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Lisa’s Plan

By Lisa Spodak (ResultsNotTypical@worldnow.com)
Provided by WorldNow

(I’m going to do a little time warp here.  It took me longer than I expected to get up the nerve to post my first intro/update, so even though last week was my first post here, it was actually Week 9.  And now I’m “jumping” 10 weeks ahead so I can get on a more real-time updating schedule.)

Week 10 Weigh In:

Change this week:  -2 lbs.
Change overall:  -30 lbs.

Now that I’ve lost 30 pounds, people are starting to notice.  And they’re all asking me what I’ve been doing.  My standard answer of “doing Weight Watchers, exercising and cutting out drinking” is true – but it doesn’t tell the whole story and it’s not a surefire plan for everyone.

The key to finding a weight loss plan that will work is to find a weight loss plan that will work specifically for you.  It seems like there are hundreds of plans out there, and there’s a reason for that:   no single solution works for everybody.

When I was coming up with my plan of attack, I spent a lot of time thinking about the “bad” aspects of my eating.  And then I talked to my personal trainer, Mark, about my personal challenges and how to deal with them:

  • I live in New York City and very rarely cooked for myself; I would eat out or order in almost every night
  • I’m an emotional eater–whether I was particularly happy or down in the dumps, that would be a reason for a special meal out
  • I spent a lot of time in bars drinking socially

Some of the plan fell easily into place.  As I said last week, I’m a creature of habit.  Once I committed to having lunch at Subway each weekday, I had one less thing to worry about.  The rest of the food part was handled by signing up for Weight Watchers online. 

I had used their Points® system before and knew that as long as my head was in the right place, it would work for me.  The system has the flexibility that I need as well as the tracking tools and support so I can learn better habits as I go along.  Something else I like about Weight Watchers is that you don’t have to buy any of their products (they have foods, books, and gadgets) to succeed with the program.

Eating right is only part of the weight loss equation.  Another crucial element is increasing my exercise.  Even a steady once a week schedule with a trainer is not enough! 

I like going to the gym, but I’m also easily intimidated — by the machines, by all the people in better shape me, by the little towels for the shower.  While I have always started a gym regimen with the greatest intentions, I end up quickly giving in to the urge to stay in my apartment rather than facing the stress of the gym.

I knew I had to get over it.

Luckily, I’ve got a bunch of friends who belong to the same gym chain that I do.  Mark and I decided that I would reach out to some of them and set up specific gym dates so that I’d be accountable to someone else to show up.  I shot out a couple of emails and IMs and had set up weekly gym dates with two separate friends in no time!

There was another issue that I needed to tackle right away — my drinking.  I’m definitely a social drinker and enjoy grabbing drinks with my friends several times a week.  I know, though, that those drinks are full of empty calories and that I also tended to eat additional unnecessary calories when I was drinking.  So one of the first things I had to do was cut down on the alcohol.

So, to recap — here’s what I’ve done so far:

  • Changed my lunch routine to go to Subway each day
  • Joined Weight Watchers
  • Enlisted gym buddies for gym “dates” each week
  • Stopped drinking alcohol

I was one step ahead from the start because I was already working with Mark.  If you’re starting out from scratch, I’d suggest making a list similar to mine of your personal challenges and try to think of reasonable ways to approach them. 

One of the most important things I can suggest is to take small steps!  I’ve found that every time I try to deal with everything at once, I quickly get overwhelmed and give it all up.  Pick two or three things to focus on and once they’re under control, choose a few more.

There’s lots of information on the Internet and you can research various programs before commiting to anything.  You should also talk to your doctor, who will be sure to point you in a healthy direction and help you choose the right program.


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