26 January 2009

Weight Loss Weekly

My motivation to be healthy

Weight loss weekly is a collaboration between me and three other bloggers where we ask ourselves questions relating to weight loss, and discuss our successes and failures.  Join me every Monday to tune into this ongoing collaboration.  This week's question is:  "Why do I want to lose weight and what I'm going to do about it".  Have you ever thought about it?

Have you ever asked yourself, "Why do I want to lose weight?".  In our culture, it's just assumed that most people could stand to lose a few pounds but have you ever asked yourself that question?  For me, I have tons of responses, most of which have to do with vanity (which aren't motivating in the long run believe it or not) and a few which really get to the core of why.  It is for this reason that this week, I've decided to separate my answers to "Why do I want to lose weight" into two parts, vanity reasons and real reasons.

Vanity reasons:
1.  I want to be the most smokin' hot wife at all of my husband's work parties.
2.  When my sons become teenagers, I would like one of their friends to gross them out by saying, "Dude, your mom is HOT!"
3.  I love to shop.  Ever since losing the initial 34 lbs, I am now able to shop at so many stores I couldn't shop at before.
4.  I like being able to fit into a standard airplane seat.
5.  I just bought THE CUTEST spring dress on super clearance (4 sizes too small) and I want to fit into it before mother's day.
6.  I'd love for my husband's clothes to be a little big on me.

Real reasons:
1. The risk of developing all cancers increases dramatically the more overweight one is.
2.  The risk of developing Type 2 diabetes increases dramatically the more overweight one is.
3.  I want to be healthy enough and have enough energy to play with my sons.  
4.  I have one life to lead, when I go to heaven, I want God to tell me, "Well done, good and faithful servant."  Not to look aghast at me and say, "What have you done to yourself?"

I want to live a healthy, active life and to be around to watch my children and grandchildren grow up.  Yes, the vain reasons are perks of losing weight, but surprisingly have little motivation over me in the long run.  In the short run, the vain perks can help me get through a meal or a day, but when I think of the real reasons, they are enough to take me through the long haul.  

Have you ever thought about it?  What are your reasons?

Now that you've decided WHY you want to lose weight, what exactly are you going to do about it?  I was at my low point (or perhaps high point) last January when I came across the book French Women Don't Get Fat.  The simple approach to looking at eating and life has helped me to lose 34 lbs. so far.  For information about the book, check out my French Friday posts, but I will summarize the points from the book that I have incorporated into my life that have helped me to lose weight and to live healthier.  These changes are not profound, but for me, they were the biggest changes I had to make on the road to weight loss and what I still struggle with.

My secrets to weight loss and my plan for continuing weight loss:

1.  I drink at least 8 pints of water a day.  I drink a pint of water before every meal and another one with it.  I drink in between meals and I drink a pint of water before bed.  Staying hydrated helps me to feel full and keeps me from confusing hunger with thirst.

2.  I eat smaller portions of many things rather than one big portion of one thing.  I consciously think about variety, therefore I plan my meals better and am eating more fruits and veggies.

3.  I eat one to two 8 oz. servings of plain yogurt a day.  This is helping to keep my digestive system happy, gives me extra calcium, and helps my stomach feel full.

4.  I incorporate some activity into most every day.  My choice of activity is a daily walk, but I also try to park farthest away at the grocery store, am aware of bending over to pick up kids toys, and do housework daily.  Basically, I try to move and limit the time I spend on my duff doing nothing.  I may not have time to go to the gym daily, but I do have time to vacuum, do the laundry, dust and go for a walk.

5.  I chew my food thoroughly.  This is new for me but is really helping me to slow down while I'm eating.  Slowing down gives my stomach a chance to catch up with my consumption.  How thorough is thorough?  I chew until it's liquified.  Gross, but effective.

6.  I eat my main meal at lunch.  Eating my main meal at lunch enables me to eat a small dinner without having screaming hunger.  Since dinner is when I often make the most high fat/high calorie foods of the day, not being too hungry for dinner saves me tons of calories.  Also, I know I have finished digesting by the time I go to bed.

7.  I wind down in the evenings with a glass of water, a cup of herbal tea, or hot water with a tablespoon of lemon juice squeezed in it.  I used to be a nightly dessert eater.  Not only am I saving calories now, I sleep better since I'm not hopped up on sugar.

8.  I journal my food intake.  You can follow my food journal on Twitter.  This has really helped me avoid the snacking temptations knowing that I have to write it down.  Also, if I have a bad day where I have eaten way too much and have eaten mindlessly, having to write down what I've eaten helps me to be aware of foods that I habitually overeat and the act of writing down a bad day forces me to recommit to a healthier lifestyle.

These are not hard habits to adopt.  I am not depriving myself of anything, yet making these simple changes allowed me to lose 34 lbs. and is helping me to lose the rest of what I need to.  If you are interested in following my French Friday posts where I review French Women Don't Get Fat, or reading last week's "Weight Loss Weekly" the links are below.  Also, don't forget to check out the other "Weight Loss Weekly" posts from my fellow "weight losers"!

My Fellow "Weight Loss Weekly" bloggers are Sunny, Nurit and Giyen.  Check out their posts below!

Sunny's post:

"One of the biggest reasons I want to lose weight is because I just turned 30 in November. And that makes me mad..."  Keep reading at www.ThatExtra20Pounds.blogspot.com

Nurit's post:

"I'll tell you the truth.  If I lived in a time and place where being roundish was an object of beauty waiting to be captured by the most talented painters and then admired by millions of people, I might have re-evaluated the situation.  But you know..."  To read more, click 1 family. friendly. food.

Giyen's post:

"I think I've talked about why I wanted to lose weight ad nauseum, let's get to the "how"...read more at Bacon is my enemy


Sunny said...

Yay, we're all Weight "Losers" together! I like your post today, those small changes you're making are really helping you lose weight and it doesn't sound like you're feeling deprived at all.
I've been enjoying all the "French Women" posts on French Fridays. Thanks for the reminders!

My crazy crazy life said...

One of my biggest accomplishments (to me) was not fighting for the front parking space at the grocery store or mall. Once I tackled that hurdle, everything else seemed so small. It's the little things that catch up with you. I love your post today. You're an inspiration.

emily said...

I love the idea of eating the biggest meal of the day at lunch. That one is one of the changes I need to make too. My problem is late night wine drinking. Like desserts it's straight up sugar. I drop weight instantly when I cut it out. Too bad I love it!


Pierce said...

All excellent motivations. Great post. Glad you iked the photo of the shop Joie de vivre - you would love browing around in there.

Thanks for visiting my site!


Daily Spud said...

Great to hear about your really practical, measured approach to weight loss. I find that eating late at night is the killer - 'cos usually what I'm eating at that hour ain't healthy!

gastroanthropologist said...

I think the two in the picture are the two best reasons. The best way to keep weight off is stay active and eat nothing out of a package (I know today its hard with our busy schedules...). I also believe if your friend or family member is trying to loose weight you should eat healthy together - nothing worse than a skinny minnie eating chocolate cake right in front of you when your trying to cut back.

Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

so maybe I should get a skinny sister and get rid of my skinny clothes in the garage?
Kids are definitely a strong reason to try to be healthy!!!

NuKiwi said...

Well, I just borrowed French Women Don't Get Fat from my library, and a friend loaned me another good one called The Gabriel Method which talks about why willpower isn't necessarily my problem... Anyway, lots of reading (and blogging) to catch up on now. Cheers! Tiff

Lori said...

Great post with some great motivation. I am guilty of the buying things a few sizes smaller. I've got a couple things still awaiting in my closet. I'll get there, I have no doubt. Congrats on your weight loss and hard work!

Sheila said...

I completely agree with the health reasons for losing weight. This was the reason I seriously started working on getting into better shape; I want to be there for my grandchildren and possibly great grandchildren.

Thanks for all of the tips and encouragement. BTW, Sunny has a great blog, but I can't seem to leave comments. For some reason I am unable to see the word for verification. So, Sunny if you see this, you have some great tips too! I especially love the jumping on the trampoline.

Tangled Noodle said...

My initial motivation for losing weight was indeed vanity and low self-esteem: the other company wives were very polite at parties but I felt left out. When I finally lost weight, it was "Oh! Let's do lunch!" and I was suddenly part of the 'in' group. That's when I realized I was doing it for them, not for me. Now I maintain a healthy weight because I want to spend as many years as possible with my Mr. Noodle!

Berni at Yo-yonomore said...

I love what you guys are doing with the collaborative posts, it's great to see support in action.

Vij said...

Hey Joie
Interesting topic! and quite apt too. I havent been to the gym for the past 3-4 weeks. This post was an inspiration. I am heading back to gym today :-)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I do believe you've nailed it here! Terrific break down on why!

Now seriously about the croissants: I really did walk the neighborhood between all three foldings for 20 minutes. Follow directions and I can usually do it and this was again the case - when I followed the directions. These stay fresh for 3 to 4 days if you reheat them and they freeze easily and well. We didn't eat them all at once ;)

Joanna said...

these are some really good tips. even though i'm not trying to lose weight, it's nice to know how you're living a healthy lifestyle so i can incorporate some of it into mine.

i'm glad to know you're a twilight fan!! i just finished eclipse today and i am really upset about it!! you'll understand why when you get to it (if you keep reading that is). i can't wait for new moon to come out this year!! i'm gonna be one of those people who goes to the midnight showing.

Nirvana said...

I love this post. I completely agree with you that being healthy is the most important reason for deciding to loose weight. I think that if one wants to loose weight it should be for exactly that reason and that losing weight should go along with improving one's fitness and eating healthier, unprocessed meals that way weight loss is only one part of adapting a healthier lifestyle.

Robin Sue said...

For the vanity reasons- I laughed at 1, 2, & 6. so very funny! I really just want to be healthy and not out of breath or worry about heart disease or cancer like you mentioned. I need to learn how to move like a French woman. Joie are you from France, I have always wanted to ask?

Mama Chicken said...

Love this post - needed a little push today! I just started drinking a full glass of water at the start of dinnertime (usually with my vitamins, so I don't forget). It keeps me from dishing up seconds before my stomach registers "full".