I was listening to more back episodes of "Fat2Fit Radio" today, and one was all about goal-setting. I actually listened to a few episodes in a row, so I'm not sure which one turned the light bulb on for me, but I realized that the reason that I had such a love-hate relationship with Weight Watchers is that for me, it feels very much like a diet, not a lifestyle that I can maintain. I can do it for a while and be very successful, but eventually I can't sustain it and I gain the weight back. I got 22 points a day for my weight, activity level, age, etc., plus the 35 weekly points. On average, then, that's about 27 points for a day where I don't exercise. That works out to somewhere between 1300-1400 calories a day. Russ and Jeff say that people should not eat below their BMR, and have a calculator to tell you where you should be eating based on your goal weight.
Like many of their listeners, I feel a little skeptical, but when I actually think of the way I behaved on Weight Watchers -- eating within my points for a while, lots of slipping and beating myself up, then just completely not counting for a while -- a consistent and slightly higher level of calories might work better for me. I am going to give it a try. I'm going to set my LoseIt! calorie level to the "Sedentary" level on the calculator, because it credits me for exercise, so it will allow extra calories if I have earned them. I'm going to give Russ and Jeff's way a try, because my current indecision has gotten me nowhere. I even found a new iPhone app, of course, to track my weight and body fat percentage so I can see my progress.
Another thing I need to do is to commit to actually doing strength training. I know I need to do it, and I know it will help my weight loss, but somewhere in my mind I have this idea that only cardio "counts" for weight loss, no matter what I've seen on "The Biggest Loser." Even in my own experience, my weight loss has always been better when I was lifting regularly and hard. I have to get past the initial rough period, where lifting makes me sore and uncomfortable and makes it harder to do my beloved running or biking. Then I know I will enjoy it. My trainer taught me some new kettlebell moves the other day, and I'm still sore from it. It also got my heart rate way up. I am going to do kettlebells on Mondays and Thursdays.
I have been feeling frustrated with myself and like I am a big failure because I haven't been able to lose. But I really haven't been doing the right things, I think. I haven't been planning my meals, I haven't been doing my strength training. I have been running and biking and doing some yoga and hoping that's enough even with no real planning or attention to my diet.
So here's my goal: I'm going to do all those things I need to do, with an eye to losing 10 pounds in 10 weeks. Tomorrow will be my starting weigh-in.