Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Health Challenge Journey

Success in Maintaining

It has been over 9 weeks since I took part in my last Health Challenge Competition.  Because I had so much success and was able to win with perfect points for three challenges in a row, I decided to take a pass on the last one and simply organize it for others.

Many times over the past weeks I wished that I had taken part in the competition because I still have many pounds to go to my final goal.  But, I quickly reminded myself to simply enjoy some well-deserved time off and practice maintaining my current weight.

To my great surprise, I have had no problem maintaining!  I really was worried that I potentially could start swinging up in the wrong direction on the scale.  But after 9 weeks of simply enjoying slight lifestyle improvements that were part of the challenge, I have gained only 3 pounds and held.

This has been so valuable for me. I now know that when I get to my final goal, I am confident that without to great a difficulty, I will be able to stay there. 

For the past 9 weeks I followed some of the Health Challenge guidelines and was relaxed on others.  I made sure to drink my daily water, get my fruits and veggies in, exercise 3 days and week and stay away from eating most times after 8:30.  I was able to re-introduce some treats daily and increase my base calories to a reasonable number.  And still maintain!

I know that I will always need to be mindful of how easy it can be to gain back my weight if I am not a little bit careful.  But after 9 weeks of maintaining I also know that I do have more than enough freedoms also.

Best wishes to all those who are on the same journey I am!



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Health Challenge Journey

Scale OCD

WeighScale, make you cry

“What the heck is scale OCD,”  you might ask? Or you may be saying, “Me Too!”  Scale OCD is when you have an addiction to weighing-in daily.  It probably isn’t a real illness for real, but it sounds good:)

All fitness and weight-loss experts tell us not to use the number on the scale as a guide to how much success we are having at losing or gaining weight.  We’ve all heard the saying, “Muscle weighs more than fat” so it can throw your numbers off.  “Measure your losses by how your clothes are fitting.”  I know these are great tips, but still have a driving need to weigh-in daily.

Long before I even started losing weight I weighed-in daily.  I don’t really know why, because the numbers were doing nothing but going up and down by a pound or so. It was just something I did.

If you are anything like me, it takes a minimum of losing 15 pounds before there is a drop in size of clothing.  That is a whole lot of pounds to wait to know your going in the right direction.  Sure my clothes were slightly getting looser along the way, but I still needed to have a number to see it. Thus, my desire to still use the scale as my guide.

I will say that I have learned an awful lot about how different types of food and hormones will affect my number on the scale daily.  I know that if I eat a chinese food dinner, I will weigh at least 2 pounds heavier the next day.  If I eat a lot of sugary treats after a whole week of none, I will weigh at least 2 pounds heavier the next day.  At a certain time in a month, I will weigh in at least 2 pounds heavier the next day.

The great thing about weighing in daily, is that I am no longer surprised by ‘jumps’ on the scale, therefore I no longer get frustrated and just quite trying to lose.  And that is why I accept that I have Scale OCD, and am not looking for any interventions:)


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Health Journey

What make The Health Challenge work?

Probably the biggest driving force behind my success in finally losing weight, and a lot of it,  was that there was an opportunity to win some money. 

Really, that’s it?  For me that was most certainly the first contributor.   The next reason was that it was a simple plan to follow and only cost me twenty-five dollars.  Following that was the fact that I would be on the journey with others and accountable to them.

When I started my first Health Challenge I was easily sixty pounds overweight.  I was healthy but unfit.  I was not as mobile as I would have liked to be when it came to playing with my kids.  My feet and my back also always hurt.

When people ask me what it is about the Health Challenge that makes many people who take part in it be successful I like to point out the following:

1) Drinking 8 cups of water- easy once you get used to it and certainly helped my joints.  I bought a water-bottle that I liked to drink from.  I also drank a full 3 cups 1st thing in the am and always had a full water-bottle with me.  I easily got into the habit of drinking up to 12 cups daily.  And I was a serious non-water drinker prior to the challenges.

2) Staying away from all ‘treats’ except for 1 day per week.  Was very challenging for me because I love my treats.  But I simply saved all my favorite things for my 1 treat day.  It helped me mentally get through the next week, knowing I just had to wait ‘6 sleeps’.  I only purchased snacks for my family that I didn’t love.  This helped to keep the temptations away from home.

3) Exercise- making the time was a challenge at times.  But I did find that I started to enjoy exercising with my kids.  Biking, walking and hiking.  It also got my kids off the couch. The trick was to pre-plan the ‘when’, or it wouldn’t happen.

4) Getting all my fruits and veggies was also a slight challenge in the beginning.  I had always thought I ate enough of these until I had to track them.  I was quickly informed that I was lucky to get in 2 servings prior to the challenge.  I made sure to set myself up for success by preparing all my veggies and fruits in the am.  I kept it simple by including an apple which is always easy to grab.  Also I would chop fresh veggies up and make a simple salad.  If I didn’t quite get enough in, I would drink a glass of V8 Low Sodium Tomato juice.

5) Tracking my food and exercise via ‘My Fitness Pal’ app was fantastic.  It kept track of my calories for me and how much protein, fats and carbs I was consuming.  This helped keep me dialed in to the right foods to eat.

6) The last very positive thing to contribute to my health loss was the tool of Facebook.  Just being encouraged by what others were going through and writing about was very motivating.  The tips were also very helpful.

My hope that everyone gives the Health Challenge a real effort.  Not every week will be as good as the last, but keeping the eye on the end goal is always key.  If the end goal takes longer, it OK.  Just as long as each foot steps in front of the other, week by week, that goal can always be reached.