So you know how some bloggers get all excited about a new weight loss strategy and then a while later you stop hearing about it?
Yeah, I’ve seen that.
I’ve DONE that.
Many times, actually.
This map now has stars all the way up to the house. I’ve lost 86 pounds so far. I have roughly 20-30 to go. I’ve gone from a 50 BMI down to a 29. I want to get to 25 or maybe a little lower. I have so much more energy and can do so many things I couldn’t before and my blood pressure has gone from borderline high, to the low end of the scale. My heart age has gone from 50 to my true age if not lower.
I feel good every day. Even though I’m not to goal yet, I’m still so much better of than I was. A year ago, I was not doing so well. 254 pounds is way too heavy for a fine boned female who’s only 5’3″. I’m not even talking aesthetics or any kind of self worth issue, I’m just talking health. I could feel the strain in my body. My heart would pound with even minor exertion. I was easily overheated. I had to rest constantly when doing active things.
The only reason why I haven’t failed at more diets up until this point is because I haven’t tried more diets. I’ve been really, really bad about losing weight. Everything from excuse making to lack of motivation to deluding myself about how bad the problem really was – I’ve done all that. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve been heavy ever since I was a kid. Plus I’m female and have thyroid issues and PCOS and a sedentary job and I’m over 40 – all reasons why I should have a really hard time losing weight.
Okay, so this is where I sell you some magic powder or supplement or weight loss program…
…only I won’t.
But I will tell you how I did it!
Here are the things that have helped me the most.
Learn what portions should be. I used measuring cups and a cheap scale to train myself what I should actually be eating because my concept of what a portion should be was way, WAY off.
Time to adapt. Eventually, the body gets used to smaller quantities and different foods. With consistent effort, eventually these healthy foods begin to be DELICIOUS and you start craving veggies more than junk food.
There is no such thing as magic. That is, no magic pills, no magic supplements, no magic shakes or diets or programs. Weight loss takes work and time and consistency but it’s very doable. The thing is, once I accepted that there was no magic pill/quick fix, it became easier to settle down and do the work.
Learn what works for you. Everybody has something that works for them. For me, it was learning what foods made me hungrier than they should, and avoiding those. I personally used a high protein, moderate carb, relatively low fat plan and tried to avoid refined sugar and carbs as much as practical. I ate a lot of lean chicken and veggies and cooked a lot from scratch. I still have a sweet tooth so Stevia was my best friend.
Research and learn. I did a lot of studying, partly because I needed the information and partly because I was curious. I have read about various issues of diet, exercise, muscle building and fat loss from a number of perspectives. Doing that helps because you will learn more about the nuts and bolts about why things work.
Eat less, move more, and track what you do. This is critical for me. I have to know what I’m putting in my body and how much movement I’m getting so I don’t underestimate my intake, and overestimate what I’m burning off. Keeping up with this means I will know for a fact that I’m still doing what it takes to lose weight.
DON’T GIVE UP. If your efforts aren’t succeeding, change something. Maybe Keto isn’t for you. Maybe you’d do better on Paleo. Or maybe you would do better on a balanced diet with portion control. Maybe Intermittent Fasting works well for you. We all need different things. If a diet is too hard, maybe something needs to change so it can be adhered to more easily.
MOVE! Exercise doesn’t have to be a laugh a minute but it shouldn’t be torture. There are so many ways to move your body. It’s important for building muscle, general health, and maintaining balance and flexibility that the weight loss benefits are almost a bonus.
Remember that you DESERVE to be healthy.
I know I’ve barely scratched the surface here – there is so much more to this topic, but these are the main principles that have kept me going, more than a year after my last New Year Resolution.
Here are the three most useful sites – they all have a ton of information and tools for you and all are free.
NerdFitness – a great site for nerds who want to be healthy. Awesome articles and programs about all aspects of fitness and weight loss, including a community and a cool RPG like goal system.
MyFitnessPal – a calorie tracker (with an app if you want one), community and forum with lots of good health related information. It’s basically fitness social media with a distinct lack of drama. I use it to track my calories, nutrition and exercise, and the community keeps me accountable.
Art of Manliness – a great archive of articles and podcasts with all kinds of interesting information, quite a bit of it fitness elated. Well worth a read by people of any gender, it is a treasure trove of old fashioned skills as well.
By looking at my map you can see that the house is well into the Island of Genkijima, the land of vigorous good health. That was by design. When making the map, I realized that losing weight would help me to feel better, long before I even got near my goal weight. It’s turned out to be true. I noticed some pretty big difference after the first 20 pounds or so.
I still get excited whenever I get to put a new sticker up!
(Side note about the header image: It’s a screenshot of one of the ranches I’ve built in Horse Isle 3, a giant multiplayer open world game. )