Now, keep in mind that I am in no way an expert at any of this. These are scribblings from someone just like you. No one paid me to lose weight, I didn't get my meals for free, and I didn't have to 'spice-up' my ramblings to sell books or videos. I worked my butt off trying various things - literally.
I really believe you have to have an inspiration. Have you picked yours yet? If you have or haven't decided on one, keep this in mind. You can not, I repeat, can NOT be inspired to lose weight because of your spouse or significant other. You have to do it for You and Your inspiration. I've heard so many times, "I want to lose weight so my husband will find me sexy again." Well, think about it this way.
If you have gained a lot of weight and your spouse is still with you, still kisses you, takes you out, still makes love to you -- Your spouse finds you sexy. Chances are, YOU are the one that does not think you are sexy. I know, it is a harsh reality. But, before you embark on this incredible journey, you need to make sure you are doing it for your reasons. "I want to feel more sexy." If you have a lot of weight to lose (example 30+ pounds) it is going to be a while before your spouse notices any changes. So, if you are looking for confirmation and affirmation from him/her when you get to those 'platau's' -- be prepared to be your own 'inspirer.' Seriously, that is where it is important for you to know why you are doing this. Now, I am being very 'general' here, when I say that men often do not notice subtle changes - except car's and tools, etc. I get my hair done and usually, my husband doesn't notice it until we are about to go to bed -- it's their nature. So, keep that in mind as you start to change your body, that he will likely not really notice until you've lost about 25 pounds.
The next step, after the inspiration, is deciding what your goal is. Let's be realistic. Unless you are 5 foot 10, with small bones, you can not look like Nicole Kidman. If you are pear shaped, you can not look like Dolly Parton - but, Jennifer Lopez, absolutely. Talk about a woman that 'works her pear shape.' Do you get my meaning here? If you are 40 - you can't have a 20 yr old body... Take a look at yourself. Don't make unrealistic goals, but, you should challenge yourself. You are stronger than you think and capable of wonderful things. Pick a start date and a 'rough' end date. Realistically, figure losing approximately 1 1/2 pounds a week. (so if you want to lose 40 pounds you are looking at about 27 weeks) Sometimes it's more, sometimes it's less, but, that is a good healthy and realistic weight loss.
I think a good rule-of-thumb would be to pick a goal weight - not necessarily a a 'size.' I used the method of heighth. so, at 5 feet give yourself 100 pounds and then for every inch above 5 feet, add 5 pounds. for example, I am 5 foot 4. So, I figured 120 pounds to be the goal, but, I added 5 pounds on top, just because I figured I have larger bones and I'm older. 5 foot 6 -- 130 pounds. (Obviously, this is geared towards a 'womans' goal. I am not a man and would not even begin to suggest a goal weight for a man, but, you can google and get all sorts of ideas regarding goal weight for men) Don't get too caught up on the 'size.' Because, as you all know, depending on the brand/designer you could wear a variety of sizes since they design their clothes differently.
Lastly, and here is the hard part folks -- Measurements and Photo's. Now, I will admit, I did not do this until 8 months into my journey and truly wish I had. Make sure you document where you measured from. For the waist - I measured 1 inch above my belly button, four inches above the knee for the thighs. Use a mole or freckle or scar, but write it down, so that when you measure again, you are measuring in the same place each time. Photo's in your bathing suits folks, oh, yes, I said bathing suit. Put the photo where ever you want to hide it, but, I suggest puting it on your personal bathroom mirror.
I remember when I started my journey, articles said to "go buy those 'goal' jeans and hang them up in your room --it will motivate you." I'm sorry. I have to totally disagree. I guess if you were only needing to lose 10 or 15 pounds, that would work. But, looking at a size 5 when you are a size 18 - completely degrading and depressing. I suggest this instead. Take your currently 'favorite' jeans (or shorts) and put them on a hanger. No, don't fold them on there. Spread them out. Use those hangers they use in the stores, where you open out the waist. If you have to use more than one hanger -- do it. Hang those babies up and do not remove them from their new home - save those skinny pants for the last 15 pounds.
Okay, so, before you move on, you need to have an inspiration, a goal, and a start date. Get those Measurements, photo's and 'now' pants. TOMORROW, we tackle the facts and myths about exercise and metabolism.