7 Step Weight Loss Plan
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
So the other day, I read this article on Sparkpeople called the 7 Step Weight Loss Plan and it really struck a chord with me. I wanted to develop my own plan, something to hold me accountable and to keep me motivated on this journey. I decided to take the suggestions from the article and adapt it for myself. So, for the world to see, Allison's 7 step weight loss plan!
1. Create your personal wellness vision.
My definition of weight loss success is very literal - how much weight you actually lose. However, I am going to start envisioning it as more than that. I gained a pound last week - so what? Muscle weighs more than fat, right? I will consider myself successful when I see results on the scale, results in pants sizes, and results in how much weight I can lift or how far I can run.
When I lose the weight, I imagine that I will look the same, but with tighter muscles and a smile constantly on my face. I will feel confident with the way I look and knowing that I can accomplish big things if I put my mind to it. Even after the weight is gone, my body will feel healthy because I will no longer be putting bad things into it - soda, bakery treats, fast food - you name it, I love it. However, I don't think I can give up macaroni and cheese - at least when I lose the weight and get to where I want to be, I won't feel as guilty indulging in my favorite dish now and again! Moderation is key.
In my new trim, strong body, I will be a happier, healthier me. I will spend my off time doing things that are more active. Hiking sounds a lot more fun than sitting on the couch watching Netflix, but right now, I do the latter because I not very comfortable with the former. I will be a beautiful bride, who wows her guests with how great her new body looks, especially in the dress that hugs all of her curves and shows off her toned arms and shoulder. I will be a great veterinarian, who can handle restraining and lifting farm animals on a daily basis.
2. Solidify your commitment.
I am committing to building a healthier lifestyle and losing weight in the process. I am committing to think mindfully about my food choices and always make the best ones possible (this can especially be a struggle since I often have lunch meetings at school with pizza and other bad-for-you things). I am committing to pushing my body to its limits in the gym and learning about the amazing things that it is capable of, from running long lengths to lifting heavy weights.
3. Increase your confidence.
I am going to use my fast break goals as the small steps I need to increase my confidence and give me some encouragement. My 3 fast break goals are:
- Get up without hitting snooze (and walk the dog before heading out to school)
- Go to the gym 3 times per week
- Don't drink soda
I will reward myself at the end of the week if I reach my goals with whatever treat that I'm in the mood for (though maybe not as big of a portion as I'd like)
4. Anticipate obstacles and create strategies to overcome them.
In the past, the main weight loss barrier I have experienced is losing motivation/momentum. I will start strong and get really into it (and I have lost 10 pounds before in doing so), but the first day I miss - whether it be from the rain, an exam at school to study for, or a shift picked up at work - I fall off the wagon and don't get back on. I tell myself that I will do it tomorrow, and then a week passes by and I completely forget about the goals that I set for myself.
In the future, I will lean a little bit more on Sparkpeople and the people I love to encourage me to reach my goals. My fiance knows how much this means to me and has been very encouraging, and so have my friends at school. We talk about healthy recipes and what kind of work outs we are doing after school, and it is really motivating me to keep it up. I even think of today, for instance - I was planning on working my arms at the gym, but when I wanted to go it was really busy and I was too afraid to go in the free weight room with everyone that I just went home. A quick check-in on Sparkpeople made me feel guilty for making an excuse for myself to not go to the gym, that I immediately got up and took my dog for a walk and did a few weight lifting exercises at home. Sparkpeople check-ins will be that kick in the butt I need to remind myself of why I'm doing this and how empty my trackers will look if I don't go to the gym!
5. Build a support team.
Currently, my main support system is my fiance and one of my friends from school who is also working on a healthier lifestyle. They have been great motivators for me to keep up the good work so far. It has only been a week, but somehow I managed to gain a pound last week (even though I went to the gym and ate healthier than I normally do). I told Michael and he made us a very light steak tip salad for dinner. It made me feel better knowing that he supports me and is willing to do whatever it takes to help me reach my goal.
6. Set up your environment for success.
Generally, I don't keep my cabinets stocked with junk food. If Mike wants chips or something, he buys them for himself and usually keeps them out of my reach. I am no longer stocking soda in the house, and the only snacks I have on hand are healthy granola bars and lots and lots of fruit - and that's the way I plan to keep it!
7. Create your plan of action.
My plan of action has been pretty simple, and I have it broken down into two sections: diet and exercise.
Diet: I am beginning with being mindful of what I eat and getting used to tracking my foods. I am choosing healthier options and planning ahead for the day. For instance, every day this week I have lunch meetings at school that are providing me with calorie-heavy meals. As such, I am eating fruit only for breakfast and salads for dinner so that I stay within my goal ranges for the day. Once I get used to tracking my intake every day, I am going to start planning out my meals for the week on Sunday and preparing as much as I can ahead of time (on the weekend) to make it easy for me to stick to my goals.
Exercise: I am following the Zombies, Run! 5k training app. I just finished week one. Essentially, I have 3 running exercises to follow per week. As such, I am easing myself into fitness by going to the gym to run on the track on mondays, wednesdays, and fridays. My minimum goal is to go to the gym 3 times per week and work myself up to more. As I get more comfortable in the gym, I am going to plan my strength training days on those opposite my cardio days, and always leave legs for Saturday so that I am not too sore to run the next day and fall off the wagon! On my off days, I also plan to do at least a 10 minute cardio warm-up on the elliptical or stationery bike.