I've gotten lots of questions about my program and I'd like to give out a little more information.
I am doing a plan with the help of Dan Wilcox through Total Health and Fitness (feel free to ask for his contact info - he's not shy and he loves referrals). He's not a trainer, but effectively he's helping me train my metabolism. But he's not a trainer in the traditional sense.
Every week I go see Dan to report in, get weighed, and get my plan tweaked. He takes into consideration how I've felt (do I ever feel hungry? did I have enough energy? did I lose weight? etc.), and changes my exercises and menu. These changes are typically pretty subtle. I can go up by 50-100 calories or down by 300, add a day of weights or 15 more minutes of cardio.
In a nutshell, you start out with a set amount of calories for a week (remember to eat at least 5 times a day, protein AND carb at every "meal"). If you lose, raise the calories by 50-100 calories for the next week. Do that every week till you're barely losing - like only 1 pound. The week after that, drop your calories by like 300. Essentially this keeps your metabolism from setting a plateau, allowing you to lose weight consistently. Does that kind of make sense?
The beauty of going to Dan is that I've got a constant cheerleader/expert/guide through the whole process. The plan is tailored specifically to me. The foods on my menu are ones I like and will happily eat (he doesn't put something on my menu if I don't like it). The weights are things that I can do (in my case, they're all at home - I don't have a gym membership). The cardio is stuff my body can handle (my dad, who had a total knee replacement last year, is one of Dan's clients too).
I've figured out a couple of things so far.
1) I really do feel better when I follow the plan.
a) I have lots more energy when I don't go long periods without eating.
b) Turns out my body actually likes getting exercise. When I eat right in addition to my exercise, I don't feel so exhausted when I'm done. I feel just fine. Maybe a little tired/wobbly, but nothing I can't handle.
c) I think I'm getting sick less. That's a very very happy thing.
2) I can motivate anyone but myself. I actually do need someone else telling me how to do this. I need to be accountable or I slack.
3) Being in the habit of eating healthy is only difficult at the beginning.
a) It's much easier now to turn down the bad stuff or choose the good.
b) It's kind of like detox. It took a while to feel the effects, but now I feel so much better that I can't imagine going back. Well, I can fantasize, but I don't really want to eat bad anymore. I feel too good to give it up.
4) I LOVE sharing the excitement. I want everyone around me to feel good too!
5) I ADORE wearing pants that aren't constricting in the thighs.
Life is good. Just keep keeping on, right?