Modern Everyday Superwomen

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SEVEN TIPS TO LOSE WEIGHT AND GET IN SHAPE

(Please Note:  By reading this blog, you agree to my disclaimer)

A few months ago, I decided to start a blog to help others on my own journey towards a better body and mind.  I figured a blog would keep me motivated (which it totally has) while also letting me get the word out on how I did it so that others can have the same success as me.  I kept starting new posts only to find out that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say so I’d leave to hopefully tackle it another day.  This has gone on for a while, but I’m glad it took this long.  Since the first time I sat down to write about tips for losing weight, I have learned SOOO much.   And I’m still learning.  AND, I plan to share everything I learn with you 🙂

Let me start by saying:  YOU CAN LOSE WEIGHT.  I don’t care how much you weigh now or how long you have been that weight.  You can lose those pounds.  And you can do it in a healthy way that doesn’t involve spending tons of money or starving your body.  But I will say that you HAVE to be motivated and dedicated or this isn’t going to work.  Lots of things take hard work and this is one of them.  It’s totally worth it in the end.  This hard work is going to give you beautiful results that will boost your self-esteem, help you sleep better, reduce your stress and do many other fabulous things for your insides as well as the outside.  You can do it!

 

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1.

Get Moving

I kicked off my weight loss journey with low intensity workouts from home.  I did Yoga, Pilates, Dance and tried a few cardio workout videos.  From past experience, I knew I needed to stick with something that would build strength and endurance slowly or I would just give up.  I have tried jumping into an intense cardio workout after months or years of not being active only to find that I couldn’t keep up, couldn’t catch my breath, felt lightheaded and had my body hurt for days afterwards.  Despite what some video instructors would have you believe, pushing yourself too hard is often counter-productive.  A lot of videos out there that claim they can get you that beach body in 30 days are not set up for beginners and can do more harm than good. So, I’d try them for a few days determined to lose weight, and then give up because it was a miserable experience.  Sound familiar?  I decided that if I was going to stick to something it had to be ‘low-impact’ and something I could keep up with.  Realizing this is what has made the biggest difference in achieving my goal.  Starting slow not only made sure that I was able to make it through an entire video without stopping, it also gave me the motivation to come back on a regular basis.  If you dread exercising, how long do you think you can keep doing it before giving up?  Find something that feels ‘good’ and you’re more likely to stick with it.  And the first step to being successful at exercising on a regular basis, is to establish a set workout schedule that you can keep.  I don’t care if all you do for 30 minutes, three days a week is march in place.  It’s a start, and that’s what we need.

So, now that you know how I got my start, lets talk about exactly what I was doing:  Fitness Workouts from my cable company.  ‘On Demand’ from Xfinity Comcast offers free exercise videos.  They have just about everything.  Walking, Dancing, Yoga, Pilates, Kick Boxing, Total Body, Butt, Abs, you name it.  The videos range from 5 minutes to an hour or more.  This is how I got started.  In the privacy of my own home, doing any type of exercise I wanted at any time of day I wanted for as long as I wanted and for FREE.  Since some people don’t have Xfinity, there is still a way you can get access to some of their workouts but it isn’t free.  Sportskool is one of the channel providers and they have a list of ways to view their videos if you go to their website:  sportskool.com.  I subscribe to Sportskool’s youtube channel for $2.99 a month.  For those of you who don’t have cable, Youtube has a ton of free videos for just about every exercise you’re interested in trying out.  If you don’t have access to cable or the internet, you can find fitness DVD’s at your local library, Goodwill, or thrift store.

2.

Keep Track of Your Eating!

I found out after months of working out 5 days a week and eating healthy foods that I wasn’t making progress.  For a while I thought it was because I was replacing ‘fat’ with muscle.  And while that may have been a little true, I just wasn’t getting the results I wanted.  I started thinking it was because I needed to work out longer and harder.  So I started to do that.  But I knew there was something I was missing.  So I started to dig around on the internet and came across Scooby’s Workshop (http://scoobysworkshop.com/) and he told me what I was doing wrong. I was eating more than I was burning off.  Even though it was all healthy food and I kept away from sweets, I was still eating too much.

There is a wonderful website I started using that helps you track your calories called Livestrong.com (http://www.livestrong.com/).  You can track calorie intake, how much you’ve burned by what exercises you’ve done, weight gain/loss, and it sets your calorie limit for you once you put in how much you want to gain or lose.  Once I started using this, I saw a difference almost immediately!  It also helped me to figure out that some of those meals I thought were so ‘good’ for me weren’t really that great and definitely weren’t helping me LOSE weight.

3.

Make Better Food Choices

This goes hand in hand with Number 2, but this is so important that it gets to be a tip all on it’s own.  I could not have lost the weight that I have without making a change to the foods I was putting in my body.  The more I started to pay attention to what I was eating and where it came from the better success I had.  If you want to lose weight quickly, you’ll have to make Number 3 a priority.

I will be writing an entire post on what specific changes I made to my diet and what helped me cut back on my eating so stay tuned to find out what helped me eat less and eat better.  In the meantime, avoid fast food, sugary foods, alcohol, sodas, etc.  Fill up on veggies, fruits, eggs, beans, lean meat and things like that.  This is perhaps the hardest part of losing weight for me.  I CRAVE junk food, especially at night and I always feel that it’s ok to ‘reward’ my hard work with a cookie only to feel depressed the next few days because I took it too far and ate a several cookies, half a bag of popcorn and drank a glass or two of wine.  What has helped with these late night cravings?  Not allowing myself to get bored!  And once I do feel like hitting up the cabinet, I hit the sack instead.  Which leads me to…..

4.

Get Plenty of Sleep!

Go to bed earlier!  Rest is SO good for the body.  Your skin will look better, your body will feel better, your mind will feel happier and on and on.  If you check out Scoobys website, you’ll find out all the many reasons why getting more sleep at night is so important.  For me, getting in bed earlier helps me to avoid those late night food cravings.  If I start to feel hungry while I’m caught up in a movie or a project, I know it’s time to get in bed.  If I stay up too late, I’ll just end up snacking.

5.

Make Time for Cardio!

I can’t stop talking about Scooby!  He changed my life.  I mean seriously, once I discovered his website, I REALLY started to see a change in my appearance.  I looked over his website and in thirty minutes I had enough info to help me get on the right track to losing weight.  I started putting his tips and advice to the test right away and within a week I could see a difference.  Now more than a month after discovering his website, my arms are toned, my abs are stronger than they’ve ever been and I feel incredible.  Number 5 is really about doing cardio but I had to give a shout out to the man who helped me realize just how important cardio is.  So, go check out his page and have your life ‘transformed’.  I started doing his ‘Women’s Beginner Resistance Band Workout’ which is only 30 minutes long and saw results within 2 weeks of doing it.  That’s only 6 times of doing the routine he recommends!  Seriously, check it out.  YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT.

Cardio is essential if you want to drop those pounds.  But:  CAUTION! TAKE IT SLOW!  Don’t jump on the hardest and most strenuous routine you can find thinking you’ll lose weight quicker.  If you do, it’s likely that you will get hurt or get sick and either not be able to do anything for a few weeks or not want to do anything for a few weeks and that obviously wont help you at all.  Brisk walking is a great place to start.  I walk almost every day and the benefits go way beyond weight loss.  Just try it out and see!  Dance or aerobics are other great forms of cardio for beginners.

6.

Put The Scale Away

When the batteries died in my scale, I wasn’t able to weigh myself for a few months.  (I realize I could have bought new batteries the same day they died but I didn’t and I’m glad that I didn’t).  Those few months of not weighing myself helped me lose more weight because I was never really sure if I had lost weight so I played it safe and didn’t reward myself with that second or third cookie at my nephews birthday party and didn’t get up for seconds during the Super Bowl party.  When I had the scale at my disposal, I would jump on, see that I had lost a pound and say, ‘Great!  I’m getting a piece of cake’.  Obviously, that just had me going in circles.  So, if you’re like me, weigh yourself once a week at most.  Don’t step on that scale all day!  It will only do one of two things, let you know that you’re not as thin as you thought which will make you feel worse and feel like giving up, or it will make you feel so successful that you think you can eat that greasy cheeseburger for dinner because after all, the scale said you lost two pounds since yesterday.  My advice is to only weigh yourself once a week and always at the same time of day.  Go about the rest of your week exercising, eating your set amount of calories from the Livestrong website, and see how you do after a week and adjust yourself as needed after that.

7.

Have Patience

And lastly, be patient.  If you want to lose weight the healthy way, you’ll have to be a little patient.  One week you might feel great and see the pounds melting off and then the next week feel as though you’ve added them all back on.  Don’t be discouraged and DON’T GIVE UP.  Patience is a very important part of getting fit.  I have learned the hard way that being too eager and trying to ‘rush’ results just ends in disappointment and frustration.  I was so ready to see results that I worked out too much one week and ended up hurting my back.  I couldn’t workout for a few days because of that.  At another point, I tried to rush my weight loss by cutting way back on my meals and ended up feeling too tired and weak to do an effective workout.  I learned that I had to get into a rhythm and stay there and be patient.  And that’s when things really started falling into place.  I lost weight and gained muscle and felt amazing doing it.  And you can too.  Keep in mind that one pound or even half of a pound off a week is progress.  You can do it 🙂

Starting your journey might be a little scary and definitely rocky at first.  That’s ok and completely normal.  If you have a really bad week and don’t exercise, eat right or get enough sleep, don’t give up!  Even if the only thing you can commit to changing right now is how many sodas you drink in a day, that’s a start and it will make a difference.  I used to be a smoker.  I tried and tried to quit and kept failing.  Eventually, I cut out one cigarette a day until I was only smoking three or four puffs off of one cigarette, one time a day.  And that was just ridiculous.  So, it was hard but I gave up that last little amount and two days later, barely missed it.  A week later?  Hardly thought about it.  And now, two years later?  I sometimes forget I used to smoke.  For me, cutting out that late night snack or that second helping of Spaghetti has been just as hard as quitting smoking.  I’m not telling you that to discourage you.  It’s important to look at how addictive food really can be.  Realizing that will help you understand why it’s been so hard to give it up in the past.  But I can honestly tell you, just like with cigarettes, a week of no late night snacking, you hardly think about it….and so on and so forth.

I hope these tips get you started!  I will be posting more advice soon, so check back often.  Good Luck!

 

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