel writing this? It's a combination of silliness and pride. I'm so glad that this time my wish to finally lose the weight stuck. I'm so glad that I'm motivated, determined, and devoted. I also know what it feels like to WANT to be motivated, determined, and devoted and to FAIL. I've done that repeatedly. I can think of four instances that stick out in my mind right now. So getting ready to write out my own tips for losing weight and getting healthy feels a little silly right now. But I'm going to do it, because I've lost 40 pounds as of today. I may be new to running. I am definitely new to making healthier choices. I've hit a groove and I feel like I could maybe help motivate or inspire others to do the same. Because FORTY.
Just so you don't think I'm super woman, please know that I'm a mess. Literally, I've written about it before. I cannot for the life of me keep it together--and I'm okay with that. How boring to be perfect, I'm much more interesting because I'm a hot mess. It lets me enjoy the Grace I'm given so. much. more.
That being said, I definitely have honed in on what it takes to lose weight. Losing weight is hard. If it was easy I we'd all be our ideal weight! If it was easy I wouldn't of shed tears over it. If it was easy--we wouldn't be so inspired by others that have done it before us. And you guys, I'm convinced it's even harder when you have a family to take care of, a job to uphold, a house to keep clean, and relationships of both family and friends that you want to pour into. The following five things are simply what I've found to work for me. These tips keep me healthy, losing weight, motivated, and on track while keeping up two toddlers, a job, and a neeeedddyyyyyy husband that can't find anything. Love you, honey.
1. Create a Board of Weight Loss Inspiration on Pinterest
What a great resource we have in Pinterest. Making a ( secret) board with nothing but tips and trips to inspire my weight loss has been CRUCIAL to losing weight. I keep links to fitness blogs I love, photos of my 'goals', healthy recipes, and other tips and tricks others have written about in this board. Several times a week I look through the Health and Fitness section of Pinterest and pin things that pertain to my own goals. I don't pin pictures that don't seem attainable to me. While some photos of women in the fitness section look darling and ohsofit I don't see becoming a fitness model as a goal. Her abs will NEVER be my abs. Lilly and Noah made sure of that. So that girl---doesn't get pinned. I don't want to be discouraged when I look through my images. I want them to be attainable to ME. I also go through my own board during moments of weakness. I avoided what would have surely become a fast food binge by looking through items in my board. If you're just beginning to think about wanting to make a change in your lifestyle I suggest heading to Pinterest and creating your own board.
2. Useful Apps
There are so many useful apps to help you with your fitness goals. I don't have time to go to a computer to track. I don't have the willpower to actually write down anything. However, I do have my phone with me at all times. I needed something streamlined that wouldn't create another thing to do in my already BUSY day. I have no excuse not to take advantage of the health apps at my disposal! Here are a few of the most useful apps for me:
Weight Watchers Online: I love weight watchers. I really think that WW was the key to my success. I've tried MyFitnessPal but wasn't able to stay motivated because well, it was free. It didn't HURT me if I didn't use it. WW---hurts a bit because it does have a monthly fee. Through this app I've learned portion control, healthy swaps, how many calories to consume and maintain a healthy and steady weight loss. I love the tracker, cheat sheets, inspiring stories, scanner, etc. It's a super app.
Nike Plus: This app tracks my runs. I am able to keep tabs on distance, pace, and time through this app. When I first started it helped me turn my walking into a slow jog, into a jog, into a run. There are lots of others out there. This happens to be my fave.
C25K free: A great training resource for beginners. It was intimidating to me at first!
3. Have Low Calorie and Healthy Snacks READY
Since I'm doing weight watchers all of my fruits and vegetables are zero points. This is another reason I like Weight Watchers. This portion of the program forces me to make the healthiest choice when snacking. I don't like to use my daily points for snacks--I want to save them for meals! I have a few go to ZERO POINT snacks that I frequent A LOT. I always have these snacks available to me so I DON'T dip into my kids snacks. Fruit snacks are FIVE points. I can't afford to eat those when I only get 26 points a day. Carrots...carrots....carrottssssssssssss
Baby Carrots with Ranch Seasoning Mix--This makes baby carrots delish. I sprinkle a little on top of my carrots and its the savory and salty mix that hits the spot.
Baby Dill Gherkins
Cinnamon Apples-- Slice the apple and top with 1 packet of Truvia and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon --Microwave for 30 seconds. DIVINE. and ZERO POINTS.
Peaches and Cool Whip Free-- One tablespoon of Cool Whip Free is zero points. Top ANY fruit with CWF for a nutritious and ZERO POINT snack
Sweet Mini Peppers and Salsa
4. Schedule Exercise In Your Family Calendar
We're busy--like REALLY busy and most days you don't have time to exercise--I get that. Most days I don't have time---I have to make time. I know, ouch, right? This was the biggest change for me. I was a old fat parrot repeating that I would LOVE to work out but because of my kids, time, weather, it's Tuesday, I have to breathe, etc I didn't have time. The fact is--I did have time I was just choosing to spend it on other things. I schedule out my workouts now. If I don't schedule, it doesn't get done. I check with my husbands work schedule a week in advance and write out the times I have for a run. Some days I have to bring both kids with me in order to get a run in. The days I can't possibly fit a run in I do a DVD. I choose to do Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred because it's quick ( 20 minutes) and really gets me sweating. Level 3 is lay on the floor for five minutes afterwards because you can't move hard. I had to learn to adjust my goals to ones that are actually achievable as a busy mom. I can't do a 7 day a week work out routine. I can't do a 5 day a week work out routine. I CAN do a three day a week routine. I can MAKE TIME three days a week to get active. If I am able to get in more than three days a week I am happy because I was able to go above what I had committed to.
5. Track Your Motivation
On May 31st I wrote with blue dry erase marker on my bathroom mirror the number 195. *gulp*. I was at my unhappiest with my weight. I was defeated and embarrassed. I wanted to change but I did not see HOW I could make it work. That number stared at me every day for three weeks before I decided to try and do something about it. Once I started WW I updated my progress every week on my mirror. After a few weeks of seeing the number shrink I had a constant reminder of my progress and HARD work. Seeing these numbers each day sets my day off on the right track. I can see how far I've come and it motivates me like crazy.
In true busy preschool mom fashion my littlest is up from his nap an HOUR early and must go grab the nugget.
The biggest take away advice that I have to give is that I had to GIVE UP some things in order to make my health a top priority.
I've not yet met a mother that can stay healthy, keep a spotless home, several incredibly polite and well groomed kids, a happy boss, and
I only like to be around dysfunction--just sayin.