3 Lessons Learned While I was Busy Losing Weight

January 24, 2012 · 1 comment

This is a guest post by Jacquie.

Losing weight is a difficult thing to do, but it’s much more achievable if you follow the right mindset. Here are a few of the most important things I learned during my weight loss journey.

Losing weight tends to be a bit of an obsession in our culture. To some degree of course, that’s good. A healthy body weight is one indicator of our overall health and fitness and it’s clear that obesity carries with it some significant health risks. I struggled to keep the pounds off for years before I finally realized that what I was really looking for was that health and vitality that I’d had back in my early 20s, before workplace and family responsibilities pushed my personal goals to the backburner.

Then one day I finally realized that in order to be there and at my best for my family and myself, meant taking some time for myself to work on losing the weight and getting back to being the healthful, energetic and youthful person that I once had been. It wasn’t an easy task, but I did learn some things along the way that made the process easier. I’d like to share them with you now in the hopes that you can benefit from them and avoid some of the pitfalls I met with along the way.

3 Weight Loss Lessons For Success

  1. Food is not the enemy. Ok, I’ll come out and say it, I love food. There are so many varieties and tastes to discover and I enjoy cooking up a storm and experimenting with new recipes. I think this was one factor in my reluctance to get serious about weight loss. I associated losing weight with depriving myself of food.

    I gradually came to realize though that food is not the enemy. The key is to replace fatty, sugary, processed foods (which, when you get right down to it aren’t very satisfying anyway) with healthy, nutrient packed and delicious foods.

    In my quest for healthy culinary choices, I took a healthy cooking class and learned some new recipes that were not only delicious, but also nutritious. Realizing that I didn’t have to give up my love of food was a very important moment in my progress.

  2. Aim for being healthy, not just thin. It’s hard to escape the tyranny of the scale, but it’s very important to realize that your actual weight is only one measure of health.

    In the beginning, your weight will tend to fluctuate and it will be hard to see progress until you’ve been at it for a while. The remedy is to set goals for general health, rather than just weight loss. Studies have shown that it’s better to be fit and active while carrying a few extra pounds than it is to be skinny and inactive.

    Look for ways to improve your health, whether it’s through increased fitness, lowered stress levels or even just getting a proper sleep at night. This will help you feel better and have more energy to put towards achieving your goals. And after all, improved health is ultimately what we’re all looking for in a weight loss program anyway.

  3. Be sure to get your exercise. Exercise is beneficial in so many ways. It can boost your metabolism, help you burn calories and improve your mood and decision making abilities. Doctors and scientists have known about the benefits of exercise for years and yet many of us don’t get enough.

    There are two broad categories of exercise that are helpful, strength training helps build muscle, tone your body, and boost your metabolism. Bigger muscles need more caloric energy for support and this helps you burn more calories throughout the day, not just while you’re at the gym. Cardiovascular exercise is even more effective than strength training at burning calories during a workout.

You should do whatever exercise that appeals to you and gives you a sense of variety. I added Pilates to my program and started a regular walking and then jogging program several days per week. My Garmin Garmin GPS Forerunner 305 really helped me control my workouts and see my progress. It showed me exactly how many calories I was burning with each session and I loved the way I could upload the data to my online training log and chart my progress over time. This was probably the best thing I did for my motivation. Seeing the actual fruits of my labor in terms of calories burned helped me look forward to my workouts and got me out there on the trails when I might otherwise have stayed home. It’s amazing how satisfying it feels to look back after a couple of months and see all that you’ve accomplished.

The biggest thing is just to stick with it. There are no big secrets that will help you lose the weight overnight, but if you stick with a simple, well thought out plan, in time you can accomplish more than you ever dreamed possible.

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{ 1 comment }

Dan Spinato January 30, 2012 at 2:08 am

I liked the first point: “Food is not the enemy.” True enough, food is here to bring us nourishment. It’s up to us to be responsible and disciplined with what we take in.

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