I’m really not big on posting pictures of myself, but to show you what worked for me, here is my before and after. *cringe*
Because I was so happy with my results, I want to share with you what fitness gear worked for me. Keep in mind, this wasn’t a quick fix.
With a combination of Weight Watchers, a little bit of fitness gear, some technology, motivation (yes, I was really motivated), and persistence, the weight came off, my mood was outstanding, and I was able to go down two sizes in pants. I’m here today to take you on a little shopping trip to show you what I use, so you can check it out and do a little comparison shopping to see what would work for you. For just the list of fitness gear, scroll down to the end of this post.
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First of all, don’t make mistakes I did. I am rebuilding my routine now because I caused problems for myself by not doing it safely. You really need to start with a good pair of athletic shoes. It’s the most important piece of fitness gear you will own. Check out the mess I made for myself here if you don’t believe me. I really like ASICS, but it really is a matter of what’s best for your own feet. Just get something good. When you read about my mistakes, not only do I recommend good shoes, but be sure to stretch. It really does matter. Here’s a mat similar to mine, but any mat will do, of course.
MY FAVORITE PART – THE MUSIC
I couldn’t have kept moving without great music energizing me. I have Amazon Prime, so I spent tons of time on their live streaming music app. Whether I was on the treadmill, “orbiting the bathroom“, or doing step aerobics in front of the tv to the beat, I had tons of playlists to choose from, but I made a few of my own. I have a dance music list, 80’s list, classic rock list, and there’s so much to choose from to customize your own.
For listening to my playlists, I used this portable speaker. Now, usually I say “whatever works for you” but for this thing, if you can swing it, this is the one to get. It has amazing sound, and I’ve only had to charge it twice so far in the two years I’ve had it, and believe me, it gets used a ton!
When I first got the ball rolling, I had a basic Fitbit Flex (even older than this version). All I needed was something to nudge me along and challenge me all day. When you hit your daily goals, it’s like a buzzy party on your wrist, and if you’re looking at the app, on your screen too! I have since graduated to an upgraded model, and I like the Charge because it counts flights of stairs and gives me an hourly reminder to get off my butt. It even made me get up while writing this, as a matter of fact – twice!
After all my foot woes really set in, walking and jogging became a real problem, but taking my daughter to the trampoline park this summer was a-ok for my foot. After our summer pass ran out at Sky Zone, I needed something for home so I got this jogging trampoline (genius). It’s actually a little different from regular ones, you don’t bounce as high and it really does soften the impact on your feet. I like to jog, (sort of) dance, do side kicks, or whatever. It even came with a DVD you can do with it that makes it fun. My favorite thing about this one is that it has a little counter on it so you can keep track of time, jumps, and calorie burn.
Next, for you girls, my favorite support for “the girls” was this bra. By far, it’s the best sports bra I’ve ever used. The straps stay put, it gives a good shape, and yes, it works wonderfully when I jog (you know why). I even wear it when I’m not working out, since it’s so good.
Once I got going, all that swinging of my arms to register those steps created a problem with my fingers swelling up, uncomfortably so. My ring would be way too tight and I couldn’t get it off to relieve the pressure. One day I stumbled on these silicone rings, and I got one in a half-size up from what I normally wear. It’s comfortable when my fingers swell up and even when I’m not moving. I also wear it on days when I want to be sure to exercise, so it looks me in the face every time I see my hand. Reminders are great when you’re my age.
WHAT I ATE – IT WASN’T ONLY ABOUT THE FITNESS GEAR
When you’re trying to lose weight, smaller portions seem so, well, small. This guy developed all sorts of recipes that give you plenty to eat while keeping the WW points low. My favorite one is his “Bigasswaffle” recipe. Seriously, one of these will hold you over for hours. And they taste really good, too. If you make these, be sure to use plenty of cooking spray. They do tend to stick more than your average waffle but they’re worth it! For this recipe, I’ve been using Kodiak Power Cake mix with Quest Protein Powder. It comes in different flavors and you can mix and match with the Power Cake mix to make your favorite combo! To make the waffles, I got a basic waffle-iron, but holy crap if I had seen one of these I would have this instead!
Another game changer for me was PB2. If you’re a peanut butter lover, this stuff is amazing. It’s basically powdered peanut butter with the oil pressed out, so you just add water and it’s really smooth and creamy peanut butter. One of those things I thought was too good to be true, is actually true. I love to mix it in with oatmeal and slice up some bananas on top. It makes a complete breakfast and is yummy!
Keep in mind, this only worked because I kept going! It was slow, and I got frustrated sometimes, but never gave up. Not only was it worth every single second, but it was a great time in my life!