2011 Weight Loss Challenge Winner
*Results not typical
“There’s no food that taste as good as being thin feels.”, “I’m on a live-it not a di-et.”, “One should eat to live not live to eat.” These are just a few diet quotes I’ve heard over the years that sounded inspiring; yet, they didn’t get me to change my eating or exercise patterns. So when I read about the Life Time Weight Loss 90-Day Challenge I thought, “What have I got to lose…besides weight?”
Support was fundamental to my weight loss success. The first thing I did was get my family behind me. I told them I was going to win this challenge. My sister, the fitness coordinator for the Minneapolis Police Department was my “go to” gal. She would help me out anytime day or night. She told me what was o.k. to eat and what I should avoid eating. She taught me how to make healthy choices at a restaurant and she showed me work-outs I could do when I wasn’t near a Life Time Fitness. My husband – the world’s best cook – made foods lower in calories and kept telling me, “I look hot!”. My family and friends kept verbally praising me on how healthy and good I look. The support I was receiving from friends at the club was so encouraging and it made a huge difference.
Accountability was primary to my weight loss success. The second thing I did was join the T.E.A.M. Fitness classes. My trainer Shane Bushman did a great job of motivating the group past our physical limits. Being responsible and making it into the health club was a positive standard that the T.E.A.M. class encouraged. Cori Fischer did an excellent job presenting the 90-day classes. I learned a lot from the grocery shopping tour, intro to yoga and “Why can’t I lose weight?” seminars. My favorite Cori quote was, “I enjoy seeing LESS of you.”
Utilize the tools available. The third thing I did was take advantage of the wonderful group fitness classes. Zumba, Hip Hop, Yoga etc. all became a staple in my exercise regimen. At first it was difficult for me to even bend forward because of my mid-section. If I was having difficulty completing a pose in the yoga class the teachers would show alternative poses with the same benefits. In Yoga the instructor always emphasizes that this time is for you. I like the concept of that. Both Shane and Cori emphasized the Lifetime Fitness web-site as a positive tool to utilize. They were adamant about logging foods. By logging my food I learned that I was under-eating.
To succeed food and fitness interconnect so plan ahead. In the past I’ve tried to control my weight by focusing on food or exercise. I felt too overwhelmed to interconnect the two. Food can be confusing. Every day we learn that something is good for us and the next week the same thing is bad for us. I kept food simple. My sister told me to avoid anything that has more that 6% sodium on the label. (An example of that is Lean Cuisine Linguini Carbonara has 25% sodium.) I also avoided sugar, white flour based products, cheese and alcohol. I used my palm as a measuring tool for meat. I ate a ton of veggies and fruits and I tried not to eat after 7:00 p.m. Also, I tried very hard to get eight hours of sleep a night. More and more studies are showing that sleep is important to weight loss. (This was the one area I consistently fell short on.)
Don’t give up…EVER! During the 90-Day Challenge I didn’t stop living. I celebrated my birthday, went out of town on vacation. I took a fishing trip with my family and celebrated two holidays in which food is a big temptation, Easter and the 4th of July. I won’t pretend it was easy. It took a lot of dedication and will power. In fact there were times where I wanted an unhealthy choice so badly I felt like crying. I had to be mentally strong and not let the momentary temptation ruin what was otherwise a “good choice” day. My results kept me motivated. I was surprised at how quickly my body was changing and responding to exercise and healthy eating. Yet, there were definitely obstacles in my weight loss journey. The hardest thing for me to wrap my brain around is the idea that you have to eat. All my life I’ve been taught that to lose weight you eat less. So when I was logging in the foods to my daily journal I found out I was only eating about 600 calories a day. My body was in starvation mode and storing everything as fat. It’s difficult for people to understand that being overweight and not eating can go hand-in-hand.
I would like to share some of the knowledge I’ve learned to help me succeed in this weight loss journey:
- Anytime I ate at a restaurant I would tell the server that I was trying to lose weight and would appreciate their input on what would be a healthy meal choice. I was amazed at how considerate and helpful they were.
- When eating out get a to-go box and split your meal before you even start eating. That helps you avoid the guilt of not cleaning your plate.
- Costco sells carrots, apples and blueberries in pre-packed individual packages. Keep those handy wherever you go.
- Get good quality vitamins. Vitamins were an important part of my fitness plan. (For the first time in 20 years I was able to donate blood because my iron level was high enough.) I learned that many vitamins have sawdust in them to hold them together. Life Time sells quality vitamins in the café which makes it convenient too.
- Avoid breads, sugars, salt and processed foods. It took about six weeks for my taste buds to wake up; but, it was worth the wait. Now when I eat I am able to enjoy the natural taste of the food and it is more satisfying and filling.
- Get the best tennis shoes you can afford. This made a HUGE difference in my performance. I went to an old fashioned shoe store where they measured my feet. I found out I was wearing shoes that were too small. Good tennis shoes gave me more stamina and I didn’t miss a workout because my feet were sore.
- (This one’s for the ladies.) Invest in a high quality sports bra. They even have ratings on them for running, high intensity, etc. It’s easier to run when you’re not holding your breast.
So getting back to the quotes, I’ve decided to that my mantra quote will be “Living the dream”. I will continue my weight loss journey until I reach my goal. The next step will be maintaining it. The way I plan to do that is exactly how I did the 90-day challenge one goal at a time. Thanks to Lifetime fitness I have a lot of resources that can help me continue on my journey. Back to all past winners