We are 13 days in to the new year. Did you make some New Year’s Resolutions? For example, the whole New Year New You – how’s that going? For a lot of people, they are all gung-ho initially but begin to fizzle out right about now. Don’t let that be you!
I will be honest and say that I ate too much around the holidays. I tried to “be good” but the macaroni and cheese was calling my name, right along with the brownies and cheesecake. Oh My!! Wanting to get back on track, I seriously considered Weight Watchers. Then I looked at all the fitness gurus talking about how they pumped iron, lost weight, and feel GRRRR-EAT! I enjoy my free weights, but I hadn’t really found something that I was passionate about doing every … single … day.
I watched so many “info-mercials” that were really geared at selling their weight loss products or services. Some believed in using “shakes” to lose weight, and while that has helped a lot of people, it isn’t something you can keep up long term. When you start eating real food again, the weight will creep back on. This one lady spent $300 to $400 a month to kickstart her weight loss. Two shakes a day, a few snacks, and then a healthy dinner was part of her program. But what’s in those “shakes” and “snacks” anyway? A lot of processed things that you cannot pronounce, that’s what! And it’s EXPENSIVE!!! No thanks!
I turned to the “experts.” I watched snippets of videos that started off with, “Let me tell you my secret to weight loss …” I can’t tell you how many videos I watched with people “baiting” you but not really providing you with information to HELP! They just wanted you to join their team, spend that money … no thanks!
I’ve even had the random messages in my Instagram or Facebook trying to get me to purchase their products. “You look like someone that enjoys health and fitness, why don’t you try my X, Y, Z?”
Success stories? I heard plenty. I’m genuinely happy for them, but I’m not interested in a pill, shake, or expensive membership to learn how to take care of my body.
Gym memberships? I used to have one, actually. I went to the local YMCA almost daily in 2018 from April until August. Personal issues crept up, and I stopped going to the YMCA. Then, Planet Fitness came to our small town, and it was “all the rage.” Everyone wanted in! Honestly, I went to check it out while it was still in the construction phase and they had information available to sign up in advance. The only thing that got me was that it required direct access to my checking account, something I do NOT give anyone! So there goes that idea.
What to do? What to DO? That was the question.
I wasn’t like a lot of people I’ve seen or read about that needed to lose 50, 75, 100 pounds or more. I just wanted to tone up and look fit again. I nailed it in 2018 and was proudly wearing my two piece bikini at the beach with my daughters that summer. I even wore my two piece to the beach and on the boat in 2019 as well, although I needed to get back on track with working out. I had about ten to fifteen pounds to “tweek” in order for me to be where I needed to be according to my height. (PS I am considered short at 5′ 0″ … or as some argue 4′ 11″ … those few inches are important to me, okay?!)
I stumbled upon a post with a lady talking about what helped her. I thought surely if I clicked on the link she provided that it would be another gimmick, but surprisingly, it was not! She and another lady created this group to help others lose weight. So, I clicked on the link, answered the questions, and asked to join her group. After I was approved, I saw that they weren’t selling a single thing. FINALLY! I reached people that honestly wanted to help you in your journey. Not only that, but they talked about an app that helped them. This one lady that helped form the group has lost 100 pounds! Seriously! While the Weight Watchers app is $20.00 per month, the app they were all using was FREE! So, I signed up for the app, too! While you can upgrade to the “pro” version and pay a fee, that truly is not necessary. I’ve been using the free version of this app and have had success! I’ve only been on this program for two weeks … but I have lost six pounds. Not too earth shattering right now, but if you think about it, slow and steady wins the race! You didn’t gain this weight all at once, so don’t expect to lose it all at once either. It takes time, and losing 1-2 pounds a week is healthy and to be expected if you are going to keep it off. As I’ve heard mentioned, if you work the program, the program will work for you! It is the truth. I’ve also heard that abs are made in the kitchen, and this is also true! You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to lose weight. If you just start making healthier food choices, you will see a difference in how you look and feel. Why not trade fast food for healthier choices, and while you’re at it, add in some fruit and vegetables? I promise, you will start seeing results!
What is the app? iTrackBites
You sign up, put in your weight and height, as well as your goal weight. You answer a few questions, and bam, they choose a plan for you which is similar to Weight Watchers with “points” you are allowed per day. Every food has a points value, and there are even zero point foods that you’re encouraged to eat!
Water is necessary no matter what – and it is encouraged on this plan as well. You should drink half your body weight in ounces each day. It seems like a lot, but it is totally do-able! You may feel like you live in the bathroom when you’re first getting started, but you need to stay hydrated. It will help how you look and feel, too! Some lose what they call “water weight” at first, but if you continue with good choices, the weight will come off.
Something that a lot of people are talking about now is intermittent fasting. The idea is to go 16 hours without food, then have an eight hour window where you eat healthy food choices. I started to think about when I was in school. I did not eat breakfast because it was too early in the morning, and I did not want to force anything at that point. I would eat the night before at supper with my family and not have anything else to eat until lunch time at school. I was younger, yes, but I actually was doing intermittent fasting at that point without even thinking about it. Now I’ve started back, and I don’t miss trying to make myself eat breakfast as an adult. I start my morning with a cup of warm lemon water, and I am set. I have never been a coffee drinker, so I don’t have to worry about that. My biggest hangup is that I crave Coke Zero! I have tried to stop drinking it but get the biggest headache. I’ve tried to substitute hot green tea in it’s place, but it’s not the same. So, for now, I remain a Coke Zero addict. I am not ashamed!
In addition to healthier food choices and water, whether you’re sold on the whole intermittent fasting thing or not, let me encourage you to find something you enjoy doing as a form of exercise. I know, “enjoy” and “exercise” in the same sentence? You’ve got to be kidding, right? Nope. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I enjoy free weights. I like my arms to look strong, and if you have a nice upper body, it’ll make your waistline look skinnier, also, ladies (this is a line Denise Austin would say on occasion in her workout videos that I used to do in my 20s and 30s). We all want that! But cardio is something everyone raves about for weight loss, too. I’ll be honest, on New Year’s Day, I went for a jog/walk. I am NOT one that enjoys running … ever! But that day, I said I wanted to start the new year off right, so I’d jog, then walk, jog, then walk again. I did this around our house, all around our pond, and even the field we own in the very front of our property (the field alone is 13 acres). I was one tired lady when I arrived back on the steps of my house! I snapped a picture to show my daughters – all red faced but smiling – starting the year off right. But could I keep this up? No! I do not enjoy running/jogging. I don’t enjoy the way it feels when I’m jarring my joints. I much prefer the elliptical because there aren’t any harsh blows (wait … am I old? NO!!). So, I went back to doing that in my house. It’s still not something that I love doing at length, and I have to pace myself with this. I’m doing good if I get in seven to ten minutes without feeling like I’m dying. That elliptical is the devil!
One day, I decided to venture into Aldi. I’d heard a few people talking about it, but I’d never been. So, that day, I walked into the store to check it out. They had some healthy no name brand items people in that group I mentioned were talking about, but I’m just spoiled with going into my regular market and picking up items I know and love. During my search for healthy choices, I walked down an aisle and saw a fold up stationary bike. I looked at it, liked the price of it ($89.00), but left it right there. I thought about this bike all night … and the very next day I asked my husband to pick it up for me and put it together while I was working later that afternoon. When I arrived home, my stationary bike was waiting on me. Honestly, I was surprised at how heavy duty it actually was for the price! I have started riding this bike, and I absolutely LOVE it!!!! I have worked up to ten miles in 30 minutes going 19 to 20 mph! I think, for now, I have found an exercise I enjoy!!! I never thought I’d say those words, but there they are! Now, my workout routine is 30 minutes on the bike, seven to ten minutes (okay, five minutes tonight) on the elliptical, then various exercises and reps with the free weights, and some floor/ab exercises!
I’m here to tell you, once you find something you enjoy – that is a game changer!
The best part about ALL of this is that my oldest daughter and my husband are now doing this with me! My daughter lost 10 pounds on her own by making healthier food choices. She has downloaded this app and lost an additional five pounds! My youngest daughter has always eaten healthy, but now she’s exercising more with us. She is so thin and doesn’t need to lose weight, but she wants to have some muscles. My husband just started yesterday with the app and healthier eating after not liking the results revealed on the scale, but I know he’ll do great! Men tend to lose faster than women any way, so I know he’ll reach his goal in no time! I’ll keep chugging along until I am where I want to be as well. The thing is, in 2018, I was working out and looked thin, trim, and fit … but my numbers on the scale never went down. If that happens to you, do NOT be discouraged! Go more so on how you feel, how your clothes fit, and keep plugging away!! If you do eat according to your points on the plan, you will see results, though. I have already, and I plan to stay with it. Look at it as fuel for your body, and be selective about what you put in your body … just like you are selective about what grade gas goes into your car, boat, etc. You would want something to take care of the engine and provide performance. The same can be said and applied here. The thing is that nothing is truly off limits either. It’s just all about having things in moderation.
So, go download that app and get started on your journey today! If you’re interested in the support of the group I mentioned, email me and I’ll be glad to share that with you as well! The app is free, the group is free, so what do you have to lose besides unwanted pounds?
Here’s to your success in the new year!