Okay, it’s the beginning of the new year and, as most people are probably doing too, I am reflecting on all of the bad foods I’ve eaten and the lack of exercise I’ve gotten over the last few months. Time to get serious again and try to get my body in better shape. Terri and I have both had almost an entire lifetime of the battle of the bulge and we’ve tried many diets and exercise plans along the way. With the information that I have gathered over the years and the lessons that I’ve learned, I have put together some helpful tips on getting yourself to a healthy weight in the upcoming year.
Helpful Tips on Getting Yourself to a Healthy Weight
First and foremost, you need to find ways to really motivate yourself. If you can’t find MOTIVATION, you won’t be able to even start to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
Below are some helpful tips that I have found that increase my MOTIVATION:
- Remind yourself that maintaining a healthy weight will reduce your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, many types of cancer, depression, joint pain, and arthritis.
- Know that getting your body in better shape will prevent shortness of breath, increase your endurance, give you more energy, increase your confidence levels, and even save you money on food, clothes, less doctor visits, and less prescriptions.
- If you are a parent, think about your children and the fact that they need a healthy, energetic, present parent in their lives.
- Find some photos of yourself when you were healthier and put them where you can be reminded of you at your healthiest.
The above picture is of me in my mid to late twenties. This is probably the lowest I can go weight-wise, realistically, at my age. If I could get back to this weight, I would be ecstatic.
- Write down non-food rewards that you can give to yourself when you meet incremental goals.
- Buy yourself a new outfit.
- Treat yourself to a good movie.
- Buy some new walking shoes.
- Plan that romantic weekend away.
- Write down your reasons for why you want to lose weight and post it where you can read it every day as a reminder.
- To look better?
- To be healthier?
- To fit in that cute outfit?
- For your next high school reunion or that wedding coming up?
- Look better for your spouse?
- Increase your confidence in yourself?
- To decrease your chances of getting sick?
- To increase your energy levels?
- To be an inspiration to others?
- To be a good role model for your children?
- Surround yourself with like-minded people who also want to get healthier by eating right and exercising and who might have the same reasons for losing weight that you do.Read up on other people who have successfully lost weight and how they did it. Look at before & after pictures.
- Seek out friends who you can go take a walk with, join a class with, or meet up at the gym.
- Having somebody who you are accountable to makes it harder to talk yourself out of exercising.
- Buy yourself some new workout clothes. It will make you feel better about yourself and you’ll already feel like you’re on your way to a new you.
So, now that you’ve armed yourself with some great motivation tools, it’s time to incorporate your plan. The first thing is to SET GOALS – long-term and short-term goals. If you only set long-term goals, it will seem unattainable and you may be tempted to give up.
- Make your goals realistic. If you don’t, you will easily get discouraged and may give up.
- Set a target weight that you can realistically attain.
- Set small goals that you can easily achieve throughout the journey, such as to lose 5 pounds every 2 to 3 weeks, go down a pants size in 1 to 2 months, increase your walk by 15 minutes every 2 weeks, climb that extra flight of stairs, park as far away as possible when you go shopping, etc.
- Always strive for better. Don’t get complacent. If you’re doing the same workout routine every day and eating the same amount of calories every day, your body will eventually adjust and stop losing weight. You need to continually push your personal limits.
The most important part of getting yourself to a healthy weight is what you put into your mouth. YOUR DIET makes up approximately 90% of whether or not you will be successful in becoming a healthier new you.
- Decide on a diet plan that works best for you and your lifestyle.Whichever diet plan you choose, write down your food and exercise each day so you can gauge how well you’re doing and see more easily what your pitfalls are so that you can fix them. The journal doesn’t have to be anything fancy. I just use a regular spiral notebook.
- Personally, whenever I have been successful in the past, it has been from journaling my calories and fat intake OR following the Weight Watchers plan, which also strongly encourages journaling.
- Avoid starvation diets. It might help you to lose weight quickly, but as soon as you start eating again you will regain the weight and then some.
- Aim to lose approximately 2 pounds per week. You’re more likely to adopt a lifelong lifestyle and keep the weight off.
- Drink as much water as possible and avoid sugary drinks and juices.
- Keep healthy foods and water with you wherever you go, including in your car, so that you’re not tempted to buy fast food.
- Don’t let yourself get too hungry or else you will make bad choices.
So, if food intake is a 90% contribution to getting yourself to a healthy weight, then EXERCISE is the other 10%.
- Ideally, you should do some sort of aerobic activity 30 minutes per day, every day in order to keep yourself in good cardiovascular condition.
- Put together a group of your favorite upbeat songs and put them on your iPod to listen to while you workout or while you’re in the car driving to work out.
- Change up the workout routine so you don’t get bored.
- Don’t always go to the gym. You’ll eventually get burned out.
- If you prefer the gym, don’t always do the same exercises every time. One day walk on the treadmill. The next day, ride the bike. The next day, pump some iron.
- Take a brisk walk. Really, nothing beats getting outside, getting some natural sunlight, and taking a good walk. It’s free and almost anybody can do it.
- Go ice skating. I have to admit, I haven’t done this in a very long time. We were supposed to do it over winter break and it was canceled due to the snow. But I do intend to try it – carefully!
- Run around the yard with your kid. Another freebie that will give you the added benefit of getting some extra bonding time with your child.
- Take a hike with your family or friends.
- Do a workout tape at home. Wow, I’m aging myself. Tape? Okay, DVR some workouts and do them at home. That’s better. Me and technology.
This is a lot of information to absorb and I’m sure most people have heard these tips before. But it doesn’t hurt to hear it again. I’m hoping that writing this blog post will get me jump-started on my own plan to become a healthier me in 2013. I have my brother’s wedding in May, the summer will be here before we know it, which means bathing suit season, and overall I want to live a healthy, happy, long life. So are you with me? We got this!!
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