Geez, and I thought Thanksgiving was a tough holiday to survive.
With Christmas comes a lot of holiday parties and get-togethers (here at the Journal we have two food-related events, and that's not counting get-togethers with my friends), and then there's everything involved with getting ready for the season (shopping, decorating, wrapping, etc).
All of this means extra cooking, extra food, extra time spent doing things that Have To Be Done. I do my working out at night (I am NOT a morning kind of girl), so by the end of the day – after working and getting Christmas-y things done – I'm done. I'm lucky if I make it to the gym. And if I'm there, I'm probably drinking a Red Bull to keep up my energy.
So, December has been about maintaining for me. I'm still at 35. I'm OK with this, since it has been a tough season.
But really, I'm not sure how someone manages to lose weight in a month like this. I love the holiday season – spending time with folks you don't see often, that sort of thing – but at the same time, all of the hustle and bustle leaves me tired and reaching for the most convenient food possible (also, whatever takes the shortest amount of time to fix) and for my bed, because it seems like I don't spend enough time with it.
So, I'm trying to eat as well as I can.
I'm trying to go to the gym as much as I can.
If maintaining is all I do this month, I'll be happy.
Losing weight isn't impossible, but it can be difficult.
As the pounds come off, as you can go from 5 minutes on the elliptical to 15, as you move from a size 16 to a size 14 and beyond – you should reward yourself. After all, you've worked hard (if you're doing it right!), sticking to a healthy diet and an exercise schedule.
Setting up a rewards system is the most fun part of losing weight. Set some small, realistic goals, and set up some rewards for yourself along the way.
Inches, sizes or pounds you lose are obvious goals. I also wanted to buy myself a gift after I was able to work my way up to a full 30 minutes of circuit (it took a few weeks to build up to that!).
I generally go by pounds – for every pounds ending in a -5, I generally try to find something for myself. I've bought myself books and clothes for each one, basically. A book here, a T-shirt there, that kind of thing. As I continue to lose more weight, I'd like for the rewards to be a bit more expensive – like, maybe I'll get a manicure or a pedicure, or buy myself some kind of expensive make-up, that sort of thing.
For losing my full 75 pounds, I've considered several bigger ideas, like a portable record player, a trip to NYC or maybe, just maybe (and please don't tell my dad) a tattoo.
The important thing is, don't make food your reward. Don't say, oh, well, I've lost (insert number) of pounds (or inches, or sizes, or whatever), so I can have a large pizza or an entire cheesecake. That's just detrimental to your plan!
Think of little happies you generally don't buy for yourself that often. Maybe it's a CD, a movie, make-up, a mani/pedi, a massage, that sort of thing. That's my plan, anyway.
Don't feel guilty about spending money on yourself – besides, like I said, you're working hard for this!
What rewards are you giving yourself?
One of the most satisfying aspects to weight loss is fitting into smaller clothes.
Sometimes, it's hard to believe I've dropped 35 pounds (sigh, can't seem to get down past that number right now – I do that about every 10 pounds or so). I don't really see it in the mirror, but I can feel it in my body. I can definitely tell it when I wear a size 12 jeans and a medium-sized shirt, like I did this weekend, for maybe the first time ever.
Therefore, I have plenty of clothes that just don't fit anymore. Lots of size 16's, a few 14's, lots of XXL, XL or maybe even L-size blouses and tees.
This past weekend I packed up six sacks full of clothes – more than 10 pairs of pants and countless blouses and shirts – that I'm taking to S.A.F.E., Inc., Tupelo's domestic violence shelter, at which I volunteer.
As you shed your pounds and can fit into slimmer clothes, consider donating your bigger sizes to charities or non-profits. Your clothes may not fit you anymore, but they'll fit someone else.
Another idea is clothes swapping parties. Bring a couple of your clothes you can't wear anymore and swap them out with others. This is a really great idea for a group of folks who are all on the weight loss journey. We all need various (and relatively cheap!) clothes to get us through these transition periods while our bodies change.
As you're shedding pounds, check out thrift stores and outlet stores for cheap, new clothes to get you through until you reach your ideal weight.
Just a couple of ideas for the clothes department – if you have any ideas, please share!
Maybe this is a silly question, but hey, I'm new to all of this weight loss stuff.
I read on a weight loss blog a few weeks ago that if your belly is cold while you work out, it means you're burning your belly fat. True?
It makes sense: your body is using that fat as fuel, to keep your blood pumping quickly. With energy being taken away from the fatty areas, those fatty areas would get cold, right? And I've always noticed my stomach feels cold to the touch during an intense exercise.
So, does anyone know if this is true? Like I said, it makes sense, and I like the idea of simply feeling my stomach to make sure I'm working out hard enough.
And yes, I've tried googling this – but I have yet to hear if this is true from an "official" source!