Sunday, January 30, 2011

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

Think about it for a minute. If you don’t have a plan, you cannot succeed. Nothing worth having should be left to chance. Too often we want phenomenal results but forget the phenomenal effort it takes to get there. Today’s society is all about instant gratification. Kim Z. of R.H.o A. getting laser treatments while eating a “The Works” pizza and chicken fingers is a perfect example. A few years ago I was 50lbs heavier. I was disgusted and desperate to get back in shape. I made a New Years resolution to do everything short of surgery to lose weight. I immediately signed up for Nutrisystem. I found my misplaced gym membership card and began going several times a week for 30 min cardio sessions. I was in such bad shape that the 1,200 calorie a day regimen and light cardio immediately gave me great results. I begin losing 3-4lbs a week like magic. I am so encouraged I buy cute athletic gear instead of fashionable stilettos for the first time in my life. I pop in yoga DVD’s on my lunch break and people at work think I’m losing my mind as well as my fat ass. I get many compliments on my progress. And then Maria B. asked me a question. Maria B. is a naysayer. Maria is the type of person who says, “Why bother? We’re all gonna die one day anyway, right?” Several of my coworkers had begun doing little things to sabotage my weight loss. Like buying me lunch for no reason… Surprising me with a giant gourmet caramel apple double dipped in white chocolate. Hilarious shenanigans like that. I took the small pranks in stride. But Maria B. shook my confidence to the core in a way I thought no one could. We were passing each other in the office one day when she motioned to me. “Hey, let me ask you a question.” I smiled at her thinking she was going to ask me for exercise tips or something. Maria B. looks like a cross between Rosanne Bar and Snooki with a voice like Marg Simpson’s sisters. “I see you’ve been losing a lot of weight lately. How did you do it? Pills?” My jaw hit the floor. Pills? Really? I mean, I was getting my Nutrisystem orders delivered to the job. I was carrying around baggies of fresh fruit to snack on. I carried around a food journal like a minister carries a bible. And yet this idiot had decided that because her weight loss efforts had always failed, I MUST have been doing something other than what I was portraying. Healthy eating and exercise don’t work, drugs do. I was beyond insulted. Looking back I realize that her small little brain just couldn’t wrap itself around the concept of hard work paying off. I’ve seen many friends and co-workers start out to lose weight and then give up after a short amount of time when they don’t see results. Why do they fail? Because they didn’t plan correctly. Unless you have a fabulous buffet style cafeteria at work, not bringing lunch is going to cause you to fail at your weight loss. If you cook your diners based on what your kids like instead of following a healthy meal plan, you will fail at your weight loss efforts.

Here are a few things I’ve found to be true about losing weight and getting/staying in shape.

You must keep a food diary. It’s amazing how much we eat without realizing it. A journal keeps you accountable and allows you to make changes when needed.

You must count. Whether its calorie counting or the Weight Watchers point system, you must count the amount of food you take in every day. If you eat thousands of calories a day and then suddenly start eating cottage cheese every meal, you will lose weight without counting. But only for a little while. At some point you will have to count. Your body is a bank and food is money. If you want to lose weight you must budget your calorie intake. I keep the menus for all the major fast food restaurants in my food journal. That way if someone wants to go out, I can quickly figure out what to eat that will not ruin my intake for the day. I leave very little to chance. I plan my breakfast, lunch, and dinners. I snack on fruit (that I weigh) or 100 calorie snack paks. I keep bookmarked on my phone in case I come across something I’m not sure of. Here is a good calorie calculator I like I also have it book marked on my phone for quick reference.

If you are over 30 you must exercise at least 30 min a day every day. If you are over 40 you must exercise 1hr every day. Not to lose weight, to not gain weight. If you want to lose weight you must double those numbers. Nature is not on our side any more. We are not 20-somethings that can lose weight by blinking. Hormones, stress, work, kids, etc are working against us. We cannot put in half efforts and expect full results.

If you don’t like to exercise, fake it. Find an exercise you will do and do a variety of them. Running, jogging, and walking are good. Adding different aerobics classes and moderate weight lifting are even better. Adding fitness to your life will help keep the weight off once you achieve your goals and lengthen your life as well. I run on the treadmill, elliptical, or walk everyday. I lift weights several times a week. And to round things off I take Zumba and Turbo Kick Boxing four times a week. Just to keep from turning into a ball of fat J

We only have one life to live; we should take care of ourselves while we are living it. Be good to yourselves and treat your body like the temple of beauty it is it. Namaste !!!