Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’

ActiveFoodNutrition

Losing Weight Is Easy

I never ever thought I would say or believe it, but losing weight is easy. Many people say they need to lose weight. Many more people have been told by doctors that they must lose weight, yet 46 states report obesity rates of over 25%. Like anything else in life, losing weight consists of parts, steps, or phases. Step one, which is definitely the hardest part, is mentally owning it. The most important aspect of weight loss is patience. It takes years to put weight on, so be patient to take it off.

My Moment

At my heaviest, I knew I had to lose weight. I didn’t have diabetes or any life threatening diseases, but I had overall body aches and wicked plantar fasciitis in both feet. I was also generally miserable. Sleeping was uncomfortable and very restless. Standing was impossible for more than 15 minutes. Walking – which I love to do – was 30 minutes maximum.

My “what the hell have I done to myself?” moment was the black and white picture taken of me during RSA USA 2016. It brought me to tears. I knew I had to do something and stop with the excuses.

Eating Less or Moving More

Joining the gym was the next step. I have joined gyms before and had trainers before. I have also done weight loss programs before. Both yielded partial results. Neither were performed at the same time. When I joined the gym in 2016, because I said my goal was to lose weight, my trainer discussed nutrition at every session. As my trainer pushed me physically, and my body was struggling to keep up, I started to listen. I didn’t think my diet was all that bad. I also thought that since I was moving more, the weight should simply fall off. Logging my food and discussing food choices and alternatives was a wake up call.

People that have been fit or healthy most of their lives do not realize how difficult it is for an unhealthy person to bring the world of nutrition and exercise together. Advertisers promote weight loss programs or gyms, but never do they collaborate. Why would they? The long term success rates of weight loss only programs have guaranteed continued revenue. Someone physically moving, but not changing nutrition for complete improvements guarantees continued gym memberships.

Reminders

  • Step one – mentally own it.
  • Ongoing patience is required.

It took me over 20 years years to hit 260 lbs, but it only took me 11 months to lose more than 100 of it.

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

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ActiveWeight Loss

A Week In a Healthier Life Series – Part 2

Working in an Office

When I started my weight loss journey, I was working in an office and I commuted ~60 minutes each direction. Eventually I swapped 2 in office days for working from home so that I could workout with my trainer during the non-peak gym hours. Regardless of my work location, I did my cardio.

Company Office

When in the office, I always took the stairs. I also took laps when going to the bathroom or for a drink. Most importantly, I made myself take breaks. If I had less than 30 minutes between meetings, I would address a couple of quick emails and then go for a walk. Based on the meeting room location, I would take the longest route as much as possible. If I had a 2+ hour block of heads down work time, when I found a decent break between tasks, I walked a couple laps of the floor and refilled my water bottle. These little breaks would take as little as 5 minutes, but no more than 15.

Home Office

When working from home, I went to the gym for 5am when it opened and did an hour of cardio. During the day, I would take a similar approach to being in the office and find moments for quick breaks. Late afternoon, I was back at the gym for my training session.

My boss worked remote, so unless I really needed my laptop for the call, I would walk and talk with her on my cell. For all lunch breaks – which I always took – I would take 30-60 minutes. Half of the break would be eating, while the rest would be a walk.

In a nutshell, make your moments and get moving.

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

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TrainingWeight Loss

It is Too Late to Lose Weight, Move, or Get Healthy

For many people there is a certain age that is considered to be too late or too old. Other people simply feel like “I’ve been this way for so long, I can’t…” The can’t is typically about losing weight, making changes, or feeling better.

I stand ~5’ 3”, was at 47% body fat, weighing in at more than 250 pounds, and 39 when I joined the gym. I had plantar fasciitis and nerve pain in both feet, my knees ached, and my cardiovascular fitness didn’t exist. I was also dealing with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism. These were my excuses.

Find a Motivator

I hated many things – looking at my reflection, shopping, dressing up, or even getting out of bed. I was jealous of others – for looking nice and being able to buy clothes anywhere, including online without having to try them on first.

I felt like crap. Having two dogs that love to be exercised, but not have energy in addition to the foot issues, I was struggling. The dogs were also heavy, even though their diet was fairly healthy. I felt like I was failing my kids.

Get Started

Start working with a trainer 2 days a week. It does not matter what your goal is. Two days a week is the way to go. Spend the first 2-4 weeks undoing bad posture, fixing form, and getting stable. Spend the first two months learning about nutrition and what you are putting into your body. For the first month, I didn’t change much in my diet, I just started moving. Month two, I started logging my food and gradually changing my diet.

Keep Motivated Beyond the First Three Months

The first 3 months were mentally frustrating. It took over three months to really start seeing physical changes even though the scale and measurements were reflecting changes. At the four month mark, I had to buy smaller clothes and people started commenting. What helped me was that I was feeling better and I wanted that feeling to continue.

Toughen Up. Walk it Off.

Even with my body still aching, I pushed through. Realizing the foot and knee pain was linked to my weight and that, as I was losing the weight, the pain wasn’t flaring up as often, really helped.

Drop the Excuses

It is never too late. Get up. Get moving. Find something that works for you. Pain is mental. It really is. Find a way to deal with it and push through. I chose to ignore my aches during my exercise, but after my workouts I elevated and iced my arches and had a muscle relaxer. When I was down 50 pounds at 5 months in, the pain stopped. Everything mentioned at the start of the article is gone. Well I am still 5’3″, but I feel like I stand taller and my posture is better. My hypothyroidism will always exist because I have nodules, but my medication fixes that.

If you are morbidly obese, I recommend working with a personal trainer. Not because I am one, but because it is the best thing you can do for yourself. Good trainers make you feel safe, challenge you, keep you accountable, and push you to push yourself. Without my trainer, I would have given into pains or found excuses to stop. With his help and support, I have a healthy routine in my life that includes nutrition and exercise as well as an awesome lifelong friendship.

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

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Weight Loss

I Don’t Need to Exercise to Lose Weight

A few weeks back, a friend shared the following article to a group message board.

I commented on the post as follows: “Weight loss really comes down to math. Eat fewer calories than you burn. I went to this website and plugged in my numbers from 2 years ago and I would argue with the numbers slightly. Yes, fewer calories in will help lose weight faster, but you need to move. When I was on my weight loss roll, I was eating 1300-1800 calories per day, but burning 3000-4200. I was dropping one pound every 3 days. So…what I am getting at? If I kept my “slightly active” lifestyle and only cut calories, it wouldn’t have resulted in a healthy “lose weight fast” and it probably would have taken 2-3 months longer to lose the 100.”

I have thought more about the article as well as my comments. The article is correct – you will gradually lose weight if you eat less. The article does also discuss ways to change your diet and it does reference scientific research, but it misses important information – mental readiness, food education, and physical activity.

Lifestyle Changes

As I finished up college and started working in tech, my weight started piling on. Over the years I tried different weight-loss programs which did eventually help me lose some weight by reducing the amount of calories I was eating. The problems? I was not taught about macronutrients, physical activity was not included, and the weight loss was slow. The results? I lost interest in the program, so I quit, and I eventually gained the weight back and more. My lifestyle did not change for the better through food changes alone.

Mental Readiness

I meet several people daily who say they are ready to change – they are ready to lose weight and get healthy. Every one of my weight loss clients is told to log their food for 3 days. Less than half of the people will do this on their own. When I ask why, I am typically told they didn’t have time. Additionally, clients are told to walk more by doing little things such as taking a lap of the building at work when they go to the bathroom or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Again, the majority fail to even add a few steps.

If you cannot take 10 minutes out of your day to educate yourself on food or add 30 minutes of walking scattered throughout to your day, are you mentally ready?

Food Education

In 2016, when I was at my heaviest, I started getting active. In conjunction with physical activity, I started logging my food. I logged everything as accurately as I could. Including sweets and alcohol. Logging my food made me see exactly how poorly I was eating. I started removing some food items, such as sour cream or cheese as toppings, or swapping out fattier meats, such as beef for turkey. Because food logging includes knowing – through measuring and weighing – food quantities, it made me aware of calories in broken down to protein, fat, and carbohydrates. This is the data that is most important when providing your body with proper nutrition. The article says to increase protein and reduce carbohydrate intake. While the article does link out to a protein focused article that then links to another one around the different meats, this main article does not contain sufficient information around food changes. Educate yourself before simply changing your protein and carb intake.

Physical Activity

When I started my weight loss journey, the first couple of months consisted of gradual food changes and a slight increase in activity. I wanted to see the scale drop faster – not going to lie. So I adjusted things. I continued to weigh, measure, and log my food, but I also stepped up my activity. The results? Not only did I lose weight, but over the 11 months of losing weight, the bulk of weight loss was actually fat being swapped for muscle gain. The muscle gain happened because I know my diet was a healthy mix of macros to support my body. The article mentions doing “Doing some cardio like walking, swimming or jogging can also be important. Not so much for weight loss, but for optimal health and general wellbeing.” Doing “some cardio” isn’t helpful. How much is some? I would argue you need numbers, such as miles per day or minutes of activity to help you succeed. For example, I started by achieving the recommended 10,000 steps daily. I now aim for 15,000 steps a day and incorporate weight lifting most days. While you might think it is easier for me to hit my daily step goal, I typically must add at least an hour on the treadmill daily to do it and do my best to walk everywhere including to local stores.

Long Term

I have been down over 100 pounds for over a year now. Am I perfect in my diet every day? No. The difference between me in 2018 and my life before 2016 is I know exactly what to do to keep my health in check through a combination of nutrition and physical activity.

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

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