10 Rules to Weight Loss

Not me.

It’s not surprising that I like rules. I live by rules every day in my job as a copy editor. And the rules vary, depending on the client or the style manual they use. I still follow all of their rules, even the ones regarding the Oxford comma, though I hate it.

So when it comes to changing my lifestyle and losing weight (permanently, I hope), ground rules have to be set.

1. You are no longer allowed to buy clothing in your current size (exception: minimal workout gear).

  •  I have to have hope, and a limited wardrobe, to help with downsizing. And until this weekend, I had no workout clothing that fit me. Except pajamas. And I wasn’t wearing my Detroit Red Wings PJ pants to the gym.

2. As you lose weight, you must get rid of clothing that is now too big.

  • There is no saving the clothing for “just in case.” That’s a defeatist attitude. Think positive. Know that you won’t ever need those things again.
  • Exception: I am perfectly capable of altering clothing. I can keep items I love as long as I alter them within two months. If two months pass and it hasn’t been done, the item will be donated.

3. No more soda.

Nuun Tablets, full of electrolytes,
not full of calories.
  • It’s so damn convenient to go to the fridge and grab a can of Coke. If I want water, I have to get a glass and get water from the fridge, then I have to wash the glass. Laziness, be gone! 
  • If I want something sparkling, nuun tablets have a hint of effervescence. Those, I have in abundance.

4. Get up at least every two hours from your desk to walk around the office.

  • We all get busy. But I can still spare the time to get up and get moving. I’ve set an alarm on my Pebble smartwatch for two-hour intervals. I hope to beat those intervals, regardless.

5. Drink at least 64 oz. of water a day.

  • More if I’m working out. I have a 32-oz. water bottle at work that I’ll refill at least once during the day. I’ll drink more at home and at the gym.

6. Enjoy your food … in moderation.

  • I don’t believe in “dieting,” because it doesn’t work in the long run. And “cheat days” just make me feel fat the next day. Think that pizza tastes fantastic? Guess what? It’ll taste fantastic in a couple weeks when you order it again; there is no need to eat four slices in one sitting.
  • Don’t stop eating what you love. You’ll just crave it more.

7. Don’t count calories.

  • This works great for dieting or just starting out, but tracking calories every single day, for every single meal, gets tedious. Instead, consider how many calories you’re consuming. Make adjustments. Eat more in the morning and less in the evening. 

8. Be realistic.

  • I want to lose about 40 lbs. I would love to lose that RIGHTNOW, but I know it’s going to take a lot of time. Months … a year … more. It’s not going to magically happen overnight, but with a lot of hard work, it will happen.

9. Go to the gym at least three times a week.

  • This goes along with being realistic. I want to go five days a week. But I know there will be times that getting away from the desk will be impossible. I plan to go during my lunch hour and accomplish everything in 45 minutes at least three times a week.
  • I will also supplement the gym workouts with home fitness. Running, yoga, etc. 

10. Step away from the scale.

  • I have an idea of how much I weigh, but I don’t want to know. And I don’t want to be a slave to the scale. Obviously, I’ll be weighed when I go to the trainer or the doctor, and I won’t look away, but I won’t step on the scale at home.

One last thing. My friend Autumn brought up a great addition to this list. Here’s what she said: “Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day at the gym or eat 4 slices of pizza one night. When we beat ourselves up, we begin a negative conversation that can lead to feelings of defeat or hopelessness. If you break a rule, acknowledge it, and then acknowledge tomorrow is a new day and a new chance to rock it.

Will all of this work? My clothing will be the judge. I’m not going to kill myself working out constantly. I’m going to do this with my health in mind. These rules (and a few others that will come up as my journey continues) will help.

I am done being winded climbing two flights of stairs. I’m done with sore feet. I’m done with one-piece swimsuits. I’m done with swollen ankles. I’m done with my engagement ring getting too tight when I’m hot.

A new phase is beginning. I can’t wait to see how this will all turn out.

These are the things I know will work for me. What works for you?

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