All winter long, we talk about how we’re going to work out, tone up, diet, and by next spring, we’ll look so much better than we did this year. Instead, we forget, indulge, maybe make a few half-hearted attempts to follow through. The next thing we know, spring is right around the corner. Well, guess what. It’s that time again, but you don’t have to follow those rigid diet and exercise routines to get a jump start on actually losing weight.
Through my own trial and error sessions, I discovered that the first step in truly losing the weight is to be completely honest with myself. I work full time, have two teen-aged children still at home, I write and craft to supplement my income, and I still have a house to run. Basically, when it comes to doing anything for myself, I admit to being lazy. Coming to terms with this reality, then deciding how to handle it, was the beginning of a new me.
Your problems with weight loss may be different than mine, but I think that if you make the simple changes in your life that I did you’ll find yourself seeing the same results. When I got started, I made mental notes of my problem areas . . . I always skipped breakfast, hardly ever ate lunch, and dinner was often late to the table. On top of that, I led a pretty sedentary life style between work and crafting at home. I wasn’t doing much beyond routine housework.
Change number one was to eat properly. I wasn’t giving my body enough nutrition to even get my metabolism going in the morning, and I was putting it in starvation mode, forcing it to feel the need to hang on to fat. Instead, I would eat breakfast each morning, lunch each afternoon, and dinner was served in more timely fashion. Did I “diet?” No. Since I had already determined not to lie to myself, I knew that I wasn’t going to follow any of those popular diet plans because that would take too much thought and make me feel like I’m missing out. Instead, I ate things that I would enjoy, mixed them up a bit, and made them fit into my lazy-when-it-comes-to-me habits.
If it’s for my family, I’ll cook a smorgasbord, but if I’m eating alone, I tend not to bother at all. Following that logic, I purchased low-sodium instant oatmeal packets, fresh fruit bowls from the produce section, and Special K cereal. I mixed these up to give myself a variety of breakfast options. Thankfully, I am a fan of veggies and salads, so lunches were either salad or a veggie and cheese cube tray with a glass of Bolthouse Green Goodness juice, served in a wine glass to make it feel like a real treat. Dinner was whatever I wanted, so long as it wasn’t served too late in the evening. On nights that I had to close the library, I would throw something in the crock pot before my shift. None of this was a big deal, and it didn’t leave me feeling as though I was missing out on “the good stuff.” I even got a little bag of Hershey’s miniatures and would have one in the afternoon as a snack, just a touch of chocolate decadence to make me smile.
As for exercise, I didn’t bother with a gym membership or videos. Who has time? And besides, that seems too much like work, right? Like many other people, I have an exercise machine in my basement that collects dust. I found that every time I did laundry, I could get on that machine while the water filled the basket, and I wouldn’t even think about it. When I counted, I realized I was doing 100 reps each time I did a load of laundry. That’s a lot when added up in a week. I also began to listen to my ipod when cleaning the house, and I found that I could clean for longer periods without feeling bored with it. A good music selection can go a long way.
All that is well and good, but did it work? In a word, yes. In the first two weeks, I lost 9 pounds. At the end of about three weeks, I had lost a total of 15 pounds, and all because I was eating when I should be instead of skipping meals and doing a little more housework, plus some exercise while doing laundry. Never did I get bored or feel obligated to do something I didn’t want to do.
If you feel like you “have” to, you won’t want to. If you feel like you’re missing out on something good, you won’t stick with it. Don’t force yourself into routines and diets you won’t stick to. Make your own self-discoveries to pinpoint your weaknesses and find ways around them. If you decide what foods you like to eat, do it in moderation and at decent times of the day, and change your life style to add a little more movement than what you’re already used to, you’re already on your way to getting the body you want. Keep in mind, this is just going to help you out with that jumpstart you need to motivate you further. Once you’ve experienced that initial weight loss, you’re going to find yourself back on a plateau, and you’ll need to up the stakes a bit. By then, you’ll be ready. Good luck!