Sunday, August 10, 2014

The "HOW" of My 100+ Pound Weight Loss

Happy Sunday, friends! Unwinding a bit and enjoying the last few days of a much needed week off work.

Anyway, I've been getting several (good) comments about how good I look and if I've lost weight recently. Shocker, I haven't! I've been around the same two or three pounds since last September, when I hit goal. I think it might be toning and replacing muscle with fat. I've been lifting and doing core work like crazy as of late. Still, if it helps me look good, roll with it, right? ;-)

After all that babble, people keep asking me HOW I lost over 100 pounds.

Here's another shocker: I did it on my own.

Yup, y'all heard that right! No pre-packaged meals, no counting points, and NO SURGERY.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking down on those options at all. What works for one doesn't always work for another. I wasn't overweight enough to NEED the surgery, plus other options (Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, for example) were too much money for me. So, I decided to just watch what I ate and worked out. That's all.

However, there are a few things that ANYONE trying to lose weight MUST do, regardless of what diet plan you use (in no particular order):

1) Watch what you eat. Common sense here, right? Right. I'm not gluten-free (no need to be), not vegan/vegetarian (or even close), and I don't rely on pre-packaged meals. I just eat good, healthy food in portions that work for me and enjoy a treat sometimes. Which leads me to...

2) Treat MEAL one day a week. Confession: I love pizza. I love fro-yo. Chocolate chip cookies and French fries will forever be in my life. However, the trick is to LIMIT how much you enjoy these items! I usually limit myself to one treat meal a week. It might be pizza, chicken fingers from Sonic (pretty much the only fast food I eat anymore), or even baby back ribs (like I had on my birthday). I keep it to one meal and move on. Same goes for sweets, even though I usually limit them to the weekends (one treat per day Friday-Sunday).

3) TRACK! I can't stress this enough. I do so much better when I track what I eat. I've actually been tracking for about 350 days straight. I'm a visual learner, so it helps to see what I eat and how I can adjust my patterns based on my goals. Oh, it also helps me own up to anything I mess up on (Lemon Chicken Orzo on a DAILY basis, for example). I use MyFitnessPal (hoopsfreak03 over there), but there are a ton of other options out there for you to choose from! If all else fails, there's always pen and paper!

4) Get moving! I'm not saying to get out there and run a marathon. Hell, even I haven't done that! Everyone has to start somewhere. Try something as simple as walking for 10-15 minutes at a time. I eventually worked myself up to Wii Fit and Biggest Loser DVD's. I even completed Jillian Michaels's 30 Day Shred! Eventually, I got a gym membership, fell in love with spinning, and completed several 5K's! Find what works for you and go from there!

5) Find support. I have a crazy, but loving family who supports me in this 100% (even if I don't think so sometimes), but I have so many friends and supporters online too. Point is, you need someone to cheer you when times are good, support you when they're not, and maybe even give you some tough love when you need it most but least expect it. There are so many out there who have similar struggles (I try not to say "same," as no two people are exactly alike), so there's always someone to listen! You can even message me or shoot me a tweet, and I'll help you too! ;-)

Last, but certainly not least...

6) Do it for YOU!  So many times, I've seen people wanting a friend or family member to lose weight, but the person rebels against it. In fact, I was that person myself. This is one of those things where you have to want it for yourself; not to please your family, not for an event, and not even to be accepted by society. If you do it for all those things, are you going to stick with it after everything comes and goes? NOPE! I know from experience that I didn't really want it until just over five years ago. At that point, I was just sick of being overweight and wanted to be healthy and happy in my own skin. Sure enough, I am today!

Well, there you go! That's how I lost over 100 pounds and kept it off for ten months, but planning on keeping it up forever!

Do you have any tips for losing or maintaining weight?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

July Goal Recap and August Goal

Where has July gone? It feels like the month just started, and we're already in August! I don't like it!

Well, since July's over, guess I should recap my goals from the month, right?

In case you missed them, here they are:

And here's how I did!

1) Put at least $50 into savings. Nailed it halfway through the month. I would have loved to made it more, but a less than normal paycheck last week didn't make it happen.

2) Blog at least once a week. I think I made it at least three out of four weeks. Not perfect, but better than it was. I'll take it.

3) No running AT ALL. Tough, but I did it! I never thought I would say it, but I was missing the pavement! I started running again on Friday, and it's been slow, but I know I'll be back fiercer than ever!

4) Plank-A-Day. I went 31 for 31! Still keeping the streak alive too! Hoping to keep this up through the rest of the year! Or at least through August. ;-)

5) One movie a week. Another three out of four. Although I think that three hours of Parks and Recreation makes up for the one week, right?

So all this earned me my reward. I will eventually get my Yankees bracelet, probably after my next paycheck or the one after. Still have a few bills to figure out. =P

Anyway, I was thinking of what to work on for August, and I couldn't think of anything. That was when I decided that I wanted to do something tying to the number 29 (since I turn 29 on Thursday).

Then it hit me: Why not run 29 miles in August?

I was honestly on the fence about it, then on Friday, I put the goal into RunKeeper, and there was no turning back.

This picture actually reflects my total distance (all 4 miles) as of today. Still have 25 to go, but I think that if I pace it right and make the most of my runs, it will happen!

You can follow my progress on Endomondo (the app I use to actually track my runs) and RunKeeper (where I plug them in and have the goal set up). I'm hoopsfreak03 on RunKeeper, but you have to enter my full name (Tracy Carroll) on Endomondo.

Edit (8/24/14): I am no longer using Endomondo and switched over to Caledos Runner for Windows Phone as of two weeks ago. The miles automatically sync to my RunKeeper. Still hoopsfreak03 on RK.

As for my idea what it is yet! I'm sure I'll think of something during the course of the month!

That's all for now! Happy August!

Have you ever set a mileage goal for a month? Was it for race training or for yourself?