Friday, January 23, 2009

WeightLoss Blues…Gone


Weight …where do I start.
For most of us this issue weighs heavy on our hearts literally and not so literally. But it seems to be a concern that effects our lives in so many areas that we aren’t even aware of them all anymore.
I know for myself, when I start felling the tightening of my pants my self esteem, smile and patience all seem to be non-existent.
We have this very twisted view, thanks to the media, of how we are to look. There is even a current weight loss commercial showing a rather splendid looking woman frowning in disbelief that she is now being compared with the snowman built by her daughter. Well we think “If she is considered large, where’s the hope for me” Well, I have had to lose weight several times in my life to participate and as the result of some very important life events.

I have struggled with my weight since I was young. I can actually remember being mad at my mom for not helping me with this very issue. I can also remember hoping to turn those summers away from school into a time for physical transformation, and this was in middle school. Back then I didn’t think twice about these kinds of views. But it pains me now to think my daughter may someday struggle with the same thoughts.

In high school I was just as awkward as some of you may have felt. A bit overweight, braces and greasy hair. Where did all that grease come from anyways? After high school my confidence started to inch its way out of the red when I began getting attention from guys. Not the type of attention a single, young adult, may want but it was attention and to a lonely girl it’s one in the same.

When I joined the Army in 2000, it was the first time my weight got in the way of actually accomplishing something I desired to do. This was not going to get in my way! I had one month to lose 20 pounds in order to be accepted at the meps station. Thirty days and 20lbs later I was accepted to serve my country. How? Well as a mom of 2, today, I would say “I didn’t have kids”. I fixed all my attention on completing this task and I had the time and lack of distractions to do so. The good thing was I had a time frame, so I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel and I would soon be able to reward myself. Tip: rewards are key in successful weight loss.

A few years more and I began to blossom into a beautiful young lady. A wondrous surprise I never thought was possible for what was once a very awkward girl. That’s when I met my husband. At the height of my physical appearance. But years later I was surprised he didn’t fall in love with my body, but my quirky ways and witty expressions.
I actually got hit in the head with a pillow a few nights ago. “Ouch, what was that for” “For not being comfortable in your body.” 7 years after meeting, body a bit changed from carrying 2 kids, I realized what it is our men see. Desperate for a glimpse of the woman they married. Fun, happy, jokative, confident and sparkling eyes for only him. What has happened? Life, I suppose. Let’s not be victims of circumstance.

Carrying the heavy burden of weight is one of the many factors that makes us forget all about who that girl even was. Even if all the weight is gone, what is left? Our joyful hearts and pretty smiles (oh and cleavage…LOL) is all our husbands see in us. Yes, weight can become an issue if our attitudes are sour and are smiles are scowls.

I’m not here just to pep talk, although I hope it helped because once I was enlightened to how my hubby looks at me I am not quite as concerned with how many inches are lost around my waistline. But I will share with you some of my most helpful hints to weightless that have worked for me time and time again. I know that statement sounds bad “time and time again” But I had 2 kids and it always takes a bit of work to get back to somewhat “normal”

1. Lifestyle-The first thing to remember is weight loss shouldn’t be purely a short term goal to an end. Yes we have a goal In mind, But your first change should be towards a better, healthier life from now on. Not just until you have dropped the weight.

2. COUNT CALLORIES!! -Advertisements for weight loss products always make this seem like such a cumbersome task. It’s not. Especially with http://sparkpeople.com/
It’s free to open an account and you simply search for the food you ate as well as the portion sizes and insert. All the numbers are preloaded. With a few things loaded height, weight etc. their data base will be able to tell you how many calories you should stay within each day. Tip: If you stay within your calorie range “YOU WILL LOOSE WEIGHT” if you cheat, you won’t.

3. Portion Distortion- Remember above how I emphasized to count calories. This goes hand in hand. Don’t count the wrong calories or you body will know and show. Make a habit of measuring your food out and documenting.

4. Don’t Make Excuses- I am a mother of 2 children, 4 and under. I home school, take care of the house, chores and the budget. Plus I run my own business so I don’t want to hear that you don’t have time for this. The time is there you just have to find it and make a habit of it.

5. Do- Treat yourself Since you know how many calories you are allowed, daily, you can play with what you do and don’t eat to allow for treats within your calorie limit. I allot for my most favorite treats, wine/beer and cheddar popcorn. If you don’t give yourself something to enjoy in life, especially with such hectic days, you won’t stay with it.

6. Do-Make homemade everything. Well maybe not everything but I sure try. I have used the site http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/recipes.htm to learn how to make many common alternatives that usually add on fat, salt and harmful additives that I believe are suspect to how our bodies hold and store fat. This is her link to the “make your own” section http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/makeyourown.htm but please enjoy her site as there is so much more about healthy, economical eating for families.

7. Be the Boss In the Kitchen- My husband, and me, like to snack. Who doesn’t but you are the one that goes grocery shopping. Plan your meal before hand and you will find you not only save a whole heck of a lot of $$ but you also only keep, on hand, the ingredients needed to cook your meals. Not leaving comfort food snacks around for you or your family to nibble here and there. I know this can be tough to make the adjustment to please read on Mrs. Millers site her tips on making healthy choice changes for your family. http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/healthyfoodchanges.htm

8. Exercise- No don’t get out there and start running marathons, but at least 30 minutes 5 days a week. In fact you should always check with your doctor first before beginning any exercise routine. Start off small and work your way up. Walking is an easy exercise for most and is not as harmful to your back. I know it’s winter time and getting out and about is much more of a hassle, especially if you have young kids. I have a whole basket full of Leslie Sansone’s Walk At Home videos. http://www.lesliesansonevideos.com/ With her guidance I have learned that muscle toning and impact cardio are an important duo to receive changing results. Her videos are easy to follow, mild impact exercise. She is fun and very motivational. At the end of her workouts I can’t believe 30-45 min has passed. The point is do something that you enjoy that gets your body moving.

9. Involve your family- Living a healthy life isn’t something you should want to do for yourself. But something you teach your children so they, hopefully, don’t have the same struggles we gals have now. My daughter loves doing workout videos with me. It’s a challenge but well worth it.

10. Have Fun- Don’t get bogged down with a “weight loss program” Live your life and enjoy it. Ok…So you have 2 donuts when you go out for coffee with your girlfriend. Or you have 3 beers and Buffalo wings at a super bowl party. Who cares? Those are a few what will probably be considered “bad days” out of your whole life, that you should be enjoying. If you knew all I treated myself with I think you would be surprised to know I’m 5’5’’ and my weight is only 135lbs. If you make a constant change to living a healthy life you won’t feel as guilty about treats because you will know what your overall lifestyle consists of.
11. Drink Water-Water metabolizes stored fat. What does that mean? Water can keep fat away! Incredible as it may seem, water is quite possibly the single most important catalyst in losing weight and keeping it off. Water Helps to Burn Fat - Water suppresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolize stored fat. Studies have shown that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase, while an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits. Here's why: The kidneys can't function properly without enough water. When they don't work to capacity, some of their load is dumped onto the liver.
One of the livers primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. But, if the liver has to do some of the kidney's work, it can't operate at full throttle. As a result, it metabolizes less fat, more fat remains in the body and weight loss stops.
Drinking plenty of water is the best treatment for fluid retention. When the body gets less water, it thinks this is a threat to survival and it begins to hold on to every drop. This shows up as swollen feet, legs and hands. Water helps to maintain proper muscle tone by enabling muscles to contract and by preventing dehydration. It also helps to prevent sagging skin that can follow weight loss. During weight loss, the body has a lot more waste to get rid of - all that metabolized fat must be shed. Again, adequate water helps flush out the waste.
Enjoy your life again, like when you were young. With no time frames or expectations. Just love the life you are in and thank your husband for all he does in support of your efforts as a wife and mother.

3 comments:

T.Allen-Mercado said...

What a great post! My husband too, is often the voice of reason when it comes to weighty matters. Thanks for sharing this.

Very Verdant said...

thanks for the encouragement...

cjc said...

Very interesting read. Thank you.