Here's my story:
I have been overweight with the exception of a few years for all my adult life. When I was a teenager I was a very skinny 105 pound feather! LOL Then I had 2 children and had extra weight. Then I joined the YMCA and did High Impact Aerobics and Nautilus Weight Training, and lost the weight. Then it came back after a couple years, and I was FAT ever since!! I have always been a junk food junkie & it's no surprise that I was so FAT!!!
In 2004, after I had ballooned up to 170 & felt MISERABLE!!! My husband, Jerry, & I went on a crash/fad diet (a modified version of Atkins) and both lost a lot of weight, I lost 36 pounds & he lost over 30 pounds (can't remember lol). Since it was a fad & not very healthy, we only stayed on it for about 2 months & of course the weight came back over the last few years. We did join Weight Watchers online a couple years ago and lost 10# in a couple months. Then our "good deal" on the membership was up & we stopped. lol So, yep, the weight came back, I crept back up to 169 pounds. YUCK!! :(
So, sometime in December I was thinking I'm so tired of being this FAT, I want to do Weight Watchers again. I was trying to talk my hubby into it since I knew it worked & I really liked keeping track of what I was consuming. Well, in the meantime, he was looking online for something similar & found a few programs for keeping track of Calories & he stumbled upon http://www.MyFitnessPal.com and it was FREE!!! Woot!!! :)
MFP is a FREE online Calorie Tracking Program! It is PHENOMENAL!! When you join, you input your weight, age, height, gender, your normal daily activity level, etc. and it calculates how many calories you should eat to lose weight. You can pick from: Lose 1/2 pound per week, 1 pound, 1 & 1/2 pounds, or 2 pounds per week. (As well as gain for those that need to gain, and maintain when you reach your goal.) You get extra calories that you can eat when you exercise & put that in.
I started seriously on January 1, 2010. I have lost something every single week since starting. I have a few "secrets" on how this has worked for me, and my husband, who has lost something every single week since January 1st as well.
The "Secrets" to my Successful Weight Loss so far:
- I set my activity level to "Sedentary". ... Well, I sit behind the computer a lot. :)
- I input everything, even if it's a 5 calorie drink, or breath mint. :) Sounds silly, but little things can creep up on you & put you over..
- I measure my foods! :) I have a digital scale that I weigh most things on and what I can't weigh, I measure. :) And I don't think it's a pain, I know exactly how much I'm getting, no guessing! (Obviously I don't take a scale and measuring cups & spoons into a restaurant! LOL so we eat out WAY less than we used to.) Here's the Scale I have: Scale <-- Click for link to Amazon :)
- I ABSOLUTELY don't go over my calories, I choose to go UNDER every day. When they are gone, they are gone! Too bad for me, I'll do better on "budgeting" calories tomorrow. :) Right now I am at 1200 calories per day + exercise calories. Ok, so I have gone over my calories a few times, but I "borrowed" from the next day, or worked out extra, and it all works out. It is just an exception, not a rule, I'm not perfect! :)
- I work out 1st thing in the morning Monday - Friday, then have a Green Smoothie <-- Click for recipe
- I do not eat before 12 Noon, and do not eat after 9PM (only the Green Smoothie before noon and only on workout days) (Sometimes I make exceptions, such as a hotel offers a Breakfast Buffet and it ends at 9am, HELLO! Yes, I'm eating before noon that day! LOL, or my hubby wants to treat me out to breakfast, YEP, I'm going!! ... obviously these are exceptions and not a consistent habit.)
- I don't input any housework calories I burn, or any extra activities, only my Exercise Routine M-F.
I don't think it has been hard at all, but I have been called a BULLDOG before! LOL I can be stubborn when I make up my mind on something. he he he I just made up my mind to stick to it and get rid of the FAT and get in GREAT shape!! I have slowly changed my eating habits to be more and more healthy & less & less junk foods. I never thought I would do that, but it just happened. It's pretty simple when you only have 1200 calories and the things you like are 200-400 calories each!! You figure out you better not like them so much! :) I still eat junkie snacks, but just not as often or as many. I really like fruit and it is WAY lower in calories than chips & dip and crackers & cookies & sugary soda. I make tea and sweeten it with Stevia and Splenda (trying to switch to only Stevia, but 1/2 & 1/2 for now). I drink diet soda instead of sugary filled, and not so much. :) I found some GREAT tasting alternatives. Such as my current favorite: Apples with Cinnamon Only 110 Calories for a Large apple!! Woo Hoo!! And it fills me up. Not like 110 calories worth of chips (about 7 or 8 chips), where it makes you want chocolate and a soda! LOL
Oh, my username on MyFitnessPal is Shannon4J if anyone wants to "friend" me if you join! I highly encourage anyone that needs to lose weight to do it!! There is a lot of support and encouragement there.
My inspiration & motivation Verse is: I can do ALL things through Christ which Strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13
And a GREAT quote I heard years ago: "Never give up what you want MOST for what you want NOW!"