Saturday, May 07, 2005

How I'm doing it

I thought that now would be a good time, as I've got a day to myself, and I've lost 2 whole stone to write a post setting out what I actually am doing. Or, more precisely what I'm not doing.

I'm not doing weightwatchers. I'm not doing Atkins. I'm not doing South Beach. I'm not counting calories. I'm not counting carbs. I'm not following any plan at all, and I'm not subscribing to any particular theory of how to lose weight.

That's not to say that I'm ignoring all the theories, I'm not. But I'm not a slave to them. I've read a couple of books and websites and I've picked up some common sense themes (fewer calories and more fruit and veg are good, for example). But I'm not letting someone else's rules run my life. The way I see it, that is the way to fail. Not immediately, the initial weight loss might be fantastic. But long term, is it possible to follow someone else's rules and to constantly watch what you eat?

So I'm being sensible. I'm focussing on eating at least 5 portions of fruit and veg per day, and whereas before I might have a piece of meat with potatoes/rice/pasta, now I have it with a huge portion of veg/salad (and increasingly often, just the huge portion of veg/salad without the meat or the potatoes!). If that doesn't look like it will fill me I'll add something else too, but it usually does. Although I'm not counting calories, I know that I'm eating fewer of them. Just looking at my food choices makes that clear, but I'm not getting hung up on exactly how many fewer calories I'm eating.

If I'm hungry, I'll eat. If I have chocolate cravings, I'll eat chocolate. I've eaten chocolate every day this week (except today, but there's time yet...) But the way I work it is that my first pang of "between meals" hunger sends me scurrying for a bit of fruit. Possibly the second one too. If I'm still hungry, I'll then eat whatever I want, on the basis that I've had loads of healthy stuff already. And the more I snack on fruit, the more I want to snack on fruit and not on chocolate.

But what has really made the difference is exercise. Well, it's a combination of the two. When I first started going to the gym I started losing weight almost straight away. Something just clicked with me. I woke up one morning and I decided to join the gym. 10 months later I'm still going, shockingly actually more than I did in the early days when it was new and I was motivated. There was a blip last autumn which meant that I put on nearly all of the stone I had lost to that date, when I stopped going to the gym. So I realised that exercise was the key. What made my exercise weight loss accelerate though seemed to be two factors. The first is that as I got fitter I could do more, burn more calories, and lose weight faster. The second is that at first I was so excited that I could exercise and lose weight no matter what I ate, so I did exactly that. It was only when I restarted that I realised that if I exercise and eat healthy stuff I'll lose weight quicker than exercising and not eating healthy stuff.

Not rocket science, but I'm glad I've worked it out for myself, trying to find what works for my body, rather than following someone else's rules. I worry that if I did someone else's plan I'd worry about sticking to the plan, not sticking to making the most healthy choices I can. And even though a well written plan would help you make healthy choices, if you've worked out how to do it, there's no substitute for making them for yourself. This way I can form habits that work for me and that are based round things I like doing and eating, and I can hopefully keep them up.


Blogger CheekyMoo said...

You sound like me. I can't follow a specific diet. It requires too much though. 130 pounds and my only real secret is...making good choices. And if I mess up, getting right back on track. Gym time like crazy, and trying to just be happy with ME! You're doing great. Glad you hit your April goal.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Garnet said...

I've been down this road before but never striving for such a significant amount of weight loss. I need motivation to get me started. Something to kick start me and psych me up. I used to join Weight Watchers but I resent having to pay $11/week just to be weighed, pep-talked and patted on the back. So I joined eDiets. After about three months I'll get tired of it and will have to ween myself off. I'll try something else then.
For now I'm touring other weightloss bloggers and that's how I found yours!! Way to go! Keep it up!

4:52 PM  

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