Ok- so, we've talked about exercise, and we've gotten real about the diet. What else is there to consider when you want to make a better "you?"
You have to have goals when you are doing anything in life. And losing weight/getting healthier is no different.
In my profession with the Girl Scouts, we teach the girls all about goal setting in many aspects...focusing a lot on our fantastic cookie program and how setting goals is not only a great life skill to learn but also a fool-proof way to increase your chances for success.
So, when I started this journey three years ago, I luckily practiced what I preached.
But, when I started setting goals, did I say "I would like to wear a bikini in three summers."?
I started small and attainable and in a shorter time frame. Because setting long term goals is great, but you need benchmarks to get you there.
In August 2010, I joined my office's Biggest Loser Challenge. I weighed 188.0 pounds. (Now, don't focus so much on my weight here because you just can't compare apples to apples with people. We are all different body types and compositions, but for the sake of comparing and tracking my progress, I'll use my weights.)
For a 5'3" gal, 188 pounds is not good. In fact, I should have listened to my Wii fit when I would get on it and it actually groaned.
And then said "That's obese."
I think you need some visual aids for the sake of comparison, as well. And for the sake of entertainment value. So, I went on my Facebook profile and used only pictures under the album "Photos of You" because those, my friends, tell the real story. These are the pics where you are tagged whether you like it or not, and that all the internet can see. They show the good, the bad, and the chubby.
This was July 2010.
And just another one from that summer for good measure....and Heidi looks super cute here.
My 1st goal, by the end of the 15 weeks of the work Biggest Loser challenge, was to be to my pre-Jake weight- 173 pounds (after all, he was a year old by then). Within the first few weeks of the challenge, I started seeing great results, and by Week 7 at the halfway mark, I was 171 pounds (2 pounds under the pre-Jake goal).
So, instead of saying "yippee. done. did it. check that off," I quickly set a 2nd goal for the end of the challenge...pre-Brooklyn weight. This was 160 pounds and I just thought, oh my goodness, that would be a miracle, but I gotta try!
By the end of the 15 weeks, I weighed 158.5 pounds. Crushed that 2nd goal, lost a total of 29.5 pounds, and won the challenge.
Well, then I thought, hmmmm....
Wedding weight (from 2002) was not confirmed but if I had to guess, it was around 145.0.
13.5 pounds? Sure! So, Goal #3 was set.
I continued with My Fitness Pal, introduced running, and eventually started Zumba classes. My weight went down and it went up. It was a roller coaster and a pretty difficult 18 months or so of trying to figure out what the "magic formula" was. I had hit a wall and didn't know what to do.
I realize that my mistake was not setting a time frame for my goal. I didn't have an end- a "be 145.0 by this date."
And then I didn't have a plan for maintenance. So when I would creep towards the 145 goal sometimes I would land there briefly, but then slide back up again.
But I felt good, I was happier than I was at 188, and life went on.
But then the weight creeped up more...and I slide back up into the 150's.
And I knew I needed something more. I needed a professional. I needed that accountability.(Insert Heart in Sol Love Story here)
So, I started working with that oh, so wonderful professional and the first thing he had me do was write down my goals.
I'm not sure what he thought when I wrote on my paper "I want to have Heather Locklear's arms and shoulders."
But he humored me, and off we went on this crazy journey the last 7 months that's taken me to where I am today. I weighed in with him in March 2013 at 151/152 pounds. My goal was to get to my optimal BMI- somewhere in the 125-135 range.
I achieved that goal, and as of today, I am happily sitting in the 120's. I've lost over 64 pounds and went from an Old Navy size 16 jean to an Old Navy size 4 jean.
It's not about the number. It's how you feel. BUT, I had spent so much time saying "My clothes still feel fine/I feel OK/It's not that bad" that I began to really just push out reality and ignore the truths.
I'm where I need to be. I'm done losing weight, but the maintenance journey has only just begun. My new goal in life is to continue to live healthy, teach my children to live and eat healthy, and make sure physical activity (both light and heavy) is a part of our daily/weekly lives. My weight loss goal has been accomplished, but I have been entrusted with two small lives that need to learn the right way how they should live. Before it's too late.
And maybe now that I have Heather Locklear arms, I can start working on my Fergie abs.