Friday, June 13, 2008

Part II: What Did Work

Last week I went over things that didn't work for me during my weight loss journey. This week I'm going to talk about what did work. Hang onto your hats and wallets. There'll be a lot of gadgets in this list for sure.

  • Walk Away the Pounds: To this day, I still use these exercise videos. The movements are easy and you don't need a lot of room. Nowadays, I add more intensity by flailing a bit harder than usual. My favourites are the Three-workout Deluxe Edition and Walk Slim: Fast Start.
  • You On a Diet: Though I never did follow the book's suggested eating plan, the science described really drove home to me the importance of good nutrition and how bad nutrition affects our bodies. The book also really helped me understand why Weight Watchers chose the 8 Healthy Guidelines.
  • Following the 8 Healthy Guidelines: I'm not going to claim that I've been a saint and followed them religiously all the time. However, they most certainly helped me eat more wisely and that in turn helped me lose wisely. Sure you can lose weight by keeping to your points allowance while still eating junk. But at what cost? Unhealthy and thin isn't a bargain.
  • Paderno non-stick frying pans: I bought two different sizes the week I joined Weight Watchers. They're my most used pans and I've made many a healthy meal in them. The coating hasn't ever flecked off and the heavy bottom means they've never warped. Paderno can be pricey, but I bought mine for a song at Sears.
  • Epicurean cutting boards: I also bought an assortment of these the week I joined. I knew I'd need a good cutting surface for all the fruits and veggies I'd be eating. They're not made of wood, but they feel like wood and can go in the dishwasher. Pricey but so worth it. After all the use they've been through, they're still holding up and I'm thinking of picking up more. Check out Epicurean's website for more info.
  • Taking care of myself: Before I started on Weight Watchers, I dressed dumpy and felt dumpy as a result. So I promised that I'd reward myself with nice clothes and accessories as the weight came off. After I lost the first 10%, I bought new clothes, felt better inside, acted more confident, received more compliments, was inspired to lose more weight, lost more weight, bought more clothes, and so on. I came to call it the Great Circle of AhFeelGooood. Once it gets going, it's hard to stop it.
  • Polar F6: If I had to pick "best investment EVAR," this would be it. I still use it every single workout – even in the pool! It's been absolutely vital for converting my calories burned into Activity Points.
  • Pedometer: When I was training for the half-marathon, I used it to gauge distance. Nowadays, I wear it to monitor my activity. With this handy chart, I can get a sense of whether I need to be moving more. Fortunately, drinking lots of water translates into more steps because of all the bathroom dashes.
  • Forgiving myself: Did you know the first time I tried Weight Watchers, I called it quits after eating a McChicken? Yes, I'd done something so awful and horrible by eating that one sandwich that it was obvious I'd never lose weight. Pfft. That kind of thinking got me nowhere. This time around I gave myself permission to make mistakes, laugh about them even, and move past them.
  • Electronic scale: No WWer's kitchen should be without one of these. I have a Salter and I use it pretty much every day. It takes the guesswork out of measuring and makes it convenient, too.
  • Extra measuring spoons: Measuring things can be a pain, especially when you've only got one teaspoon and it's always in the dishwasher. I have extra of each type of spoon and boy does it ever make measuring a breeze.
  • Exercise: I knew I couldn't eat like a rabbit all the time, so if I wanted to lose weight, I'd have to get active. Without a doubt, exercise has helped me achieve my goals. Not only was I building physical fitness, but mental fitness, too. Every achievement in exercise gave me more confidence. As an added bonus, the muscles I developed are quietly burning away calories even as I sit here and type.
  • Baby steps: Everything I've achieved has been accomplished with small steps. I was overwhelmed at the beginning, but as soon as I broke it down into manageable goals, it became more doable. It was never a case of "69 lbs at a time." It was five pounds at a time, a 10% goal, completing my first race. Little goals that added up big time.
I could probably think of another dozen items to add to this list so who knows, there might be a part III one of these days!


Paige'smom said...

I am so loving your what worked and what didn't work posts!

Keep up the good work!!


Paige'smom said...

oh.. and good luck on your WI today!

I look forward to hearing the results.

Julie said...

Great post!
Thanks for sharing these great tips!!

Mama Bear June said...

What a great list! I especially like this comment: "Unhealthy and thin isn't a bargain"! So true, so true! I don't do WW, but have quite a few things that have worked well for me.
Path to Health