Getting in Shape
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Feel like this is a safe place...

Hello all - hoping I can get some advice or help. Everyone seems so understanding and genuinely wanting to help.  So here goes...
   I am getting married 8/13/11 and have a LOT of weight to loose.  I have always struggled and last year joined a gym was working out religiously and lost about 43 pounds... Yay!!!  I started school in the fall, and with the very demanding schedule of the medical program I am in, add in being a single parent... the stress and hours of sitting still while studying - I gained it all back.

    I now have a month off before I begin my clinical rotation at a hospital and would like to get into a good routine/habit place.  I'll be working long hours, but think if I can just get back into the habit - I can finally loose some weight for good.

    I am no longer a member of the gym - the hours when they are open don't gel well with my school/hospt. schedule.  Budget is a concern, and I have tried weight watchers several times in the past, with little success.  I know I just need a plan with the kind of 'here are the rules' strict mentality.  Anyone have any suggestions?

   I really appreciate any positive or helpful feedback.  Thank you!!

Re: Feel like this is a safe place...

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    Could you invest in a few workout dvds that you could do at any time? Maybe that would be the route to go for you. What about 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels or another program such as Slim in Six?
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    there are other things you can do too...like:

    -dont eat carbs with every meal
    -dont eat after 8pm
    -use carrots for snacking
    -dont eat carbs after 5pm
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    is there a 24hr gym in your area? or a gym with better hours?

    with a wonky schedule it is hard to set rules like dont eat after a certain time, but you can change that to something like dont eat 2 hrs before going to bed.

    Bring healthy snacks to work with you, or with you in general when you leave the house, that way if you are hungry while out and about youll snack on that instead of something quick/fast food.

    I just bought Billy Blanks Bootcamp Elite and it has a schedule with it, following that is helping, and it is definatly a good work out!

    Goodluck :)
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    edited August 2010
    I agree with the PPs. 

    Invest in a few DVDs, dumbbells, resistance bands, Bosu, etc. You can start making small changes: eat smaller portions, lower your salt intake, drink 8 cups daily, separate your meals into small meals, and start off doing some cardio, which will gradually increases as the months pass.  

    Remember to always add variety to your meals and workouts.  The best secret in weight loss is to always trick your body and never let it adjust to your workouts or caloric intake (zig zagging your calories).

    Good luck!!
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    My biggest piece of advice is to pick an eating/exercise program that you can maintain for the long haul.  Last time you lost 43 lbs (congrats!!), but you did it in a way that you weren't able to upkeep.  That is fine!  Half the battle is knowing what doesn't work for you.

    You are going to work a lot, so I'd suggest only working out three days a week (and not every day).  Maybe once during week and once on each weekend day?  Something like that. 

    Change your diet to things that are healthy and you like to eat.  Watch your portion size.  I've learned over the past six weeks that how much I'd like to eat and how much I need to eat are too very different things.  Switch out chips for carrots, switch out mayo for mustard.  Switch out white bread for whole wheat.

    If you want a little push to get started, I recommend tracking your calories.  I used myplate and, after putting in my height, weight and weight loss goals, it told me how many calories to eat every day.  I've done it religiously for six weeks and am six pounds down.  It works!

    You can do it!  It's okay to screw up.  It's okay that it will take awhile.  But, don't lose your motivation.  If you need a pep talk - come here!  We're good listeners :)
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    To me, the biggest thing for you is going to be food.  The old adage "If you fail to plan you plan to fail" should be your new mantra.  Not only is planning out your meals and snacks more budget friends, but it will also help to keep you accountable.  If you've got all your food planned out for the day (and readily available) then you're much less likely to reach for the vending machine.

    Normally I tell people not to make excuses about why they can't lose (one "o") weight, but it seems like you are going to be genuinely busy.  So, focus on food, and work in exercise where you can.  For food there are two big things I can suggest, first, sign up for a free site like MyPlate (through Livestrong.com) or SparkPeople (I prefer MyPlate) and use that to come up with a calorie goal based on  your current height, weight, age, and weight-loss goals.  Use the site to track your food and exercise and you will lose weight.  Get a small cooler than you can bring with you when you go to work.  On grocery day spend some time prepping all your snacks and veggies for the week, put them into reusable containers and stack them in the fridge, that way when you're leaving for the day all you have to do is grab what you want, put them in your cooler and head out the door.

    Second, focus on getting whole, natural foods.  You don't necessarily have to buy organic, but avoid processed foods as much as you can.   Try to include protein with every meal (I've personally found that a diet high in protein and lower in carbs helps keep me feel full longer) and avoid refined sugars and carbs.  Carbs are not he devil, you just have to make smart choices.  Whole grain, instead of white, sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes.  That kind of thing.

    For exercise, the idea of getting some DVDs that you can do anytime is a great idea.  Also, things like walking, running and biking can be done whenever you've got time.  Programs like Couch to 5k can help you learn to run.

    Also, to comment on what rees said, I don't really agree with most of that.  IMO, eating smaller meals all through the day is a much better way to keep your metabolism going than saying some silly rule like "dont' eat after 8".  Heck, some days I don't get home from the gym until 7:30, and i'm certainly still going to eat dinner!

    Good luck, you can definitely do this.  Come back and ask if you have any questions.  There are many here that have done, or are still doing, weight loss the smart, healthy way and can offer lots of advice.


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    In your OP, you mention wanting a plan with a "here are the rules" strict mentality.

    If you are just trying to lose weight for a wedding, that might work, as you've had experience with that before.  However, if you are looking to get healthy for the long-term, I've found that rules don't really work over time. 

    I'd recommend educating yourself as much as you can.  I've read every book that I can get my hands on at the library this summer about dieting, weight loss and exercise.  (even the fad diet books that are mostly full of garbage)  My personal favorites are Intuitive Eating and In Defense of Food.  They both talk in great detail about eating a well-balanced diet of whole foods.  Like raynes mentioned, avoiding processed foods is one of the easiest ways to get healthy (and this usually includes weight loss). 

    I don't diet.  I don't forbid myself anything.  I have found that if I tell myself "no oreos, no carbs, no pasta, etc" I will spend every waking moment craving the forbidden item and over-indulge when I get my hands on it.  I fill my fridge with foods that I know are going to make me feel good (heavy on the fruits and veggies) and do the best that I can when I go out to eat.  I stopped feeling guilty about every food choice that I make.  Did I want cake?  Yep.  Did it taste good?  Awesome.  Did I eat six pieces so I can feel guilty about it and "restart my diet" tomorrow?  Nope.  I eat what satisfies me which is usually the first few bites.

    I made the switch to biking to work every day this summer.  I walk when I can instead of driving, taking the train, etc.  If you aren't a runner, consider trying Couch to 5K.  If you are a runner, think of signing up for a longer distance race to have something to train for.  Adding exercise when you can instead of spending hours in the gym will go a long way toward making it a sustainable lifestyle.  There are tons of things you can do from the comfort of your living room with or without the guidance of a DVD.

    Personally, what has worked for me in my weight loss and maintenance has been the less rules I force upon myself, the better I feel.   

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    Since you'll likely have long days and convenience foods will be tempting, I would recommend spending a little bit of time on Sundays preparing healthy snacks for the week.  What are some healthy snacks that you like?  Make a list of those snacks and plan out your week so that when you reach for a snack, it is a healthy one.  For example, carrots with hummus, crispbread with Laughing Cow cheese spread, nuts, apple slices with peanut butter, greek yogurt with lowfat granola, string cheese, etc.

    Will the hospital have a cafeteria?  Do they have a salad bar?  If they do, this is an excellent option for your lunches.  Just add some sort of protein to your salad so that you feel fuller longer.

    Also, it is really quick to make a smoothie.  If you can get some whey protein powder and keep fruit in the house, you can easily make a smoothie in your blender in a few minutes before you leave in the morning.  There are a lot of options for eating a healthy diet on the go.  It just will take some planning.  

    And I would guess that you'll be on your feet a lot for your clinicals.  Maybe you could get a pedometer to keep track of your steps and focus on healthy eating if you feel that you are getting enough exercise during your regular workday.  Or you can supplement as pps have suggested with DVDs that you can do anytime.  GL!!
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    Hi there!  I agree with a lot of what's already been posted.  I don't mean for this to be an advertising stint or anything but P90X will work your butt into shape!  Even if you can't do it on a strict schedule, the workouts are quick, you can do them at home at any time and it all pays off. 

    I'm a big portion-control person and I don't eat too late at night (for one it keeps me up all night and two, it makes me feel like crap in the morning).  I agree with JenB1205 in that completely forbidding yourself of the foods you love is NOT a good idea.  Just eat fresh foods, mixed with a little of the "naughty" things you love, plus some exercise and water - you should be good to go girl!  Good luck!!!!!!

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    wow can i relate!

    i too lost weight (about a year ago or more!!) 30lbs..it was brutal and no where near my goal loss.  I am a plus size girl (size 18-20 jeans) and at my biggest i wore a size 22.  I would love to get into a single digit but realize that is probably not realistic.  I would be perfectly happy at a size 12, but would deal with a size 14 or even 16.

    I know all about clinical rotation.  I am a new Registered Nurse (i will have been employed 1 year this December) .. I graduated in may of '09.  My work schedule is horrendous!

    I work rotating shift in 4 days weeks.  Thios does not mean my days off are in a row.  I work 8-12 hour days which is usually more like 10-15 hour days. I am on my feet and on the go for most of my shift. I work days, evenings and nights.  I am tired all the time and spend my days off cleaning the house, catching up on much needed sleep, running errands and planning the wedding. 

    We live in a complex that ha s asmall gym i have never stepped foot in.  Partly because i am embarrassed about my weight, but mostly because i am exhausted and find it hard to motivate myself.

    my FI is in construction and although he could probably stand to do a couple of sit ups (he used to have Abs but they have gone a little soft)...he is in great shape and looks fantastic.  He also eats whatever junk he wants and doesn't excercise out of work.  SO eating right and excersize, I am on my own.

    I do my best to eat right but have long ago given up calorie counting.. I know i have to return.  It was  alot of work and when i lost the weiught previously I had a weight loss coach/clinic's help and a lot of time off.

    How do I fit in excercise when I am exhausted most of the time??
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