This coming Sunday (April 1st) will officially be 3 months since I started working on eating better in an attempt to lose weight. Naturally, I hit a plateau so I added exercise into the mix.
I did a post a few weeks ago about my progress and, at 7 weeks in, I had lost 20 pounds!
I’m still doing the same things as I posted about before (ProFit shakes, counting calories via My Fitness Pal, & exercising at least 3-4 days/week). Feel free to browse through that post and read about what I did/am doing along this weight-loss journey. And, as always, feel free to ask my any questions about anything!
I do want to expand a bit more on exercising. Trust me, I still hate it. I still have to force myself to change into my running clothes and I still have to force myself to take every step.
I have found a few things to be helpful and I want to share them with you.
- For the love of Neil Patrick Harris, invest in a good pair of running shoes.
I always thought that a shoe is a shoe is a shoe (well, as far as tennis shoes go. I mean, I am a girl and I do love me some shoes). But when I was picking out athletic shoes in the past, it was based on cuteness rather than functionality. If you are really serious about starting to workout (in any form), please do yourself a favor and spend the extra cash.
With my old running shoes, I would get shin splints like cah-razy after the first few days. Now, I’m not talking a little painful, I’m talking they would be so bad that I could barely walk for several days afterward. However, for Valentine’s Day, Greg took me to a local store that carries running shoes and clothes (It’s The Starting Block for my local peeps). They put me on the treadmill and analyzed my run (recorded) to check my arches, to check for pronation/supination and to see if I run “straight” or “cross midline”. Then they gave me a couple of recommendations for shoes. I went with the Lady Issac’s (by Newton) and I adore them. They have a padded ball so it forces you to run toe-heel (rather than flat-footed like I usually run) and it has all-but eliminated my shin splints. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel it when I push myself, but I’m not hurting so badly that I can’t walk the next day.
My only complaint about Newton’s is that they don’t come in wide sizes and I have a *ahem* chubby right foot (but not the left. Weird, no?) So I just lace the right one up just a smidge looser than the left and I’m good to go.
- Find some kind of a training program that works for you
Especially if you are new to running. One of the problems that I faced in the past was that I would just run until I got tired/bored and then quit. I had no real goal in mind (other than Run, Forest!) and it was ineffective for building endurance as well as shaving time from my runs.
I know that I’ve said it before, but I’m saying it again. I love love love the Couch to 5K app on my phone. (There is a free version that will get you through Week 2, Day 1, I believe) The very first day, there is a 5 minute warm up followed by 15 minutes of 1 minute run/1.5 minute walk intervals then a 5 minute cool down. Week 1, Day 2 is the same as Day 1 but the run/walk period extends from 15 minutes to 20 minutes.
The changes are so subtle that you can barely tell!
Okay, that’s not entirely true. I can tell every single day when I’m pushing harder.
But that’s the point! When left to my own devices, I got nowhere! And yesterday I did Week 6, Day 2 (5 minute warm up, 10 minute run, 3 minute walk, 10 minute run, 5 minute cool down). I’m not sure that you read that correctly so I’m going to say it again. I ran for TWO 10-minute intervals and lived to tell the tale! By Friday, I’m supposed to be running a 15-minute interval so I might be singing a different tune but you get the idea.
Here’s the thing. If it doesn’t scare me a little bit, I know that I won’t be nearly as proud of myself when I finish. When I phone-in a workout, I always feel like kicking my own ass afterward because I put in the time but I know I didn’t get as much out of it as I could have.
- Listen to your body, not your head
Your head will tell you to quit. Your head will tell you that you’ve had enough. You can quit and be disappointed or you can show that little voice that you are a beast and keep pushing through.
However, if you can’t breathe, you might want to listen to your body. If you stop sweating (*ahem* this would be directed at my husband), etc. take a break, slow down, do whatever your body is telling you that it needs. But be persistent. When your body is revolting against you, that’s when it’s changing the most.
- Set a goal
Be specific about it. Not just, “I want to lose weight.” Um, hello! We all want to lose weight. (Well, everyone except the freaks of nature that have incredibly high metabolism and complain about how hard it is to gain weight. Ugh.) Make your goal specific enough that you know when you are getting close and once you’ve reached it! And don’t be afraid to change those goals. It’s a goal, not a legally binding contract.
My initial goal was to lose 30 pounds before Greg graduates in May. Not for any particular reason. I just thought that it sounded like a good target that was attainable without killing myself. As I got closer and closer to my goal, I realized that I was going to hit the 30 pound mark well before May 5th so I changed it up a little. My new goal was to drop 30 pounds before April 1st. Celebratory side note: As of this morning, I’m down 29.9 pounds! Hooray! Only 0.1 pounds to go and I have 3 days to get there!!
My next goal is more exercise related.
As of yesterday, I sent off the paperwork to get registered for a 5K. Since I’m doing the C25K program anyway, I figured it was time to put it to the test. I’m nearing the end of the endurance training for a 5K (but I know I’m not there yet) and the 5K that I signed up for is in 3.5 weeks. I figure, that will give me enough time to get to the point where I can run for 30 straight minutes and a little time to work on improving my time.
Plus, I really want another t-shirt.
If you need some encouragement with getting started or re-started or just the motivation to keep going, holla at me! I’m all about helping out my friends!