Click on over here to read part 1 of this 2-part blog post on my top 10 tips to be successful at calorie counting.
6.) Reward yourself. Let’s face it- weight loss and trying to live a healthy lifestyle when you haven’t before can be challenging. It’s not impossible, but it does require mental, emotional and physical work to get the results you want in all those areas. Being mentally, emotionally and physically fit is HARDWORK. Exhausting. Trying. You have great days when you convince yourself this is easy and natural. You have hard days when you just want to dunk everything into ranch and eat copious amounts of chocolate. I feel ya. I do. It’s all that madness and hardwork that should be celebrated and rewarded when you reach milestones in your journey. They don’t have to be big or extravagant (but they can be!), but they should be meaningful and motivating. And in my opinion, they should NOT revolve around using food as a reward. I have my little virtual weight loss bank which I use to earn faux-money to buy the things I want when I reach certain goals. I just bought myself some cute earrings and an adorable headband as a reward for doing 2 straight weeks of calorie counting and exercise without ever going over calories or skipping out on my workout.
Fabulously gawdy and tacky. Perfection.
Here’s a list of more of my planned rewards:
20 pounds loss: A new pair of workout pants from Wal-Mart.
25 pounds loss: A new necklace from the same place I bought my headband/earrings from in town.
30 pounds loss: An iPhone 4!! YAY!!
40 pounds loss: Turbo Fire workout DVDs
Completing 100 days challenge: A new Polar heartrate monitor.
I want to lose a total of about 90 pounds, so I’ll set more goals once I reach the ones above. I used to attach goal dates to my goals, but now I don’t anymore so as not to stress myself out.
7.) Write down and visualize your goals. This tip is helpful for allowing you to clearly articulate what you want to accomplish. It’s also a list or reminder when you’re feeling like you want to give up/quit/binge eat of why you want to do this in the first place. I know some people find it hard to tell others, “Hey I want to lose 100 pounds” or whatever, but it’s important to tell yourself if no one else. Write down your goal weight or your goal dress size. Hey, it could even be your target cholesterol reading or your blood pressure numbers- it doesn’t have to be about a certain weight or size. Take 5 minutes today to try and sum up your goals on a post-it note and keep it in your wallet. Refer to it when you’re willpower is waning. And for me, it’s also helpful to visualize my goals. What would I want to be able to wear? How awesome would I look? How would I feel? I am obsessed with cute dresses, so I keep looking at ModCloth’s website for dresses that I picture myself looking gorgeous and healthy in. Here’s one of my faves:
8.) You must exercise. Lots and lots of people I am sure have lost weight without exercising. I just happen to think that trying to live a healthy and active lifestyle will help your weight loss and your fitness levels. I am doing the 100 days challenge, and this forces me to make it a point to incorporate at least 30 minutes of activity every single day for 100 consecutive days. So far, I have completed 16/16 days, and I feel great. I’m not going to lie and say everyday I look forward to exercising, but I can say it’s not that hard to find 30 minutes of time in my day to move my body. Sometimes I do Turbo Jam and other days I play Just Dance 2 for 45 minutes. Point is, MOVE YOUR BODY if you want a BETTER BODY. Just 30 minutes everyday will do the trick. Break it up into 10 minute segments if you have to, but please, please, please do some form of exercise. Walk, do yoga, dance around your living room…whatever you fancy. Just do it. No excuses.
9.) You must drink water. A no brainer for most “dieters”, but some people are still resistant or can’t find it in themselves to drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day. I strive for at least 8, but usually end up at 6 or 7. I try to drink a bottle of water at every meal and with every snack. It keeps me feeling full, hydrated and makes my skin a lot nicer. It also helps keep things moving if you get my drift. Water is affordable and it’s an easy way to do something positive for your body. I know many people count tea or coffee as water, but I only count non-caffeinated/carbonated beverages, and even then I do try to get in 8 servings of pure H2O. I do love Crystal Light though, and as long as you don’t put those in every serving of water, I think you’ll be fine. Go grab a bottle as soon as your done reading this post.
10.) Be honest with yourself and don’t stress. Despite our best efforts and intentions, we will mess up. We’ll forget to count that extra dab of peanut butter or that bite of a candy bar. We’ll gain a pound or 2. We’ll slack off on exercising. Those are all fine. Those are NOT the end of the world. One day of “messing up” will not negate your hardwork. You didn’t have one day of eating poorly that led you to gain weight- you had lots over a period of time. Same goes with losing weight. You will have lots of healthy days that lead you to lose weight- not just one day. If you get an extra slice of pizza, just be honest with yourself, track it and move on. Drink some water. Take a walk. Look over your goals. Tweet one of your weight loss pals. Reward yourself by reading a good book or a good blog online. Plan for a better day. No guilt, no stress. Stress will lead to weight gain, so it’s important to try your best and accept that this is a journey that will have detours and accidents and bad gas station food. Isn’t it the end of the journey that’s going to be the sweetest anyway? I think so.
I hope my 10 tips for calorie counting/counting points is helpful to you and reminds you that you CAN DO THIS. One day, one step, one meal at a time, you can make healthy changes that will lead to results. At times you’ll take a few step backwards to take a few steps forward, but that’s the tango of life. Turn it up, move your body and track it all down somewhere like a cheesy high school yearbook you can look on later.
If you take away nothing else from this post, please just know I am here for you. I believe in you. Now, do you believe in yourself?
I hope you do.