Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sticking to a Weight Loss Program

I woke up 2 pounds lighter today but I'm not going to get too excited. That is the equivalent of a lot of water, a ton of wine or maybe a giant bowel movement. I could be up 3 tomorrow, who knows. It was nice to see the scale actually move though, but I'm not going crazy until at least I'm out of the 180's.

I realized today that even though I plan meticulously and dabble in a bunch of programs (both eating and workout related), I've never really followed one to the T. Back in the day, I tried Atkins and South Beach. And while I was 10 years younger and 20 pounds lighter, it worked for me then, but it won't work for me now. It also wasn't sustainable.

A few years ago I had joined Weight Watchers. Again, while it worked for some friends famously, it did not work for me. I already ate healthily and exercised a lot and the program just didn't seem to boost me past any plateau I had hit. It was also a little too easy for me to have things just because "my points allowed it".

I don't believe in excluding anything from your diet unless you have a medical reason. That being said, I gave up booze for a bit (let's be honest - 10 days), I tried going gluten-free when it was still trendy and I punished myself by trying to go dairy free to lose weight. I even did some crazy woo-filled "Candida Cleanse" I succumbed to after being at home too long and reading too much on the internet. All that ended up happening was that I resented whatever program I was on and inevitably bounced right back to my normal eating habits, and tacked on some forbidden snacks that I had missed in the interim. You know, because I deserved it.

I trained for a half marathon two years ago and lost a bit of my weight. I tried out boxing, couldn't stick with it due to surgery. I tried out Bikram yoga. It didn't light the heated flame under my ass hot enough to commit to that either. I had tried Jamie Eason's Live Fit Trainer for a while to get into weight lifting and enjoyed her "eat the food/lift the things" approach to life. The thing is, I'm not a body builder. While I loved the fact she tells you to meal prep (which I DO still do) and eat 6 x a day, it wasn't helping me lose weight.

This is not to say I won't go back to it when I am ready. I think the program is great for beginners who want to learn their way around the weight sections of the gym or for folks who have the time. Phase 3 was daunting and I don't have over an hour to spend at the gym every day, but if it works for you, hurray! I think it helped me plan out my meals and eat for strength, but not for fat loss. I believe I've been eating at maintenance for a while now. Combined with my wine intake, I was probably evening out the amount I drank in calories a week to the amount I burned. No wonder I wasn't losing.

While it's still early in the program that I am on, I can see myself making changes for the better and sticking with it for a while. Already, I'm drinking more water and I'm eating dinner earlier. I'm drinking ONE glass of wine, compared to my nightly 2.5. I'm eating a LOT less, but not starving. These are simple things, I know. Yet these are things I was not doing. I can still bench press and squat 95#, but I'm not going to go for strength gains until I lose some fat first. My main goal is to lean out, but not lose my muscle.

I really wonder if there is such a thing as "jump-starting your metabolism" and if I am really "carb-sensitive" but only time will tell. I feel like for the past few years I've tried all sorts of programs, or combined bits from several into my own, or just tried focusing on too many things at once. I've never just stuck with one goal, one program and one process. I'm optimistic something good will come of this round. Let's see how I feel next week...

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