Saturday, July 18, 2009

You can do this

A friend asked several people for help in losing weight. She's been overweight since she was a teenager and has struggled with diets off and on ever since. Like so many others she makes excuses to herself for over-eating and not exercising. She starts her days like I start many of mine, telling herself she's going to eat healthy then binges on junk food. Diet Coke is her passion. Chips and salsa are a favorite snack. Sound familiar? This is a struggle billions of people face every day. Out of those billions, there are those who whine and do nothing. Then there are those like this mom who want to make a change so bad that they pull down their walls and share how they feel, asking for help. I don't normally toot my own horn but after re-reading my advice to her I thought it sounded pretty good. So, I wanted to share it with everyone. Here you go:

When I read your letter my first thought was "She needs to make small changes." I'd start with weaning off the diet soda. That's what my biological mom did and it helped her a lot. You can still have one once a week or so but not every day. The diet is actually worse for you than regular soda. You can do this. Water, water, water! If you don't like it you can mix in lemons or even Crystal Light (in moderation). I disagree with the person who said to start exercising later. Modifying your meal plan alone will not give you the results you need to stay on track. In my opinion, you need to start walking even if it's just for five minutes here and there throughout the day. Sometimes I get up from my computer and jog in place for a few minutes or do jumping jacks. You can do this.

Without strength training you'll plateau quickly and get frustrated. This happened to me after doing cardio for 2 weeks. I'm actually working on a blog post right now about exercising free, meaning you don't have to pay any money to do it. One of my suggestions is using the shows on FitTV. Right now I have Shimmy (belly dancing), Namaste Yoga, and 2 Allstar Workouts taped. You can do this. A friend of mine also pointed me to Workouts on Demand on Brighthouse Cable which are shorter and great when you're in a time crunch. Also, I should be a spokesperson for Fitness Magazine! I swear by their site. They have tons of workouts, strength training for every area of your body, tips, recipes, and so much more. You can do this.

I'm not a fitness expert but I recently won a Sexy by Summer contest. I couldn't have lost the weight I did without the kick in the butt this contest gave me. It wasn't the prizes that gave me the kick though, it was the support of everyone who was involved in the contest. If you want motivation and support, your friends are the ones to give it to you. You can do this. We'll make sure you're getting off your butt, not stuffing your face and making sure you're becoming a healthier mommy. Sorry, I don't sugar coat things. It doesn't do anyone any good. You can do this.

Since winning, I've gone through some personal things and have put five pounds back on. It may not sound like a lot but on me it makes a big difference. I've been told during the past 6 months I didn't need to lose weight. I'm 5'5" and was 120 lb last September. In December I was 130 lb and by January I was 140 lb. I know right now lots of people are glaring at me through their monitors but this was big for me. I was depressed about my weight which made me only want to eat more. None of my clothes fit but I refused to buy more so I spent my days in baggy old t-shirts and pajama pants. Now, I'm back into almost all of my clothes. The biggest thing I learned was that this needed to be a permanent lifestyle change for me. Exercise HAS to be included in my weekly routines and I can't eat junk like I did when I was 20. You can do this. You can eat chips, just put them in a bowl and DO NOT go back for seconds! This way you'll still have more for tomorrow.

You can do this. We will all help you and anyone else that wants to lose weight. They say it takes a village to raise a child, well it takes a villiage to get us off of our fat asses, too.

Ditch the word diet from your vocabulary, ditch the soda, drink water, walk, lift some soup cans, do squats and lunges and see if you don't notice a difference in a month. Baby steps. Small changes. You can do this.

Now, I'm off to follow my own advice!

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