On My Way: How I Lost 50 Pounds in 7 Months
A few notes from Coach Nancy – Cara put this out on Facebook. She is daily putting herself out there. She is journaling in public. While some of you may not want to put it out for all to see, Cara’s been accountable to many because many people ‘see’ her posts and they will ‘see’ if it is making a difference. Did you notice the first line of what Cara wrote “A few of my friends”, I bet many more are watching Cara to see if she is going to make her goal.
Cara also uses another powerful tool to help her, she puts visuals around her house. Her before pictures are near or on her fridge and on her bathroom mirror are sticky notes with the number of pounds she has left until she reaches her goal. Cara has goals and like her journaling she is not the only one who knows her goals. She daily does what it takes to make her longer term goal a reality.
Since she posted this, she has peeled two more sticky notes off that mirror. Keep making it happen, Cara!
A few friends have asked me to write about how I have had some success in losing weight:
My journey with weight loss began when I saw pictures of myself last spring, 2013. I no longer recognized myself. At my highest weight ever. Who had I become? My big struggle set in after a medical crisis I had experienced 9 years ago. I survived , but was left no muscle and it turns out you kind of need muscle to burn fat. Add another problem. 4 years ago I took a job, involving 4 hours a day in the car, and very little time for exercise. I ate whatever, whenever, and my body paid the price. I gained 40 pounds in 3 years, on top of old weight, that crept on after having 3 children, etc. Add another stressor: becoming the sole guardian and repsonsible for the all the care and decision making for a parent. Recipe for a health disaster.
Going back, as a child I was athletic, I swam, skiid, ran, rode horses, biked, hiked, you name it we were outside, and in the mountains almost every weekend. In my 20’s and 30’s I went to the gym quite a bit, and maintained, and was able to lose weight after having the first 2 kids. However, there pieces of habits that were not good. I never learned what a portion was growing up, it was a huge plate of food always. Dessert was a habit in my family. Body image issues were also in my family. I didn’t have all the tools I needed.
So in April 2013, I knew I had to start something I could handle and build some stamina, so when I was ready for the next step I would have some strength. I started walking. It hurt. My feet, ankles and back hurt.
I did it anyway. I levelled out at walking about 3.5 miles a day, and did that at least 5 times a week. I felt a lot better. I lost about 15 pounds from April to July. I started to work on portion size in this time. I removed fast food, soda, and desserts ( with a few exeptions now and then). I focused each month, on taking one type of poor choice out. So things were going well, but I knew I really wanted a BIG change. I wanted to change my body for real.
I started searching around. I had tried a beautiful gym the year before, but I never connected to the programs there, and never got any help. It was a waste of money and too far away. And frankly their coaches sucked and should not be called coaches. They cancelled my first training session. I did spend some time in the pool their with my daughter. But I actually gained more weight in that time frame.
So then I stumbled on Get Fit NH, a bootcamp training program. It was about 15 minutes away and I read online a lot of positive things. I didn’t call, I just decided to show up and take a look. I had seen the transformation pictures and was inspired. I went and it was different than anything I had seen or done before. No treadmills, no bikes, no tv’s , no mirrors. The program is a group training session with individual coaching as well. We do very short intervals of challenges exercises using weights, bands, and our own bodies to create resistance. It’s a mixture of cardio and weight training, that blasts fat off like no other program. The workout is different every single day. Your body never gets used to it so you are always challenged. I lose weight every single week. I work hard when I am there. I train 3 days a week, for 1 hour. I started with 2 days a week. I was so sore I couldn’t even move across the bed at first. the next week was better. And better. Then I moved up to 3 days a week, and now I do some of the Saturday events which puts me at 4 days a week, when I can.
My coaches are amazing. They have so much knowledge and I have learned so much. The program focuses on turning us into fat fighting machines through building muscle, and we all work at our own levels. Somedays I’m sure I am the weakest link in that room and it doesn’t even matter because I am doing it, moving and making progress and everyone cheers you on.
I move more, on the days I am not training. I am now jogging, hiking ( even in the snow) and doing other things at home on my non training days.
My next step was to dive into the nutrition. Clearly I had never really learned what to eat, how, when, or why to lose weight. This program focuses on having us eat Protein, Produce and water at each meal. They give us a shopping list, recipes, menus. and yes we eat that for breakfast too. My coach Nancy had me just focus on eating a PPW breakfast for 2 weeks in the beginning and I dropped 5 pounds. If it is not protein, produce or water I don’t eat it. I allow myself 1 treat meal a week, but it has to be worth it and many times it isn’t.
I drink water, 100 ounces a day. Sometimes black tea, or green tea, and yes I do drink coffee but that is on it’s way out too. This is not easy but I have eliminated: pasta, all processed foods, potaotoes, candy, ice cream, desserts, and anything fried. I was addicted to sugar, and carbs, period. Those foods, for me, do not allow weight loss. I am not perfect, and my trainers help work with us during the holidays, etc with a plan. I lost 10 pounds during the holiday time frame.
Another note that may help some of you. And I’m here to bash other programs or those that folllow them. But here it is. I tried Weight Watchers 3 times. First time with success. The next 2 I actually gained weight. And here is why. Those programs have you counting and saving points and somehow making you think you have saved enough to eat that sundae. But in the end, that food doesn’t serve me and doesn’t allow my body weight loss. It kept me trapped in the sugar cycle. I needed to get off that wheel, which always led me back to eating the wrong foods. Here is the second reason that program did not work. I was always always STARVING.
Now off from sugar, carbs, etc….I am FULL when I eat PPW and NOT hungry, and have almost no cravings.
Excuses? I was the queen of all of them. Time? At times I have the job of 2 people in my work. I still travel. We have 2 girls who dance 5 times a week. I have high demands at my work, and at home.
Money? I know, I may step on some toes here. But I wish someone had stepped on mine years ago. I am going to ask you now, what you spend on drive through, soda, beer, fast food, pizza, take out, cigarettes, and your copays for medications for high blood pressure, diabeters, or high cholesterol. What does that add up to? Imagine the health and the money you will have when you save on all of those. You can afford to go to the gym. Time? How much time to we all watch tv, or are we on facebook? The time is there.
Visuals: I keep sticky notes on my mirror that cheer myself on, and that state my short term goals of what, by when and why. Know your why and never let go of it, it is powerful and you are worth it. I have pictures up that insprire me.
My next goal is to lose another 14 pounds by mid March. Then on to another 20 off by the end of May.
My why’s : to be a great example to myself, my children and husband, so I can live a full, complete, long life and enjoy it all. I don’t want to be limited by my mind or body.
Forgive yourself for the past and pick yourself up and move today. Do something. Then do more tomorow. Get help. You are worth it!