My weight loss journey (this time) has been successful! and I cannot tell you how proud and thankful I am for that. It has literally changed my life (and probably extended it!).
I got a few things right this time around – like announcing my goals so I’d feel accountable, seeking a support group so I wouldn’t go it alone (and blogging and facebooking!), and the biggest one EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION. I read more fitness and nutrition books than I did college books (same is true for photography – it’s amazing what passion will direct you to do even without something like a degree hanging on the line!)
BUT, there are some things that I wish I’d done differently
The biggest mistake – I started with WAY too few calories! The “program” I started with (I so much don’t support that method that I won’t even tell you what it was… even though I could earn money as an affiliate by doing so…) had me on 900-1200 calories a day. I didn’t take any of the ‘extras’ because if I was going to lose weight I was going to do it fast, and I didn’t want “extras” (like apples and tomatoes) slowing me down! I figure on average, I ate about 1000 calories a day during this time.
The “program” prohibited exercise because even they knew there was not enough spare energy to sustain that.
Looking back I am horrified at what my poor body was doing besides losing fat during this time and thinking about the muscle I lost during that time, especially knowing what I go through to GAIN muscle now… tsk tsk.
BUT I am also thankful that I had a great group of ladies supporting me, that I am such a cheapskate I refused to continue buying the “program”, and that I started eating real food and exercising before any major damage was done. (well if you don’t count that damn muscle loss)
My advice to you: make sure you are eating enough to function – if not, the quick results will be fun for a bit and then you are gonna plateu HARD, if not create something worse.
Mistake #2… not strength training early enough, actually not exercising at all early enough. I started some “lazy” exercise in about month 3, but I didn’t start any strength or strenuous exercise until about month 5 when I was sort of “challenged” to do the SHRED. Again, I probably could have retained some muscle had I done this and it is such a chore to put it back on now that I am regretting that one!
My advice to you: don’t skimp on the exercise, even if the weightloss seems to be happening without it. Exercise is important for so many other health reasons, but most immediately interesting to you is when you get down to the “last 10 pounds” exercise/strength is gonna make or break you at that point
Mistake #3… I didn’t take measurements. I took pictures because from day 1 I assembled a support group and at that time our group decided to do monthly photo check ins. So for that first year, every 4 weeks I took pictures and then at least once a year after that.
But I neglected to take measurements, so I have no idea how many inches I lost or how much bodyfat, and that is a nice comparison to have besides the scale. I think it is VERY IMPORTANT to have something to illustrate your progress to yourself! It keeps motivation from sinking, can re-light your fire when you feel it fizzling out, and serves as a reminder that all your hard work is having an impact
My advice to you: take measurements of every kind, including your current strength in your workouts so that a year from now you will see the kinds of fatloss, inch-loss, strength gain you’ve earned through out the year (and pat yourself on the back!) that might not be drastically visible in your mirror!
Reply to this email (or comment if you see it on facebook) to share some of your missteps!! and if you don’t wanna share – reply so I know you are out there! haha