Weights & Balances (Issue #34) – January 29, 2014

January 29 2014

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Happy Measurement Day aka Happy 1st day of the month!

I get really happy when I see that we are getting ready to have a new month begin these days.  Why?  I take my measurements every first day of the new month.  I wish I had begun this a year ago, but thrilled I started on June 1st of 2013.  Before I know it, I will have a years’ worth of data to see how much I have reduced in space volume!

If you are trying to reduce the amount of excess weight on your body, I highly recommend that you start off taking measurements at the very beginning of your process.   I take measurements for:  my upper arm, my thigh, my waist, my bust and my hips.  You might want to add a neck calf measurement to the list as well.

When the scale doesn’t seem to be moving, these measurements will keep you from getting too down.  Often when the scale isn’t moving, the inches are coming off!   You can measure success with the scale, measuring tape and how your clothes fit/feel.

Even if the scale and the measuring tape are being stubborn and do not show a loss, know that you have given your best and you are doing/eating this new way because you love YOU!

Self Love 14

Happy Weight Watchers Anniversary to me!

Dear Me,

Today marks my 52nd weigh in and I have lost 88.6 lbs to date and I am only 32 lbs. from my goal weight!

I lost 88

I feel very blessed, very happy and thrilled with the progress I have been able to make online.  This time last year I was headed for a heart attack for certain!  No energy, always out of breath walking up one flight of stairs and wanted to do nothing other than sleep all the time!  As they say, what a difference a year makes! Last year this time, I did not even think any further ahead than losing 5 pounds at a time and that is still how I maintain my focus.  I know my next mini-milestone is 90 lbs and I am 1.4 lbs from that now!  So I need to push hard this week to reach that next Wednesday!

I have been asked for tips.  Here is what I have put together.  I think there are some foundations that I try to not vary from no matter what is going on around me.

  1. Drink lots and lots of water (more than the suggest 8 – 8 oz. glasses at day) I add fresh lemon slices to mine or fresh cucumber slices (which are natural diuretics and help eliminate fluid retention).
  2. Keep a daily journal of everything you eat and drink and all your movement for the day. (consistency is a key)
  3. Measure and weigh your portions.
  4. Use a salad plate and not a dinner plate this will make you feel you are getting more food and not make you feel you are on a “diet”
  5. Try to get in at least 6 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
  6. Try to get in at least 2 dairy servings a day
  7. Try to get in at least 2 healthy oil servings a day
  8. Take a multi-vitamin each day
  9. Get in at least 30 minutes of activity/movement five times a week. (i.e., walking the dog, walking, gym, weight training, Zumba, elliptical, etc.) log what you do and for how long, to ensure you get your 30 minutes 5 x a week J (I try to get a little each day)
  10. Try to get at least 6-8 hours of rest a day.
  11. Indulge in some favorite foods each week, within reason!
  12. Study restaurant menus for healthier choices; go outside your “normal” choices (many restaurant menus are online so you can study them before you get there)
  13. Set realistic short-term goals.  Such as focusing on losing  five pounds at a time.
  14. Make small changes each week.
  15. Try a new food/recipe each week to help eliminate boredom from your menu.
  16. Try to eat more whole unprocessed foods. (whole grains, veggies, fruits and lean protein sources)
  17. Be forgiving, if you make some unwise food choices, get back on track the very next meal/snack.  Everyone has slip ups! Don’t let one poor meal choice snowball into a bad day/week/month, etc!
  18. Accept there will be some weight gains along the way and no not let them discourage you.
  19. Plan your meals where possible.
  20. Eat something every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism revved up!

Happy One Year Weight Watchers Anniversary to me!

Anniversary 1

Getting FIT: Working with Personal Trainers (2013)

December 3, 2013 marked a sad day of sorts.  I have finished a ten week program working out under the direction of interns who are preparing to become professional personal trainers and I will miss their encouragement and challenges.   During the ten weeks, I lost 12.8 lbs., strengthened my core and rediscovered my love of movement.   Rachel and Jimmy were always encouraging me and challenged me to push a little harder.

The FIT Program

In 2005, the Exercise Science Program at the University of South Florida started a FIT (Fitness Intern Trainers) which is composed of students who are majoring in Exercise Science and desire to become fitness trainers.  A team of two students are paired with a member of the faculty or staff who has agreed to be clients to the student trainers for the 8 or 10 week program.  This gives the interns hands-on experience in a controlled clinical environment.  Assessments are giving at the beginning and the end of the program to measure the client’s success.   The trainers lead their client in two structured workouts a week and the client must do at least one workout session on their own.  At the end of the program, the trainers meet with the clients to discuss their progress and offer suggestions for future improvements.

I participated the first year of the program and felt that it ignited a love of working out and the gym.  I had paired working out with the Weight Watchers program and was very successful.  By the end of the program I had dropped weight and felt generally better.

I continued to go to the gym in 2006 and in the fall of 2007, I agreed to participate again.  By this time my father had passed away in April of 2007 and I had put on weight but hoped the fit program would help me to start successfully losing again.  In between April and September I had put on roughly 30 pounds and was starting to feel sluggish.  At the end of the FIT program I had not lost weight but had actually gained a few pounds and was frustrated.  I continued to go to the gym and workout 3-4 times a week during 2008 but by the fall of 2008, I was dancing 3-4 times a week and my body was taking a beating.  My weight continued to creep up and by the fall of 2009 I had stopped going to the gym at all.  I missed the gym but didn’t feel I had time for it anymore.   I saw sent out in the fall asking for participants  for the FIT program in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 but didn’t respond to any of them.  I knew it was a wonderful program and an opportunity to get things headed back in the right direction but didn’t choose to act.

2012

By the fall of 2012, I knew I should do something to get my weight back in control.  I tried the much-touted Sensa to not notice any changes other than my sweet cravings had diminished.  While not a success, I thought that was something but it was a bit too pricey for no real notable changes physically.  I cancelled my subscription and only completed months 1-4.   I was feeling physically not very well but knew Sensa was not the answer.  I knew Weight Watchers had worked as long as I did it before but wasn’t sure I was ready to do it.  I could barely walk up one flight of stairs at my own house without having to stop at the top.  This was unacceptable!  I used to love to move, now I only wanted to sleep and eat!  I would take the dog out a couple of times a day but walking long distances wasn’t something I felt I could accomplish.  The dog was getting old (14.5 years old) and I didn’t have the energy to go far.

2013

I made the decision to join Weight Watchers online on Wednesday, January 2nd just 10 days prior to my mom’s 70th birthday luncheon which I had helped plan.   I started tracking but not limiting my choices just to get the hang of the program.  I did not own a scale, so I guessed at my weight.  I was wrong!  I ordered a new scale and when it arrived on Wednesday, January 23rd, I found out my true weight and it was more than I thought!  I dug in and bought a tool that I needed to succeed, a digital food scale!  I was able to accurately track and control my portions and this paid off!  By the middle of March 2013, I was down 15 lbs. and decided to start walking some.  I went from walking a couple of times to a week to 4-5 times a week and was down 28 lbs by the first of May.  This was exciting!  It was getting hot to walk outside but I knew I needed to keep pushing at the movement.  By the first of August I was down 52 lbs. and feeling so much better!

When the FIT Invitation email came into my email box in late August I was ready to get back to the gym!  I responded and was accepted into the FIT program for the third time.  I was assigned two trainers, Rachel and Jimmy.  I completed their assessment tests and we set some goals for general fitness to work toward in the ten week program.  The program has you working with two trainers two times a week and then asks you to work out at least one time on your own during the week.  Monday mornings and Wednesday at lunch time is when I met and worked out under the direction of the trainers.  Usually Friday mornings I worked out on my own and sometimes on Sunday afternoons too.  During the ten week program, I had dropped twelve pounds!

My trainers and me

Image

Post Program

I have continued the walking and going to the gym and have continued to lose more weight.  Even with Thanksgiving, going on a cruise, celebrating my birthday, Christmas and New Years I have dropped ___  more since finishing the FIT program.  Would I do it again?  You bet!  Awesome program for those who want to reach fitness goals or just get started working out and need some structure and guidance.   The FIT program is ran by the School of Physical Education and Exercise Science at the University of South Florida. http://www.coedu.usf.edu/main/departments/physed/PEX.html

I now have a year membership at our gym (for the first time) and I am enjoying it!