I was on the phone with my younger sister Sharon a couple of weeks ago, and we were discussing her weight loss process. She has lost over 40 pounds in a bit over a year, and I couldn’t be more proud of her! I was worried about her for a few years, just as she was about me, I’m sure. I thought I would ask her some questions about what she did to lose weight, and see how it compares to what I did. There are similarities and differences. This is Part 1 of our conversation.
Jenn: When did you decide to change your lifestyle to a healthier one, and why?
Sharon: I joined Weight Watchers on February 23, 2011. A month earlier, before I made the decision to join Weight Watchers, I started things off by quitting diet pop (a habit I had for over 20 years :O) and quit eating McDonalds at the same time. Then one day, not long after, I was lying on the couch and it took me a few rocks to even sit up. I knew then that I had to make some serious changes. I also had high cholesterol. I thought to myself that by June I could do this; four months. I thought about how quickly four months flies by and that I could either be fit in four months or trying to roll off of the couch in four months. I chose to make a change. Following you on your weight loss journey was a huge inspiration to me as well and helped convince me that I would be able to do this and succeed.
[Jenn: What she said about 4 months was exactly what I said to myself when I decided to lose weight. I tried Weight Watchers, but it wasn’t my thing, I generally do everything better alone, but as I said in a previous post, people need to do what works for them – it’s all abut YOU.]
J: What about your lifestyle is different than it was before?
S: I haven’t touched Diet Pepsi or McDonalds since January 2011. I measured my portions until it became ingrained in me, so now it is habit. I exercise 3-4 times/week, and I know so much more about nutrition. I learned that you don’t have to change your lifestyle completely. I still eat pizza, hamburgers or whatever else I feel like eating that maybe aren’t the BEST choices, but it’s my treat once or twice a week and that’s fine by me. I still have a drink with my friends and go out to dinner, only I make healthier choices. If I do overdo it by eating an extra piece of pizza, I make sure to throw in an extra hour of exercise during the week to balance things out. You don’t have to deprive yourself, just pace yourself and exercise. If you go off track always remember that tomorrow is a new day and you can start fresh. Don’t ever beat yourself up for going off track; pick up the pieces and move on.
[Jenn: Moderation worked for her, I actually gave up all junk completely until I hit goal, then started to integrate less healthy food in, in moderation. Maintenance for me though is moderation, not zero tolerance. So that we have in common.]
J: How’s the weight loss/living healthier thing going?
S: It’s been a bit over a year now since I started this journey and I had peaked at 10 lbs to my goal. It has taken me 9 months to lose five of the 10 lbs but I persevered! Trying new exercise techniques and shaking things up a bit has kept it interesting for me. I’ve gone to spin classes, walked on the indoor walking track we have here in our community, walked on the beautiful trails we have outside, bought a treadmill (I got teased about it being a clothes rack for over a year but it probably turned out to be my best investment ever), teamed up with great friends who had similar, if not exact same goals as me and whom are still my support group to this day and are doing awesome. And within two months my cholesterol was within normal limits, so that rocked.
[Jenn: YAY she likes spin!! 😀 I too plateaued for almost a year after I hit goal, then my body let a bunch more weight go for seemingly no reason. :S Shaking it up is key, I agree. I need to shake things up more… And the cholesterol thing is HUGE, given our family’s propensity for dropping dead of massive heart failure with little warning. That was a worry of mine also.]
It’s really motivating for me to hear Sharon’s successes and her perspective, I’ll continue this next week, when we discuss what she thinks about this whole healthy living thing. Tune in!