As a cancer mom I've sat home and gained a few extra pounds. I've recently been working on losing the extra weight. Here's how I'm finally making it work.
One of my most popular posts on this site has been the test I did on that popular gourmet instant coffee and it's effects on losing weight. If you read that post and the comments you know that it didn't work for me the way some people report that it works for them. I got lots of comments about what I ate, how I needed to change things, and so forth. Thank you for that by the way... I love comments and so appreciate the time taken to read my posts. I've come to a few of conclusions:
1. As your body changes and gets older, the things you did in the past may not work any longer. When I was in my twenties, I could skip dinner for a few days, work out, and shed the few unwanted pounds I'd put on. Now, that doesn't work anymore. People can't follow the same formula and all get the same results. I have to find the right formula for me at my age.I've taken all of those conclusions and come up with the plan that is helping me lose weight and develop a habit-forming way to maintain it when I get back to my goal. How much have I lost? I have no idea. I don't have a bathroom scale any longer to check, but I can feel my clothes getting looser and fitting better again. I like it better that way. Trying to reach a specified number can be stressful. Go by how you look in photos and in the mirror, not a number on the scale.
2. For most of us, there is no magic cure. We have to work at it and take it slow. Exercise AND a plan of eating (notice I didn't say diet). Everyone wants the best way to lose weight fast...but fast isn't better. It just keeps us on the yo-yo pattern of loving then hating our image again. We need to accept where we are now and not get in a hurry. If you have an event coming up in a week and you really wanted to lose that five pounds before the event...just stop. Find an outfit to wear that accents your best and hides your worst and go to the event proud of who you are.
3. I get so annoyed at people who don't have to work at this! We all have that skinny friend with high metabolism that doesn't have to do anything to maintain their image. I've actually been accused of being that person before...but no, I have to work and so do most people. The great thing is the joke is on them because when we finally get in our groove of working out and we all get older...they will be "skinny-fat" and we won't. They have lived their whole lives doing nothing and it will catch up to them eventually. We who work at it (even if we drop the ball at times) will be determined to always work at it and get the last laugh.
What works for me right now is a high protein, low carb way of eating. Note, I did not say "no carb" so y'all don't leave me comments about how bad that is. I know you can't go no carb. When I do eat carbs, I eat the whole wheat unrefined versions. I cut out as much sugar as possible. When I do have sugar, I have it separate than other foods. For instance, I am in love with flavored coffee creamers. I have my coffee first thing in the morning with my sugary delicious creamer, then I wait for about 30-45 minutes and eat my high protein (Or healthy carb) breakfast. I do not eat carbs and proteins together. Sound familiar? This is vastly based on the Suzanne Somers "Somersize" plan. I threw in a few differences that work for me. Her plan says no sugar ever. I can't live like that. Most people who have come up with a plan of eating say it's scientific and if you don't follow it exactly as they describe it that it won't work for you. Remember what I said though...people are different. That may be true that it won't work for some people if they don't follow it exactly, but others can tweak it a little and still make it work. To find out more about her plan you can click that link and take a look at her book if you would like. Just so you know, she really stresses the importance of eating veggies (the non-starchy ones) with your meals.
I think that is the main thing that has broken me free. I can adapt anything to what works for me and so can you. By the way, I also do add supplements sometimes. I love to chop up some Organic Green Tea Leaves in my yogurt (I eat the Activia with the sugar, and again I just eat it and then wait a while before I have a protein or carbs meal). I also drink watered down Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother. You can find the Heinz brand at any store...just make sure it says "with the mother". Health food stores also carry the "Bragg" brand. I read that adding it to what you are already doing can help you lose up to two pounds a month more. I know two pounds in a month doesn't sound like a lot, but if you lose one pound a week with your eating and exercise efforts and then add the vinegar that's 6 pounds in one month. For most of us...that's either to the goal or close to the goal. Even if not though...remember the phrase "slow and steady wins the race". By the way, about once a week I'll have a cheat. For one meal I'll eat refined carbs and proteins together or have a dessert. I find it doesn't tend to cause a problem.
If someone tells you they have lost weight without exercise, good for them. It probably won't work that way for most of us. Think about it, do we really want it to? Exercise is not just for losing weight...it's for a healthy heart, increased energy (over time), better blood flow, heightened mood (I love that endorphin rush after a good workout) and more. The thing for most people including me is that its hard to get motivated. Once you do it, you feel great and you're glad you did. Stopping what you're doing, battling exhaustion, and getting past pure laziness is the problem. I'm calling myself lazy sometimes, not you...so don't feel bad.
Find something that's fun and that you enjoy. I own a Wii system and the girls and I do the "Just Dance" games. Just Dance 3 is my favorite. This is what I tell myself...just do three songs. I think where we go wrong is we start to think about how we're going to work out for an hour every day. That's the goal....not where we start! If like me, you've been through a tough time and let some things go...you have to start from the start line, not the finish line. Many times I do three songs and feel like doing more. Sometimes I get through three songs and say...yeah that's it. The point is, it's fun. The girls love the music and dancing and it's time we spend together. I don't like to give clues to exactly where I live because I already have our photos and names on the site. I get a little flack for that (you put your kids names and photos on the web?) and so do most mom bloggers. Anyway, I said that to say that we'll be moving soon and there's a lovely bridge I enjoy walking over. The view is gorgeous...I go in the morning when the sun is rising. I love the fresh air and cool breezes of the morning. I can process thoughts and have some time to myself. It's wonderful. That's a lot of motivation as well. So find a few things you find fun and enjoyable, set "start" goals and build up to the longer times.
I have a ton of Joyce Vedral books. Well, had. I'd get the book, strive to follow the plan as laid out, get flustered and give up. I decided to tweak this too. Here's the thing...if we don't follow the plan as written we won't get the results she wants us to get. If we don't follow the plan at all...we get nothing but the flabby unhappy images we have now. Do something! If you can't do it all...just do something. Accept the fact that in five months you're still not going to be a goddess...but if we do something, I'm sure in five months we'll feel a lot better than we do today.
Currently I do the three songs a day (sometimes more) and every other day I do a little bit of upper body. I do ten reps with five pound weights, three times. When I get a grip on that I can build up to more, then add lower body. Maybe you want to do lower body first. Maybe you can handle doing it all...maybe you do something totally different than me. That's the point! My plan may not work exactly for you, you may need to tweak it for you. You may like Atkins or South Beach better. You might be able to buy Lean Cuisine and make it work.
Never lose weight for another person. Stay in shape for yourself.
If you drop the ball and let things go for a while...give yourself a break. The important part is to pick the ball back up again. I don't know many people who don't have to work to maintain it all the time.
It's not just about weight and body image...it's about health! Overall health should be important to us all. Especially us special needs moms because we have to give so much to our kids. If we're not taken care of...we can't take care of them. Find a plan you can work with, don't get in a hurry, do it for yourself, and have fun!