Over the last few months, I've lost 24 pounds. I thought I would go ahead and "expose myself" again here as an added incentive to keep myself motivated if for no other reason than for fear of public humiliation if I should relapse.
Can you tell which picture was taken in January of 2008 and which was taken in June of 2008?
How'd I do it? Here's the secret...
I joined a gym, I signed on with a personal trainer and I watch what I eat.
Sorry to be the first to tell you this, but there is NO secret. No shortcuts, at least none that I've found. Leave a comment below, please, if you know of any.
But, here's what I've learned along the way and this is what has worked for me. I think my strategy or parts of it might help you too.
- Joining the gym is not enough for me. I've joined gyms before and I've been very good about paying on time, just not showing up. They like that, by the way.
- I joined LA Fitness, so I can only speak about this gym and how it worked for me. The cost of personal training varies depending on how many sessions you want per week. The choice is 3 per week, or 2 or 1 per week. I recommend picking 2 per week. You will eventually miss one here or there, or they will cancel and before you know it, you'll have some accumulated and you'll be training 3 times in some weeks. NEGOTIATE YOUR PRICE! They started out at $40. per training session... I ended up paying $25 per training session. Folks, that's dinner out at Chili's! Skip dinner one night each week and that will pay for your personal training session!
- By signing on with a personal trainer, I am forced to show up to meet someone. We meet for 30 minutes.
He kicks my ass for 30 minutes and I pay him for it! Sweet, huh?
- On the days I meet my trainer and on my off-trainer days, I do cardio for 30-45 minutes before or after my appt. (depending on when I get home from work). I aim for every day, but if I miss a day or two, it's ok. I tend to average 5 days a week.
Personally, I hate the cardio. It's boring. I don't get exhausted, I get bored. So, I get on iTunes and look for TV shows that I never watched before and download entire seasons. For example, I never watched LOST. So I'm now watching Season 1. Each episode is 42 minutes. Perfect! Now I get on the elliptical machine, pop in my earbuds, turn on my iPod and watch my TV show. I'm so engrossed in the show that I swear, I'm always amazed that I made it that long without looking at the clock!
What do I eat?
Let's get this out of the way right now... I must have my Starbucks before work. So I order a Venti, NonFat, 2 splenda Latte OR a Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte. (Both are made with nonfat milk and artificial sweetener). About 150 calories (get a tall and your down to about 100 calories).
Ok, so I eat normal food. No powders or shakes or diet pills. But small amounts of real and healthy (complex carb, high fiber, high protein and green foods) and often. And I read every label. I try to make sure any bread I eat has at least 4 grams of fiber per slice (Nature's Own Double Fiber Wheat has 5 grams per slice - and it's soft bread not like most wheat bread that has hard stuff in it). I use Splenda in my coffee and fat free half&half. Now that said... I love steak and about once a week, we go to the Outback. I usually have the small filet. When in a restaurant, I try to order as lean as possible, but I do eat and I do not deprive myself if I really want something. I eat pizza (2 slices, too!) And apparently, it's still working for me. :) I also have a sweet tooth, so I'll have a bite or two of cake or pie if I really, really want it. But I do resist most times.
Now, my strategies are costly. When you figure in the gym membership, personal training and the iTunes bills... we're talking some serious bucks. (Although, if you are considering plastic surgery, I've just saved you lots of money. We can split the difference. Just send my portion to my PayPal account.) If money is tight, then be creative and rip some videos onto your MP3 player, find a friend that will walk/run with you so you have that same "other person commitment." My friend, Sue, and I did that for a few years and it was awesome. Why did we stop doing that, Sue????
Am I doomed to fail?
Now I know there are quite a few of you out there who are also very successfully losing weight, getting healthy and attaining your goals as well. What are you doing? See, when this stuff no longer works for me (and what does work forever?) I'll be looking to you for help. Please, leave me a comment and tell me what works for you!