Getting in Shape

Need to get started, don't know where to start

I have been obese for my entire adult life.  In 2007, I went on a very strict diet which involved cutting out all sugar, from fruits, sweets, everything.  There were meal supplement shakes and strict guidelines.  In 8 months I lost about 70 lbs.  I eventually went off the diet, and of course gradually started gaining back.  Well yesterday I went to a doctor's appointment and  found that I am back to my original weight.  I'm so sad.  I joined a gym a couple months ago, but don't really go.  My FI lost his driver's license and it's hectic trying to get him to work - which means waking up at 4am, then getting me to work, doing all the driving, it's just a lot.  I've become very lazy.   I spend too much time on the computer and on tv.  Yesterday at the doc was a wake up call.  I have to do something.  I just always find myself making excuses - including actually telling someone once I order my dress I can't lose too much weight.  I need to eat better and exercise.  I really don't think it's practical to try that same diet I was on before, I mean I know it works, but my FI lives with me now and it would basically mean I would have to cook two meals.  And it's a diet, not a lifestyle change which I think I need.  I think I want to just count calories, eat more balanced meals, and get more active.

Does anyone have any advice for how to get started?  How to stay motivated?
We ran off to Vegas and got married!

Re: Need to get started, don't know where to start

  • You're absolutely right that you need a lifestyle change and not a diet.  Diets don't work, lifestyle changes do.

    Check out a site like MyPlate (through or Sparkpeople.  They will help you figure out the amount of calories you should be eating a day based on your height, weight, age, activity level and weightloss goals.

    Then, spend some time tracking everything you eat.  Aim to hit your calorie goals each day.  Once you get in the groove of eating the proper amount, start to look at what you're eating.  Get rid of processed junk (like Lean Cuisine's) and focus on getting real, whole foods.  One of the best things is "clean" eating.

    Whenever you feel ready start adding in more exercise.  I absolutely cannot get up early in the mornings.  While I would consider myself a morning person, I just love my bed too much.  So, for me it works well to go to the gym right after work (well, once I make the commute home).  Find something that works for you.  A lot of people like to start with workout DVDs.  It's something you can easily do at home.

    As far as how to stay motivated, well, I just make my health a priority.  Yeah, I don't always want to go to the gym, or eat healthy foods, but I know that if I don't bad things happen.  So, I just do it.  I also think, however, that it's important to make sure you integrate your favourite foods into your new lifestyle.  If you really want a cheeseburger, have a cheeseburger, but maybe skip the fries, or just work it in to your calories for the day.

    I find that after having been eating clean for a while, the junky crappy food just makes me feel blah.  Most of the time it's just not worth it anymore.

    Stick around, there's lots of good ideas here!
    We'll just not tell H about this little fact, m'kay?
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  • Thank you.  I think my first step was just saying okay, I have to do something.  I will definitely check those sites out.  I need to focus on the positive, I have a FI who loves me for me, but will do whatever I ask of him to help me make changes.  Do you have any sites or books you recommend for tasty healthy recipes?
    We ran off to Vegas and got married!
  • I recently picked up the Clean Eating Quick & Easy book/magazine (it looks like a softcover book, but was in with the magazines) and have made a few things in there.

    Mostly I just Google for recipes.  I follow a few blogs with great food ideas, and being two of them.
    We'll just not tell H about this little fact, m'kay?
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  • I agree, a lifestyle change is a much better idea. Plus, it will keep you BOTH healthy :) One thing I did is put my stationary bike in front of the television. That keeps me occupied while I exercise. Find some healthy cookbooks. I found some on clearance at books-a-million :)
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  • Welcome!  Raynes has great suggestions.  I personally do WW online and love it.  There are some great recipes on the WW website (and I don't think you have to belong to see some of them).  I also really like for recipes lately.  It's great because they have the nutrition info already listed, so you can take a look and see if it fits your calorie/fat/protein/fiber needs.  Good luck!
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  • I've been less and more fit on and off for years, because I just am not that into it. I never played sports, I hate the gym. Luckily, there are a lot of easy workouts you can do at home, in less than 30 minutes. Find a time that works for you and make sure you work out every week, build up to 3xweek. Remember that making time to workout is really time for YOU, not the you of today, but that healthy-weight, glowing skinned bride that you are going to be!

    Here's a site that makes planning to workout pretty easy:

    Get a yoga mat and a stability ball and you can do tons of workouts at home, or use the equipment at the gym if that helps you keep to a schedule.
    There is also a book called Weight Training for Women that's really good. Cardio gets boring fast, and putting muscle on your body burns more fat, so doing some strength training is really important.

    Diet & Lifestyle: The main thing for me here is to eat mostly vegetables and good protein. I've started trying to have two vegetable dishes and meat at dinner - instead of a big plate of pasta and a tiny serving of vegetables. Veggies can be good, and don't be afraid of using bacon or butter or coconut milk to make your veggies tasty. It's not supposed to be torture if it's your new lifestyle. I've lost 8 lbs. in the past 4 months by doing that and working out about 3x/week, which I'm really happy with. It's consistent with what my goal is, but may not be right for you. For a site that has lots of veggie + protein recipe ideas, check out:

    Good Luck! You can do it!
  • edited October 2010

    Here's one thing that REALLY helps me get to the gym:
    If I'm debating on going, I ask myself, have I ever regretted going to the gym, 100% of the time that answer is no. Then I ask myself have I ever regretted NOT going to the gym and just about 100% of the time, that answer is yes.
    Then I tell myself, I'll just go and run half the time I normally do, by the time I get to that point, I just finish.

    EDIT: I also wanted to say, I agree with what raynes said about incorporating some of your favorite foods in. If you NEVER give into cravings, you'll end up bingeing. About once a week (usually weekends) I eat whatever I want, but half of a serving (half a hamburger and half the fries instead of the whole meal).

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  • try they have a place where you can track your food intake and it will tell you how much you have left for the day! 
  • :) It is good that you realize that becoming healthy is a lifestyle change, as opposed to a "diet plan."  It also seems like you want to change your lifestyle in order to become healthier, as opposed to becoming "thinner."  That's good too!

    One of the worst things about the way most of us diet is that we try to change too much at one time.  We might be able to do this for awhile, but who can deplete themselves of so many things at once?  It typically does not stick in the long run.  I would suggest slowly incorporating changes so that it is not overwhelming.  For example, start by eating more vegetables.  Then, after a week, start eating breakfast every day.  Set gradual goals for yourself and REWARD yourself, too.  Set small rewards for meeting weekly goals, and slightly bigger rewards for meeting monthly goals.  Don't make them food related.

    It is usually easier to start with diet change and then incorporate exercise.  However, while you are changing your diet, you can do little things to become more active - park farther away while going on errands, take stairs instead of the elevator, etc.  We need about 30 minutes of exercise daily as adults, but it does not have to occur at the same time.  Spread it out throughout the day as needed.

    When you have a gym membership, the hardest part is getting up and going there.  Workouts at home are nice, but if your problem is sitting in front of the TV and computer too much, you might be too tempted to watch something else on TV instead of the fitness DVD you'd like to do.  Breaking routine and going to the gym would be good for you.  Like I said, do it gradually...go once a week, then twice, etc.  If you have time to do stuff on the computer/TV then I am sure you have time for the gym.

    Lastly but definitely not my mom always said to me growing up, "do everything in moderation."  There is nothing wrong with enjoying what you love - just know that there are limits to everything, even healthy things!  If you love something specific that isn't necessarily healthy (for me, that's ice cream), do not keep it in the house.  Buy it when you are out for something special, and enjoy it!  You will be more successful in the long run.

    I could go on forever, but if you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me. Health promotion is my degree and my passion and I am always willing to help out :) Good luck!
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