Last summer, I published a couple of posts about my weight-loss journey. I gave a little bit of my background, and a list of the eight simple steps I followed, here. Then I elaborated a bit on the first four steps here, promising at the time that I would elaborate on the final four “soon.”
Well, it's not soon, but here are my brief explanations of the other four steps I followed. Before reading this post, you might want to click on the links above to read the first two posts in this series.
It didn't take me long to get bored with sitting on the bike every day, so I tried our treadmill. This was new for me, so I cut back to fifteen minutes of brisk walking. Over time I added a few minutes each day until I was up to thirty minutes a day of walking. Then, rather than add more time (because I had little time to devote to exercise), I amped up the speed, alternating a minute of jogging with five minutes of walking, and I increased the incline a little bit. Eventually I increased the jogging time and reduced the walking time, until I could jog thirty minutes at a stretch.
To add some variety, I decided to get adventuresome and take my “run” outside when the weather permitted. Of course, running outside on uneven ground is different from treadmill work, so I again readjusted my time and pace. I reverted to brisk walking, going only as far as I was sure that I could make it back home. At first I could only make it a half mile or so, but I again pushed myself a little each time, going a little farther, and then a little faster, until I had worked my way up to being able to jog as much as four miles at a time.
The problem was, I had no idea how to do any of that. After talking with a friend, I decided to seek professional help. I joined a gym and signed up for sessions with a personal trainer. My intent was to learn how to use the various machines and free weights so that I could do strength training on my own. It didn't take me long, though, to realize that I simply was too much of a weenie to make myself do that hard work by myself. So several years later, I still have regular sessions with my trainer at the gym. Besides helping me learn proper form and use of the equipment, Pasquale motivates me to try harder. I have accomplished more with his help and encouragement than I ever thought I was capable of.
Not everyone can afford the expense of a gym or a trainer, especially not on a long-term basis. But the principle still applies. If you need the encouragement of group accountability to stick to your healthy eating plan, then seek out a Weight Watchers group or other support system. Try just a few sessions with a trainer, either private or small group sessions. Talk to a nutritionist if you're not sure what you should be eating. Take a fit friend to lunch and ask her to share her secrets with you.
Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Some days go better than others. Some days I'm hormonal or overstressed or tired. Some days I “slip” and overindulge in the treats I love. But rather than deciding it's hopeless, I simply give myself some grace for that day, and start over again on the next day.
So there you have it: the last of the eight key “rules” I've tried to live by on my journey toward getting to a healthy weight. What works for you? Leave a comment with your suggestions — or your questions.