Long-term, healthy weight loss

Doesn’t sound fun or instantly gratifying, but it’s the best way to achieve true vitality. This is always a hot topic this time of year, as people make resolutions, receive offers of discount fitness memberships, and see lots of svelte, fit bodies on every media outlet possible.

Here’s my stance:

Trendy diets, deprivation (i.e. skipping meals and/or radically changing food choices), extreme regimes, hyped solutions for weight loss most likely won’t work for the long-term…at least they haven’t for me. That being said, I do try to see if I can learn any valuable tips from new research, fitness strategies, etc.

The fundamentals of healthy eating are pretty widely known, but putting them into practice is an entirely different matter.  It’s most likely common knowledge that we should be eating 5 servings of veggies and 3 servings of fruit a day, but do we really do that? Some may not know that a protein serving should be about the size of a deck of cards. How often do we exceed or fall short of that? Yes, whole grains and complex carbohydrates are best, but in our busy society, the quick and easy processed kinds are much more convenient. Sugar, sugar, sugar…it’s in nearly everything we purchase from the store. That ingredient, alone, contributes significantly to weight gain and retention. It’s so darn good! Again, I’m not into deprivation, because I think comfort is so important in life! I love my chocolate and tortilla chips.

A simple start to healthy weight loss:

  • Buy a good-quality scale, but please don’t use it too much! Weight naturally goes up and down, and too much focus on weight can create pitfalls.
  • Make or buy a calendar or journal. This will be useful for setting daily and weekly mini goals. One of the most powerful exercises you can do is to also WRITE DOWN EVERY BIT OF FOOD AND DRINK THAT ENTERS YOUR MOUTH EVERY DAY FOR ONE WEEK. You might just surprise yourself.
  • Figure out what 10% of your body weight is. Just put a decimal place after first two digits. This amount of weight loss can significantly improve your health.
  • Set a specific date in the future that will provide for 1-2 pounds per week of weight lost. That’s the SAFEST and most sustainable rate. If you’re very overweight, it might be a bit more at first because of water weight lost initially. So, for example, say I need to lose 10 pounds, based on the 10% calculation (I’m actually lessening that actual amount for my weight, just to ensure some initial success for myself). I would then divide that by 1 or 2 (for pounds lost/week), and set my target date for 5-10 weeks from now. Maybe I’d shoot for 8 weeks as a midway point and to allow for some off days.

So, if I weighed 165 pounds. I would put a decimal after the 6: 16.5 pounds would be 10% of my weight. I set my goal at 10 pounds, just as a starting point.

If I divided 16.5 by 1 or 2, my safe weight loss range target date range would be 8-16 weeks or 1-2 months to achieve the goal. Again, for the lower initial goal of 10 #, my date range would be 5-10 weeks.

I like to give myself plenty of time, so that if I do lose more in one week, then maybe I’ll have cause to celebrate earlier! It’s always important to set yourself up for success.

  • Set your goals in writing. 75-95% of people who write down goals achieve them! Make them S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. More on this later.
  • Start learning about how vegetables and fruits benefit your body. I mean how the specific vitamins in raw, organic, whole foods are actually processed inside and out by your amazing machine! No need to change anything at this point, but look up one color of each/day, for example.

Stay tuned ….



Wellness Gifts

I’ve come to an interesting stage in my life. Although I still feel young in many ways, I’m also experiencing changes in my health that indicate the fact that I’m officially aging! Although it can be unpleasant sometimes, I’ve decided to take a very proactive approach to making this year, and all of the rest of my years, the best I can possibly make them.  People all around me, my age, are battling cancer, heart disease, and other serious maladies, so life has become even more precious to me.

Although I’ve never been too interested in blogs, the decision to plunge into this realm of communication results from a simple, yet compelling desire to share lots of positive life experiences, skills, strategies, and more with as many interested folks as possible.  At the risk of seeming pretentious, I feel that I’ve lived a full life already, so it’s time to start sharing the gifts I’ve been given, for whatever they’re worth.

What is wellness? I think it touches every area of life.

1. the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind [finances, relationships, home, personal time–my addition to definition], especially as the result of deliberate effort.
2. an approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing treating diseases.

My intent is to write about wellness from a perspective that can make positive changes feasible for most people.  My hope is that anyone so inclined will join me in a discussion. After all, I do not profess to be any kind of expert, but I’ve worked and studied diligently in all areas of wellness in my life, and have achieved some meaningful results (always a work in progress).

Some things I will be sharing: Quick, tasty, healthy recipes; structured goal setting; basic exercise and nutrition principles; weight loss resources, tips and strategies; growing food (and maybe catching it); ideas for stress reduction; coping strategies for grief; staying organized; positive parenting resources; wise food and consumer choices; living green; tricks for overcoming sleeplessness; dealing with challenging relationships; even dog training?! ; interpersonal conflict resolution/communication; debt reduction; ….the whole nine yards, and then some, I guess!