NOTE: Courier-News freelance writer Janelle Walker has signed up for the second round of the "Elgin's Biggest Loser" challenge. Participants weigh in Wednesday nights, and Janelle is blogging the experience exclusively for The Courier-News.
Seven pounds now, total. It might not be the biggest number among the men and women who are doing Elgin's Biggest Loser, but for me, just wrapping up my fourth week of dieting, it is a number I am pretty happy with.
Friends already have said they can see a difference in my face. Luckily, I guess, that is where it first shows when I do lose weight.
It also is, I think, the hardest place for a person to notice his or her own weight loss or gain. When you look in the mirror every day, you (or, at least, I) don't really notice that slow progression.
The biggest difference I have noticed is just a gradual increase in muscle tone. And I can thank my Gazelle for that. You remember the Gazelle infomercials: Tony Little hawked these machines, telling viewers, "You can do it!"
More on the Gazelle, after the jump.
I got a Gazelle after my sister bought one and in three months got back to her "fighting weight." My sister, Rochelle, is not only my best friend, but also an inspiration when it comes to weight loss. Nearly 18 years ago, she was my size or bigger and decided that she'd had enough. She limited herself to 20 grams of fat a day and worked out every day, and she was back down to a size 9 or 10 in about six months.
I don't have her dedication to limit food intake like that, and I am counting carbs, not fat grams. I have learned that a diet has to be a personal decision -- to figure out what plan works best for an individual. For me, I have to find a diet plan that isn't necessarily about short-term and quick weight loss, but that I can stick to for long enough that it becomes a new way of eating and not just a diet.
That means lean meats, like chicken and fish (I love fresh fish!), and fresh veggies. I started using my steamer and found out that steamed veggies from Elgin's Harvest Market with some pepper and lemon juice is pretty tasty.
I do have some good habits already. I've always tried to not have sugary cereals around the house and stick to oatmeal and fresh blueberries for breakfast, or throw some strawberries or apple bits in there, too. I try not to buy chips or keep snack foods around the house (other than popcorn).
Now if I can just do something about that sweet tooth.
-- Janelle Walker, Freelance Writer