Organize for Success: A Weight Loss Journey

Apr 19, 2013
Organize for success is a blog series which takes a peek into the lives of people in various situations. These people have managed to find systems and routines that work for them and/or their families, and allow them to experience success in whatever they've chosen to do.

Losing weight is hard. From what I've observed, you need a lot of willpower, discipline, and the desire to succeed. Being organized helps to make the process easier and my friend Michelle was kind enough to share the things she is doing to reach her weight loss goals.

1) What made you decide to start taking control of your health?

I always struggled with my weight all my life, but after having a baby, I really gained a lot of weight and I had a hard time losing the weight. My clothes did not fit and my daughter was 2 years old, so I could not use the excuse that I just had a baby anymore! I also had a physical exam and my doctor told me to lose weight because if I did not, it could be a health hazard later in life and my chances of developing diabetes or high blood pressure would rise. 

I also want to have another baby, so I knew I had to get my health and weight under control before thinking about another baby. When I left the hospital after having a baby, I weighed 215 pounds and now halfway through my journey I weigh 172 pounds. My goal is 150 pounds. I am 5'9 so that is the weight that the doctor said is healthy for me.

2) What is your health and fitness routine? Any tools you use to get organized?

My health and fitness routine consists of working out 5 days a week and eating healthy. I joined a gym a year ago that has child care so I can bring my daughter with me while I workout , she gets to play upstairs with her friends. It is a win, win situation. I started out by working out on my own and lost a few pounds. I focused on cardio such as the treadmill and elliptical machines. I did some stretching and sit ups. Then, I decided to hire a personal trainer who has changed my life. 

I started working out with my personal trainer in October and that is when I noticed the weight started dropping off. I was not only losing weight, but I was getting toned. We do a lot of weights, toning, jumping jacks, squats, kettle bells, abs, and so much more. I follow her 30 minute workout with 45 minutes of cardio. I eat six small meals a day that consist of a lot of vegetables, proteins such as fish or chicken, and natural carbs found in things like sweet potato and beans. I do not eat rice, bread, or pasta. I cut out sugar and minimize sodium and eat minimal fruit, but lots of berries. I drink lots of water and allow myself coffee daily. I have yogurt for a snack or dessert. It was hard at first, but now it is second nature and I feel amazing with a lot more energy.

I use where you can keep track of exercise and calories. It's free and helps you stay on track and motivated. I weigh myself weekly, but more importantly, I measure myself every two weeks because that is a better indicator of progress.

3) Since you started your weight loss journey, what do you feel is your best accomplishment so far? What's your ultimate goal?

My best accomplishment so far is losing weight, gaining strength, getting toned, feeling fit and healthy again, and feeling good about my body. My ultimate goal is to weigh 150 pounds as I am quite tall, wear a bikini at the beach and participate in a race or triathalon.

4) How do you plan healthy meals?

I plan healthy meals by making a list on the weekend, then going to the supermarket and sticking to the list. When I come home, I clean and wash all the vegetables and then I prepare my food for the week. For example, I chop most of the food and store it away so when it is ready to cook I have it all ready. I make enough for 2 days each time. It takes planning and work, but once you start it can be done.

5) What advice would you give someone who wants to start getting healthy?

To anyone who wants to lose weight, start today. I waited too long and I wish I did this sooner because it is an amazing feeling and fun. Start with small steps. Start by walking, then work up to bigger steps. Start by cutting one thing out of your diet, then slowly transform your diet to make it a lifestyle change rather than a fad and temporary fix.

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