Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Weighty Issue Part 2: The Results

When I left off, I mentioned it took me a year to get into the whole weight loss idea.

At my current job I joined the gym in the basement, using the treadmill and elliptical for 45 minutes to an hour for four or five times a week. I started eating smaller portions and better food. I started cooking with a lot less fat and a lot more low-fat ingredients. I also stopped a lot of the mindless snacking I did. It took me a year to shed 20 pounds. Since I’m short it was significant enough.

What I can recommend, which has worked for me (keep in mind I have NO dietary knowledge. This is just that works for my metabolism):
  • Stop drinking soda. Even diet soda. I was a HUGE Coca Cola freak before I cut it out back in high school. Within a week you will feel SO different. Within a month you will completely lose your taste for it. 
  • Eat more whole grain/wheat products and less white flour foods. It took me awhile, but I now like whole-grain pasta and breads (an occasional bagel in moderation is necessary though).
  • Cut your portions down. Check out a guide to portions here at WebMD. Not going to lie, it SUCKS sometimes, but slowly but surely what it takes to get you feeling full will shrink down.
  • Exercise. I hate exercising, but I’ve learned that I am not the type of person who can get away with not doing any. I’m down to 30 minutes three or four times a week on the elliptical or treadmill. When I first started exercising I only saw significant weight loss when I did 45 minutes to an hour at least four times a week. I also lift five pound weights three to four times a week while watching TV. How everyone’s body reacts though is different.
  • Cut down your use of full fat products. I hate fat free cheese/sour cream/butter/etc., but I see little to no taste difference in reduced fat versions.
  • Eat small, lighter meals throughout the day instead of three big heavy ones.
  • Don’t base your happiness on the scale. It’s how you feel in your clothing and in every day life that matters. If your pants are falling down, but the scale won’t budge- throw the scale out the window!
I still hold true to many of those tips, but sometimes my daily eating gets off course and my desire to work out weans away. Winter makes me want to do things like eat giant bowls of chili and baked potatoes smothered in cheese while wearing oversized sweaters on my couch.

I don't expect to lose more than the five pounds I've recently put on before the wedding, but I'd like to eat better and exercise more just for the sake of feeling better. Exercising and eating better/lighter just makes me feel more awake and energized. My biggest goal is to tone up my arms before the wedding. I also need to stop the mindless snacking I've been doing at night, the weekend Wendy's runs, and full fat beer drinking (Blue Moon being my new go-to).

What are your tips for getting into shape? Anyone have good arm toning workouts? Getting my arms toned has always been a tough battle for me.

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