"Unfortunately, everything the experts tell us about diet is aimed at the whole population, and we are not all the same."
~ The Scientist magazine
I always thought that if I hired a personal trainer just once, then I could use the workout they created, well... forever. But, besides getting just plain bored, I would now insist that variation and progression is the key. Every time I do a workout, I try to tweak one thing--at least one thing--to make it a little more difficult. Maybe squeak out an extra push-up on every set, or increase the weight on a machine by five pounds. Or maybe I do an extra minute or five of cardio. This is all well and good, but it gets to a point where you're cranking out 5,000 reps of each exercise and running for 3 hours. And, personally, I like to change it up before getting to that point. That's exactly why I'm continuing to work with my trainer. Every two weeks, I get a brand new workout to try--and, again, one created for me, with my goals (wedding arms and Hawaii abs) in mind.
I've also tracked my food in my own food journal fairly regularly. If you're not a fan of calorie counting and tedious number crunching, I challenge you to just keep a food journal. It can be as simple as jotting down what you eat each day on a Post-It note. Or, you could keep it in a Word document. Or, heck, create a private blog and record your feasting. Somehow, just writing it down holds me enough accountable that when I spy a plate of Oreos in the teachers' lounge, I can pass it up.
Another thing that's helped me a lot is to set a goal each week (P.S., I don't think you should ever make your goal weight loss related, i.e. "Lose 2 pounds." Our bodies do crazy things when it comes to weight. You don't want a little water weight or salt retention to kill your motivation. Your goal should be something you control, not a little electronic box). Two weeks ago, my goal was to plan ahead. I actually went through my food journal and wrote in my "splurges" for the week ahead of time. Then, I could keep in mind when a certain event, occasion, or trip to Orange Leaf was coming up, and it would help me keep focus. Last week, my goal was to get my eight servings of fruits and veggies in each day. Alongside my journaling, I just numbered each serving to keep track. Plain and simple.
This week, my goal is back to plan ahead. That's one I have trouble with. I'm always happy to splurge, so if I work them out ahead of time, I have an easier time turning down other tempting goodies.
So far, I'm loving this easy-going plan. The scale is showing good news (I've lost about four pounds since the beginning of the year) and I've shrunk by a few inches (about 1.5 from my waist and hips at last measurement).
I'm not going to lie to you. I do have weight goal in mind for the wedding day. But, even more so, I want to feel like I'm at my best. So, if I'm not quite down to my secret number, I know that by continuing to be health-conscious and do what I know is right for my body, I'll feel strong, sexy, and confident as we start our married life.