Thursday, November 8, 2012

Time to Make a Change

It's been awhile since I have talked about my weight loss journey.  More of a detailed story is here, but in short over the past four years I have lost, and now maintained, a 100 pound weight loss.  
After reaching such a big milestone it has become a lot harder for me to get rid of these last twenty pounds.  They say the last pounds are always the hardest to get rid of and this has proven true for me.  100 pounds was a goal that seemed so far away for a long time and to finally get there is rewarding and kind of makes me feel like that should be it.  However, this is a lifestyle, not a destination.  In reality however, I am not at my healthiest weight.  I am not looking nor expecting to be a stick figure, but there is more work to be done.  I carry most of my weight around my midsection and although I am definitely healthier and fitter, I am not where I want to be.  

I lost the weight using the Weight Watchers plan, but as I have gotten closer to my goal I have been rethinking the plan.  I have been going back and forth about this for many months now and have finally decided to end my membership with Weight Watchers.  I think the program is great, it taught me a lot and helped me lose the weight, but it is not working for what I need now.  The new Points Plus program is definitely the best incarnation of the plan, although I do wish they didn't push some fake foods.
After hitting the 100 pound mark I had hard time losing more.  Part of it was mental, because I felt like should be finished so I wasn't really trying as hard, but some of it was also what and how I was eating.  I have maintained my 100 pound weight loss, but over the past ten months I have lost and gained the same eight pounds, which has been super frustrating.  When I started training for the Chicago Marathon I put weight loss on the back burner and just focused on training.  Many people do gain some weight during marathon training and because of all the running my appetite was pretty veracious.  

Now that training is over for the time being I am refocusing my weight loss efforts.  I am declaring it publicly on my blog to give me the extra motivation to stick with it.  I have started counting calories.  I am using the My Fitness Pal website and app to track my calories throughout the day.  It has only been two weeks, but so far so good.  I feel that by tracking calories instead of Points I have a clearer idea of how things are going.  I have the real information about the foods I am eating instead of arbitrary Points.  My Fitness Pal has a huge database of foods and restaurants, allows you to enter your own foods, and has a nifty barcode scanner to add foods to your tracker as well.  You can also track your workouts with the app.  It is kind of like I am starting from the beginning and familiarizing myself with what everything is worth.  I have also gone back to the basics, by measuring and counting how much of something I am eating.  

As far as workouts I am still running about three times a week to maintain my fitness as I try and figure out what my next race will be.  I have also added Jillian Michael's Six Week 6 Pack DVD into my workout rotation.  My midsection is the area that needs some attention, so I think workouts focused on my core in addition to cardio will help.  Changing up my workouts is going to be good for me.

I have been eyeing the Body Media arm band as well.  It is a band you wear throughout the day that monitors calories burned, workouts, and sleep efficiency.  My mom and aunt both use it and love it.  My mom wrote a review of it on her blog.  I am an information junkie, so I think knowing all I can about my body would be interesting and useful.  I have also considered the fitbit which is similar except it clips on to your shirt or waistband.  I know a few bloggers use this and seem to really like it.  The biggest difference between the two is the price point, but if it is for my health, price really doesn't matter.  I am leaning toward the Body Media, just because I feel like it is the more accurate of the two.  

As I make my decision I am going to keep tracking my calories and focusing on my goal.  I know I can get there is just takes time, dedication, and the right attitude!

How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle?  Any opinions on the Body Media or fitbit?