In keeping with my One Little Word, I am working on creating a healthier lifestyle. Part of that has to be weight loss. I talked about the weight I put on in 2011 when I wrapped up my goals for the year, but what I didn’t talk about is the weight that has gradually settled in over the years. Five pounds in one year isn’t much, but multiply that by 10 years and you can see where I am. There’s been losses and gains, three pregnancies and the gains and losses that come with that. And like many (most) Americans I struggle the most with portion control.
Last year I did Weight Watchers Points Plus program. That was okay, except that I immediately jumped into eating way too much because I could have all the fruits and vegetables with 0 points. I gravitated towards fruits, which shouldn’t be any real surprise. Then I fell off the wagon altogether when I started really feeling the stress of selling the house. We ate out more than ever and I didn’t want fast food salads all the time. But I didn’t really want to know the calorie counts or point values of the food I was eating either.
I think Weight Watchers really works. I have seen evidence of that in my parents. They attend meetings and keep really close track of their intake. I didn’t go to meetings and my online support all fell off the wagon around the same time I did. Eventually I quit altogether and saved the money.
Once we got settled in after the move I had to start training to run the 5k in February. I knew I could walk it, but I really would like to run more than walk. I started my Couch to 5k program in earnest in October, but the scale wasn’t budging, even though I was working out more than I ever had before. That was discouraging to say the least, but I knew where the changes had to come.
I did a little Google investigating and discovered Sparkpeople. It’s free, which is a huge plus. There’s an iPhone app, which is a huge motivator (for the record Weight Watchers has one too) and it counts calories, which is important in avoiding the trap of eating fruit all day and expecting a weight loss (whoops). I didn’t realize it when I started, but they award points for completing tasks and reading articles, and those points translate into badges. I love badges!
So far, I have been able to eat whatever I want and stay in my daily calorie limits (the exception being New Year’s Eve – I didn’t track that day). I haven’t felt hungry too often. I am paying closer attention to portions and reading packages. And even more importantly, I research my options when we have to eat out. In the week that I have been using Sparkpeople I have lost 4 pounds! That’s definitely good news and really encouraging as I continue on this path.
I also joined the Sparkpeople January Jumpstart Workout Challenge. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at all motivated by the possibility of winning an iPad 2. Cause that is totally a motivation. It’s a 4-week challenge, so not so long as to feel overwhelming, but long enough to see some results (hopefully). I’ll check in and let you know how it’s going.
So, that’s my story and what I am doing in 2012 to create a healthier lifestyle. What are you doing this year?