Saturday is my weigh-in day at Weight Watchers. Since moving back home I have been trying to find the right meeting for me and I think I may I have finally found it. Initially I was attending a meeting that was close by, like literally right in my neighborhood, but the leader was new and she just said the same thing every week; uhhh kind of boring. So I found another meeting that is close by and the past few weeks it has been great. The leader is friendly, motivating, and helpful - all of the things you want in a leader.
This week's meeting was actually one of the best I have been to in a while. As we all know, the holiday season is approaching, so Saturday the meeting was focused on a simple way to stay motivated and lose weight during the next three months. And what was this fabulous little tip? I have said it before and use it myself when thinking about weight loss. It pretty much boils down to not focusing on the numbers. Instead focus on how you feel and change the way you think about your lifestyle. This can be done several different ways, but one way is by breaking your bigger goal into smaller, realistic, achievable goals. By focusing on them it makes getting to your bigger goal easier.
For example at the beginning of my journey I knew that I probably needed to lose at least 100 pounds. That is A LOT of weight and a scary, daunting task. At the very least it would take me two years if I stuck to a super strict diet. Instead of focusing on that big goal I decided I was first going to focus on losing just five pounds, then 5% of my starting weight, then 20 pounds, then 10% of my starting weight, then a smaller pant size, etc, etc. You get the idea, by breaking it into smaller goals I could work on achieving each of those. They were all steps in the right direction to my bigger goal. Of course these goals don’t have to weight related, they can be adding exercise to your routine, trying a new food, running a race, etc. This is the idea behind setting monthly goals - choosing small things to work on that contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
One of the facts that my leader gave us was that over the next three months, October, November, December, (the holiday season), the average person can gain 9-12 pounds. That is a lot by the time the new year comes around. And of course when the new year begins everyones makes the resolution to “lose weight” or “get healthy.” Well instead of waiting until the new year, why not start now? If you were to lose, at the very least, 0.5 pound every week until the new year you could be down about eight pounds! Now when you think of it like that it makes it seem pretty achievable. Losing at least a half a pound a week does not take any huge changes. A half a pound is adding an extra day of exercise to the week, working out 10 minutes longer everyday, not snacking on junk food throughout the day, making sure to eat fruits and veggies everyday, writing down what you eat, eating a few vegetarian meals a week, etc. Just doing one of those small things and you should see a tiny change in your weight.
Lets look at your two options: you can choose to throw caution to the wind and gain 10 pounds or make small changes and lose eight pounds by the beginning of 2011. I am going to go with losing 0.5 pounds a week (at the very least), because I would like to see the number on the scale go down, for my clothes to feel looser, and to feel better.
Go for it! Look at the calender and see what you have coming up the next few months and plan accordingly. Plan and be aware of the challenges you may have coming up (parties, games, family, whatever). Remember it is not about depriving and restricting yourself from anything it is about making healthy choices. You should definitely enjoy the holiday season and all of the treats the come along with it; moderation is the key. Make some small changes for the next few months and before you know it you will feel great and be healthier by the new year. I know we can all do this!