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Things to do when starting to lose weight

July 26, 2009

Some of my family and friends have started their own weight loss journey, and I’ve offered my support, of course, and encouragement. There are three things I recommend doing at the very beginning of this process that I didn’t do myself, and I regret not doing them right away. These things are well worth the effort in the long run.

Start a weight loss notebook. I used a three ring binder and in this I put my Weight Watchers materials, favorite recipes I’ve printed from online, notes, goals, inspiring pictures from magazines, and such. I prefer a binder with page protectors, but you could also use a computerized notebook, such as Microsoft One Note, or any other software.

Take your picture. Take a full length picture and a side view picture, perhaps even a back view. This will be your “before” picture. It won’t be your most flattering picture. The point is to take an honest assessment of your starting point.

Measuring Royalty Free Stock Photo

Take your measurements. This will be, if you are like I was, very painful to do. To really know what those hip, thigh, or waist measurements are when you start isn’t going to be pleasant, but trust me, down the line you’ll wish you had done this. And don’t go squeezing the tape measure to get the smallest number, either. (Been there, done that.) You want an honest measurement, remember?

I recommend taking the following measurements:

  • Neck
  • Under arms (just above bust)
  • Full bust
  • Under bust
  • Waist
  • Hips – 4” from waist (this is called the high hip)
  • Hips – 7” from waist – or the fullest part of your hips
  • Thighs (fullest part)
  • Above knee
  • Calf (fullest part)
  • Ankle

Retake your picture and measurements every four to six weeks. Why? At some point in your weight loss journey, you *will* hit a plateau. It happens to everyone. Your weight loss will stall at the scale. You won’t be seeing any forward (downward) progress and you’ll wonder what is wrong. (Usually, you’ll need to recheck what you’re eating or increase your activity – that worked for me.)

When this time hits, you will be able to go back and see the progress in real numbers and pictures, not just in the fact that your clothes are looser or smaller. For me, this has been a huge incentive at those times to keep on going. When you can go back and see three or four inches lost from your hips you feel energized to keep doing what you’re doing.

Keeping a record of your entire journey this way really helps you to see how far you’ve come and, for me, is inspiration to not slide backward along the way. When I hit my goal, this will also serve as a record of just what I’ve accomplished.

Hope this helps!

  1. July 27, 2009 8:59 am

    Yep, I did all that when I started out this summer. My personal experience tells me that I hit a plateau about every ten days to two weeks. It’s then that I have to change up the workouts…increase time aerobically and, yes, add weights and reps. It’s a myth that women shouldn’t lift heavy (okay, I’m not talking deadlifting 300 pounds here by any means)weights because they’ll bulk out. It’s actually the fastest and most efficient way (if done wisely and safely under the guidance of a trained professional) to lose size and muscle eats fat or burns it up. But, that again has to be something one does with the approval of their physician first.

    This is a great article! I would add that the notebook is also a great place to keep a record of your workouts or daily activity. If one lifts they can keep track of their activity, the number of reps and the weight lifted.

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