Overcoming Weight Loss Obstacles (More tips)

This is a continuation of the April  30th, 2014 Weights and Balances article on overcoming weight loss obstacles.

  1. Sedentary Lifestyle:  Wearing a step counter can help keep you aware of movement or the lack of movement in your day.  Stand up and take that conference call, walk to a co-workers desk instead of emailing them, take the stairs, park farther away, move five minutes of every hour; everything counts!
  2. Stress:  Stress will always be present in your life and learning good coping skills will help you achieve your weight loss goals.  Take a walk instead of eating those cookies in the break room, drink an extra glass of water, chew a piece of sugar-less gum, keep nutritious snacks on your desk, enroll in a fun fitness class each week that you like, and take lots of deep breaths before making that uncomfortable phone call!
  3. Shame:  It happens, you made some poor choices and now you don’t want to own up to them and feel guilt and shame.  Don’t let shame/guilt own you.  Accept it  and move on!
  4. Skipping skip meals!  Don’t skip your meals, try to space your meals out so you are not famished so you will not eating everything but the kitchen sink!
  5. Using “always” and “never” Do not remove any foods from your list of possibilities.  Being absolute will make you crave what you said you cannot have.  Have the “forbidden” foods in moderation and be patient with yourself.
  6. “Diet Mentality” This mentality will sabotage any long- term success.  What is the “diet” mentality? It  is thinking you only have to make changes for a short time.  Changing how you eat for a couple of months will not change your life in the long run; focus on sustainable changes for the long haul!  Small changes make for huge success! Change your life/health not just your pant size!
  7. Be patient This is tough to do!  Do not give up when your body hits a plateau!  Keep going, add some extra exercise, and drink a little more water.  Be patient, your body will respond! This is a big obstacle to weight loss for many of us.
  8. Portion Control:  Don’t estimate your portions!  Weigh and measure your food for proper portion sizes!
  9. Not gauging success:  Don’t use the scale as your only measure of success.  Think:   How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? How do you look?  How many inches have you lost?  Take pictures of your journey, even if you do not want to! Take measurements and see how the inches come off!
  10. Tired/Fatigue:  Get your rest/sleep!  Being tired can easily interfere with your judgment and not making wise choices for meals/snacks.  Also a lack of sleep will activate your appetite hormones and this will stimulate overeating!
  11. Un-Healthy Snacking:  Eating healthy snacks every few hours is a good thing.  Try to have a protein with every meal or snack.   The helps keep the cravings at bay.
  12. Dehydration:  Be sure to drink six to eight cups or more of water each day.  Often we are thirsty and not hungry and we confuse the two!

 There are many obstacles to weight loss, but they can be overcome and you can be successful! 

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Weights & Balances (Issue #46) – April 23, 2014

April  23, 2014

Weights and Balances (Issue #45) – April 16, 2014

April  16, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weights& Balances (Issue #44) – April 9, 2014

This is a little different version of the article I wrote for the blog previously about overcoming discouragement.

April  9, 2014

 

Entering the Danger Zone: 16 lbs. From Goal!

After 14 1/2 months, I am now a little less than 16 lbs. from my weight goal and attending Weight Watcher Meetings first thing on Saturday mornings.  It has been an adjustment to go from being an online member to now a meetings member!  At home, you can weigh in first thing in the morning wearing only your birthday suit.  At meetings, you are dressed and yes your clothes do add weight, almost a full pound in my case! My focus seems to be starting to change moving away from solely losing weight to starting to consider how to maintain the lifestyle. In some ways, that is uncomfortable.  I have spent the last year being strongly focused on losing weight and now I have to start considering, what comes after the weight loss phase.

At the meeting this past Saturday I had a loss of 3.8 lbs which placed me at  a total 105.2 lbs lost so far!  I feel driven to not only wanting to hit my next five-pound loss and I am starting to focusing on what I have left to lose.   Focusing on five pounds at a time has kept me from feeling overwhelmed in my weight loss phase.  If I would have started with the “big” number of needing to lose over 120 lbs. in my head from the start, I would have gotten overwhelmed, discouraged and maybe even quit and not gotten this far.  When I began on January 23rd of 2013, my only goal had been to feel better and  get my energy back.   I knew weight loss was the gateway to accomplishing these health goals  I have only in the last month set a target goal number.  My target goal number is a little less than 16 lbs away.  If fact, 15.2 lbs. and yes I am counting!

My Best Advice 

The best advice I would offer to anyone who is wanting to lose any amount of weight is to start small.  Set one or two goals/changes a week that are easy and manageable.  Build on each and every small success and don’t forget to reward yourself!  What kinds of small changes?  For example, one of my first goals was to eat ONE whole piece of fruit a day.  That might not sound  like much, but I wasn’t eating much fruit or vegetables at all before Weight Watchers.  I knew I needed to eat more fruit and vegetables but I knew I had to “ease” into it!   I love both fruits and vegetables but I had not been eating them unless they were accompanied by  high-fat sauces, cheeses, or a part of some pasta laden dish or as a side ingredient in some decadent dessert.   I  didn’t normally eat fruits or vegetables by themselves.  Now I have on my desk at any given time at least two pieces of fruit and some vegetables to eat/snack on for my work day.  Another example of staring small is to decide to walk 10 minutes a day.  It doesn’t have to be all at one time, you could choose to walk five minutes at lunch time and five minutes in the evening.  Slowly increase your number until you are walking 30 minutes a day.

I have managed to keep focus so far.  It is amazing to me that I have lost 105 lbs in a little over a year! Yay me! I have maintained my focus by concentrating on losing five pounds at a time.  I have not been considering an end goal.  Just in the last month, I have chosen a target goal.  I have found myself trying to envision what I will look like at goal and starting to question if my goal should be less than what I have set it.  I am starting to second guess myself because I see what I call my “doughy” mid-section not being where I would like it to be. Will sixteen more pounds perfect it, I doubt it.  I want to think that second guessing myself is a good thing at this point, but there is the real possibility that it isn’t good that maybe I am so comfortable losing weight that considering stopping the weight loss mindset is a bit scary.

Looking back over my life, I have lost weight before and then in time re-gained it.  I think that is what scares me the most I do not want that to happen again!  I want my body to remain healthy now.  There isn’t any reason for me to be overweight ever again.  What could ever be a reason for someone to be overweight?  I think many times we become very comfortable being at a certain weight and we do not want to be uncomfortable so we stay or gain even more!  I have tools to maintain my weight loss, I need to stay focused even after reaching my goal.  I think it is starting to sink in, the real journey is just beginning!

Meetings

I am enjoying the meetings; it makes a great start to my Saturday morning! The group is lively and lots participate which instantly makes the meetings more fun!  The leader, Kathy keeps the meetings moving along and gives lots of positive reinforcements.  I earned my first “Bravo” star this past week. What is a Bravo Star? It is something small but does make you feel very good when you get one!  I ‘earned’ mine by telling how I have been getting in extra activity the last week!  Little changes do add up!  I am living proof of that.  It is still mind-boggling for me to think I have less than 20 lbs to lose.  Many might not think the Bravo Stars, key rings, charms, etc. are not big deals but they indeed are.  Each one you earn, is a reward of a goal accomplished.  Many who are attempting to lose weight, fail to reward themselves.  I love all the little rewards along the Weight Watcher’s Journey!

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Looking Different

The fun part about your body slowly changing shape is that you start wanting to make more and more changes.  Shopping for clothes is fun again and I have always loved playing with my hair!  I got my hair ready for summer by getting some highlights added to it! I love how it turned out too! I thought I would share the new “summer” hair with those that read my blog so yesterday  I took a few snapshots and here is one for an update.  Yes it was a self-ie, so that is why I am looking not at the camera but at the phone trying to find the button and push it! Later, I found out how to make the phone’s camera face front and took a few snaps from that perspective too.  Technology, got to love it!  My next full body photo will be at goal and that is just 16 lbs away!

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The Danger Zone

First, I am less than 20 lbs to my goal.  Second, I am feeling great.  Third, my energy levels have returned!  Fourth, I like how I am looking in my clothes.  I agree all those things I listed are wonderful!  The main reasons why I started Weight Watchers, to feel better and have more energy. I can check those off as having been accomplished BUT I am not to the goal number yet.  Yes, I accomplished those two goals but along the way, I have added new additional goals.  New goals are:   to reach a number goal (and maybe a few pounds extra), look even better in my clothes, work on my physical fitness/core strength, to help others with their weight loss goals!  The real ‘danger zone’ would be not having any goals to carry me past my final weight goal.  We all need to have goals at any place we are in life.  It keeps us growing and moving forward!

Thank you for reading,  for your comments and for your support!

 

Breaking Bad—Habits: Comfort Eating

This is  a continuation of the April 2, 2014 Weights and Balances on focusing on comfort eating.

In many cookbooks and websites, there are now sections on “comfort foods.”  What does the term “comfort food” imply?  It implies that you can eat these foods to attain or maintain a feeling.  That sounds oddly familiar like why a junkie needs his drug!  Moods tend to dictate what type of comfort foods that we seek out.  Happy moods seem to draw us to pizza and steak, whereas sad moods move us to seek out ice cream and cookies and bored people seek out potato chips.  I am a potato chip seeker! (or was)  More proof that I had an issue with eating from boredom! (Bad bad habit!)

We tend to over-feed emotions and thus gain weight.  We have to learn other coping strategies or we are doomed to keep fighting overweight.

Things to try to keep in focus:

  • Learn what triggers comfort eating in you (anger, feeling unappreciated, feeling hopeless, feeling out of control, boredom)
  • Learn to recognize real hunger signals (hallow feeling, mild gnawing sensation in your gut)
  • Keep of list of things you can do when you realize you are wanting to eat when not hungry
  • Find a “healthy” alternative comfort food
  • When faced with something highly fattening, take about four bites and call it quits, equal pleasure with much lower cost
  • Use moderation, learn to “live with” comfort foods by controlling your portion size of them  (individual servings not whole bags/boxes/cartons)
  • Do not skip meals; this will almost always lead to over-eating

I had someone once tell me that I had to work very hard to stay overweight.  Now I am really beginning to understand what that really meant.  Eating emotionally is a lifetime habit that is difficult to face but for lasting weight loss and greater health it has to be overcome.

Something to remember, when you slip up and eat emotionally, do not give up on yourself.  Self-forgiveness must happen and re-focus on making good choices at the next meal/snack/day. Staying focused on how far you have come and what you have learned from your mistakes will help keep you moving forward in your journey to long-term weigh loss success.

Mistakes 7Success 47Forgiveness 5