I was one of those people who made a resolution on January 1st to lose weight. It was January of 2008. I had my last baby just 3 1/2 months prior and I was ready to reclaim my body. After three kids and a pretty much sedentary lifestyle, I had reached my highest weight ever.
weighing in at 158 pounds (I'm 5' 4")
So, what was the key to my success? I'm not really sure exactly, but upon reflection I'm aware of a few things. First, I was FULLY committed. I did NOT go into this weight loss thing half heartedly. I wanted to lose weight and eating poorly and not working out just weren't options. I was focused on my resolution and I allowed it be a priority.
Secondly, I didn't really have a goal in mind other than to lose weight and "regain my body". I didn't say I wanted to lose XX amount of pounds. It didn't matter what the scale said as long as I was making good choices. I didn't say I wouldn't happy until I lost 10 pounds or 20 pounds. I was happy as the scale inched down day by day. After all, a loss is a loss even if it's 0.1 pounds.
I probably ate about 1200 to 1500 calories per day and exercised 4 days a week. You know what happened? I lost weight and I lost weight quickly (about 2 pounds a week). Not rocket science here, just plain and simple-- eat less, move more. By April I had lost 30 pounds and was looking and feeling good.
At my lightest since college. 128 pounds.
One thing I think everyone should know is that none of this is easy. There is no EASY way to lose weight. Eating less sucks. Yes I said it. Despite knowing how to eat healthy and what I should do, I still prefer to eat potato chips and cookies, but you're never going to lose weight if you diet consists entirely (or mostly) of those foods. So suck it up for awhile, lose the weight and eventually you'll get to a place where one or two cookies won't be a big deal.
Guess what else? Exercising isn't easy either. When I first went to the gym I was a mess. I had NO idea how to use an elliptical or the treadmill and don't even ask me to glance over at the weight section of the gym. But, eventually I got comfortable on the elliptical and I moved on to something else and so on and so on until I'd tried almost every piece of equipment and every class in the gym.
The first time I went to a spin class I couldn't do anything but sit and pedal. You heard me right. I sat there, I never adjusted my resistance, I couldn't stand up, and I couldn't speed up when the instructor said to do so. I just sat there and pedaled and it was HARD really, really HARD, but I didn't give up. I went back and gained a little knowledge and a little more confidence each time. Eventually, I took the spinning outside and now cycling is one of my favorite forms of exercise.
I could go on and on about the things that scared me that I tried (I'm looking at you pilates and yeah you too swimming), but I didn't let fear keep me from doing something. Sure I felt stupid at times, but I seriously doubt anyone was sitting around the dinner table talking about the sweating, red faced girl that sat in the corner of the spin class and just pedaled. NO ONE CARES. Hell, most people were probably you a few years back.
Guess what else (I know I keep saying this but it's for dramatic effect)? Sometimes I still feel dumb. I'm not the best athlete, I don't run fast by most people's standards, and I'm generally finishing somewhere in the middle of the pack. Um, remember when I tried to ride 100 miles on my bike and instead crashed at mile 83?
The point is, life is full of failures, it just makes those times we succeed so much sweeter. So while it would be simple to sit on the sidelines, wouldn't it be a lot more fun to get out there and find out what CAN be, what success you can make.
And yes it is cliche, but why not take the clean slate that comes with the new year and resolve to make yourself a better you. I promise two things: It won't be easy, BUT you won't regret it.