Saturday, January 29, 2011

Not a Destination - A Journey

Many have been asking me about how I've been losing weight and it is such a vivid question that it is daunting to answer. So, today I led the discussion and I decided to share my dad's story. His story has been the real inspiration behind my own. He writes:

Weight loss is not a destination, but a journey.

I have found that to be true. It's very real and individual in each of our lives. I hope as you read my dad's story, you may understand that one vital statement which can remain very applicable in many of the roles of our lives. Here's his story in his own words:

My Weight-loss Journey

In November of 2006 I weighed 235 pounds. I was 59 years old, 5’ 8.5” tall and thought that I was probably 35 or 40 pounds overweight (see Picture). I was serving on our companies’ wellness council and decided that it might be good to lose some weight. The council had many good ideas on how to do this, so I started. The things I did, and still continue to do, are really very basic to talk about. I exercise more, drink more water, drink much less juice and hardly any soda pop, eat more fruits and vegetables, eat smaller portions of the entrees that we eat for each meal, and eat less candy and desserts.
Now, three years later, I weigh 170 pounds and have lost 65 pounds. I am now 62 years old and still 5’ 8.5” tall. I am amazed that I was so overweight. I have much more energy than I used to have. I sleep better at night and fell better about myself. I have had many ups and downs during that time. A year ago I had started gaining weight again and was back to 190 pounds. I re-assessed my situation and started learning better just how much energy (calories) was in the food that I was eating. That, coupled with a re-commitment to myself, has helped me get to the point where I am at now (see Picture).
Here are some things that I have learned along the way. No diet pills or special weight-loss diets will work over a person’s life. The weight-loss program has to fit a person’s life style and regular diet. That is the only way it will be sustainable. The key is to improve your life style and diet and stick with it. Weight loss is not a destination, but a journey. Even now, I have to watch what I eat at night (that’s when I become ravenous!). If I binge eat one night, I have to not give up, but commit to be stronger in the future.
What has really helped me is the support from my family. I am discovering that my decision has had a ripple effect, both at home and at work. I have had many people tell me how I have inspired them to start losing weight. That, in itself, gives me a greater incentive to stick with what I am doing. Don’t give up on yourself, you can change and improve your life.
~Roger K. Hatch

Now, because so many have asked these are four things that I have been doing:

1. Keeping a food journal

2. Meditation/Devotional

3. Drinking more water

4. Exercise and being active

I also shared these Yahoo! Shine articles and scripture:

8 reasons Carbs help you lose weight

No More Excuses! 10 Tricks that will Motivate you to work out

Doctrine and Covenants 59:15-20

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lessons from Daniel

I wasn't able to attend this morning's meeting due to the fact that I ran my first 5K ever. (See my results here.) Although, I missed being there with you, I am so happy that you continued to help each other to have a meeting today.

Cyndi lead our discussion today and she based it on Daniel Chapter 1. Here's her words about what we can learn from Daniel:

Today at WOW we read about Daniel and his friends being prepared with the eunuchs at the King's court in Babylon. They were supposed to eat rich meat and drink wine, but Daniel knew they would be better off to eat pulse (foods made of seeds and grains) and drink water. The prince of the eunuchs was afraid they would grow weak, but Daniel challenged him to let them eat as they wished and see how they compared with the other eunuchs after ten days. After that time, they far surpassed the other eunuchs, and when they were presented to the king he saw that they were "ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers there were in all his realm."

When we eat meat in moderation and rely more heavily on grains (as mentioned in D&C 89) we too will be healthier. As for other diets, give them 10 days and see how they stack up - certainly not as well as the Word of Wisdom.

This reminded me of our theme, Lighten Up, that we used in the last session based on this hymn quoted in a talk, Sweet Power of Prayer, by Elder Russell M. Nelson:

He gave us His truth to brighten
Our path, to help us walk His way,
To love and serve, to lift and lighten
The lives of all who will obey.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Notes from Today: Still Climbing

Thanks for coming, being there and taking part today. As a group, we decided to have our time come back to meeting at 8 a.m. Earlier seems better, we hope so that more will be able to come plus we can get back to our busy Saturday's sooner.

My heart was humbled today. We are all still climbing somehow and in some way. I wish I had more answers for your individual struggles. I hope when you come you feel our arms outstretched to each other in support. One thing I know I feel is the comfort in realizing that the Lord knows & loves us and He will help us make our righteous endeavors possible whether in weight-loss or elsewhere. I'm excited about our theme:

“For with God nothing will be impossible.”~Luke 1:37
Today's message was spiritual and based on a talk given by Elder Dallin H. Oaks called "Reach Out and Climb" found in the Apr. 1986 Liahona magazine. You may read it here.

We have a schedule that you may sign up to take part in presenting a thought to lead a discussion dedicated toward weight-loss. Our topics, based on the WOW answer in the sidebar, this session will include:

Resistance Training
Rest & Relax/Stress Relief
Update your closet/pantry

And whatever else we can think of...leave us a thought.

[Photo credit: heart found here]

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Looking Forward to 2011

Our group has been going through a period of transition but I am happy to inform you that we are still meeting on a regular basis. Sat. mornings at 8:15 a.m. Thankfully, even in these transitory stages, that groups often take on, a lot of us still attending enjoy what we are learning together on weight loss. During this last period of our W.O.W. meetings, we had a rotating schedule and each taking a turn to present a few thoughts geared toward weight loss then we have a nice discussion. We choose a theme, which our last one was "Lighten Up," and we think of things we could do to lose or control our weight. Amazingly, together, we came up with and had what I describe as an enlightenment of ideas. Or at least this is how our meetings have felt to me. I think it's nice that we have kept trying even if our numbers are low and we are still gaining new members all the time. We welcome them warmly and can't wait to hear their thoughts and ideas.
I have taken a lot of notes and I've wanted a place to share them. I was trying to re-invent that place but I've only now realized that it is here already. I had planned to come here today to delete this blog but I've had a change of heart and I can't. I want to share my notes with you. Old and new so please bear with me if things get a little out of order. We have other authors who I hope may eventually contribute but for now I'm going to give what I can, post what and when I can and hope I can muster up enough insight to give a renewal to this blog. I've put a little work into this blog and I'd like to keep it this way for a while. Also, perhaps those who've missed out on the information we've been sharing will be able to gain from my note-taking abilities. I'm sure I may not always make sense but the whole point of this from the beginning stages was for a group of friends to come together and make an effort to lose weight. And in the end, we are all still friends doing just that by our little efforts each day. These moments of encouraging meetings have taken shape and mean so much to me now as I have lost some weight. I know I couldn't have done this without W.O.W. I will always appreciate the beginning efforts of Melanie, Erin and many others whose hard work and support as from the starting out of our W.O.W. group has not gone unnoticed. I'm glad to still be able to feel comfortable to talk to them about weight loss among other things when I see them. Thanks for having faith in me and giving me a chance to set up this blog in the first place.

Now, without further ado and thanks for reading this far ~ here's my notes from our W.O.W. meeting today, Jan 8th, which I hope these ideas will help us each look forward to 2011:

First off, we chose a theme suggested by Cindy L. which will be based on the scripture Luke 1:37
Our discussion today was based on this article: 7 Habits that Make You Fat

Although, these are quite general ideas I thought there were a few good points brought out in the article. Basics like

*drinking more water

*increasing our activity

*finding others to encourage us & give us guidance

*maintaining good sleep habits

All of these will be helpful to us. If you happen to read the aritcle, please comment and let us know what is your favorite loosing the habit tip.

Also, in our discussion April shared an idea about menu planning that I really liked. She said to plan eating the same breakfast and lunches for two weeks. Dinners may vary. For instance, if you plan eating the same breakfast(oatmeal & an apple) and lunches(salad) for two weeks with a little planning you'll know exactly what calories you'll be eathing. Then plan another two weeks of breakfast and lunch that is completely different. Planning them out for two weeks at a time then rotating them around will signal to your brain that you'll be getting a change eventually and you can eat those salads for lunch because you can do anything for two weeks, right? This will keep you from those binge breakfast or lunches just because you can't see or eat another salad. I could tell how switching things up can really help and how menu planning can be a key factor.

Heidi shared a tip that she had seen her friend, Cherie do; instead of having the urge to order soda when you go out to eat - carry the single serve drink packets (like Crystal Light) in your purse. Go ahead and order water. Pour the drink packet in your water and wa-la you have a tasty drink that isn't soda and a better choice for you than even the diet soda available.

Can you think of any other simple healthy tips? Share with us in a comment.

Another thing, it was shared about setting short term goals to help you to exercise like training to walk/run a 5K. There are a lot of these around and many support good charities. Look to find ones scheduled on days other than Sundays and plan to participate. Couch to 5K is a great website to help you in your goal.

If anyone is ready for a 5K right now, there is one in the Selma/Schertz area on January 22nd. Here's the link. Let me(Julie) know if you want to join my team.

Most of all, this is a New Year and we can set new goals which will help guide our transition into healthier living and the ultimate goal of losing weight. Don't give up!