Well, I’ll tell you something about my weight loss. What I want you to know is, that I truly believe there are so many ways to lose weight, there’s not one right way to do it. I write about my story and what works for me and my visions about it, but what works for you might be something completely different! If you don’t agree with something, just say so, or ask me about it. I have lost 75 lbs/34 kg up to today, I started my journey on march 3rd 2014. If you want to know more about me and my struggles with losing weight, go to the ‘About me’ tab. Here on the right you can see my progress. I had already lost some weight when I took the first picture though! I really recommend taking pictures (even if it’s just for yourself), it’s so motivating to see yourself shrink!
So, my method of choice is Weightwatchers. There are a couple of reasons why I love it so much, I’ll try to break it down:
- Weightwatchers adjusts your caloric needs to your weight/height/age/gender, so, in the beginning you can actually eat more than when you’re close to goal. That’s also reasonable, because a smaller body needs less energy.
- Weightwatchers gives you the flexibility to eat more on some days, but it dictates you have to eat a certain amount of food every day, so you’ll always eat enough and don’t starve yourself.
- Weightwatchers lets you eat fruit and vegetables for ‘free’, which I think is a very good approach to stimulate you to eat more healthy food. Yes, there are calories in fruits too and no, it doesn’t give you permission to eat 100 bananas a day, because that’s just childish and you know that it’s not what weightwatchers meant.
There are also some downsides, the biggest one I think is that they don’t discriminate in their macro’s or on how you eat your daily allowed points. That’s also their strength I guess, because you can eat everything and it doesn’t give you the guilty feeling you’ll get when you ‘cheat’, because if you track your points it’s not cheating. Personally, I pay extra attention to eating enough protein. I also try to eat ‘clean’ on a daily basis, which is not something that weightwatchers controls. I try to stay away from light products, because usually they don’t taste like the real thing and are full of crap. I definitely eat ‘unhealthy’ stuff too, just not on a daily basis and usually it’s planned. I try to track everything, so even if I have an unplanned binge (yeah, still happens sometimes), I track all the cookies, wine and whatever I take. I’ve learned not to beat myself down for it, because really, that makes everything worse! I get back on the horse right after it and try to compensate with some extra exercise. And you know what.. it works! No major gains or setbacks happened!
What really helped my weight loss is the planning. I started to track my points before eating them, so I plan what I eat and know the amount of points in the food. Later in the progress I started making dinners for a couple of days, to overcome my tiredness in the evenings after work and making it easier for myself when I come home after a difficult day at work. It really worked for me and it kept me on track. After this, I also started to make breakfast for the whole week, just because it’s easy and time saving. My prepping evolved to the point where I currently prep all my meals and snacks for my workdays on Mondays (I work from Tuesday to Friday, and have 1-2 extra night/weekend shifts a week). If you want to know more about the prepping, visit the tab ‘Mealprep’, it’s coming up soon! I’ll post some mealplan and mealprep advise and mealprep breakdowns.
So, you see I started with the food part, because that’s really the most important thing when you want to lose weight! Now let’s talk about exercise!
From the beginning of my journey, I started weightlifting. I started with 2 total body sessions a week. I also got a Fitbit (a pedometer) to track my daily activity. I try to get 10.000 steps a day, but I don’t really get it every day, because sometimes I’m just too tired, and that’s ok. Later on, I progressed to 3 weightlifting sessions a week. I consulted a Personal Trainer at my gym and one of my friends boyfriend who is a PT as well. I also started a 10 min walk or 10 min elliptical training after the lifting. At one point, I thought I should start running and jumping. I started doing box jumps, jump rope and running on the treadmill. I used to have a hip injury, caused by running and bootcamp some years ago, and after 2 weeks of my new ‘high impact’ schedule I felt my hip injury again! From that moment I put myself on a strict low impact exercise ‘diet’, so no jumping or running and no incline on the treadmill. I also started foam rolling and stretching after working out. My hip pains disappeared very quickly!
My current schedule is as follows:
Tuesday: rest (but try to get 10k steps)
Wednesday: I try to go bouldering with my friend (It’s wall climbing without ropes, VERY fun!)
Thursday: total body weightlifting, end with 10-15 minutes on elliptical
Friday: rest (but again try to get 10k steps)
Saturday: total body kettlebell circuit, after that a couple of weightlifting exercises, end with elliptical
Sunday: 20 min fasted HIIT on elliptical after a 30 min warm-up walk on treadmill
I end every exercise with foam rolling and stretching. I take a protein shake after each exercise, after the fasted HIIT I add 10 gr of steelcut oats and 5 gr of BCAA to my protein shake. Currently I’m trying a bit of running again. My views on running when overweight/obese will be further talked about in the section about my views on things (coming up soon!).
What you can see is that I didn’t start with this program right away. Starting exercising 5 times a week from scratch can be very hard and the chance that you quit or get an injury is very high! I’m really happy I took it ‘slow’, by slowly raising the amount of exercise and the load during the exercises. As you can see I don’t do a lot of cardio. Yeah, I hate spending hours on those cardio machines and I’m not really a long distance runner. And that’s ok, I don’t need to be. I’ll talk more about weightlifting for losing weight in the section about my views (coming up soon!).
I’m currently 14 kg (31 lbs) away from goal. My goal is feeling fit and great in my body, so if I feel this before I hit my goalweight, I’ll not go for the goalweight, simple as that!