Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Here I Am

The holidays are a great time of year.  You're surrounded by friends, family, loved ones, and even a few Grinches.  I try not to let the latter bother me, though, because there's so much about the holiday season that is worth enjoying and celebrating.  The decorations, the movies, the parties... THE FOOD.  Yep, I'm admitting it.  The food is most definitely worth celebrating.  And yet, when the holidays are done, there's this sense of guilt for all the self indulgence.  Weight loss commercials and products get deals, discounts, and top billing in all our marketing areas.

Many people choose this time to get serious about getting the weight off.  I know I've tried time and again, usually discouraged by the end of January that I've given up so much for so little gain... er, loss.  Here's the thing:  It's slow going.  At first.  It requires hard work, diligence, patience, and more than anything else, a serious commitment.  The right motivation can make all the difference.

Everyone I know who has chosen to lose weight and was able to make it work has been able to point to one moment where it all changed.  One moment in which everything was different and they had everything they needed to finally stick to it.  For me, it was this holiday season that it happened.  I was bending over to get something and I split my jeans right down the back.  Granted these jeans were a few years old, made of thin material as it was, and had several holes in them.  But that doesn't matter.  I knew I'd gained weight.  All of my other clothes were tighter than they had been, and some just weren't fitting at all anymore.  I was growing more and more self conscious about my appearance, and then this happened.

I decided then and there that this new year would be a new me.  Starting January first, I'm going to lose weight.  I'm going to make sure that I never again split the seam in my pants.  I'm going to take my destiny into my own hands and make a change for the best.

Now, how to go about this?  There are a lot of commercials that promise jump starts and results.  It's so hard to wade through all of these offers, deals and promises.  Where does a girl start?  A few places.

The first one is the Special K challenge.  They promise it's easy to use.  This isn't the first year that I've seen it, so I'm going to give it a shot.  The results don't seem to be a lot off puffery.  They only promise that you can lose UP TO 6 pounds in 2 weeks.  That's an average of 3 pounds per week if you lose the maximum.  They don't promise exactly 6 pounds.  They don't promise drastic change.  In all honesty, what they're promising is the start to better habits, and enough results to keep you going.  So what's the challenge?

2 Special K meals: Cereal, Protein Shakes or Meal Bars
2 Special K Snacks: Any of the Special K Snack line
1 Sensible Meal of your choice (and they offer recipe suggestions!
As many servings of fruit and veggies as you want throughout the day

Knowing that I have that last options helps a great deal.  It means that they offer me a way to literally eat all day, which the lack of is a hard thing for me on a diet.  If you're like me and you want to give this a shot, see the link section to the side to get started yourself.

Next, the National Health Challenge put on by the Discovery Channel.  I did this 4 years ago, and it was a really great thing.  I just started it late in the game and didn't get as much out of it as I wanted.  This time, that won't be the case.  What is it?  Well, to quote from the website,

"Discovery Health's National Body Challenge is a FREE, comprehensive fitness and weight-loss challenge that provides the tools and inspiration - online, on television and beyond - to get in shape, shed pounds and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Go online to register and receive FREE:

  • Customized meal plans with over 1,000 kitchen-tested, nutritionist-approved recipes
  • Progressive fitness plans, tailored for you by experts
  • Diverse community of support to help you achieve your personal lifestyle goals
  • Individualized weight and fitness trackers
  • Video and interactive tools from fitness and weight loss professionals
  • and much more!
Parental consent required for anyone under the age of 18. Certain terms and conditions apply. See FAQ for more details."

The registration process is simple and easy.  The set up too.  It asks you to input information about yourself and set goals for the 8 weeks period.  Then it asks your preferences and gives you a tailored meal plan and exercise plan based on the information you gave it.  It has options for diabetic and vegetarian meal plans, as well as basic or intermediate work out plans.

I'll share my numbers in my kick off post, and I encourage anyone out there who chooses to join me on this journey to do the same.  Knowing that you have to share this information with someone else tends to keep me honest.  I have no way of checking up on you, and you're under no obligation to do this, or to be honest about your numbers.  But if you're not honest, who are you cheating?  No one but yourself.

Lastly, I'll also be doing Weight Watchers again.  The thing about Weight Watchers is that this:  you're not on a diet.  Weight Watchers helps you evaluate what you're doing when you eat.  Why are you eating that much?  Why are you eating when you eat?  Is it because you're bored?  Is it because you're celebrating?  Hungry?  Sad?  Depressed?  It teaches you how to substitute food with non-food ways of celebrating or commiserating.  It teaches you portion control, and how to recognize when you're full.  I learned that it's OKAY to leave food behind on your plate if you really are full.  This is so hard to admit because we're taught as children to clean our plates or we don't get to leave the table.  They have a lot of tools available to you, both in person at the meetings, as well as online at their website.  Check them out!

I'm excited about this prospect.  I'm worried that I'm going to fail, naturally, but I'm trying to take things one day at a time and NOT panic.  I can only do what I've set out to do, and sometimes there will be days that I won't meet my goals.  There will be days that I cheat and eat something that I shouldn't eat.  There will be days that I make up an excuse not to work out.  It happens, and I can't let that derail me.  I'm in this for me, and I will lose myself!