It's been 2 weeks now since I last started on trying to lose some weight and get my body fit and healthy again. So how am I doing, you ask?
3kg down baby!
Everything is going along nicely, and apart from the first few days where I really struggled hunger wise, everything has been quite good. I thought I would share the tools that I'm using to ensure my weight tracking graph stays on the decline path since who knows, it might help someone else!
At the end of the day, true weight loss is down to diet and exercise, so I have broken it down into those two sections.
- Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation (12wbt): to be honest there are so many reasons why this isn't for everyone. It's expensive for a start, you're looking at spending $200 for 12 weeks which is a fair amount. People have also pointed out that a lot of the recipes are reader submitted and you don't know exactly how much Michelle is involved (there's no denying that as her popularity rises she would be super busy). Yet it really offers a lot of good things if you can overlook the flaws. For me personally, I'm doing this for the ability to get my hands on some amazing recipes, and they truly are amazing, not to mention easy! I have been making things like Chicken tikka masala, lasagne, pear and walnut salads etc. it's making me enjoy cooking in the kitchen which is VERY unlike me. I used to be the one burning the kitchen down trying to boil water. For people that don't know a thing about exercise there's some pretty great exercise routines in there as well; my reason for not following them will become evident shortly. Michelle also features in weekly videos and personal chats too, so there is a degree of involvement and not just naming the program after her then forgetting about it. So if you're the kind of person who wants to lose weight and you don't know where to start, and if you have the money available, it's a great place to begin. (Link)
- MyFitnessPal: the popularity of this iPhone app has grown tremendously since I first downloaded it some time last year, and the accolades are quite deserved. It's designed to assist in calorie counting, and it does a great job. It's essential with these kinds of apps are that they are quick and easy. It needs to be so fast to add your food, otherwise it becomes a real drag to get your phone out. One of the best features of this app is that it synchronises online so if you're signed in on multiple devices your record is updated on all of them, plus the official website. It has a super accurate barcode scan feature; I can count on a single hand how many times it has been unable to find something, and even then there's really only one time that springs to mind immediately. On your devices there is a local database, so if you choose to manually type in the keywords if it doesnt find a result in your local db as you type, pressing Search will search online. In the case of doing 12wbt (see the point above) I can type in “12wbt chicken tikka” and find the meal already set up by other people; adding it to my daily record is one button click away. You also get handy nutritional information and graphs for review. In addition to the food features, you can add exercise and it will determine the calories burned as well as allocate you “bonus calories” for the day. Finally, you can track your weight and various body measurements and see the trends on graphs. It's comprehensive, easy and one of my “must have” apps. (iTunes store link for iPad and iPhone)
- Personal trainer (PT): I have been lucky to become associated with a trainer just as he was looking for clients so I got him at a great rate. The PT and fitness industry has a bad rap for being expensive, and it's possible to get trainers who either don't care, don't know what they're talking about, or are all about trends. My trainer is none of these. He knows his stuff. He doesn't care about trends, whether its dancing or hoola hooping or cross fit, y fit, whatever fit. Most importantly, he deeply deeply cares. I have been on the receiving end of a few lectures but I can guarantee I needed them. He knows what I need to push myself harder, and he knows when I need to find some belief in myself. He has gotten results with me before, and at the end of the day I am the one that has let myself down and allowed myself to put on weight or injure myself again. Every time he has been there when I needed him, when I finally found that willingness to try again. He is constantly teaching me about health and nutrition, and the strength of my body. He doesn't accept no, or “I can't”. He is so fundamental to my journey for building good habits and lifelong health. I strongly recommend investing the time and effort to find a trainer that works with you, and that allows you to not only shed some weight but help build the skills to make the change permanent. Someone who isnt interested in the “quick fix”. I am tossing up showing him this blog, but after our discussion about calorie counting this morning (he's a fan for just making the right choices, not sticking to a calorie number) I'm afraid I might get another lecture *grin* If you're on the Sunshine Coast and you're interested in meeting with my trainer for yourself, let me know. I would be more than happy to pass on his details. I have recommended him to quite a few people now and I'm hearing great things.
- Nike+ iPhone app: I really enjoy running, and this app is great. It has GPS so it can work out my distance, my speed, and calories burned (amongst other things). It can control the music playing through the earphones. You can add friends and compete for most runs and distance travelled. It encourages the competitor in me, while providing me with invaluable information on how my running ability is increasing. The statistics nerd in me adores this app. (iTunes store link for iPhone)
- Friends and twitter: Making myself accountable to people is by far an invaluable tool. Every morning I have to explain myself to @carlygracelloyd if I haven’t exercised. One morning I REALLY didn’t want to go for a run, but even less so, I didn’t want to admit I was just purely lazy. I went for that run, and I was damn proud! I have also chatted to other friends and coworkers and told them my plans so that in a moment of weakness I always have someone to remind me of my aspirations. My biggest tip for success is to get yourself a great friend, make yourself accountable, and start achieving your goals!
So they're the main tools of the trade! Feel free to share any tips or tools that you use to help you to either lose weight or maintain your health, I would love to hear them!