Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Weight Loss & Fitness: My Decisions & My Opinion

There are a million ways out there for people to lose weight. Why did I chose the methods I've chosen?

Mostly, because they are free. Also, because they are lifestyle changes and I don't really have to leave my house (or at least not go very far) to do any of it.

From what I can tell, one of the most popular methods people use are diet pills. Well, that's great for you, but I don't care how many infomercials tell you it works, it doesn't. And even IF you lose weight, it will come right back.  Plus, you have to buy all those stupid things and they can get expensive.

Another common method is joining a gym. I think joining a gym is a GREAT idea if you are actually going to go. I joined a gym once when I was in college. I went twice and paid for that stupid thing for a year. What a waste of money! I won't pay for a gym membership, even if it is only $10 a month, because I know I won't go. Plus, seriously, when am I going to go to a gym with two kids, a full-time job, and a husband? I won't.

I've read about detox diets that make you drink all these disgusting juices and then you poop for however many days straight. If I wanted to lose weight that way, I'd just go get myself some food poisoning.

There are people who pay to go to nutritionists once a week and people who pay to get personal trainers. That crap cost money! I can get all that same nutritional information off the internet for free and I have a personal trainer--her name is Jillian Michael's and that woman is a beast. She cost me a one-time-fee of  $9.99 two years ago.

I don't do Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem either. It cost money! I know it helps to have that accountability but if you have a good friend or a spouse, you have accountability; you don't need to pay for it. It also helps to have someone telling you what you can eat and what you can't, but I've never liked to be bossed around and I'm not about to start now.

I use Lose It. It is an app that I downloaded on my phone. I don't know how much it cost now but when I got it, I'm pretty sure it was free. This is how it works: you enter your current weight, then you enter your desired weight, then you choose between losing one pound, one and a half pounds, or two pounds a week. From there, it will tell you how many calories you are allowed to have in a day. You enter the food (and drinks) you have throughout the day and it does the math for you. It has an incredible database of things already entered for you and if whatever you are eating has a code on it, you can just scan it into your phone. Easy peasy. If you are over your calories for the day, you have to do something (exercise type thing) to get back down under your limit. Hand washing dishes and even cleaning the house burn calories. Play the Wii. Do situps during commercials. It counts!

I also run. Running is something a lot of people think they can't do. Unless you have a physical reason from a doctor, you can run. It is your attitude that stops you. I hated it at first and then all of a sudden, I realized one day that I loved it. You may not love it, but it will get you into shape. Will you lose weight from just running? Only if you are controlling what you eat. If you run but have a milkshake everyday (hello 1000 calories!), you won't lose any weight unless you are running a good 13 miles a day. You don't have to be fast to run. By the end of my workout/training session, I can walk faster than I run. I've also gotten better though and now I can do a 9 minute mile when I need to, you know, if I see creepers in the neighborhood or big scary dogs.

I've said this before, but when I run, I use three apps on my phone. I know, that seems a bit excessive, but let me explain. Right now I'm in week 7 of the 9 week Couch to 5K training program. I *think* it was a free app too but I could be wrong. It tells you exactly what to do and exactly when to do it. It starts you out walking and then running. Over time, you increase your running and decrease your walking. When it is time to run, your screen goes red and it beeps at you. Awesome. :) The only thing I don't like is that it doesn't keep up with mileage or your pace, so I use Run Keeper for that. It was free too. Run Keeper has coaching on it too but I don't use it. The third app I use is a new one for me--Jog FM. This one indexes all the songs on your phone and then plays songs based on the pace you are going. You can blacklist songs (like all my Christmas music), choose "Pump Up" songs, and favorites. I love it. I think it was $2.

All in all, my weight loss methods have cost me a whopping $2 this go around and total (over past 5 years) maybe $20.

I do have to tell you that I need motivation to run, which is why I enter races. When I know I've paid to do something like that, it makes me more inclined to train for it. It is really hard for me to just train for nothing except fitness. So the races cost money, but they are SO much fun, especially the Disney races, and since we have passes, it turns into a Disney weekend for my whole family.  Races are not necessary and I spread them out over the year, plus, when you pay to enter a race, you are donating to charity! :)

Yes, you can spend money on cute running clothes, or hats, or watches, or apps, but you don't have to. Losing weight can be free.

If you are really motivated, you don't need to spend a crap-load of money so a bunch of people can tell you 82 ways to lose weight. In the end, the only thing that is going to work (and help you keep it off) is to do the work--hard work. Eat right and exercise. You can drink all the "smoothies" and take all the pills you want, but in the end, the weight will come back if you don't keep it up. People say they don't have time to run--BULL CRAP! If you have time for facebook and pinterest, you have time to run. Time isn't the issue, your "want to" is the issue. Get off your butt and go do something that makes you sweaty! :)