Almost no one asks me how I’ve lost weight. Most people get questions about this when they drop pounds, but I have only had one or two. I have a few of potential explanations.
- Maybe people don’t notice because I’m taking it slow.
- Maybe I don’t bring up the topic much.
- Maybe I volunteer too much information and advice (if that’s the case, I’m sorry because it’s about to happen again).
Well, since I was getting started around a year ago and lots of people are going to be getting started in about a week, I’ve decided to share what I did first…even though no one asked. And, now to the list!
- Take some time to reflect. It was easy for me get so caught up in every day life that I didn’t notice things like how my clothes fit, or how I looked in pictures, or how I had stretch marks that hurt (I didn’t know that was possible). Even with all the craziness around me, I decided to take a step back and have an honest look at how my actions were affecting me and the people around me.
- Just do something. I am so good at researching and dreaming about things that I want to do. The problem is that I rarely get past that stage. This is why I’ve never written a book (I’ve started several), tried to get my poetry published, become fluent in Spanish, or played in the NBA (okay, there are SEVERAL reasons why I didn’t fulfill this childhood dream). This time around, I did something different. I didn’t wait until Monday or until after Christmas or until January 1st. I didn’t wait until I had everything figured out. I got got started.
- Find support. About a week into losing weight, I met with my good friend Deanna. This lady is serious about fitness. She has been in figure competitions, is a consultant for ViSalus, and volunteers as a coach for Girls on the Run. She also has a family and a job and is active in her kids’ schools and at church. From the outside, I was mystified at how she fit in things like exercise and food prep. I also had to know how she could be healthy and still eat delicious food at parties. She walked me through a typical day for her and explained a few of her strategies. Trying to lose weight and keep it off on my own had never worked. Finding steady support was crucial, and I knew Deanna wasn’t going to quit.
- Figure out your current habits. For the first few days after that meeting, I tracked my food using MyFitnessPal without any other pressure or expectations. I just wanted to know what my starting point was. My physical activity was nearly non-existent other than walking up the stairs at night to put the kiddo to bed, so that was easy to figure out.
- Set one or two easy goals. Once I had a handle on my existing habits, I started working on improving them. Following Deanna’s advice, I focused on two goals per week. I started with the easy stuff, like going to the gym twice a week. I didn’t worry about setting up a perfect workout routine first. I just had to get myself there, and whatever came next was just a bonus. Ramping up slowly allowed me to get the habits to really sink in and become a natural part of my life.
So, there you have it: the first baby steps in my weight loss journey. Keep in mind that everyone is different and just because I did it doesn’t mean it will work the exact same way for everyone. However, I hope this is helpful if you’d like to lose weight, get healthy, or change any habit but don’t know where to start.