Remember when I said I wanted to get back on the horse? I just don’t know what to do! Well, in my Flowers Journal, I found an entry about beginning a journey of weight loss, and it has very basic steps. In fact, there are only five.
Step One: Get Realistic
- You cannot spot reduce. You need to burn fat from head-to-toe. I cannot just make my butt look fantastic, I’ve got to work on my abs, too. Boo.
- Give it time. Your weight may not change right away, but you clothes will definitely start fitting better. After two months of no results, I always get discouraged and give up. Not this time around!
- Skin loses elasticity as you age. The sagging of skin will add to the unsightly appearance of flab. Deal with it.
(Well, that’s slightly depressing…)
Step Two: Pump Up the Cardio (No! I hate cardio.) A good overall cardiovascular conditioning exercise program is crucial to burn fat. Increase the days if the fat won’t bulge. Instead of three days a week, do six. Boo. (Daily cardiovascular exercise for 30-60 minutes is actually best. Double boo.
Interval training, alternating short bursts of intense activities with lighter activity, is a good way to burn more fat. Walk 5 minutes, jog 5 minutes or jog 5 minutes and sprint 2 minutes to burn more fat and calories. If you’ve ever seen Insanity advertised on TV, that is interval training. However, it is called max interval training because you “sprint” for three minutes and completely stop for 30 seconds alternating for 45-60 minutes total. Insanity is hell on steroids.
Step Three: Pump Iron: Weight training three times a week for 30 minutes per session works the full body, not just the flabby parts. For the muffin top, focus on the oblique muscles by doing bicycle kicks. Or get a weight bar or a broom, hold it straight over your head, and then lean to the right and left feeling the effort in your love handles.
For flabby arms, do dumbbell kickbacks: With upper arm parallel to floor and bent elbow, lean over a weight bench. Extend lower arm holding a weight until it is parallel to floor, too. Aim for 12-15 repetitions per exercise and 3 sets. Focus on the reps rather than the weight. Lower weight with higher reps equals toning, not buffing.
Step Four: Crunch Your Flab: Yes. Do crunches, even if you hate them. Switch up how you do them, but make sure all of your abdominal muscles are crunched evenly so you don’t get a pot belly or pooch.
Step Five: Overhaul Your Diet (probably the most important step.) Whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables and eight glasses of 8 oz. of water daily are needed for a balanced diet.
According to Michael Pollan, food author, we need to “Eat real food like veggies and fruit and whole grains, not edible food-like substances.
Here are “7 Rules for Eating.”
- Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
- Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients or ingredients you can’t pronounce.
- Stay out of the middle of the grocery store. Shop on the perimeter near the fresh food loading docks.
- Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot. (Pomegranates will eventually rot, it just takes a while.)
- Always leave the table just a little bit hungry. (I’m so bad at this.) In Japan and Islamic cultures, they say: Eat until you’re 4/5 full. In Germany, they say: Tie off the sack before it’s full. Boo.
- Eat together with your family at the table.
- Don’t buy food at or near where you get gas. None of it is good for you.
Also, eat foods, not nutrients. Instead of trying to absorb nutrients to survive, eat your food. Here are “Four Myths” of food.
- Food is a delivery vehicle for nutrients. (So are supplement tablets.)
- We need experts to tell us how to eat.
- The whole point of eating is to maintain and promote body health.
- There are evil foods and good foods (not true because if you’re eating real food, it is good food).
Basically, food is there for us to eat, so eat it. Don’t crash diet or attempt to eat things that are not real food because they are lower in calories or fat content. Shockingly enough, fat is still good for our bodies, just the right kind of fat (found in fish and oils mostly) and the right proportion.
Five steps took up a lot more space than I first figured. But this is my plan.
First, I’m going to be realistic. My body is not actually going to visibly change for a long time.
Next, I AM going to do cardio daily… five or six times a week is fine, right?… and include weight training. Insanity might have another two months of my life.
Finally, I’m going to eat right. No more fried foods or overly huge amounts of delicious beer. I am going to overhaul my diet.
After I accomplish these things, I will start work on what I know I want done for my body: muscles, flat-ish tummy and less flab around the saddlebags and thighs. Honestly, it shouldn’t be as hard as it is because it sounds so simple. :) …Boo.
I’m starting Monday.