First off, I want to say congratulations on taking your first steps toward losing the weight. It’s a difficult step to take, so trust me when I say I understand. It has taken me five years to even take that first step. I have always been overweight and finally decided to make the change last May when my friend asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding this upcoming June (2014). I thought to myself, ‘oh goodness I’m going to have to wear a short, strapless dress, I really need to get in shape’. With that being said I kicked it into high gear and began to eat healthy and exercise more often.
My Eating Plan
I’m not on any special kind of diet, and I still have those sweet tooth cravings. I started off by cutting out the big portions of my meals and grabbing a smaller plate. For breakfast I take my usual One a Day vitamin and then I have a banana, no-added-sugar applesauce, or a granola bar with a glass of dark chocolate Silk milk (which is delicious, by the way).
For lunch, I’ll usually have a peanut butter sandwich on wheat bread and an apple or some kind of other fruit. Peanut butter has those good fats you need, plus I’ll drink water or a Crystal Light.
Finally, for dinner I’ll eat my normal meal, but a lighter version, and lately I have found great things to try with ground turkey or ground chicken, such as taco salad, sliders and even a healthy meatloaf.
As for snacks throughout the day, when I get a bit hungry I’ll eat grapes, a nonfat yogurt, or pickles. I am also human, so I get that sweet tooth a lot, but I managed to eat a skinny cow candy bar when I get that urge, peanuts help also (again they have the good fats needed for your body).
Everyone has problems when it comes to staying on track, that’s why I don’t use one of those “diets” out there that tell you what to eat and when you can eat it. Honestly, I found that it’s all about portion control and a little bit of exercise can go a long way.
My Exercise Routine
I’m not going to lie, I hated to exercise. I mean, I started out at 250 pounds last year and now I’m 50 pounds lighter, and I think a big portion of it was my diet, but the exercise helped a lot and is making me toned. Being as lazy as I was I didn’t want to exercise so I added steps to my walking while at school (I’m a junior in college), then I asked my fiancé to go on walks with me in the mornings or evenings at our local metro parks, these parks have really nice trails both paved and not paved (for a challenge).
I started to notice that with my diet change and my walks I started to feel more comfortable with myself and more confident because some of the weight was coming off. But then I came to that dreaded stand still where walking just wasn’t cutting it. So I went out and bought a treadmill. You need to start out slow and don’t push yourself to hard at first; it’s something that needs eased into. I started off walking a mile every day and eventually moved into running a mile, which I still currently do. I have also incorporated workout bands (arms and legs), a bouncy ball (abs and arms), and a punching bag (full body) into my workout; plus, I’ll do sit-ups or crunches every day, usually I’ll do about 3 reps of 20 per exercise I do.
Losing weight is not an overnight deal, you need to work hard and stick with your healthy eating habits. I still go out for dinner at a restaurant (I just order their healthier alternatives with no sauce) and a glass of unsweetened tea, those sugars are what get you, also try ordering low or no sodium foods.
All in all I have lost 50 pounds in 10 months. It may not sound like much, but it is a lot better than where I was, plus it is said that a healthy weight loss range is 2 pounds a week. I had my setbacks and I had my cheat days, but I don’t deprive myself of the things I love, I just cut back on them. As always consult your doctor before exercising to get his or her opinion on how much they think you can push yourself, and remember you don’t need a gym to workout as long as you have the outdoors and the open living space.