How I’m Getting My Life on Track

I am a list-writing fanatic. A compulsive lister. Whenever I feel stressed out, I find myself frantically making lists. To-do lists, goal lists, lists of things that make me happy, lists of things not to eat, lists of future lists to make… it goes on. Last night, I finally figured out why.

Last night, my mom and I dinner with our cousin, who happens to be a health coach. We’re going to start a 6-month program to get ourselves healthy. The great thing about this program is that it’s not just about dieting. It’s about taking your whole life into perspective and realizing what you need to do to be healthy mentally and physically.

During this meeting, I figured out why I gained 15 pounds in the last year. Prior to Nov 2010, I was a freelance SEO writer, I worked out daily (often at the local park) and I cooked a LOT (usually healthy food) to relieve stress. Now, I have a sedentary job that I don’t love, I don’t have a home to go back to, and if I want privacy with James or with my mother I have to go out to dinner. I no longer have a private kitchen to cook in so now when I get stressed, I give into cravings. WOW. What a life style change! With all the stress making me feel hopeless, making lists is my frantic grasp at taking control. I try to organize my life on paper since it’s so disorganized in reality.

So what now?

I’m really excited to have a health coach for 6 months. I’m looking at this as having someone to help me stay on track with exercising, choosing healthy stress-relief outlets, and learn some new, better ways of eating.

The minute I got home, I made a list (no surprise) of healthy stress-relievers: exercise, prayer, writing, blogging, organizing my room, and making lists. I’m so excited to start this new program. 6 months from now, I’ll be interested to see the final results!

How to lose 10 pounds permanently

A little update on my New Year’s Resolution… it’s working! Not super fast, but that’s fine. Everyone says that when it comes to losing weight, slower is better because it’s more permanent. I mean just look at the past winners of The Biggest Loser. People who lose weight quickly almost always gain it back. I even lost 20 pounds once in a month, and then (once I couldn’t keep up with running every single day) it came back.

This time it’s different. I’m using Lose It!, and iPhone application that allows me to keep track of my daily caloric intake. It’s slow going, but it’s been easy. I haven’t felt like I’m sacrificing. And today at my “weigh-in”, I found I lost 10 pounds!

I even “cheated” a little… which is probably why this weight loss is going much slower than planned. But still, the fact is that it’s working. I’m so excited!

How to do this without an iPhone or iPod Touch:

I don’t work for Apple, so I can tell you that honestly, you can make this work without buying an iPhone and downloading Lose It!.  Basically, keep track of your daily caloric intake and your exercise, and figure out a daily calorie goal that’s low enough to lose weight and high enough that you’re getting the food you need. (It’s pretty simple, just keep a journal.) Also, there are “filler” foods (like lettuce and other green vegetables) that you can eat a lot of without destroying your goal. This is what I used to do, before I had and iPod Touch. Now, Lose It! just makes it simple for me.

Losing Weight Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

Time to celebrate! This morning I stepped on the scale, and a few more pounds have disappeared! For the first time in my life, I’m losing weight in an easy, natural, sustainable way.

It’s called eating heathly and exercising more.

I know what you’re thinking. No brainer, right? But I’ll tell you something: I’m one of those people who hate exercising. I cry at the thought of running. And I don’t like giving up my evening dessert either.

As someone who’s struggled my whole life with weight issues, I’ve tried all kinds of ways to look and feel better. I tried those fad diets like South Beach, where all I did was grieve over my missing carbs. In high school I tried weight loss bars and shakes, but the only thing that happened was I felt sick all the time.

When you try something like bars, shakes, or giving up an essential food group (like carbs), not only does your body miss out on essential nutrients, but also you get sick of eating the same things all the time. That was my problem. It’s hard to eat the exact same thing for lunch every day. Sooner or later you go back to your old ways–as well as your old weight.

Variety is essential if you want to be able to sustain your weight loss. I’ve been eating different foods every day. I’ve still been eating all of my favorites, like salami and provolone sandwiches, chicken and dumplings, stuffed shells, cheesesteak sandwiches, brownies, and ice cream. The trick is I define reasonable portions for myself–portions that keep me satisfied so I don’t snack between meals.

The other essential part of my plan is my morning workout. 6 days a week, I do 15 minutes on my elliptical followed by 18-30 crunches and 10 sit-ups. All of this happens while my country music is blaring. I think it’s the music that makes is bearable. But the great part is, it leaves me feeling good about myself all day long.

For the first time, losing weight doesn’t leave me feeling sad, deprived, and frustrated. Finally I’ve found a way to lose weight that’s letting me feel happy and good about myself. And the best part is–it’s working!