Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
It’s only February and some of our treadmills (mine included) have already started collecting dust. Let’s face facts: after a long day, getting the kids to sleep is about as much exercise as our bodies can take. That’s why I’ve decided to start focusing more on my diet, and less on getting 5 workouts in every week.
Two weeks ago, just a day after a pair of my favorite slacks refused to close, I came across the George Foreman “Grills” Weight Loss Challenge. George Foreman grills has partnered with Food Network star, Gina Neely, from Down Home with the Neely’s, to present this new program, which runs from March 4th to May 26th. Sign-up closes March 3rd.
You can sign up for free at GeorgeForemanCooking.com/WeightLoss by March 3rd, and you’ll get a weight loss kit that contains 28 days of meal plans created by Gina. These are 10 minute, low-calorie, delicious grilled meals. Yesterday I made my husband two Southern BBQ Turkey Sliders for lunch. They took 10 minutes to make, and together they were only 332 calories. They were so good; he kept demanding to know where I bought them.
Along with the meal plans, you also get fitness tips including exercises that you can do at home with no extra equipment, a calorie calculator, grocery shopping cheat sheet, food tracker, and restaurant guide. The George Foreman Cooking Facebook page also has an online community where you can get additional support and tips, and interact with other contestants. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the challenge is the chance to win a first place prize of $1,000 prize money and a $500 credit for product from Whole Heath, or a grand prize of $2,500 prize money and a $500 credit for product from Whole Health.
Gina Neeley took the challenge and she looks amazing! When I spoke with her, she said that, in just a few weeks, her palate has gotten so accustomed to the new, healthier meals, that she couldn’t handle the sweetness of her old favorite goodies. I’m ready to make that my story. Rev up your New Year’s resolution with me and sign up!
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Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
“Lose weight. Get fit. Do a triathlon.”
Those were among my new year’s resolutions last year, and for once, I accomplished them.
In hindsight, my goals for 2012 seem preposterous. I’d just given birth to my third child three months earlier. I was weary from sleep deprivation, carpooling duties, homework, laundry, slapping together meals, freelance work, and postpartum hormones. I didn’t have a lot of “baby weight” to lose, because I hadn’t gained much. It didn’t matter, though: I went into my third pregnancy already vastly overweight. I remember stepping on my ob-gyn’s scale that first visit after I learned I was pregnant again: I weighed 198 pounds. By the time I was ready to deliver, I weighed in at 220.
Through the miracles of birth and breastfeeding, by the time the new year rolled around (so to speak), I weighed 185 pounds, heavy by any definition but especially large on my 5’4″ frame. I posted only pictures of my kids on Facebook, and retreated from public view like Greta Garbo, if Garbo had been a puffy-faced mom and not a movie star.
After the new year, something clicked. I’d been committed to losing weight before, but as corny as it sounds, this time I had a mantra in mind, “This is your year,” and I just believed it. When I got roughly 30 pounds down, people really started to notice the change. Their kind words–and the thrill of clothes shopping–encouraged me to keep going, until I’d lost a total of 80 pounds: 45 of those through my own work and 35 due to delivery and nursing (thank you, my baby girl Fiona!). And just shy of my baby’s first birthday, I completed my first sprint triathlon.
People sometimes ask me how I lost weight and now seems like a good time to look back, as a handful of those pounds crept back on over the holidays and like a few of us here at Parents and well, everywhere, I’m on a kick again, getting up before dawn to exercise and deleting emails about free brownies in the office kitchen as fast as I can. (Trade secret: There is always free food when you work at a magazine!)
Here’s how I did it:
I gave myself infinite time to lose weight. There would be no crash diets or crazy schemes I couldn’t stick with for a long time. I needed a sensible approach with flexibility. For me that plan was Weight Watchers. I did it online.
I shook off setbacks. Sometimes, I ate more than I’d planned. There were weeks I’d lost only a half-pound, or nothing. I remembered my goal, and kept going.
I didn’t exercise right away. My past attempts at doing it all at once–dieting and hitting the gym–left me discouraged, and hungry. I focused exclusively on my food intake for a good six weeks, before I started feeling a little lighter, and felt encouraged to get moving. I walked my kids to school, and started jogging home with Fiona, just a few yards at a time at first, until I was running a mile, and then another, around the neighborhood.
But I did set a big fitness goal. That was a triathlon. I hadn’t laced up a pair of running shoes in years. I didn’t own a bike. But I had months to train. Think about it: What can’t you accomplish with months to prepare? I seized opportunities to exercise: If my husband met us in the evening at our outdoor community pool, he handled the kids while I swam laps. Sometimes I didn’t get to the gym until after 9pm, but I never regretted peeling myself off the couch to go.
I surrounded myself with crazy people. When you have a vision of yourself in mind–for me, it was “athlete”–it’s not the time to listen to skeptics wonder aloud how you’re going to fit in exercise between your baby/kids/commute/job. I hooked up with an awesome training group of crazy-in-a-good-way local women called the Triwomen. Why crazy? They believe anyone–that includes you–can do a triathlon. I met a 65-year-old who learned to swim just so she could compete in her first tri. Talk about inspiring!
I bought a bikini! I’d like to say I got fit for my health, and for my three kids. That’s true. But my happiest moment, second only to finishing the triathlon, arrived in the form of a Nike two-piece I bought for our beach vacation last summer. My body’s far from perfect, but in my new midnight-blue bikini I felt…good. I felt free playing in the ocean with my kids and husband, and boogie boarding to shore beside my son. I was healthy, happy, and for once, completely unselfconscious about how I looked. That tremendous high is motivation enough to keep me on track this coming year.
In 2013, I plan to run a half-marathon, another reach, considering I hadn’t run more than 4 miles at a stretch in all of 2012. But with the help of (crazy) committed friends, time, and training, I know I’ll get there.
Good luck with your goals, whatever they may be. This is your year!
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Thursday, January 27th, 2011
It’s been almost a month now since you committed to your 2011 resolutions. So the question is, how are they coming along?
Have you stuck to your goals and self-promises?
If you need some help getting back on track, check out ChooseYou.com, a site by the American Caner Society that’s all about encouraging and motivating women to make healthy choices to not only reduce their risk of cancer, but to live an overall healthier and happier life. We asked Colleen Doyle, director of nutrition and physical activity for ACS, for some resolution-keeping advice.
Start small Be realistic in your expectations of yourself and what you expect to achieve. Take large or long-term goals and break them down into smaller, more manageable goals: running a marathon may not be a realistic goal, but training for a 5K might be.
Write it down Many studies show that writing down your goals and keeping a journal on your progress toward reaching them can help keep you on track and motivated. If you set a goal that involves improving your diet, keeping a food diary will give you insight into not only what and how much you consume, but can help you uncover why you are eating when and what you are.
Don’t rely on willpower Temptation is all around us, but being proactive about reducing these temptations and creating an environment that makes it easier to reach your goal is the way to go. If you’re trying to quit smoking and you know that particular places are ‘triggers’ for you, avoid those places, especially early on.
Set up a support system Support from family and friends is an important part of making and sustaining healthy lifestyle changes. Begin to think of who is most supportive in your life and who can provide encouragement–and help you hold yourself accountable–along the way.
Reward your successes Treating yourself for milestones you achieve is another way to help keep you encouraged, motivated and on the right track. What’s important is choosing a reward that is right for you and that helps you continue moving toward your goals to live healthier (like new workout clothes or a bubble bath, instead of chocolate, when you meet your exercise goal for the week).
Well, how’s this for a reward? Women who make a new Choose You Commitment between now and January 31 will be eligible to enter the New Year, Choose You! sweepstakes for a chance to win a series of health-related prizes, including a celebrity fitness trip for two to Los Angeles with ExerciseTV, gift cards from spas and Walgreens, and more! Click here to learn more.
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