My Biggest Loser Challenge

It’s a new year full of challenges, excitement and who-knows-what.  This year, I start student teaching and I could have my own classroom by September (God willing!).  And, I’ve decided that this year is the year that I kick this crappy unhealthy lifestyle in the butt.  Will it be easy?  Definitely not!  But, there are certain things that I think will add to my motivation and help me stay on track. (Like Key West in June and my brother’s wedding in 2011)

Two years ago, I was successful in losing 30 pounds before my wedding.  I tried to determine why I was so successful.  And I came up with a few things – a strict schedule, I scheduled workouts (some with buddies), I planned ahead and I counted calories.  You’d think I would’ve just kept going – but I got really, really lazy.

The first (and most important thing) was a change in schedule.  When I saw success, I was working 9-5 at an internship and when I wasn’t working, I had a lot of scheduled meetings, study groups, etc.  After I got married, most of the day was empty.  I didn’t really start working until 3 or 5 with a class or two thrown in.  I’ve learned over the course of the last few months that I am TERRIBLE when I have a lot of down time or inactive time (lots of reading, emails, creating workouts, etc) – especially in the apartment.  I get bored, I look forward to eating and it just happens.  Before I know it, I’ve completely sabotaged my day.  It happens.  Starting at the end of the month, I will have a very consistent schedule – and I will be gone most (if not all) of the day.

The other change?  I need scheduled workouts.  I’m normally really good at putting a schedule together when I have to.  If I fall into the “Well, I have all day to workout” trap, I don’t do it.  If there is only a specific time that will work, I will usually do it – even if it means getting up early.  I used to meet a friend every Friday morning to swim.  I had to get up before the sun came up, but I knew that if she was going to be there, I had better be there.  Tomorrow, I’m starting that by meeting my sister’s boyfriend for kickboxing.  I know that if I don’t show up, I’ll never hear the end of it.  And, when I start student teaching, I have the perfect time period between teaching and swim practice – there are even TWO gyms on the way to swim practice.  (And, one has the best pool out of all the WACs)

The two other components are planning ahead and counting calories.  I got pretty bad with not packing anything when I had a long day.  Instead, I would normally stop for something or wait until I got home and just eat way too much.  I just need to get on top of things.  As for counting calories, I hate doing it, but it works.  Towards the end of my weight loss, I was able to know how many calories were in certain foods.  I came up with good breakfasts and lunches therefore, I only had to focus on the calories in dinner.  I hope I can get back to that place again.

This brings me to the new plan.  For Christmas, I received “The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps: 100 Easy Changes to Start Living a Healthier Lifestyle”.  In the book, the show’s dietician, Cheryl Forberg, gives an overview of nutrition, including the basics of “The Biggest Loser” plan.

In the book, she gives the formula for daily calories (7 X Your Weight) plus how to divide it up (Divide the total into four parts – take one of those four parts and divide it into two.  The three parts are your three meals, with the portion you divided into two equals the amount for two snacks).

For example:

Weight = 200 pounds

7 X 200 = 1,400 calories

3 meals of 350 calories & 2 snacks of 175 calories

At first glance the calorie counts seem pretty low.  For now, I am going to try it just to see what happens.  I’ve always gotten really hungry when I’m really active – so I might have to adjust it a little bit.  The trick is finding foods that actually fill you up for very few calories.  The book also goes over how much protein/carbohydrates/fat should be in each meal.  And, it also includes a few simple recipes that look pretty good.

So, in honor of “The Biggest Loser” starting up again on Tuesday, I am going to start my own Biggest Loser challenge tomorrow (okay, it’s a day early).  I’m going to start weighing myself on Tuesdays with the show and attempt to follow their plan while working out at least 10 hours a week.  (I can’t afford to workout 6-8 hours like the contestants do – but I wish I could!)  We’ll see how it goes.  The only thing I really worry about is the amount of calories – who knows, maybe I’ll just get really good at finding the perfect combination of food.  It could happen!

Now, if only I could get Bob Harper here….  🙂

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