How This Couple Achieved Their Weight Loss Goals in 9 Months! (Cont’d)
Cool… I know Matt has briefly touched on this, but I’m still curious to know more about your fitness activities. What are some of your favourite workout routines?
Denise: I like to do a variety of things. I don’t really have a favourite, but some of the things that I like to do are workout videos (on Yoga, Turbojam, The Firm, Denise Austin workouts…), mountain biking, elliptical, etc. I also enjoy doing a video that Coach Nicole on Sparkpeople.com has made. She has a few on the website that are great for a mid-day break workout.
Matt: I don’t necessarily have any favourite “routines” per say. I would have to say my favorite thing to do would be mountain biking. Since losing weight I’ve gone on 3 & 4 hour mountain bike rides and loved every minute of it. Before moving to Missouri I was also VERY active in Taekwondo, a Korean martial art. I would train 4-5 days a week for several hours per day. Also, I never used to enjoy running. In fact, I hated it. Now I really enjoy running on the treadmill.
Any delicious diet recipes or plans that you’ll like to share with us?
Matt: I actually have quite a few recipes that I’ve “dabbled” with since eating healthier. Denise is a very picky eater so I have to be relatively creative in what I prepare, and how I prepare it. Her favourite dinner that I’ve developed is a whole wheat pizza. It’s a modified french bread dough recipe for the crust. I substitute whole wheat flour for white flour, and the only other ingredients are water, yeast, and a small amount of sugar. I’ll make each of us a personal pizza that comes to about 500 calories. A lot of the other meals I make are with chicken and various vegetables.
Denise: Matt does most of the cooking in our house and I definitely do enjoy the whole wheat pizza that he makes! We really just try to find ways to make recipes healthier. There is even a recipe section that Sparkpeople.com has and we will look in there for some new ideas for good recipes from time to time.
Sounds delicious… maybe both of you can treat me to some of that pizza the next time we meet. Ha ha. I know maintaining those workout routines and diet plans definitely aren’t easy! How did you keep yourself motivated and disciplined throughout that process?
Denise: Some days were easier than others. I was seeing results with what I was doing and I didn’t want to ruin my progress. So I did what I had to do. Some days I would get up earlier than normal to do a workout. For the days I didn’t get up early, I made sure that the moment I come home from work, I would do my workout right away. If I didn’t feel like working out, I would tell myself that I had to do for at least 10 minutes and if I was still feeling like that, I would stop.
Majority of the time, by the time 10 minutes came around, I was into my workout and was feeling good with what I was doing. I knew that I felt better when I exercised and ate properly. I also had Matt cheering me on every step of the way, which was very helpful for me!
Matt: My motivation and discipline came from a fear of dying young and leaving my wife at an early age. Denise is my best friend in the world and I want to spend as much time as possible with her. I figure we are on this planet way too short of a time and I want to enjoy it with someone I love and care about. If eating a little healthier and exercising a little more means I can spend more time with Denise… well, that’s all the motivation I need.
Both of you have my utmost respect! I’ve seen so many people embarking on their goals so enthusiastically in the beginning only to lose steam and even gave it up when they’re just about to succeed. What about both of you, were there any times that you’ve felt like giving up – due to something like a weight loss plateau or other challenges – and how did you overcome it?
Denise: I didn’t feel like giving up, but I certainly got frustrated by plateaus. I had a difficult time watching Matt lose weight at a faster rate than I did. Some weeks, he would lose 2 pounds and I might stay the same or maybe lose just half a pound. It made me crazy for quite some time! I would go a few weeks without losing anything and be so irritated, because I knew I was working so hard.
I had an a-ha moment though as I was writing in my community journal on Sparkpeople.com and realized that I was letting the scale tell me how I was doing. I realized that I shouldn’t be relying on the scale as my only way of knowing how I was doing. The proof of my hard work was there in the mirror, staring back at me. My clothes were getting loose, I was losing inches. I was seeing progress, it just wasn’t on the scale because I had gained some muscle which helped me look more lean.
Matt: As Denise hinted at, I didn’t really run into any challenges or problems with my weight loss goal(s). By following the SparkPeople.com suggestions, I never had a week where I lost less than a pound. And more often than not, I was losing 2 pounds each week. That kind of success made it very easy to maintain the new lifestyle and never feel like giving up.
Continued reading this weight loss motivation series at How This Couple Achieved Their Weight Loss Goals in 9 Months! (Final)