I wrote this in response to a plea for help from Sue, who wrote into our forum not knowing what to do about her situation. I think she is in the same position as many. She's not happy with her weight and knows that bad habits have led to being heavy. Some of my suggestions, below, may help you too. Or you may have suggestions of you own. I'd love for you to contribute your ideas. Easy to do that in the forum.
Getting started can definitely be the hardest part. Different things work (or not) for different people. You have been at least motivated enough to be looking for answers and
asking for help in this forum so I am going to offer some suggestions with the hope that something will appeal to you and you can take the first steps to a new lifestyle.
I also hope that anyone else who might read this would feel free to add their own suggestions...something that might have worked for them. This is a place where we can help each other just for the sake of helping. What finally motivated you to take control and do something about your physical health (extra weight...fitness)? Please help us out.
I am a fitness trainer and have for along time had a built-in drive to be fit. First of all, I think I need to look and act the part of a trainer to have credibility, but also I just feel lousy if I haven't worked out recently, especially if I've been indulging in holiday food and a bit of wine that goes with a good meal. I notice right away if my jeans are fitting a little tight, or if something seems a little bigger than it should. Junk food now makes me feel sick (well, not when I'm eating it, but shortly after). It's as though my body has come to expect and need quality food and revolts at the idea of processed foods and snacks. This is probably psycological, but it feels physical.
My habit is to exercise, at least a little each day. I plan for it, setting aside the time to do it. It is too easy to get busy with life and run out of time by the end of the day, so making that time for myself is important, or it won't happen.
I also have a weakness for chips, ice cream (Ben and Jerrys or Häagen-Dazs, only the best and most fattening of course) and other snack foods so I try to make sure that we have healthy, low sugar, low fat snacks that will take the edge off without adding a bunch of unnecessary calories. I think you should get rid of the cheez-its and candy kisses and replace them with someting that will be filling without the empty calories... try unsalted nuts that will provide fiber (filling and it lasts) and healthy fats. Removing the bad stuff from the pantry is a great way to start your new program.
I suggest you start a program that includes exercise and nutrition counselling. A great way to do this is to hire a personal trainer (I know that probably sounds self-serving, but helping out with this type of lifestyle shift is what we're trained to do), at least to get you introduced to exercise and how to do it properly and also to coach you on better eating. A fitness trainer will set you up with a good program geared to your level of fitness and will also give you someone to be accountable to. You might have to interview a few trainers before you find the one that is right for you.
Trainers can be expensive but invaluable to help you on the right path and give you the knowledge and confidence to take control.
My eldest daughter, who has never been much into exercise or fitness, has recently decided to do something about her extra weight. What is working for her is having a friend who also wants to lose weight and get fit. She and her friend help to motivate each other to go out and do some running together 2 or 3 times a week and they have hired a fitness trainer who works with them together 2 nights a week. The cost is much less this way and they can rely on each other to help keep themselves on track. Find a buddy to do this with you!
My husband likes to follow a workout routine from a DVD. I got him the P90X program from Beachbody for christmas. It is not for the beginner and is very challenging and he likes the organisation of it and does well at following through with regular workouts. Beachbody has programs for every level of fitness and you might like to try one out if going to a gym is not your thing. The program comes with a nutrition plan too.
Well, I think I've rambled on long enough. The key is to screw up your nerve and do something positive. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish with a little committment.
Best regards and keep us posted,