Monday, March 4, 2013

Life by Lex has taken over!

Because I am away on vacation I lined up two awesome ladies to guest post for me.  Today I'm letting Lex from Life by Lex take over my blog.  She's here to share with you some tips she's learned on her weight loss journey that she thinks other would find useful since they were for her.  I hope you show her some love!  Thanks again Lex for doing this for me.

Hey guys—I’m Lex from Life By Lex.  I’ll be guest posting today while Amy’s away!  When Amy asked me to guest post I was sort of at a loss for what to post about.  I thought about it and I decided to write about something that’s been a work in progress for me.  My weight loss.

I’ve been on my weight loss journey since about March 2012.  I had great successes and not so shining moments.  I’ve tried counting my calories, eating low carb and finally now I’m on weight watchers. I thought I’d write a post on some of the things I’ve learned while losing weight.

1. Its important to really like what you’re eating.  When I ate low carb, I did enjoy the meals that I was eating.. for a while.  But when you take out a whole macro nutrient group its hard to really be satisfied.  I would say I was never really hungry, but I did crave foods that I previously could have (read: pizza).  Additionally with food you really have to think about all areas.  Mainly when I decided to go low carb, I thought about Breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Never about snacks.  When your hungry for a snack—no one really wants some broccoli or peppers.  Maybe some fruit but that’s not acceptable in indication of low carb.  Finally, another consideration to think about is what’s going to happen when you go out with friends?  What can you order from the menu?  I wasn’t too embarrassed to order specialized meals like a burger on lettuce with broccoli instead of fries, but some people might have a hard time feeling comfortable with that.  Moral of the story—you have to think about everything when deciding what type of eating plan is right for you.

2. The effort you put into losing weight is the success you get out of it.  The more or less that you plan really does show in the success or lack of success that you have.  It sounds so simple but sometimes I struggle with this too.  After a long day of being at work, the gym, making dinner and doing grad school homework, sometimes I find it REALLY hard to motivate myself to pack my lunch and snacks for the next day.  I think ultimately I end up quilting myself into doing it because I am paying for weight watchers myself—and I feel as though if I don’t pack my lunch and make the most of my week that I’m somehow wasting my money.  However, packing my meals for work helps me feel more successful and prepared to deal with food situations that may be a little more challenging.  Oreos in the kitchen? I try first to listen to my body’s hunger cues, and then pick my snack before the cookies.  Once I eat the snack I’m usually not craving the cookies.

3.  Don’t skip the exercise.  When I was on low carb, I really didn’t exercise.  I did lose 30 pounds but I didn’t feel healthier.  I promise you after 1 month of consistently going to the gym a few days a week, you’ll be hooked on how you feel after your workouts.  I know the first few weeks will be tough.  You’ll want to quit the whole time.  Everything will be sore the next day, and you don’t think you can do it.   Working out I think is 100% mental.  Once you realize exactly how far or hard or long you can work out without thinking you’ll be amazed.  A pure Ah Ha! Moment! I had one of these moments about a month ago.  I’ve always wanted to be a runner.  I tried running in November.  I failed miserably.  In December I started doing Zumba and working out more regularly.  I didn’t dare run again in fear that I’d have a horrible time.  One day, I just got up and ran.  I ran until I couldn’t run any further.  I didn’t think about how I felt, how hard or easy it was I just ran.  It was awesome.  By the time I looked back down at my watch I had ran 2.20 Miles.  ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME? Where was that? Masked by my brain.  It was clearly all mental.  I could push myself further if I didn’t let my brain get in the way.

4. You have to WANT to lose weight.   It sounds silly but you can’t just want to lose weight to look better in clothes.. or to impress someone.  It’s hard to explain but it’s just the breaking point.  The point where you say, I literally cant do this anymore.  You hate your weight now, more than you love the taste of the unhealthy food, and the lounging on the couch that you’ve been doing.  Something just clicks and the motivation is there.  I’m not really sure how I got to my “breaking point” if you will but I really feel like it had a lot to do with reflecting on myself and where I wanted to be in a few years.  I realized being the way I was—I’d NEVER get to where I wanted to be.  It just clicked and I wanted more than anything to just get it off.  Like some kind of bug or disease. I wanted it off and I wanted it NOW.

5. You can’t be spot on ALL the time--- and you shouldn’t be.  I’ve learned over the past few months that there are going to be days when I eat more—and days when I eat less.  Days when I REALLY want dessert and days when I don’t.  The mentality that I’ve come to right now is that If my weight watchers points allow me to eat something—I eat it. Regardless of what it is.  If its ice cream and I have the points left I don’t stress about it.  I try REALLY hard not to use my 49 bonus points or my activity points, however sometimes I just need to.  Days when I’m at my max for points but I’d really like dessert—I let myself have it.  It may put me over for that day, but I really try to limit that to just once a week.  If I went over my points every single day, there’s no way I could lose weight.  But one day a week won’t kill my plans and will give me the satisfaction that I want.  I’ve read in many articles that its not so harmful if you have one bad meal—AS LONG AS you go back to watching what you’re eating the next snack or meal after.  Chips? Fries? Dessert? Not going to kill your intention if you have them once a week.  Sometimes a girls got to have her French fries…. Just sayin.

6. Water is key!   I drink a lot of water.  Andddd I mean a lot.  On a low day I drink about 66oz of water—on a high day, maybe 132 oz.  I used to HATE water.  Gag at the first sip.  Now its my go to.  My tips for drinking water is to get a water bottle that holds at least 4 glasses of water—that’s 32 oz of water.  AT LEAST.  Fill the whole thing up and carry it everywhere with you.  Challenge yourself to get through that one bottle a day.  Work up from there.  Spice it up with Myo, Dasani or crystal light flavor packets (my favorite is Myo Lemon aid, Dasani pink lemon aid or pineapple coconut, or crystal light peach).  Also if you’re a pop(soda?? I’m from Pittsburgh so its pop) love I highly suggest you try some sparkling flavored water—or as I call it fizz pop (no idea how this name came about because it doesn’t make any sense but it stuck and now that’s how my family knows my flavored water).  You still get the feeling of drinking pop (which I loveeee) and you get the benefits of water.  If buying the waters are too expensive for you ($0.75 per bottle 4 cups) I’d suggest purchasing a soda stream.  Its basically the same idea as fizzy pop but you make it yourself.  I have one of those at work and I’m in love!

 I hope you’ve found my tips to be helpful, interesting, interesting, funny or helpful in some way.  Remember, I’m not a doctor, I am by no means telling you what you should and shouldn’t do to lose weight, but these are tips that I’ve come up with myself and found to be helpful to me.

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