My weight loss journey, this is part 9 in our twenty-part series designed to help you better understand Serious Weight Loss For Women.
Part 1: Mind Body Wellness
Part 2: Secrets to Weight Loss Success
Part 3: High Intensity Interval Training 101
Part 4: Blazing Your Way to Fitness with HIIT
Part 5: Beating the Calories with Wise Dieting
Part 6: The Truth About Crash Diets
Part 7: Shave Off Pounds Without Even Trying
Part 8: Enjoy Healthy Eating…Every Day
Part 9: You are here – My Weight Loss Journey
Reclaiming your leaner, more attractive self is a mission in itself. It can quickly become a major focal point in the lives of many women. It’s something we all want to achieve. But it doesn’t happen overnight – at least it certainly didn’t happen that way in my weight loss journey. Just like work and family obligations, weight loss and managing it once those extra pounds drop becomes a lifelong intention.
Why? Because losing weight and becoming a healthier, more attractive version of you demands awareness and focus. It takes a consistent effort and that means paying attention to the choices you make. Since each one of us is different, we all need to invest the time and make the effort to find a way of losing weight that works for us individually. It takes a willingness to stick with what works. Do this and you will get to enjoy the rewards of weight loss – as long as you continue to make it an important priority in your life.
As I began my weight loss journey, I lacked a real awareness about healthy dieting and exercise. But once I made the decision to take action, I was determined to see it through. But I didn’t decide to lose the added weight I’d gained on a whim. That’s not how it happened. It was after a visit to my family doctor. That’s when I learned I had to make significant changes in my life or I was at risk of developing not just diabetes, but permanent cardiovascular problems too. And the culprit was the extra pounds I was lugging around.
For one thing, my father has been dealing with high blood pressure and diabetes for a while now. And my mother developed type2 diabetes later in life. I think it’s fair to say that my siblings are each carrying more body weight than they should and are beginning to experience the same kind of health issues. What scared me into making changes was when my doctor warned me that I could suffer a similar – or worse – fate due to my exceedingly high my cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Sure, I was terrified and in a panic state. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. I thought taking daily medications was a normal thing. After all, I grew up seeing my parents taking multiple pills every day, just to keep going. There was one pill for this and another for that. Day after day, my mom and dad managed their chronic metabolic diseases with a menu of ever-changing prescription drugs.
One or twice each year, more testing was done. Then we waited with baited breath for the results – just to see if the medications were even working. Sometimes they did – sometimes they didn’t. That lead to more pills, more tests, more visits to more doctors – and far too much anxiety for us all. Looking back, I realize now that managing my parent’s conditions with a slew of pharmaceuticals was the best possible outcome they could hope for.
It took a while – a few years actually. But eventually my weight loss journey became a lifestyle choice. I reached my target weight and have been able to maintain it ever since. When repeated visits to the doctor showed a steady improvement in my numbers – I knew I was on my way and there was no looking back.
It changes you in different ways too. I felt happy and empowered. I knew I was finally, in control of my body again and it felt terrific. I was no longer a helpless victim – waiting for a significant health problem to afflict me and take over my body. I refuse to be unhealthy ever again due to my weight.
Now that I’m in a position to help others, I feel the exact same way. If I can lose weight and keep it off – anyone can.
Exercise and diet are the keys. Sure, it can be difficult at times. But it gets easier when you know the real secrets and you apply them on a daily basis. It’s those little things that add up and help you make big changes in your life.
There are a few short tips to keep in mind:
1. Breathe Deeply – When you work out – avoid holding your breath. Locking in and holding your breath might seem like the best way to finish a routine or movement – but you’re actually working against yourself.
How do you breathe properly during exercise?
When you hold your breath, oxygen becomes restricted. That means there’s less oxygen in the blood and your muscles. Exercise often has two phases: 1. negative (release) phase and 2. positive (exertion) phase.
The best way to breathe during a workout is to inhale deeply through your nostrils during the release phase and forcefully breathe out during exertion. You’ll have to practice this to get used to it. But this is a proven method for breathing which is particularly important for those doing resistance training workouts.
2. Include Warming Up and Cooling Down – Do this as part of your exercise. It’s vital for keeping the muscles in good shape and preventing injury.
Warming up the right way will increase your blood flow. With the blood flowing to all major muscle groups – it prepares your whole body for a good workout. Cooling down is important too. It can help minimize sore muscles and the usual stiffness that often accompanies a workout.
It’s best to perform your warm up exercises a few minutes before your main workout. Then allow for a short recovery time before beginning your primary workout routine.
3. Eat Breakfast to Burn Fat – some people prefer to work out early in the morning because it’s most compatible with their work or study schedules. It also sets the pace for the day. But if you’re an “early bird” who thrives first thing in the morning, be sure to eat something before venturing out to the gym.
You don’t need a lot. A small amount of food will provide your body with the fresh supply of calories and nutrients it needs to kick-start your exercise routine and burn off any excess fat. So remember to fuel up first!
4. Stay Hydrated – Hydration is essential for overall health and for keeping any “water weight” at bay. Drinking lots of water keeps the body functioning and does not cause water retention – contrary to popular belief.
Water retention typically occurs when the body senses a depletion of resources. That is, it notices very little water has been taken in over the course of the day. If you want your body to drop those extra pounds – you’ll need to release any excess water. And the best way to do that is to drink plenty of water all day long.
You should drink the required amount of water for your weight. My weight loss journey was made easier once I understood and applied this concept faithfully. To discover your daily water requirement is simple. Take your body weight (in pounds) and divide it by two. That gives you the number of ounces of water you should consume in as day. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, you should be getting approximately 90 ounces of water every day to remain properly hydrated.