So, what have we learned? If I had to make a short list of what I’m taking away from the challenge, here’s what the past (nearly) six months have taught me and my family.
Focus on three basics:
- Exercise. Nothing else will help you fit into the jeans you want to wear. Find an activity you love. Make it easy for you to do it.
- Drink water! Eight glasses a day. It works! You will want to eat less, and you will feel better.
- Plan ahead. Fast food is the easy option for those who are not prepared. Be prepared, and you will eat healthier and save money!
Make smart choices:
- Avoid buying junk food. If I buy foods that are bad for me, I will eat them. I have no willpower when it comes to chocolate. The best solution: Get rid of the junk, do not buy more and don’t make any at home.
- Don’t have just any old dessert. I used to eat ice cream sundaes with peanut butter and hot fudge sauce. Now I have a cup of sorbet or vanilla frozen yogurt with raspberries and bananas. Make Jello and sugar free pudding with fat free milk.
- Give in if it makes sense. If you really want something, eat it, but be conscious of the amount of food you consume. For example, if you really want an ice cram, have it. But not while you are sitting in front of the television or talking on the phone and distracted. Enjoy it. Make the calories count.
- Track your results. Use sparkpeople.com or any of the free websites on line to track your results. Buy a Fitbit or other tracking device. I loved mine, and wish I had not lost it. These devices help to make you accountable to yourself! Other websites, like Earndit.com tie into the Fitbit site and reward you with gift certificates for achieving your goals!
- Get a buddy. Having someone to share your weight loss journey with makes it easier to stick with it.
Never, ever, ever give up:
- If you totally blow your new diet, just start again the next day. Do not feel like you should wait to start over on Monday, since you blew it on Friday night. You’ll have a reason to not start on Monday too!
Begin right now:
- You’ll never lose weight simply by reading about it. Start today.
What one truth of weight loss do you believe everyone needs to know? Post a comment and let me know!
This has been a long week emotional week that resulted in some diet slip-ups, but overall I think Peter and I did pretty well. We took a 2,700-mile road trip to drop off our oldest three children at college. The week of scheduled drop-offs coincided with Amanda’s band camp week, so Amanda would have to stay at home.
First stop, Michael at UNCSA in Winston-Salem, NC where he will be studying Design and Production (technical theater). Michael is a 17-year-old freshman. Michael’s move-in time was 8 a.m. on Tuesday. This meant that we had to leave NJ on Monday, and spend the night in Winston-Salem. We stayed at an Embassy Suites hotel, which had a nice breakfast buffet; the eggs were cooked to order. The school ran the move-in better than any other college we went to. We pulled up and unloaded our car, and the RAs moved the stuff to the hallway outside of the rooms! The dorms are definitely old-school, with residents in each hallway sharing only two showers and toilets!
We had the opportunity to meet Michael’s roommate and his parents while moving in. A parent orientation filled the day, and ended with a BBQ. We spent another night in North Carolina and checked in on Michael to insure that he had everything he needed.
Next stop, FSU in Tallahassee, where Katie is trying out for the Marching Chiefs. (In High School, she marched with the Marching Braves, so making the marching band in college would be a promotion.) Katie is a sophomore, but has spent the first year abroad, so it was her first year on campus, too. We did not have a lot of room in the car, so we had to buy most of the stuff for her room in Tallahassee.
Katie could not move in until Friday night, so we had all day on Thursday to shop for her dorm. Katie had to go to practice at 7:30 a.m., but her move-in time was scheduled for 8 p.m. Why would a college think this is a good move-in time? Christina, Peter and I spent the time exploring Tallahassee. We picked up Katie at 5:50 p.m., and discovered that we could move in a little early, at 7 p.m. So we ate dinner, and moved her in. We spent the night in Tallahassee, and left shortly after we dropped Katie at practice.
Our last stop was Ringling College in Sarasota, where my daughter, Christina is studying Motion Design. She left most of her stuff in storage, so we simply helped her to move in. It was her first apartment-style dorm, so we stopped at Walmart and picked up a few essentials–plates, glasses, etc.
Our 2,700-mile road trip from New Jersey should have been a good opportunity to stick to my diet. I loaded the car with fruit and celery on the first day, but I soon found myself purchasing a candy bars at the rest stop and eating a whole bagel for breakfast.
After a day of indulgence, I realized that I still want to feed my feelings, rather than simply feel them. Peter and I made an effort to try harder. We did manage to make some healthy choices: yogurt sundaes instead of ice-cream blizzards. Going to the gym at the hotels and even swimming one day in the pool. Not bad, right?
How do you stay away from tempting foods when you’re on the road? Post a comment and tell me here.
When our trainer set our goals for the gym challenge, I believed she had Bruce Lee’s philosophy in mind, “ A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often simply serves as something to aim at.”
We came back from Italy, and expected to be far worse off in the gym than we were when we left, but, to our surprise, the walking we did paid off. It was still a stretch to achieve each of our goals, but we managed to pull them off.
The gym challenge is over, and both families achieved their goals. The journey has been a struggle, but hitting our goals does have its rewards. Peter’s A1C, a test which measures how well he is doing with his diabetes, has significantly improved. Amanda is stronger and more confident. Michael is faster. We are all thinking before we eat.
Of-course, we also have the opportunity to win prizes! This time both families won. This month’s sponsor is Epic they let us choose a piece of fitness equipment. We’ll be getting the treadmill in this photo. Not bad, huh?
My entire family has been using the treadmill at the gym, so we thought this would get the most use at home. We’re looking forward to using the iFIT function. This automatically tracks how we are doing and is sort-of a virtual trainer to keep us on track with our goals even after the 6-month challenge is over!
Post a comment below and tell me about a fitness goal you’ve set for yourself!
A friend of mine once asked: “What would you do if you could not fail?” What goals would you not strive for, if you believed they were all achievable? Would you be satisfied with watching a swim meet or would you want to be in the pool? Would you be happy shopping in the women’s section, or would you want to look like the model on the cover of your favorite magazine?
If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us would change something about our current life choices. And I’m here to say: Just do it.
You want to know why my family was chosen to be a part of this contest? Because I entered the contest. You can never win a contest, if you are afraid to put yourself out there and try. The questions were basic, so why didn’t you enter? I never thought they would pick my family, but I sent in the application anyway.
Just do it, try.
You have been reading about my family and the Lehmans. Now it is your turn. Put your nickel down; become an active participant in this challenge. Commit to making the changes for your family. You can enter for next year by clicking here. Good luck!
Post a comment below and tell me one thing you promise to “just do!” this week.
It has been a few months since I started going to the gym, and I still try to go to Spin class whenever it fits into my schedule. I love the fact that Spin pushes me to work harder than I really want to. A good Spin instructor individualizes the ride for each participant. You ride together, but each person works at his or her own level.
That said, I have to admit, that I often feel like leaving soon after the class begins. Before the second song ends, I find myself out of my comfort zone. I know that if I cycling on my own, I would probably slow down; or choose an easier route. I start to look around the room. Most people are barely breaking a sweat. I need a drink.
First Rule of Spin: Bring a water bottle.
We start to our first hill. The Sunday instructor loves to ride out of the saddle. (I should note: I choose classes based on when I can go, not the instructor that teaches them.) We begin a six-minute climb. She tells us to add a ¼ or ½ turn, if we can. Sometimes I add that much; sometimes I don’t. I believe you should push yourself. Keep pedaling to the beat of the music or faster. But if you can’t keep up, take off a little resistance
Second rule of Spin: It is your ride.
Yeah! Fifteen minutes are over! One quarter of the ride is done. I can do this!
We spend the next fifteen minutes working on speed and resistance. I forgot to bring a towel. My bars are dripping with sweat.
Third rule of Spin: Bring a towel.
Half of the class is over. With the lower resistance I start to feel like I can finish the class strong, but the instructor has a long climb planned. We begin a 24-minute ride up hill. We add on four complete turns as we stand out of the saddle, and do not decrease the resistance as we sit for short intervals to take a drink.
I am getting tired, but I realize that I am able to keep up with the class. I am holding my own. Sure there are some who are faster than I am, but I am keeping up!
The hill is over. We lower resistance, cool down and stretch. Class is over; we’ve all burned over 600 calories. I head home to shower. Another good workout done!
Do you take a gym class that pushes you harder than you’d work on your own? Post a comment below and tell me about it.