Thursday, November 18, 2010

The journey: Getting Started

That's such a lame title.
Maybe, as time goes on, I'll think of something a little more descriptive.
What I DO know is that I don't want this to be all about me.
Over the course of this year, I have learned so much about how SO MUCH is not about ME!
I write the following information strictly for the curious.
Since the beginning of this year, I have run into people I haven't seen for awhile and here is the first reaction:
"Wow!!  You've lost weight!"
The second statement that ALWAYS follows is this:
"How did you do it?"
So I quickly want to answer that question before I move onto what I actually gained this year!

When I decided that I was GOING to lose weight, I knew I was going to need a plan.
Something outlined in map formation.
With little goals along the way that would help me reach my ultimate goal of losing 45 pounds.

But I did not want to spend a lot of money on this.

I didn't want to buy any exercise equipment:

1. I don't have space in my crowded house for something like that.
2.  I don't know one. single. person who has purchased a piece of exercise equipment who didn't end up moving it out onto the patio for storage or just selling the thing. 
3.  I didn't want to get involved in something I would not want to continue once I reached my goal.

I didn't want to go out and spend a fortune on a gym membership,
or for a fancy, shmancy set of tennis shoes and matching workout clothes.

I didn't want to get involved in some kind of fad diet that you grow so secure in that you don't
learn how to change your lifestyle on your own for lasting weight loss.

No pills (what are you learning about yourself when you pop a pill?).
No weight watchers (great group, but not for me, 
hard to maintain unless you keep going to the support groups).
No pre-packaged meals sent to my house (too expensive, processed food, how are you learning portion control yourself when they do it for you?).
No cleanses or flushing of the bowels for this chick!!

I remembered that when we were sitting in the hospital with Ashlyn when she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes nearly 2 years ago, that our "Diabetic Educator" handed us a book
that you take everywhere you go that has nearly every restaurant in the country listed
along with every entrĂ©e that restaurant offers.  Then they have the calories and carbs listed so you
can figure out how much insulin you need with your meal.
It's called "Calorie King."
I remembered that when I read through this book, I realized the guy who started putting all this information 
together was passionate about making weight management easier.
So I went to their website.

I read through the information on the website, and did the 1 week free trial.
What was there to lose (besides 45 pounds???)
I immediately liked the user friendliness of the program and ALL the tremendous information they give you.
I liked that it was simply about learning how many calories your body needs every day, 
and then reducing that amount by several hundred (calories) to lose 1-2 pounds a week.
I liked that you have to learn that every morsel you put in your mouth has a calorie attached to it,
and to remember that amount, you must write it down.
I especially like that they said up front, "You don't HAVE to exercise to lose the weight."
I wasn't sure how I would fit exercise into my already overloaded daily routine.
I didn't want my weight loss to become the overriding obsession of my life to the point
that it impacted my time with my children and husband.
I didn't want them resenting that I was gone everyday for hours!

So I signed up.
And I followed it faithfully.
I recorded my calorie intake everyday in their online journal, weighed in once a week, and learned that with exercising you can eat a few more calories on that day.  
I started walking 30 minutes 3 days a week.
Then I bumped it up to 45 minutes for 4 days a week.
The first week I lost 5 pounds, then every week after that I lost 2 pounds....until about the fourth week.
That's when I ran into my first experience with the phenomenon known as:
the plateau!!

That is the infamous point in your weight loss journey that can occur over and over where you lose very little weight one week to no weight at all!!
Those are very frustrating weeks!!
I'll tell you more about what I learned through those times and how to "bust 'em"
in the next installment of this journey!!


Laura said...

It's that time of the year ~ time to think about how to lose weight. I am looking at Calorie King. I had never heard of it before you mentioned it. I'm just wondering how it is better than writing down calories or using a free site. Was there a big advantage to using them? Thanks for any help you can give (if you have time).

Brenda said...

Hi Laura,
You know, I have to tell you, I think the thing that made Calorie King stand out for me (as opposed to just writing things down or using a free site) was the different "topics" you read and fill out as you go along. You work your way through "levels" and at the beginning (bronze level) you read through these topics that are relevant to where you are in your weight loss journey. They were amazingly on time for me and prepared me in advance for things like how to work through a plateau or what to do when your family isn't as supportive as you need them to be. Plus, when you reach your goal, they have this system you set up called "zones." So you decide where you want to stay in your weight (once you reach your goal), and where you're not comfortable. Once you start slipping into those zones where you've gained a couple pounds, it alerts you to get back into your zone and how many calories you need daily to do that, etc. It has some really great features that places like "" does not. Now, I really like the free site, and for me I needed something fun like this to record my calories every day. I wasn't bogged down with little sheets of paper to keep track of, and it was FUN!! For me, I know I wouldn't have been as disciplined about writing things down on paper.....OH!!! And did I mention that these sites already have tons of other people who have added the calories of tons of foods, so you wouldn't have to look anything up! Especially helpful when eating out. They have tons of restaurant foods already in the data base!
Let me know if I answered your questions helpfully enough. I would love to encourage you along in your goals for this next year!!!