Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by MinuteClinic.
Growing up, I was skinny. After puberty hit, I put on some weight, but remained slender. However, like many others, as the years went by, the weight began to accumulate. By the time I got married in 2001, I was 20 pounds heavier than my recommended weight. Ten years into marriage and two kids later, and I found myself 40 pounds heavier than my recommended weight. I was lethargic and sorely lacking in energy – not a good thing for a working mom chasing after two young kids.
Therefore, in June 2013 I decided to make a change. I wanted to lose weight and get in shape. My goal was not to get skinny, but rather to get healthy. I set a tentative goal of 30 pounds. By losing the extra pounds, I knew I would regain energy and endurance that would go a long way in keeping up with my kids and our active lives. So I set out to change my eating habits and start a regular exercise routine.
Not being a big fan of diet plans that eliminate food groups or require special supplements or food products, I searched for a guide that provided sensible eating suggestions. I found it in “The Abs Diet.” This book recommended changes in eating habits that revolved around smart food choices. For example, instead of eating white bread, opt for whole grains bread. Skip the French fries, and go with fruit and veggies. And ditch the sugary drinks in favor of water.
This was smart eating without the deprivation, something I could stick with for the long haul. And I could still have the foods, drinks and treats I loved…I just couldn’t have them every day all day long. As you’ve probably heard before, it really does come down to portion control. I eat chocolate every day if I want. A Hershey’s kiss has just 22 calories, so just one or two fulfills my chocolate craving. Plus, I indulged in a cheat meal once a week. Surprisingly, it was enough to keep me going.
Also, “The Abs Diet” contains a suggested exercise routine that included strength training. Now, I like to exercise and have always enjoyed cardio. So I started using the elliptical in my bedroom, taking advantage of the preprogrammed 30-minute routines on the machine. I alternated this with the strength exercises in the book, which utilized hand weights. I loved it because it was simple, easy to follow and didn’t require expensive equipment or a gym membership. I also mixed up my cardio by taking walks in my hilly neighborhood and utilizing in-home walking DVDs.
Once I started eating right and exercising, it didn’t take long to see results. Sometimes it was just a pound a week, sometimes it was two or three pounds per week. I didn’t really care how much so long as the number on the scale was going down. By August 2013, I had lost 26 pounds. Just four pounds from my goal.
Sadly, my father passed away that month after a long battle with leukemia. Although not unexpected, it still skewed my path to health. My motivation took a hit, one I wouldn’t recover from until January 2014. However, come January, I was ready to get back on track. I resumed my healthy eating and exercise routine. By September, I was again close to reaching my initial goal. I got sidetracked by a bit of depression when the anniversary of my father’s passing came and went. And the hustle and bustle of the holidays haven’t aided matters.
Regardless, I’m encouraged that I will reach my goal. I’ve proven to myself that I can do this and do it again and again if necessary. I’m not afraid of that, and I don’t beat myself up when I backslide. After all, it’s not the end of the world. I just have to pick myself up and keep going.
As the new year approaches, I know there are many others out there looking to make changes in their own lives. Like me, they may need help getting started and staying motivated. Thankfully, help is available. For instance, MinuteClinic offers a weight loss program to not only help participants get started on their own weight loss journey, but also guide them along the way. Offered in partnership with the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, the program features a nurse practitioner who accompanies you through the program, from initial health assessment to ongoing customized coaching.
For those trying to finally kick the smoking habit, MinuteClinic also offers a comprehensive Smoking Cessation program, complete with personalized assessment, a personal plan and ongoing coaching. In addition, MinuteClinic has an Eyelash Lengthening Consultation service. Given we all need a place to begin when it comes to lifestyle changes, these are great starting points for your journey to improved health and wellness.
For me, I’m looking to finally achieve my initial weight loss goal in 2015. I’m sure I can do it, but it will take time and hard work. Once I do, I plan to keep up the good work by maintaining a healthy weight. I’m counting on you to keep me accountable and motivated. But I want this to be a two-way street; therefore, I’d love for you to comment below and let me know your personal health and wellness goals for 2015. Let’s make this journey together!
Disclosure: MinuteClinic compensated Karon for this post; however, all thoughts and opinions herein are expressly those of the author.