What began as disapproval (seeing my weight at 259.5 on the digital scale display), then shifted into the planning stage (how do I lose some weight), and eventually became part of my lifestyle. Changes take time to become personal. For me, personalizing my routine happened almost immediately. By that I mean that I quickly embraced my initial plan of exercise, calorie reduction, and then, as the weeks rolled by, I became acclimated to portion sizes, foods I could eat, and foods I preferred not to eat.
Here are a few things that I have learned in arriving at this stage, with my weight loss fluctuating between 47-50 pounds:
- Change requires positive reinforcement--
- Find foods that you enjoy, and don't overindulge--
- Pack your lunch everyday--
One of the nice perks of packing my own lunch everyday has been the money that I've saved (a minimum of $5-6 a day, which is being conservative, multiplied by two, as Miss Mary has also joined the pack-a-lunch-for-work club), which in these economically trying times, is not a bad thing.
- Find a way to exercise vigorously 3-4 times per week--
When I began my weight-loss regimen, my calorie intake was about 1,800 to 2,200 calories per day. Over time, I've allowed it to increase to around 2,400 to 2,600 per day (particularly on workout days). Occasionally, usually one day per week, I'll allow myself an extra beer, and a snack of some kind, or Mary will make a meal on the weekend that might be a higher-calorie choice and I'll approach 3,000 calories on the intake side.
Because I've been doing this long enough, I know that given my current routine of going to the gym three times per week, which includes an hour of cardio and an hour of weights, plus one to two sessions on the treadmill on my non-gym days, I can support my current calorie intake schedule. This is a key to where I'm at, which has become a maintenance phase.
Today I'm off from work. Instead of taking the day off from exercise, however, I spent 35 minutes on the treadmill, running for 12 minutes, and maintaining an average of 5.0+ miles per hour intensity level, which burned 375-400 calories.
- Find a weight range you're comfortable with and stay there--
I'm now trending in a weight range that fluctuates between 207 and 210. My goal is to stay south of 210. I have had a couple of upticks over Thanksgiving and recently, over the Christmas holiday, although this morning's weigh-in (prior to my treadmill session) found my weight at 210 on the button!
I generally weigh-in on Monday and then again on Thursday, although sometimes I can't help jumping on the scale more frequently.
Joining the gym has been a pleasant surprise for me. I'm not someone that generally enjoys gyms, but Planet Fitness in Auburn has been a good fit for me.
I'm in my ninth week of gym membership. I now workout early. Two times during the week, I'm at the gym at 5:00 a.m. Then, on Sunday, I arrive at 7:00 (when it opens) and this is usually my most vigorous workout of the week.
While diligence is required and I have to remain focused on staying the course, it's also exciting to be heading into 2010 without having to make a resolution to lose weight.