Motivation, determination key to losing weight

Published 8:02 pm Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Since early January, the newsroom staff has taken part in Scale Back Alabama, a statewide weight loss program meant to get Alabamians off the couch and outside exercising. The goal of Scale Back is to lose 10 pounds in eight weeks, with potential cash prizes at the end serving as part of the motivation.

All of us not only lost the 10 pounds, but went far over it. Alaina and Blake easily passed that goal, and I lost 27 pounds in what turned out to be nine weeks from my original weigh in date to the day I weighed out. Justin participated as well, but had already lost about 40 pounds before the program even started.

Losing weight can be difficult, but I have to admit that I enjoyed every minute of Scale Back this year. All of us have Fitbit trackers and we used each other’s progress as motivation. Having a little motivation while trying to meet your daily step goal is a big help.

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The most interesting thing is that we all took different paths to losing our weight.

Alaina and Blake probably did it the best way overall. They’ve cut out all sugar and are eating healthier, while also walking when they have the time.

Justin and I had similar paths to our weight loss, but there were a few differences. He’s already written an entire column about what he did, but he worked out a lot and kept up with his calories.

That’s essentially what I did. I walk three miles every day that I can — weather and work permitting — and cut out all liquid calories from my diet.

There’s probably nothing I’m more proud of than the fact that I haven’t had a single soda in 2017. I’m going through bottles of water and flavored water like they’re going out of style, but it’s helped me cut about a thousand calories (or more) out of my daily diet.

That alone has helped me cut back a lot. I’ve also tried to be more careful about what I take in, although I’ve got a bit more lax in the last few weeks after Scale Back ended.

During the program, I cut out all desserts, but I’ve given in during the last few weeks.

The hot wings, ice cream and cookies I’ve been avoiding finally have caught back up to me. If only there was someone around to knock that chocolate milkshake out of my hand at Sonic from time to time.

In this process, the four of us were able to be successful because we stuck to it, stayed motivated and exercised regularly.

We also had each other to lean on. With everybody participating, we were able to all lean on one another, and we’re not done yet.

There are a lot of ways to lose weight, but you don’t need a crazy diet or weight loss pill.

All you need is a little motivation, determination and a good partner to keep you honest.