I have never been a great lover of exercise. The only time the principle called my Mother into school about my behavior was when I skipped PE. I never joined a team or participated in sports, in fact for me it was the worse thing in the world. For me, it is one of the hardest parts of losing weight. I understand exercise is important for heath and wellness, yet some days I literally have to talk myself into it.
Through the years I have joined the Y or the gym on occasion, but never stuck with them long term. When I have been on diets before, I have tried alternative ways to get moving, such as Karate, belly dancing and yoga. Anything to make it interesting. But alas, I found it hard to stick to long term. It was easier not to engage and find excuses, but I am sure this has contributed directly to my weight problem since the age of 12.
When I changed “careers” 6 years ago, I found myself walking a lot. I always thought to myself, I must walk miles some days, yet I never lose weight. I often thought I should get a pedometer and see just how much I do walk daily. I tried a couple of cheap $20 ones, but they broke almost immediately, so I could never get a sense of how much activity I was doing. I always looked at the Fitbit and just thought the price tag was too much, boy was I wrong! I wished I had purchased it a few years back.
When I finally got the Fitbit at the end of last year, all the pieces of the puzzle clicked. Some days I was walking upwards of 7 miles and not eating enough calories, other days I was in the office barely moving and eating too many calories. I finally understood why I wasn’t losing weight! My body must have been saying, “When she’s in the office doing nothing I’ll just store all the calories (as fat) for when she goes nuts and walks everywhere without eating.”
By seeing the data in front of me, it was easy to eat more on days I burned more calories (walking a lot) and eat less on days I was more sedentary (office work). Then by eating 1000 calories less each day than I burned by doing my everyday activities, my body would be free to burn the fat stores. It was that simple and the weight started to fall off.
Now as I said before, I love my cookies and chocolate. I got to thinking, if I want a treat, say 100 calories of cookies, all I need to do is walk a little more. So, I would go pacing around the living room to burn extra calories. Someone would say, “What are you doing?” I’d answer back, “I want a cookie.”
I quickly learned that I could, “have my cookie and eat it too,” so to speak. By doing a little more walking I could add a treat to my plan and still lose on average 6lbs a month. I found that if I could get in the recommended 10,000 steps a day, my calorie burn is even better. But it is not necessary, you can walk less and still have the things you like to eat and lose weight. My fathers step goal is around 4,000 steps a day and he has lost 20lbs in 6 weeks and he loves to eat.
It is possible to lose weight without a gym membership or fancy equipment. You just have to start to move more and burn more calories than you eat. Start with a reachable goal and then add a little more when you can. I make a point to take at least one 12-15 minute walk in the morning and one in the afternoon. Then make sure I am getting up and walking a little each hour, it is amazing how it adds up! Just get up and move as much as you can. Combine that with eating less calories than you burn and the weight will come off. Its a simple formula that has worked for me.