Saturday, March 12, 2011

Realizing a dream - Gwinnett's Losing It! Update

We are going into Week 10 of Gwinnett's Losing It!, a 12-week weight loss contest in Gwinnett County. Week by week, the stakes are higher as we get closer to the end of the contest and the realization. Realization that this is going to be over soon and realization of a dream. The dream of losing weight.

It hasn't been easy. At all. The battles are still there. Outside forces, inside forces, you name them, all of the reasons why 60-70% of Americans are overweight or obese. Not these people. They have decided to realize their weight-loss dreams and actually enjoy part of the process. They completed a 5K together. From Week 8 Progress Reports:
  • "The past 8 weeks of my journey to weight loss has been filled with what I know realize is "fear". I realized that I have been afraid to push my cardio workouts. Why? Simply put, I have been afraid of being alone and collapsing."
  • "I thought even looking at cupcakes and dessert would be my biggest temptation. No, that wasn't it. It was the outside influencers who just don't care and are annoyed that I'm taking parts of my life back. That was scary, difficult to rationalize and sad. There were tears this time and hurt feelings that not everyone got what I was doing to change my life."
  • "I've had hard times when I didn't think I could do another minute on the treadmill or when I made a bad nutrition choice. Reality has set in. The newness factor is gone. This is it, no going back."
  • "This contest has shown me that what I'm really hungry for can't be found in the bottom of a bag. I'm hungry for a healthy lifestyle, which includes coming to terms with my emotional eating, changing my relationship with food and fitness and improving my body image."
  • "Why is it so difficult for me to stay concentrated and my head aiming forward? I allow my blinders to become transparent. I have not gotten into the full mindset that I can do this; that I can lose the weight once and for all. I have been trapped for so long now it is like an affliction that is hard to let go of."
  • "My body has finally responded to the change in nutrition. The cravings have subsided and I have embraced a healthier eating lifestyle. It was tough mentally more so than anything else."
  • "I haven't been concentrating on setting the examples per se, because I have learned that losing weight and getting yourself right physically and mentally is a very selfish process and until I get myself right, I can't fully devote myself to helping someone else, even if she is my child."
  • "The day Sandi told me that nutrition was 80% of the battle saved my life. I went from the person who thought they were going to die by overeating to a person that is in total control of what goes in his mouth."
  • "This has truly been a life changing experience for me. My health and habits get stronger and better every day."
  • "These last 8 weeks is proof positive that the weight loss journey is not an easy one. I believe that you must have your heart in this process and that doesn't mean you have to be perfect but it does mean that every day I have choices to make with what I put in my mouth and what time I have planned to get my workouts in just as if it were a Dr's appointment."
  • "I am putting on the blinders and removing all negative thoughts. Week 12, here I come."
  • "I think the most valuable thing I have learned so far is to listen to my body. My body has been screaming at me for years. I chose not to listen. I was sluggish all the time. Exhausted all the time. It never occurred to me that I was so sick inside. A bad diet and lack of exercise is toxic. Just as if it were hazardous waste."
  • "I have found a strength and perseverance that normally I would have given into self pity and indulgence. I have learned that life surely has it challenges and it is how I respond to them that will make me stronger and better."

Do you believe these people? Do you believe that they winning their battle at weight loss? They are. Please help me encourage them as we face the last two weeks of this contest. After 9 weeks, they have lost a total of 244 lbs. Want to see it in person? Come to our Finale Event and Health Fair at 550 Trackside in Lawrenceville, hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

16 Principles of losing weight

Do you want the honest truth? Losing weight is hard work and it is an emotional battle, as well as a physical battle. Yes, you can try to work out. Yes, you can try to eat right. Yes, you can try to get your head into it.

But - if you cannot do all three of those things - you won't lose weight!

Here are 16 principles I shared with the Gwinnett's Losing It! group on our conference call this week:
  1. You have to forgive yourself for getting to this point in your physical life. You got overweight, but it’s in the past. You have to get over it. 
  2. You have to realize that you have what it takes inside of you to get healthy. You have to start listening to your inside voice, your instincts about what is good for you and what is not. Stop listening to outside forces that are out to make a quick buck.
  3. You have to push yourself past your preconceived limitations. You have to realize that in order to make progress, you must push yourself to go beyond what you have been doing in the past. Esp. in weight loss mode, which is where you are right now. When you get to maintenance mode, you won’t have to work this hard, but get there first. 
  4. You have to realize that to take care of everyone else, you must also take care of yourself. You have to understand that being flippant about your health is not going to help you lose weight. 
  5. You have to realize that you are worth this. 
  6. You have to realize that this is not a temporary change. This is a lifestyle change. 
  7. You have to give yourself a break if you are not perfect. 
  8. You have to stop making excuses. If you get injured, you deal with it and move on. You can still make changes in your nutrition to offset an injury. 
  9. You have to leave the drama behind and change your reaction to people around you that are stressing you out so that you are healthy and you are positive, no matter what is going on around you. 
  10. You have to forget the past and what you have done in the past to lose weight. It didn’t work, because you are overweight now. You have to stop looking for an outside thing to help you lose weight and focus on just getting the job done. Get your workouts done, eat right, just get it done. 
  11. You have to realize that it takes time to get your journey finished. Celebrate the small things along the way that happen. 
  12. You have to not quit. Ever. 
  13. You have to be open to change. 
  14. You have to not be fearful of your future, whether you are alone with someone. Be healthy for you, for your life. 
  15. You have to keep the good stuff going. Ask when you need help. Call on your friends when you need help. You can’t do it all alone. 
  16. You have to stop thinking that just because you are in a contest, you are going to lose weight. It takes work – both in your workout as well as your nutrition, but mostly in your nutrition. If you are not going to make any nutritional changes, then you will not see a change in your body or your weight.
Do any of these apply to you? Which ones? 

What can you do today to make the changes necessary so you CAN workout, you CAN eat right and you CAN get your head into it? Will you do it today?