Saturday, December 6

If I may...

A word or two about weight loss and getting in shape. Now that we are getting in to the Holiday season, the season that ends with a "new year" and resolutions, I'm seeing even more weight loss drug commercials. There was a time in my life when I would try those drug options, because I didn't know what else to do, I didn't know how else to manage my body image expectations and get myself to a place where I was comfortable with my body.
I'm at a point now where I know how to get myself to that place, I've been in that place, and I'd like to share how I got there for those readers who are feeling the strain of holiday eating habits that form and are thinking of their resolutions for the New Year.

Weight Watchers: This program works. Weight Watchers teaches you (if you are willing to learn) how to change your eating habits and then maintain new healthy eating habits. If you have a great leader and really follow the plan (which means attending weekly meetings) this program works and sticks with you. For me one of the biggest changes was portion control. The first time I did Weight Watchers I had a leader who didn't really lead and teach us everything and so it didn't really work for me and I feel off the wagon. When I went back in March I had a leader who taught the program correctly and it made such a difference.

Cross Training: Obviously you have to burn more calories than you take in, and for healthy weight loss you can maintain, that means working out not crash dieting. A key thing I've discovered through Tri-training is what a huge difference cross training workouts have. Your body gets used to exercise if you do the same one all the time. If you are changing the type of work out each day, and slowly increasing your time and intensity over many weeks you'll see dramatic results. The key with this is making sure you have a variety of work outs throughout the week, so a hard day, a day off, a stability day (stay at one intensity level the whole work out), longer workouts, intervals, etc.

Heart Rate Training: If you are really serious about using exercise to its fullest for weight loss a heart rate monitor makes all the difference. Using a heart rate monitor ensures you are paying attention to how you are working out. I won't go on too much about these, because I am no expert and you really should either talk to one, or read one to get more info. I know that heart rate training combined with cross training changed my metabolism and allowed me to get to a happy body weight.

Partnering: You can't do it alone. That is why attending Weight Watchers meetings works. I think exercising with a partner, or partners, also makes a huge difference. For me, I have a great husband who went from no exercising to running a 1/2 marathon with me because I wanted a partner to train with. If you don't have a friend or a family member, try a exercise club, or even Team in Training to get yourself out there.

Water: It really is the "beauty beverage" as my spin instructor says. If you are going to be getting healthier, you need water to do it. Don't discount it's benefits. Go out, buy yourself a cute water bottle for home and work and get your drink on.

Treat Injuries: If you are starting from zero you are probably going to run in to some minor injuries. If you are a feeling a pull or a strain treat it, don't ignore it. The worst thing you can do is ignore it and let it become something that will stop you in your tracks. For most injuries use RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). Investigating symptoms online can usually lead you to an answer for many minor things. Don't let a pull or a strain stop you in your tracks.

So there's my list, I hope it helps. I'm usually tracking my training on my tumblr blog: if you want to hear more about what I'm doing in my exercise regime.


Jess said...

I'm with you on the partners work out. I've always found it hard to motivate myself, so anytime I can find someone to work out with me, it just makes it seem less of a chore and more enjoyable.

Sades said...

I love reading your blogs. I just read all of your last year of training, and I am itching to get out and run/bike. Unfortunately my milk filled breasts aren't as excited as I am! I am definitely looking forward to a year of training with my new baby girl in the jogger. I ran a marathon my first year in Hawaii, and loved it. Unfortunately I didn't really train, so the second half was killer, but I made it. I am thinking of doing another one maybe next fall, and definitely some 5k's and hopefully some mountain bike races, and off-road triathlon's next year as well. I hope you keep writing because I will need the motivation from across the country.