Monday, February 1, 2010

How to Achieve a Situation (Or Issue)

I don't want to follow in Mike the Situation's footsteps, so Chadd and I have agreed to call my abs "an issue."  They may be upgraded at some point, but for now, they're an issue.

Anyway, I had a few people ask me how I did it.  Basically, here it is, here is what I did. I'm not saying it will work for everyone, I'm not saying it's easy, this really is a change of lifestyle.  But hey, here I am to tell you that it works and that it really wasn't that painful.

1) Set a goal for yourself and make it realistic.  My goal was 22 pounds by my birthday (in 2 weeks) and I made this goal late October/Early November.  I knew it was a bit of a stretch, so I had a modified "I will be happy with myself if I do X instead."  That goal was 15 pounds.  I could go all consultanty on you and say to make it a SMART goal, but I can't remember the acronym, so just make sure that it's measurable and that you have a date attached to it.

2) Enlist Help.  Remember my Pact buddy?  She's been great and without her, I wouldn't be here.  We blog every day on our private blog.  This person keeps you accountable and also gives you someone who will be sympathetic to you when you have a "I really need pizza and wine" day.  You may need to join weight watchers or something to find that person, but it's easier/better if its someone close to you.  If you're that kind of person, you can also find free online communities.  Check out Peer Trainer for a good resource.

3) Count Your Calories.  I know that this went the way of the mixtape--why bother listening to the radio to record songs when you could log onto itunes, right?  Wrong.  In this case, the old way is the best way.  Measure your food.  Look up calories (you can google it, or use SparkPeople).  Read labels and stick to the serving sizes.  Depending on how many calories you burn, you need to cut between 500 and 1000 calories a day to see weight loss.  1 pound = 3500 calories.  So if you want to lose 2 pounds a week, you need to be cutting back 1000 calories a day.  It starts by writing down everything.  I mean everything.  I never said this was a quick fix!

1 packet instant oatmeal: 120 calories

Apple: 81 calories

Also, I think it's ridiculously important to know what goes into your food.  Take back control of what is put in your food.

4) Determine your burn.  This one is hard.  Here are a few sites that will at least help you:
Calorie Count (this is pretty accurate)
Health Status

To be honest, I use my BodyBugg for this.  It's the one thing that I've found to be the most accurate and my burn was my missing piece.  You need to determine what you burn to make sure that you're accurately achieving the deficit that you think you are.  Write this down every day next to your calories consumed, deficit written as well.

5)  Plan it all out.  Make it easier on yourself, instead of getting to the end of the day starving and only having 10 calories left to eat, sit down on Sunday night and write out your menu for the week.  Go to the store and pick up those 100 calorie snacks, lean cuisines, whatever it is that will make it easier for you to space out your calorie needs.

6) Give yourself 1 day to splurge per week.  I'm not saying to go out and clear out the all you can eat buffet.  But now is the time to have a slice of pizza, or go out for a nice dinner and not worry about the calories in the steak.  It makes it so much easier when you know that you have 1 day to fudge, whether you use it for a celebratory dinner or for a day when you're captive to office food.  Life happens.  Your diet must be flexible.

7) Weigh in 1x a week, same time, same day, same scale.  Weighing in once a week under those circumstances gives you the most real picture of your weight loss.  Try and do it first thing in the morning.  If you notice your weight going up, reassess your meal plan/burn goal.  Ladies, keep in mind we do have more fluctuations than men...

8) Reward yourself at milestones.  I recently bought a groupon for a massage that I plan to use at -20 pounds.  Only 7 pounds away!  My Pact buddy is eyeing a pearl necklace to match her goal weight dress.  Just make sure your reward is NOT food based, unless it's something fun like healthy cooking lessons. 

9) Give yourself time.  I've given myself about 3 months to get here and I know I'm not done yet.  This is not a quick fix, but this is a realistic life style change. 

10) Forgive yourself. This is the most important one.  We all slip up now and again.  But when you have a bad moment/day/week, get over it, forgive yourself, and start anew.  Just because you slid backwards does not mean that you have to start all over again. You just need to keep going from where you are. 

It all comes down to this simple fact: when calories in < calories out, you get weightloss.  I encourage you, if you are pursuing weightloss, to boil it all down to this simple fact.  Learn what you consume, learn what you burn, and make it part of your daily routine.

If you want a day in the life of me, I'll post one tomorrow.  But there are the guidelines.  Tune in tomorrow!  A day in the life of me.

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