I have officially crossed the 88 pound marker since beginning my weight loss journey in July 2009. As promised, each week I will offer tidbits on how this transformation happened without pills, diets, fasting, or surgery.
Last week I discussed five essentials for shedding the baby fat including a wonderful (and FREE) app for your iPhone.
This week we will kick-start the weight loss with a few small but essential purchases: a pedometer, a bathroom scale, and a picture.
Pedometers are step counters. They come in all shapes, sizes, and price-ranges. For me, nothing beats a basic Omron. This is the one I fell in love with, and for $25, you cannot beat the value! The best way to start using a pedometer is to put it on first thing each morning. Track your steps for 5 days and see what your typical step count is. Then increase that by 500 steps for three days, then 500 more for three days, then 500 more until you are getting 10,000-12,000 steps a day. The great thing about a basic walking workout is that it is sustainable. You are not doing some crazy 4-hour marathon run to lose the weight only to see it all come back on after you shed the pounds. Walking is something you can easily fit into a lifestyle change. And a gradual increase in your step count makes the process seem much less overwhelming.
Most people think they are more physically active than what they actually are, so the 5-day test run is a great way to get a true starting point. You will learn little tricks to increasing your daily step count like parking further away from the grocery store and walking, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, and even playing an extra game of tag with the kids in the evening. All of these little things add up fast! I am to the point now that I rarely sit and watch TV, I am always DOING something while I watch. If I sit, I get lazy. If I keep moving, I am constantly burning extra calories.
At 270 pounds, I was severely obese when I first started the weight loss journey, and taking control over my life by counting steps was my starting point. No matter what your current fitness level is, there are no excuses for not taking this simple step towards better health.
Another investment you need to make is in a quality bathroom scale. How else are you going to know you are getting anywhere? While it may be tempting to weigh daily, a weekly weigh-in is much healthier because weight fluctuates a lot based on sodium intakes, water retention, and tons of other factors. Pick a day (Weight Loss Wednesday is a great place to start) and hop on the scale first thing in the morning. Mark down your weight. Do not fret or stress about it, knowing where you are is essential to knowing where you want to go. I use an older version of this Weight Watchers scale and find it very accurate.
Each week, weigh again at the same time. Healthy weight loss does not usually exceed 2 pounds per week consistently. If you are losing less than that, up the physical activity or lower your calorie count. If you are losing more, you need to recheck how much you are eating. Your body needs calories to survive and thrive.
If you have a tape measure, consider taking monthly measurements as well so you can see the inches coming off. As your clothes get loser, you will love having a number to go with it.
Your goal at this point is not a 30, 50, or 100 pound weight loss. Your goals should be: 1) exercising consistently, 2) counting calories, 3) seeing 1-2 pounds coming off of your weight every week. If you focus on the huge final goal, you will be constantly frustrated. I know I was until I rethought my rewards system, which I will talk specifically about next week.
Take a before shot then plant it. Put it on your refrigerator, in the pantry, or on the mirror. While at first this acts as a kick in the tail to remind you of what you want to change, it will also be a great pat on the back soon as you see how far you have come. Before and after shots are HUGE inspiration. Do not underestimate them.
I hope you found these weight loss tips helpful. If you are losing weight with me, I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below.
While you are here, subscribe to my RSS feed and get the latest news and information sent straight to you.