About three months after I posted this, four other friends and I formed a biggest loser support group to motivate each other to get moving and lose weight.
Now, seven months later, I will say this has been quite the experience. For me, it has been a very educational, eye-opening journey of health and exercise and what it takes to really stay healthy and feeling well for a lifetime.
It's a little embarrassing, but much of what I learned over these months has come from Jillian Michaels, who has become a personal trainer of sorts in my living room. She's a little over the top sometimes, but I tell you, she knows her stuff, shares it freely, and gets results.
Every one of the women in our group who started doing her workouts on a regular basis lost weight and toned up. No joke. By the end of December, we had been meeting together for weigh-ins and motivation on a weekly basis and between the five of us, we had lost 90+ pounds. It was hard work, but so much fun to do it together.
Here are a few things that helped me along in this journey:
- You will get better, faster results working out as hard as you can, with a combination of strength training and cardio for 20-30 minutes a day. I heard it for years but never really understood how to do it effectively.
- Eating a large salad (for me, at lunch) full of cruciferous veggies--broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower--and other items--tomatoes, spinach, cottage cheese, beans, raisins, avocado-- is a great way to get all these metabolism-boosting, important foods into your body all at once every single day.
- Focusing on eating whole grains whenever I can and try to avoid buying items that contain "partially-hydrogenated" and "enriched" ingredients. When I eat whole foods, I feel better. period.
There are several other things I am trying to do in my family, being the one in charge of buying the groceries and preparing most of the meals, I feel like I really have a responsibility to make good choices and teach my kids also how to make good food choices. I don't want to cram it down their throats, pardon the pun, instead I would just rather my boys develop a taste for certain foods by cooking and offering them regularly and then allowing them to try it when they're ready.
It can seem a little overwhelming, but I'm finding that taking baby steps is helping me along.
Best money I ever spent was on these three workout dvds:
Okay, enough about Jillian Michaels, already.