Monday, August 11, 2008

the program

I know you are probably bombarded with PMs and emails wanting to know just
how YOU do it. Well, add me to the list. Can you give me a run down of what you
are doing to make these amazing changes? I know you are a busy gal...I mean come on, you're busy shedding those pounds!! But I would really appreciate your help. Any advice is greatly appreciated. ~Lisa

Finally, I'm blogging about my program. Sorry it's taken me so long to get around to it!

EXERCISE

Walking. I started in March by walking 1 mile each day, three days per a week. At the time, it's all I could do! After a while, I increased my mileage and my speed, walking a longer distance in the same amount of time.

Nia. Two weeks after I began my weight loss journey, I joined a Nia class, which is a combination of dance, yoga and martial arts. It's SO MUCH FUN, it doesn't even feel like exercise. I've missed it so much this summer, and can't wait for school to start back up so I can dive back in to my Nia routine. I do it for 50 minutes each Tues/Thurs morning. I know it gives me a good cardio workout, but it's also been fabulous for toning and building muscle. I've never had visible arm muscles, but now I do, and all I can contribute it to is the martial arts part of Nia. I don't use weights or anything else.

Moving. Other than walking and Nia, I've just added small things here and there, like parking out in the lot and walking up to the store rather than circling and circling for the closest parking spot. I don't save all of my upstairs errands to do at once anymore. Now, when I need something upstairs, I just go. In May at the boys' school, I had to take photographs of about 40 individual kids, who were in classrooms all over the building. As I worked through the list, I made myself go up and down the stairs over and over. In the old days, I'd have mapped it out ahead of time to make sure I didn't have to climb the stairs more than necessary! At camp this summer, I had to climb a hill each time I went down to the swimming hole. I could've driven, but each time, I made myself walk. The first day killed me. By the end of the week, I was climbing while carrying on a conversation, and suddenly found myself at the top of the hill. I hadn't even realized I was climbing!! Since I work at home, I'd gotten in the habit of not getting up out of my desk chair for most of the day. Now, I make myself get up about once an hour and get some activity in - I walk down the block and back, water my plants, dance through a song, whatever. It keeps my metabolism going strong, which means I can burn calories easier, even just sitting at my desk.

EATING

Calories. As for eating, I've made some major changes there as well. I eat between 1500-1600 calories a day. I actually hired a nutritionist to help me with that for the first three weeks, because counting calories totally overwhelmed me. She planned my menus, gave me recipes, made my grocery lists, etc. I could only afford her for 3 weeks, but by then, I felt completely comfortable doing it myself. Googling "1500 calorie menus" is a great place to start, too. Another wonderful took is http://www.sparkpeople.com/. There, you can log what you've eaten and it'll track your calories for you. If you don't know the calorie count of something - say, a casserole - you can add the recipe and it will calculate the calories. The site is also full of articles, tips and support to guide you and encourage you on your journey to health.

Omissions. I cut out processed foods entirely. Basically, if it comes in a box, I don't eat it. I cut out dairy for the most part. I still eat eggs and cheese occasionally, but in strict moderation. I quit my daily Route 44 Sonic Diet Coke with Vanilla habit cold turkey. For a month, I challenged myself to only drink water. After that month, I started adding unsweet tea to the mix. I don't use fake sugar, ever, even though it would mean getting to eat yummy-tasting things and still staying under my calorie limit. My goal: the most nutrional bang for each calorie buck. You'd be amazed at how many empty calories you consume!

Eat more! I eat breakfast every morning, which was a HUGE change for me. I've never been a breakfast eater. Then I eat 5 more times throughout the day: a mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, late-afternoon snack, and dinner around 7:30. I never eat or snack after dinner. That alone was a huge change for me, because I'd gotten in a habit of not eating all day, and then way overeating in the evening. I snack on fresh fruit and veggies, dried fruit, almond butter, walnuts and pecans, and hummus. I try to keep my snacks packed in snack baggies, so I can grab one without having to think about it. I also carry them with me when I leave the house, to ward off temptation to snack on something unhealthy, and to keep my metabolism going. One thing I've learned is that you have to eat to lose!

Water Water Water. I keep a pitcher of cold water in my fridge at all times. I drink it all day long. I've gotten in the habit of taking a cup of iced water with me whenever I get in the car; it keeps me from wanting to stop and get a Coke somewhere.

This program is working for me, but it's imperative that you find what works for YOU. Good luck, Lisa et al!

6 comments:

CloverGirl said...

I admire your drive, Stacy!

Man, I wish you were coming to MI again! LOL.

Brenda said...

Stacy, Stacy, Stacy. I came here looking for the magic bullet to weight loss and all you've got is... exercise and eating right? Sigh.

LOL

I too admire you. Many of us know what we have to do... and you're actually doing it!

Congratulations. I wanna be like you when I grow up.

The Family CEO said...

This is so inspiring, Stacy.

genalee1 said...

Stacy,
You are such an inspiration to me. Not just in your weight loss journey but your attitude, your smile, your humor, your scrapbooking...I can always just see the kindness, generosity and beauty radiating from you in your pictures, your posts and I imagine just about everything you do! Keep it up! You are awesome.

Jackietex said...

Stacy, thanks for sharing the "secrets" to your success. You are doing so well--I'm very happy for you--and proud! You have been admired by people for your many beautiful qualities and now you are revealing/discovering many new ones. I am inspired by how hard you are working and how faithful you are in pointing out from whom your success is from. You go, girl!

Emily Balkenbush said...

STACY -
OMG!!!!!!! WE MUST GET TOGETHER!!! YOU LOOK AMAZING!! I just can't get over it. Been thinking about and praying for you since our last email exchange. Will call you over weekend to set a "date" to catch up and visit. All I can say is "WWWOOOOWWW!"" :-)emily balkenbush