Friday, January 15, 2010

Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.

Several bloggers have emailed me wanting to know my “weight loss secrets,” and since this happens to be today’s topic at Kelly's Korner, I’m finally going to oblige.

KellyShowUsOh, and if you were one of those people who emailed me, I apologize for not getting back to you. It’s not that I was ignoring you, it’s just that I didn’t feel like I had any advice to give because there really isn’t a weight loss secret! I will tell you what worked for me though…

Get on the Scale! This seems simple enough, right? When I was gaining weight I hated to get on the scale because I didn’t want to know how fat I was. But, in order to see your progress, you have to know your starting point. My scale also calculates body fat, which is nice because as you build muscle you might occasionally gain weight. So, with the body fat scale you will be able to see that even if your weight goes up, your body fat may have gone down!

Set Reasonable Goals! My goal was to lose 30 pounds by my 30th birthday, and I set this goal on my 29th birthday, so I had a whole year to do it. Giving myself a year made it easier because there were certainly ups and downs where I gained instead of lost, but I didn’t get discouraged knowing I still had plenty of time to reach my goal.

Try on your skinny clothes. Yes, this sounds weird, but just listen. The summer before I started exercising I was cleaning out my closet and I found a pair of shorts, which definitely did not fit. I squeeeeezed myself into them, and then went over to my husband and said, "Hey Shawn, check it out! Fat girl in little shorts!" I think he threw up in his mouth, but oh well. Over the next year, I would periodically get that one pair of shorts out and try them on. It was a great way to track my progress, and by the end of last summer I put them on and they fell right off!

Exercise! If I had to give one weight loss “secret,” exercise would definitely be it! You can use a calculator like this to determine how many calories you need to burn everyday to lose or maintain your current weight. I know gym memberships are expensive, mine is $95/month (!), but you don’t need a gym to exercise. Let me guess? You don’t like to run, or it’s cold where you live so you can’t workout outside right now? That’s okay! My husband can vouch for the fact that during the winter I have been known to run up and down our stairs for exercise! I don’t just mean a couple times either. I would have my husband set a timer and I would run the stairs for 5 minutes at a time, and in between I would do jumping jacks for a minute. And, before I had hand weights, I did arm curls with soup cans!

If running your stairs and lifting soup cans might get you a stint in a mental ward, then get an exercise DVD. The absolute best DVD I have is the “Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred.”

51QlqI3yaOL__SS500_This DVD is only $8.99 right now at Amazon, and trust me, it’s worth Every. Single. Penny. I consider myself to be in very good cardiovascular shape and this DVD still kicks my arse every time!

Lift Weights. I know weights can be intimidating, especially the weight machines at the gym, but building muscle is very important in order to lose and then maintain that weight. Did you know that one pound of muscle burns an additional 35-50 calories/day? Studies have also shown that weight training increases your metabolic rate! Oh, and women, don’t worry about getting bulky from lifting weights. Why? Women do not have enough of the male hormone, testosterone, to get big muscles. Trust me, my arms are totally ripped, but you can’t really tell unless I flex. Just ask Hillary and Amber, they were practically begging me to flex my triceps last summer while we were trying on clothes at Banana Republic!

Get off your Butt! Yeah, yeah, I know…this goes along with exercise. However, I’m talking about during your regular daily activities. When I work and I’m circulating in the OR, there is lots of time to sit down during cases. But, why sit when you could stand? Standing or moving around burns more calories!

Count calories and write it down! This sounds simple too, but I bet some of you have NO idea how many calories you’ve consumed today. Ignorance is bliss, right? Once you’ve looked at the calories you might realize, Hey, maybe this is why I’m getting so fat? Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to survive on carrots sticks and celery to lose weight. If you drink pop, then change to Diet pop. That alone can cut a lot of calories since one 12 oz can of regular coke has 140 calories! You’re a chocoholic? Hello, you’re preaching to the choir! Nobody likes chocolate more than me, so stock up on these:

Nabisco%20100%20Calorie%20Packs%20Oreo%20Mini%20Cakestersyork-100-calorie-packsslimabearOne disclaimer though. 100 calorie snacks are useless if you eat 3 or 4 at a time. My sister tried this, and it doesn’t work.

The Internet is your Friend. If you like to go out to eat, like me, you can usually check out the restaurant’s menu ahead of time on their website. Even if they don’t list the nutritional facts on their website, try Googling the item you want to order or the restaurant and 99% of the time you can find the nutritional information that way. Being prepared ahead of time will keep you from freaking out at the restaurant and feeling like you have to order water and lettuce. You can also use the internet to find training programs, food and exercise logs, and basically anything and everything you need to help you reach your goals.

Try something new. After you’ve been working out for a long time you will probably get bored. When you get bored, you might want to quit. When you quit, you get fat. End of story. So, don’t get bored! Try training for a race (start with a 5K if you’re not a runner), get a new workout DVD, or join a group fitness class. Getting bored is actually how I found spinning, which I now love!

Go to the doctor. If you’ve been working out consistently, and counting your calories and you’re still not losing weight, there could be a medical reason. Sometimes, something as simple as getting your thyroid checked can reveal the answer! When I started exercising over a year ago I literally could not lose a pound. I went to the doctor, and decided to go off all of the medicines I was taking. Almost all of them caused weight gain with long term use. I did go on different meds though, and I may or may not have stretched the truth to get on one medicine which actually has a side effect of weight loss!

Do. Not. Diet. Whenever I hear a family member, friend, or co-worker say they are going on a “diet,” I just want to scream! You don’t need a diet. You need a lifestyle change. Do not start any exercise program or diet that you can’t maintain for the rest of your life. You don’t agree with me? Ok, well how long did you keep off those 3-5 pounds you lost on the 2 week Special K Diet?

Don’t Give Up! There will definitely be weeks where you don’t lose any weight, or where you might even gain. Don’t get discouraged, and don’t beat yourself up. If I can lose weight, then you can too! I know you’re thinking, yeah right you weren’t overweight to begin with. Okay, well I wasn’t morbidly obese, I’ll give you that. Yes, it’s easier for someone who is 20 pounds overweight to work out, than it is for someone who is 100 pounds overweight. However, at my weight I had to workout twice as hard to lose weight as the morbidly obese person does.

So, there you have it (and I’m sorry it was so long)! Those are my tips on how I became a Skinny Bitch. Well, actually those were just my tips on getting skinny, I’m a Bitch all on my own!

22 comments:

Christa said...

Thanks for the tips!!! I love what you said about the 100 calorie snacks...I'm the one who usually eats 3-4! HA!

Hillary said...

Let's see your biceps, come on...flex em and make shawn take a picture!

Good pointers though, appreciated!

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

That last sentence was priceless!!!

Llama said...

So soo happy that you posted this. I really really appreciate all of the time it took you to lay everything out like you did. You have some healthy tips and I 100% agree with you...it is a LIFESTYLE change, not a diet. I am curious though what meds you took out and added, yet totally understand if you aren't up for sharing. I am sure though that my birth control doesn't help me loose any pounds :( I was doing soo well last summer...i lost 15Ibs...THE RIGHT WAY. Unfortunately it stopped there...i only gained 5 back but haven't been able to loose anymore. I feel so "stuck." Thank you so much again for all of your time...i am definitely going to check out the workout DVD. I get bored so easily...thats why i do kickboxing and karate...the classes are always different! Thanks again and have a great weekend!

Practically Perfect... said...

This is absolutely wonderful, wonderful advice. If I were to write a weight-loss post, it would contain all of this information. I lost 30 lbs last year, and I did it using many of the same techniques (although instead of soup cans, I used giant water bottles!).

Kelsey Claire said...

That was a fabulous post! I loved it! You pretty much any question I or anyone else probably have/had! Congrats again on the weight loss!

The Lumberjackswife said...

Yes, I have the weighted hula hoop and I am no longer using it because it totally messed up my neck. But I think that is me, and not the hula hoop.
Will that 30 day shred thingie flatten my tummy?
By Feb 20th?
I am on a deadline:)

ty said...

Heyy, found you through SUYL! I love the trying on skinny clothes tip. I do the same thing :) if I know how I look currently, I'm that much more likely to take myself to the gym!

I also look at pictures of the clothes I want ... can't be a fat girl in a little swimsuit!!

Raelyn said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. You have great tips. I look forward to keeping up with you.

Raelyn said...

Oh and congrats on your awesome loss!

Leah said...

Great tips and I admire your dedication and your focus... I tried running when I got bored of the gym work-outs and it's fun.

You know what I put on to see if I need to lose weight... my two-piece swimwears. Then I show myself to my kids. If they start puking, then I need to lose some weight. Hahaha! That's their politically correct way of saying. "mom, you are getting fat."

JessiHarri said...

I love "fat girl in skinny shorts!" You made me laugh! Thanks for commenting on my blog! I just started and about peed my pants when I saw I had a comment! ha

Amber said...

GUILTY as charged! I love to see a TOTALLY ripped 30 year old woman show off her guns:)

Holly Girl said...

I love your tips . . . FYI, I use the Mio Heart Rate monitor. It doesn't use a chest strap and that makes it so much easier than traditional ones. I love mine!

mama's smitten said...

Wow ! Thanks for sharing! I'm on day two of the shred and I hurt all over! Gonna have to try those 100 cal snacks !

Hilary said...

EXCeLLENT! I loved all your suggestions. Thanks for coming to my blog. I am going to add yours to my favorites because your blog is fantastic. Thanks! Hilary

Melissa's Thoughts said...

Thanks for popping by my blog. I really enjoyed your points and will be printing them our for my "food journal". I have many inspirational things in there. :)

d.a.r. said...

BAhahaha I have totally been guilty of "but it is only 60/100 calories! I can eat 15 of them!"

Together We Save said...

Great tips... thanks!!

Amy said...

LOVE IT!
I agree 100% with everything you said! A lot of people look for the quick fix, but the "secret" is and always will be, eat lean healthy meals and exercise!!!

Well done!

Laura and Ryan said...

Great Great tips! I need to be inspired some more. I've been working out 3 times a week since August and I haven't seen a whole lot of improvement. My endurance has gone up, but nothing else has improved. Maybe I need to go a little harder and push myself more...hmmm.

Heather said...

Love this post. So true. I love 100 calorie snacks, although I know I still eat too many of those in a day. It completely is a lifestyle change.