As a follow-up to Monica’s great post, “Working Mom Weight Loss Tips“…here’s my two cents…
Facebook and Pinterest are so much easier than Zumba or the treadmill…at 9pm. I’m already up at 5:30am just to get myself and my son out the door by 7am; by the time I hit my desk at 7:30am, I feel like I deserve a nap. I sit behind a computer for eight hours each day, while I further develop, what I affectionately call, “Office Ass*”. I’m annoyed and unmotivated by the time dinner, dishes, homework, bedtime and next-day packing are done. Tomorrow will always be a better day to start the diet or to get on the treadmill, but tomorrow ALWAYS comes and goes. Any of this sound familiar?!
I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. However, this year, after a series of January events, I am making a life change. So far, this year, I have: lost an otherwise healthy Uncle, been inspired by two friends’ back-to-health journeys and realized that my emotional, mental and physical health have suffered for many years at the hand of my excuses about being a single mom and not having time or wanting to spend time “making memories” with my son or my new husband.
Maybe this life change also has a little something to do with my son. I have a super funny kid. He’s little-kid-blunt….you know? He’ll say things that he’s honestly thinking or feeling, followed by, “I don’t want to hurt your feelings mama.” At seven, he doesn’t yet understand social tact or tongue biting. So, from time to time, he’ll hug around my waist and grab on to my love handles, muffin top, spare tire (take your pick of flattering phrases), and say something like, “Mama, are you having another baby?” To which I reply, “No son, that’s left over from you**.” He never means to hurt my feelings, and he really would like a sibling, but wow, is that eye-opening!
Maybe this life change has a little something to do with my husband. You see, he’s amazing. Throughout our relationship he has always told me how beautiful I am and how he loves me just the way I am, size 16 and all. He is always ready to support my weight loss attempts and has encouraged me to do it for myself.
I’ve “tried” to lose weight a few times but always fizzled out after a week or two. If my husband is anything, he’s honest. At the beginning of January he said something to me that he’s never said before. He said, “You’re not happy and it’s not just about your weight. I want my beautiful wife to feel as beautiful as I see her to be. I want you to be healthy, all-around healthy. Do it for me.”
DO IT FOR ME? You know what, doing it for myself hasn’t exactly been fruitful. So yes, I have decided to do it for the men in my life. I want to be healthy. I want to be happy. And who am I kidding, I want to be a sexy size 12!
So, with the encouragement of my men, I set off on my journey. Here is what I’ve learned so far.
Make clear goals, and tell people what they are.
Setting goals is great…it gives you something to work towards. But if you’re the only one that knows your goal, then it’s also easy to let it fall by the wayside. I sat down and made goals for myself….then I told my husband, my parents. my co-workers and my friends what they were. I want to reach these goals…bad! But let’s be honest, I also don’t want people knowing I failed. Now I’m going to tell you….and you better ask me how I’m doing!
- Lose 50 pounds…however long it takes
- Run a 5k on St. Patty’s day
- Run at 10k in June
- Size 12 jeans baby! (and my husband is buying!)
Let your “motivation” actually motivate you.
What’s your motivation? Is it your family, your health, your class reunion? Look at your kids or your husband and think about the life you want to live WITH them. Look at those size 12 jeans and think how amazing it will feel to slip them on with ease! Think about that 10k and how great it will feel to finish it! And then ACTUALLY take steps to reach those goals.
Join a gym.
There are so many options here and I finally found one that REALLY works for me. I have always used the excuse that “it’s too expensive” or “too far away” or “I don’t want to go back out once I’m home.” Well, I have a cheap ($14/month) full gym in the basement of my office building. It has treadmills, ellipticals, weights, classes, showers…and people! I tend to push myself harder when I’m among others. Rather than fear the meat-heads or the power-walkers, use them to your advantage! Plus, you might learn a thing or two from a little people watching!
I mean every calorie! My mother, the dietician, will tell you that while a healthy diet matters, at the end of the day, if you burn more than you consume, you’re on the right track. I’m not saying to go out and eat a Bloomin’ Onion and starve yourself the rest of the day. Count the calories you take in and count the calories you burn. You’d be surprised at what you eat in a day! (And you’d be surprised by how many calories are in what we consider to be healthy foods!) This may seem overwhelming- “How do I know how many calories are in this quesadilla?” Next slide please….
I found an amazing FREE App….and I’ve made it my bible! Lose It! is calorie tracker that is customizable based upon your health goals. I use the App because I’m basically glued to my iPhone, but you can also utilize the online version. To begin, you input your current weight, goal weight and desired weight loss pace, and it tells you your daily calorie budget. Throughout the day, you log your food and exercise. The food log is stocked with supermarket foods, popular restaurants, and basic foods with complete calorie info! The exercise database has every exercise you could imagine and some you’ve probably never heard of, with pace and intensity settings so you can determine the calories you burned (it even has sexual activity!) So far, I’ve used Lose It! to track my calories/exercise and look up items as I’m planning my meals. It’s a fabulous tool; my supportive husband is even using it! Which brings me to my final point…
Don’t go it alone.
Weight loss can be daunting. It’s not quick or easy. The weight didn’t show up overnight and it’s surely not going to come off overnight. You probably weren’t alone when you ate those buffalo wings or toasted that extra glass of wine, so there’s no need to be alone as you work towards your healthy goal. Going it alone, can be…well, lonely. Find a partner, for encouragement and accountability. The best accountability partner is one who has their own goals too, that way you don’t feel like you just signed up your friend to nag you. My husband is my accountability and I am his. I send him pictures of my treadmill stats each day and we recap our Lose It! budget every night. I also have a co-worker who heads to the gym with me…we do our own workouts, but we make sure each other gets there each day!
Let’s reach our weight loss goals together. Tell me how your journey is going…
* “Office Ass” is a condition where your ass begins to resemble the shape of your office chair.
** He’s 7 years old. It’s not really left over from him. It’s there because I don’t take care of myself, but that’s not as funny to say.