I had an awesome day! Like I mentioned before, our kids are with my parents for the next few days so I have ample time to do a few things that I rarely get to do! This morning I started out my with this breakfast:
I call it yogoats. Basically its 1/3c. of old fashioned oats mixed with 1/3 c. vanilla yogurt and topped with sliced bananas and a side of caffeine! Delish! This was enjoyed on the very quiet patio whilst doing my Bible Study. Ahhhhh......
Next up, retail therapy! I had a coupon to Ann Taylor Loft! Score!
I loved this top and it was on clearance! Win!
Here is the damage I created today!
Truthfully, it looks like more than it is! The Victoria's Secret bag was all free due to a gift card I had, there is only one thing in the Anthropologie bag, there are 3 items in the Old Navy bag, all on clearance, one cardigan in the J.Crew bag (marked down to 24.00 from 70.00 woo!hoo!), the Loft bag contains 3 items, 2 that were on clearance and one that I got half price because of my coupon, and you all know what is in the Fleet Feet Bag....
Out with the old (poor things, the store clerk laughed at how worn they are...)
In with the new!!
I thought I'd model a side view! I decided to roll with Saucony this time. I have been in Brooks Adrenaline for a while now and these are supposed to be comparable.
I love the new colors! Can't wait to try them out on an actual run.
So, I received a FB message from long time No Dieting reader E.B. in Tennessee. E.B. recently had a baby and is in the process of losing the baby weight that comes with pregnancy. If you have read this blog for any period of time you know that it started out as a weight loss blog to chronicle my journey to losing the rest of my baby weight. At the time I started this blog, my baby was a little over 2 years old and I had recently discovered that I had in fact, not lost all of my weight (what? I was blissfully happy in my ignorance!). I knew I didn't want to do the typical diet (shakes ,pills, processed pre-made foods), so I set out on my journey by just counting my calories and exercising (something I was not doing before). I came across the Couch To 5k running plan in December of 2007 and began counting calories and exercising in January 2008, you can click here to start reading the entire journey. Anyhow, I took me about 4 1/2 months to lose 17 pounds and for the most part, I have kept it off for 3 years.
E.B. asked me how I have maintained that weight loss. Well, I have to tell you that I think maintaining is the hardest part. When you initially start losing weight you are excited that it is coming off and that is what motivates you to stay the course. However, it is so hard to keep on a healthy eating/exercise plan for the long term when there are so many things pulling at our time and attention. Here are some tips for maintaining. Keep in mind that what works for me, may not work for you and you have to find what keeps you focused.
Remember that it is now a lifestyle. I think too many people go into weight loss with the mindset that they will diet for a set period of time and then once the goal is reached, they can then resume normal life. I can't tell you how wrong this is. I get up every single day determined to make the right choices that are going to help maintain my weight loss. I do my best to start each day with a healthy, filling breakfast that will give my body the energy it needs to do what I gotta do! Then, as the day wears on, I do my best to follow up with good food choices for the rest of the day. If I have exercised that day I know I can allow myself a little wiggle room as to what I eat, but I do realize that this doesn't give me licence to go crazy and eat whatever I like. If its an off day as far as exercise is concerned, I know I have to be especially careful with the amount of food I eat. I am not fooled into thinking that there will ever be a time in my life that I don't view eating in this way. I have a small frame and gaining even just a little weight shows up, makes me feel uncomfortable and makes my clothes feel tight. Now, this is not to say that I don't give myself a treat! Once or twice a week I give myself a "cheat" meal (not a cheat day, this is a mistake, don't fall for it)and eat whatever I like but only for that meal. This keeps me focused and keeps me from feeling deprived. I don't write down everything I eat all day like I used to, but I don't keep a running tally in my head so that I know weather or not I am on track.
Make exercise a priority. Before I started this journey, I rarely, if ever exercised. I didn't grow up in a home where exercise was encouraged. In face, most the exercise done in my home was wrestling over the remote control! Now I know that it has to be a priority. Not so much for the weight loss anymore but for how it makes me feel. If I don't get anything else completed that day, I know that I have completed a run, cardio session or strength session and that makes me feel accomplished. I know that running is not for everyone. In fact, there are those who hate running. Thats ok, I hate step aerobics with a passion! Find what YOU love and you will be more likely to do it. Jennifer has fallen in love with biking lately, and its helped to re-hab her hip injury. I'm not a fan of biking, but I love spin class! Do you love to dance? Try Zumba or Dance Trance. My friend Jana loves Yoga and Pilates and has gained some great muscle tone from both of these. Bottom line: get up and move!
Make new goals. Initially my goal was to lose weight. Then it was to finish the Couch to 5k program, to run my first 5k, to run my first 10k, to run and half marathon, and to repeat all these things but do them better! I know that to reach these goals I am not only going to train for them, but I have to fuel my body appropriately in order to be the best runner I can be. If I fill my body with junk food, I will feel sluggish and my workouts will be terrible. You goals don't have to be running related, they can be anything. To gain more muscle tone, to be able to swim 50 laps, to do a triathlon, to climb a mountain, whatever! The point is that you should never stop making goals.
Cut yourself some slack. We all fall off the bandwagon from time to time. I have gained back and lost up to 5 of the original pounds that I lost. Its OK. The important thing is to recognize that this has happened, find out what caused it, and take the necessary steps to remedy the situation. I weigh myself about once a week and this works for me. I have a set number in my head that I want to be either at or under. However, I can usually tell by the way my clothes fit that I am eating way too much or that I am being a super-slacker when it comes to workouts. However, I don't beat myself up for gaining a few pounds or for eating way too much dessert. I start again the next day and get myself back on track. Beating yourself up will likely only get you more depressed which in turn will probably make you eat more and give you the "Well, I'm this far gone" attitude. You will cheat on your diet, you will gain back a few pounds....its OK!
Ditch the fat clothes. Its tempting after weight loss to hold onto your old clothes "just in case". Resist the urge! Buy yourself some new clothes and give the old ones away. I don't know about you but I can not afford to buy a new wardrobe once or twice a year! By getting rid of the old clothes, you have no excuse to maintain your weight loss.
And last but not least, Reward Yourself! Once you start losing weight, and achieving your goals, give yourself a non-food treat. A nice massage, dinner and a movie with friends, a new pair of shoes, a new piece of jewelry, whatever. The point is to set the goal, set the reward! Make it something you really want and you will do it. Lets say your goal is to maintain the same weight for 6 months. At the end of the six months, do something for yourself!
I hope this helps anyone struggling with the "I've lost the weight, now what?" feeling. It is a lifestyle but its one that is totally doable and totally worth it!