Walking and Blogging Helped Jennifer Lose 50 PoundsPosted on Oct 7th 2010 3:00PM by Martha Edwards
Name: Jennifer Garza
Start Weight: 190 pounds
Current Weight: 140 pounds
Goal Weight: 130 pounds
My Weight Loss Approach: There are a few secrets to my success: consistency, belief that I have the power to change, determination to carry out those changes, and faith that I am losing weight despite the scale's refusal to budge! I believe that education is so important. If someone doesn't understand what a serving size is (most entrees in restaurants are really two to four servings) or how many calories their body needs, it's not rational to expect weight loss to occur. I feel the chance for success is better when people make changes they are willing to make -- not ones that terrify them -- and then are consistent with those changes. On my third or fourth stab at weight loss, I was only willing to walk. The thought of intense aerobics of any kind nauseated me. So I walked for an hour and a half a day, five days a week. I did this for six months, along with logging calories on Sparkpeople. I thought because I didn't have issues with emotional eating or over-indulging that I was consuming the appropriate amount of calories for my body -- not so. I think journaling is one of the most powerful tools out there.
I also believe in constantly challenging yourself. When I was ready to do more than walk, I joined a gym. I took classes that I had previously avoided because I was excited about the changes in my body and wanted more. When I'm not losing, I change something. I begin a new exercise program or go back to religiously tracking my calories -- because sometimes even when you make healthy food choices, you're still consuming more calories than you think.
Motivation is key. I stay motivated by remembering that sometimes motivation finds you and other times you have to chase it. When I feel myself losing motivation, I fake it 'til I make it. I go through the motions until I find a new goal or get excited about something (like training for a 5K).
Why I wanted to blog about it: Although there is no magic solution to weight loss, I feel like I have secrets to share! My weight loss journey was difficult. I wrote down every morsel I put in my mouth, put in four to nine hours of exercise a week, and the scale wouldn't move. I was getting smaller, but the scale would only move five pounds every three months. Luckily, I had validation other than the scale.
I was visiting my mother once a month and she could see changes that I couldn't. So I continued putting one foot in front of the other and went from a size 14 to a size 4 in just over two years. If I hadn't had validation that what I was doing was paying off, I might have quit before realizing that it was working. So many people give up before they even begin. I'm blogging to help motivate other people to stick with their changes, because if you consistently make better choices the weight will come off -- even if it's slowly.
I also use the tools I learned while earning my master's degree in counseling and psychology. For instance, I could look at my slow weight loss as a curse, but I choose to see it as a positive. Over the past few years, I've developed a real lifestyle change and will be better prepared to keep the weight off. I think if the weight comes off too quickly, it can actually be a disadvantage in the long run. By changing the way I think about my situation, I'm able to change my feelings about it. People are under the impression that outside forces create their feelings, but that's not true -- our thoughts determine our feelings and we have control over our thoughts.
The best part of blogging is: The potential to help others. I share my personal story, but my blog is geared more toward giving people tools and support. I share tips on staying motivated and avoiding pitfalls. I just started adding recipes. I don't like the concept of diet food -- I enjoy eating things that are delicious. I've become creative over the past few years and have modified my favorite recipes into healthier versions. I'm excited to pass these along so others can enjoy themselves on their weight-loss journey.
I would love to help people understand that if you push past a failure and try again, then you haven't failed. This particular reader said she appreciated the message and it gave her something to think about. And that's what it's all about – getting someone to look at something like failure in a different way.
What's next for my blog: My blog is new, so what readers want will shape its future, but I would love to get more interaction
on the site. I'd like to offer readers real-life answers to difficulties they run across -- kind of like a Dear Abby, but with emphasis on weight loss, improving one's lifestyle and communication. I plan to add book reviews on these subjects as well. Why these topics? Because although weight loss is a major component of my blog, Lemonade From Life is about life redesign.
When you embark on a healthier lifestyle, you're going through an inner change as well as a physical one. It affects all aspects of your life. Sometimes, people will react negatively towards a person who has lost weight. This is because anything that disrupts a system (families and friendships are systems) causes friction. This is why being able to effectively communicate with friends and family is so important. I plan to offer tools for accomplishing these goals. When embarking on a weight loss journey, wonderful changes can also occur.
For me, once I realized my personal power, I was able to make huge changes in other areas of my life. Not only did I lose 50 pounds, but I was able to stop smoking after 14 years and I completely changed my relationship with my husband. My blog is a tool to help other people on their journey to a better life!
Find out how Jennifer continues to fight the fat while staying motivated by checking out her blog for yourself.
More Inspiring Success Stories:
Theodora Swapped Takeout for Workouts and Lost 50 Pounds
Moderation Helped Tony Lose 229 Pounds
Terrence Ditched Meat and Lost 60 Pounds