With beginning a new year, and a new plan to lose weight, comes the age old question: What diet plan should I use?
The fact of the matter is, my history has told me that in order to lose weight, I have to follow some kind of diet plan and exercise. Whether it be one of the fancy, read all the books, diet plans or the simple "eat this many calories" diet plan, something has to be done in order to drop the pounds.
But, what if there was a way to lose weight without being on some strict diet plan?
And didn't that just sound like one of those commercials pushing the Miracle Diet Pills?
What I mean is, wouldn't it be fantastic if I could lose weight without counting calories, writing down everything that goes in my mouth, not having to eliminate certain foods from my diet, or picking a plan that seems to work for everyone else?
The truth is, when it comes to losing weight, I fail because it's too much work. All the calculating, the logging, the checking ingredient lists, etc. I hate it. I do really well for a while, and then I get so tired of all the work... I give up.
There's just no way to sugar coat it: I'm lazy. Plain and simple. Not about my life in general, but doing the extra work involved with curbing out a diet plan and sticking to it.
For the past two years, my weight loss focus has all been directed to my eating. What I should and shouldn't eat, when I should eat it, how much I should eat. Out comes the fancy logging apps on my phone, grocery store visits take twice as long because I'm checking ingredient labels, and I make sure all the measuring cups in my house get used to portion out my food. And for the most part, each time I've gone to these extremes, I've lost weight. Then, I start getting lazy, the app doesn't get any use for a couple of days, I'm in and out of the grocery store and hoping I'm getting the right stuff, and my eyes become my measuring cups because it takes too long to measure stuff out. And then you know what happens? The weight starts coming back again.
But, when I really think about the time I lost the most weight...and I'm talking the 80lbs I dropped in a year... it wasn't really the food that got me through all of that. It was the exercise.
Sure, I logged here and there. I drank a lot more water. I swayed away from fatty, fried foods and focused on more healthier choices... but I worked out. Hard. A lot.
So, this year, I'm going to try a little experiment.
It may fail, big time. And I'm sure plenty of naysayers will be standing in line taking bets on my weight loss demise, but I'm going to give it a go. See what happens. Run with it. Literally.
This year, I am absolutely, 100% refusing any form of diet plan. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
I'm going to eat what I eat, when I eat it. I'm going to try and be more health conscious with my choices, but there will be NO counting, logging, or measuring.
What I am going to do is start incorporating more exercise. Walking. Jogging. Get-Fit games on my PS3. Yoga. And work-out DVDs. All stuff I enjoyed doing three years ago when I lost the most weight.
I don't recall a single time of my exercise past where I got tired of exercising. Was it a struggle to make myself do it? Sure. But, once I got started, I wanted more. And was always very happy and felt great once it was over. The biggest struggle was always the get-up and go. Which, I've decided, is the one and only struggle I'm going to get over this year.
I know that if I have any chance whatsoever of my little experiment working, I have to make myself exercise. I really don't want to be sitting here next year lapping up the "I told you so" from every person who will have something negative to say about my thought process. If there's one thing I hate more than anything, it's being wrong. Not because I'm wrong, but because I could have been right but didn't follow through enough to prove it.
If I want this experiment to work, I'm going to have to get off my rear end and make it happen.
I think it would be so awesome to share the story of a girl that didn't go in to crazy diet mode in order to lose weight, but simply started adding exercise in to her routine. She didn't have to buy special foods, didn't have to log all that food, didn't have to eliminate all the stuff she loved to eat... but still managed to lose weight just by exercising a little more.
And, yes, I know that if I just lose weight by exercising more and not changing my eating habits, I will gain all the weight back the minute I stop exercising. But, what if I learned to eat better without all the crazy diet expectations, and maintained a routine of exercise? Made it a habit?
That could work, right?
I know I've said it a thousand times before: I'm going to eat better and exercise more. But, at the end of the day, the "eat better" always revolved around some form of diet plan and the "exercise more" was a wishy-washy way of saying that if I'm eating right, I really don't have to exercise all that much.
I've always been told that the first step to weight loss was diet. Exercise is only a small factor in losing weight. Really? Then how come I lost 80lbs the year I got my fat behind off the couch 3 to 5 times a week and pushed myself to the limits? I've worked on the diet part every year since... and the weight has all come back. I know, I know, I didn't stick with the eating plan. THAT'S why I gained it back, right?
I don't think so. I fully believe that had I stuck with my exercise plan, even fudging on my diet as much as I did, the weight would have stayed away. It was giving up that active lifestyle that truly did me in.
So, call me crazy (I know many will), but this year I'm ditching the diet. No more diets. Whatever freaking food I want to eat, when I want to eat it.... with a HUGE side dish of exercise.
On January 1st, I weighed 252lbs.
Today, I weigh 250lbs. I've lost 2lbs in a week. I haven't changed my eating patterns. I haven't stopped snacking. I haven't counted a single calorie. But, I've moved a little more. I've gotten off the couch a few times and made myself move a bit.
So... weight loss plan #4,327 shall commence.
Something's got to work. Something's got to make the weight come off. And I'm going to try, once again, to see if this is the year I can make it happen.
Call me crazy, if you will... but there's a reason my blog is titled what it is.