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Diet Preparation: My 10 Pound Weight Loss Challenge

Updated on February 23, 2014
Walking is a very good way to lose weight
Walking is a very good way to lose weight | Source

My Rollercoaster Ride

Overall, I am a healthy woman. I have always been relatively thin, although my unhealthy eating while in my 20s led to some weight gain during some of the most stressful years of my life. I was 31 years old when I reformed my eating habits, and I have maintained a reasonable weight for several years.

Last Autumn I moved to Boston, leaving behind my active job that made it easy to keep the extra weight off. In only 4 months, I gained around 15 pounds. Stress and lack of activity could have easily caused me to gain more, but I got back on my feet and lost 5 pounds. A little bit of success is pretty motivating! On that note, I have 10 more pounds to lose. I invite you to join me on this undertaking.

This is the time of the year when we don't usually have to wear layers, and these are the times when our weight gain is especially noticeable. In Boston I am particularly aware of my figure, because I am surrounded by an astounding number of woman who are fit and trim. I see them walking in town fashionably dressed, at the beach, and in their form-hugging outfits as they jog up the street. They are everywhere, and I am reminded that I am not quite at my ideal weight. I am fortunate to not be obese, but it is also sometimes not as motivating to get off of my butt to work out. I know from past experience that once I get started, it gets much easier to keep going.

Diet Journals are helpful in recording your diet and exercise information, as well as how you feel, and how well you are doing
Diet Journals are helpful in recording your diet and exercise information, as well as how you feel, and how well you are doing | Source

Diet Preparation Tips

  • Get checked out by your doctor, if necessary
  • Ease into exercise, if you are a beginner or have been sedentary for a while
  • Start reducing your intake of caffeine, salt, sugar, alcohol, or whatever it is you are trying to cut down on during your diet or lifestyle change
  • If desired, buy a diet and exercise log, and a journal to keep track of your diet and your thoughts and feelings
  • Track your diet for one week. This will allow you to see any negative or positive patterns you have, enabling you to make and maintain healthy habits
  • Think about what it is you want to accomplish during this diet. Do you just want to lose weight, or do you want to lose inches? Do you want to gain muscle tone? Do you want to gain energy, reduce your cellulite, or detox? Being specific will help you stay focused
  • Find or put together a diet, or else just basic guidelines to help you stick to your goals
  • If desired, build a music playlist for working out or walking. My MP3 player is a useful and fun part of exercising for me
  • Think about any "tools" you may want during this time, and obtain them if you can. This may include a blender to whip up smoothies, workout video or weights, or maybe some workout clothes or a comfortable exercise mat. It varies from person to person, and many times we can get away without buying anything. Just work with what you have, and the environment around you

My Own Stats

  • Woman
  • Medium build
  • 5'10" (70 inches tall)
  • 147 pounds
  • BMI: 21
  • Body Fat, 21-32%

Weighing In:

  • Weigh yourself
  • Take down your measurements
  • Figure out your BMI (Body Mass Index)
  • Measure your body fat
  • Take into account what size your body frame is
  • Take photos of yourself before the diet, if you want a visual reminder

Ideal BMI

The range of the ideal BMI (Body Mass Index) is between 18.5 and 25. Anything less than 18.5 is usually associated with a lack of lean body mass, and may increase your risk of osteoporosis. Anything more than 25 increases your risk for cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Handy Chart

I like to use a chart like the one below to keep track of my stats. I usually weigh myself once a week, and I measure myself once every 1-3 weeks.

Sample Measurements Chart

 
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Date
 
 
 
 
Weight
 
 
 
 
Bust
 
 
 
 
Waist
 
 
 
 
Hips
 
 
 
 
Thighs
 
 
 
 
Upper Arms
 
 
 
 

Shape Up America provides an array of useful tools

These are a few examples of what you can find on the site to the right:

  • Nutrition Center: shows menu plans at different calorie levels
  • Supplemental Guide: Supplements that are promoted for fitness
  • Shape Up and Drop 10: Solid information and guidance to lose weight in 10 steps
  • Body Fat Lab: Information about your body fat, and the role it plays in your overall health. I especially like the Body Fat and Health Risk Calculator. You enter in basic information, and it shows you your BMI, your approximate body fat percentage (if you don't already know it), and what your health risk level is, based on your body fat and waist circumference
  • Chef's Select Cookbook: A variety of healthy recipes, several added to it every month
  • Meal Upgrade: Choose one of 24 meals that are frequently served in American households, and they provide several options for making it healthier. After choosing one or a few of the options, the "before and after" calorie and fat amounts are shown. It's interesting to see how a few small changes can make a big difference
  • Support Center: Includes the Information Center, Motivation Center, Maintenance Center (for maintaining your current weight), and Feedback
  • Tools: If the above sections were not enough, this one provides many other tools that are useful for obtaining or maintaining a healthy lifestyle: Family Activity Calculator, 10,000 Steps, Physical Activity Calculator, Resting Metabolic Rate Calculator, Food and Activity Diary, and Portion Control Tutorial

I really enjoy this website, since it is interactive, and provides a lot of useful information. It is an American site, but many from out of this country could find it useful, as well.

The American Heart Society website below is another great site for finding useful information on a basic, no-frills diet.

What diet plan do you prefer?

See results

When I Get Ready For a Diet

  • I think about my weaknesses, and how I can turn them into strengths
  • I think about what has worked for me in the past
  • I decide on exercises that will strengthen my body, help me lose weight, and think of some fun activities in between to avoid boredom
  • I look through my resources (books, magazines, and websites, including HubPages) for recipes that are healthy and flavorful
  • I write up a grocery list full of healthy foods (and a "treat" here and there), and shop for my healthy diet
  • I find ways to motivate and engage me during the diet, and to reward me once I attain my goals

I like to find healthy snacks, such as these Roasted Chickpeas, link to recipe below
I like to find healthy snacks, such as these Roasted Chickpeas, link to recipe below | Source

These Are My Own Basic Guidelines

  • Drink lots of water
  • Drink 2 cups of green tea per day
  • Cut down on coffee (I drink a lot)
  • Consume a high amount of protein and veggies, as well as healthy fats, and fruit at times. For the next 2 months or so I am reducing my intake of pasta and potatoes
  • Limit or omit sugary beverages and beer (I don't drink soda, so this guideline isn't hard)
  • Eat often, but in smaller portions
  • Practice portion control
  • When I eat out, be careful what I choose, and take some of my meal home (I pretty much do this, anyway)
  • Don't snack mindlessly (this is one of my biggest flaws)
  • Sit down and enjoy my food. It's not good to stand and eat!

My Diet Plan

The diet I am going on is in part based on Abby Campbell's book, "One Size Does Not Fit All". It is the best meal planning book I have ever read, and is personalized, based on your weight and activity level on any given day. She provides many illuminating facts about obesity stats, influences in society, and on the pillars of nutrition. She explains nutrient timing, and how to build a healthy plate. Her meal blueprints are incredibly useful, and her diet plan never leaves you hungry or lethargic. Best of all, there's no calorie counting! I like to count calories every so often, to make sure I am staying on track, but it is unnecessary while on this diet. She put a lot of research into this book, and is well qualified. She also writes many illuminating articles on health and fitness topics here on HubPages. If you would like to know more about Abby Campbell or her book, check out her website or her page here on HubPages:

Detox Diet

Many times I like to kick start my diet by going on some sort of a detox diet for 1-3 days. I usually cut out caffeine, salt, sugar and alcohol during the time, and consume plenty of liquids and vegetables. But even when I don't do that, I try to eat and drink things that are very good for the liver and kidneys, and cleanse the body.

Lean Secrets has so many great videos on exercise, recipe and health topics. This one is an informative video explaining several cleansing and detoxifying foods

Lifting dumbbells is a good start to toning your arms
Lifting dumbbells is a good start to toning your arms | Source

My Exercise Plan

Walking:

  • Every day I work (2-3 days per week) I automatically walk 30 minutes
  • In addition, walk on the Harbor Walk (going along the beach) 2 times per week, 30 minutes each time. If I work more days than usual, cut this down to once per week, if desired

Workout in Apartment:

  • Once a week, exercise my abs and legs in the comfort of home
  • Once a week, workout my arms with my dumbbells

Gym Workout:

  • Cardio once a week: The gym room in my building has striders, treadmills and a stationary bike. I will aim for 30-45 minutes
  • Using the weights in the gym room, workout my arms once a week

Stairs:

  • I will walk up the stairs in my building every other day, or about 3 times per week. Since I live on the 15th floor, it is a big workout. Yesterday I did this, and I think I counted two flights of 10 stairs between every floor. We have no 13th floor (superstition is funny), so that translates to about 260 stairs.

Once a week, give myself permission to leave out one of these, so I have about 2 days to relax. I don't want to overdo it, or give myself more than I want to handle!

Total exercise tasks, not including the automatic walks for work: 9, or 8 after leaving one out.

This is the beach I will be walking along more often

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is near Pleasure Bay, down the road from where I livePleasure Bay, where many people went parasailing this particular dayCarson Beach, where two birds are snuggling
This is near Pleasure Bay, down the road from where I live
This is near Pleasure Bay, down the road from where I live | Source
Pleasure Bay, where many people went parasailing this particular day
Pleasure Bay, where many people went parasailing this particular day | Source
Carson Beach, where two birds are snuggling
Carson Beach, where two birds are snuggling | Source

My Goals

Primary Goals:

  • To lose 10 pounds in about 7 weeks (by the end of July 27th)
  • To get some of my muscle tone in my abs back
  • To look better in my Summer shorts, little tops, and my bathing suit
  • To energize myself

Secondary goal: (in case I aimed too high, or life gets in the way)

  • To lose 10 pounds in about 10 weeks (by the end of August 17th)

Ideal: (If I turn out to be highly motivated, or Superwoman)

  • To lose 12 pounds in 10 weeks (by the end of August 17th)


Plans, and Progress Report ~ Week 2


June 16-22, 2013

The start of the week wasn't so good. We went to a cookout at Andy's parent's house on Sunday (for Father's Day), and they always have a large variety of tasty food. I wasn't good with self-control, and had a little of everything. Which is a lot. A large plate of food after nibbling on crackers and chutney. Dessert was a slice of cake AND an ice cream sandwich! I'll have to be very mindful next time.

On the bright side, Monday has been great! I got two of my exercise tasks done in one day, and I had small portions of healthy foods, lots of water, green tea, and slightly less coffee than usual.

6/22/13 It is the end f the week now. This morning I clocked in at 145.8 lbs. It has been fluctuating for the past 2 weeks, so even though I didn't lose any weight, I have maintained it. On the other hand, I have worked out and walked quite a bit this week, and can feel my body toning up. I haven't taken measurements of my body yet. I will do that next week. But judging by how I look, I'm doing okay.

This next week should be easier, because yesterday we stocked up on groceries. Now that I have lots of fruits, veggies, Greek yogurt, and protein, I can eat the way I want to.

As far as exercising, I have done 6 out of 8 tasks. That is an improvement over last week!

I also tried out a quick and easy healthy snack recipe that Jami published (and dedicated to me). I will be using this as one of my snacks to keep cravings at bay, and give me energy. Check out the link below for the recipe:

Progress Report~ Week One:

My "pre-diet" went pretty well. I got a head start on starting my exercises, and eating well.

The first official week of my diet was June 9-15th. The few weeks before, my weight had been fluctuating between 145.5-147, so I wrote 147 in stats. At the beginning of the official diet, I was at 145.8, technically. End of week: 145.8 = maintained

My eating habits were pretty good. I had water, and at least one of the two desired cups of green tea. I did NOT cut down on coffee, as desired. But most of the time I was good at practicing portion control, and sitting down to eat. I couldn't have as much protein as desired, and had more carbs than I planned, but only because we are low on food. Once we replenish our supply, I will be able to maintain my diet the way I would like. I didn't have any beer or sugary beverages, although I did have one Diet Coke (extremely rare, because I don't care for soda) when we went out to eat on Saturday night. When we ordered food that night, I didn't overdo it, and only had a few bites of Andy's order of fries.

As far as exercising, I was good for about half of the week. It was actually my writing that got in the way of getting off of my butt those last few days! Out of my 8 desired tasks (above and beyond the 30 minutes of automatic walking on my 3 work days), I completed 4. So I didn't do so good, but it was better than a usual week. I walked up the stairs twice, and went on 30-45 minute walks outside twice.

Progress Report ~ Week 3

June 23-29, 2013

I have done okay this week. I still didn't exercise quite as much as I would like, since our gym room was unavailable for most of the week, and it has been raining a lot outside. But I certainly wasn't lazy. I have eaten well all week, and I have been careful with portion sizes, and about mindless snacking. I have made some delicious and healthy snacks to keep me from eating too much.

I have had some green smoothies on a few occasions, although I have moved my "detox plans" to next week.

I went from about 145.8 to 145. It's not a huge difference, but it is movement in the right direction! But even more important are the results of my measurements. I did not actually measure myself at the beginning of my diet, but since the last time I did (May 15th, when I weighed about what I do now), I have lost about 1/2 inch around my belly, 3/4 inch from each thigh, and a full inch on each arm! I consider that 4 inches, overall. I consider that a pretty good victory! My body is definitely gaining good muscle tone, which makes me happy.

Plans For Next Week

I have decided that I will go on some type of a healthy detox diet for one or two days next week - nothing drastic. Abby Campbell has been very helpful, and given me suggestions for when I do that. If you look in the comment section, you will see her recipe for a good detox drink, containing almond milk, greens, and fruits. I look forward to making it, now that I have all of the ingredients needed!

Progress Report ~ Week 4

June 30-July 6th

At this moment, it is July 4th, and I have 2 1/2 days left of the week. So far I am doing fantastic! I am below 145 (possibly below 144, depending on how accurate my scale is), my body is getting pretty toned, and my eating and exercise habits have been ideal this week!

Early in the week I had a couple of lower calorie days, with mostly smoothies and veggies. I felt fantastic after that!

I have gotten in the habit of taking my multivitamin, as well as my fish oil pills. Speaking of that, I will provide a link to Abby Campbell's article on the healthy supplement.

July 7, 2013

I am one day late on my update. My weight has remained the same as the 4th of July. I have done pretty good, with just one splurge meal (homemade pizza), and 1 beer as a reward.

As far as exercising, even though I did great the first half of the week, the second half I didn't accomplish anything of note. I did go up the stairs an extra time, but that's about it.

On the positive note, I have started the first day of week #5 very well. I walked for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, even despite the heat. Hawaiian Odysseus (of HubPages) was my motivation! Check out his latest article on walking.

July 14, 2013

This past week went pretty well! I have another weight-loss buddy, Karen Hellier, and I am trying a version of the "Fast Diet" she is on. It's not a true fast, only reducing calories two times per week.

This week I exercised quite a bit, and I lost about 1 pound. I look forward to seeing how good I can do now.

Whoever has gone on any type of diet or exercise and fitness routine, I hope you are doing well. Feel free to update how you are doing!

July 22, 2013

This time I am a couple of days late In giving the update. As far as weight is concerned, I am unsure what I weigh. My scale had been inconsistent. I get on it and it says one thing. I get back on it again, and it says I am several pounds heavier. I doubt that I have gained weight in the past week, because I have exercised quite a bit, and I have watched what I eat. It is a little discouraging to not know how much I weigh, but 1) I look fine 2) I have not gained inches and 3) I feel good. At this point, those are good bench markers on my progress. Furthermore, I am noticeably more toned. In June, I was concerned with my arms being a little flabby, as well as my thighs. They are tighter now, and the first few weeks of the challenge I lost inches. I have also gained some tone in my abs.

An Extra Mid-week Update:

My scale seems to be working okay now (or else my weight fluctuated, and it is back to normal), so I am actually just under the 143.6 I reported on 7/13/13.

My main reason for this update is to add a link to an article by Rajan Jolly that I found very useful for dieters, as well as those living a healthy lifestyle. It is about "resistant starches", which not only explains what they are and how they are beneficial, but provides a wonderful list of healthy foods. Here is the link:

July 27th Update

I didn't accomplish my primary goal of losing 10 pounds by today, but I have made a lot of progress. I weighed myself this morning, and I have lost 2.4 pounds this past week! Yesterday was a low-calorie day, so some of it may just be water weight. But that is okay. Even if it fluctuates a bit, that is pretty good for one week!

My secondary goal was to lose 10 pounds by August 17th, which is 3 weeks away. I have lost just over 5 1/2 pounds so far, so that would mean I have about 4 1/2 more pounds to lose. But if I don't accomplish that, I would be very happy with weighing 139-140 pounds.

This week I have done a decent amount of exercise, and I have done very well with my eating. It has been the best week so far, when it comes to sticking to my "diet" and exercise plan.

August 3rd Update:

As far as my diet, I did well. I didn't exercise much, though, because I have had a lot going on. But I lost 0.8 lb. this week, and that isn't bad. I don't have much more to lose, so I don't expect to lose the rest really fast.

It is August 4th now, and I wanted to add another link. This protein smoothie is great as a post-workout drink, or as a meal replacement. I look forward to trying it this next week!

August 6, 2013

Today I read another great fitness article, and also found a useful tidbit of information in the comment section. The article is by Karen Hellier, and it is on using a pedometer for fitness and weight loss. The useful comment was by HawaiianOdysseus, mentioning a cool app called iRunner, which maps out his route via GPS. I just installed it on my smartphone, and look forward to checking it out. Here are the links:

August 12, 2013 Update:

Last week I did very well. I lost 2 pounds. Over the past several weeks, I have lost a total of over 5 inches from my thighs, arms and hip. I have slimmed down, and am only 1 1/2 pounds away from my target weight. Even if I don't get down to 147, I am happy. I am where I want to be.

This past weekend I ate more than usual, so I won't be surprised if I gain back one of those pounds.

I hope everyone else is doing well. Have a great week!

Final Results, End of Diet:

Over the past 10 weeks or so:

  • Lost 8.4 pounds = 138.6 lbs final weight
  • I lost approximately 1 1/2 inches from my waist, 1 1/2 inches from my hips, 1 inch from each thigh, and 1 inch from each arm. Total: Lost about 7 inches total
  • My body is more toned and strong
  • I have more endurance
  • I regularly exercise now. Walking upstairs has become easy, I enjoy the walks along the beach, and the gym is my playground!
  • I have regulated my eating, so that I am eating healthier most of the time, but also allow treats for myself. I watch my portions, save some for later if I start to get full, and I have reduced the amount of mindless snacking I do. This has set me up for good maintenance habits.
  • B.M.I. 20
  • Body Fat, 21-32% (I don't have an accurate way of measuring, so I'm unsure exactly what it is, and it has remained in the same broad range as before)

I am 1.6 pounds away from my original target weight, but looking at myself, I don't need to lose any more weight. At this point, I will work on maintaining my weight, and increasing my muscle mass. Result: VICTORY! Even though I lost under 9 pounds in this time period, I actually lost 15 pounds total this year, after gaining that much last September through this past January.

For anyone else who has gone through a diet, I hope you did well. If you are going on one soon, good luck!

Results From 10 Weeks

 
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Date:
6/15/13
6/22/13
6/29/13
7/06/13
7/13/13
7/20/13
7/27/13
8/03/13
8/10/13
8/17/13
Weight:
145.8 (-1.2 lb)
145.8 (=)
145 (-.8 lb)
144.6 (-.4 lb)
143.6 (-1 lb)
143.6 (=)
141.4 (-2.4)
140.6 (-0.8)
138.6 (-2 lbs)
138.6 (=)
Inches +/- overall
---
---
- 4 inches, approx *
---
---
Same as last time: maintained
---
---
- 5 1/2 inches
---
When I first wrote this article, I clocked in at 147 pounds. * Based on overall measurements of waist, hip, thighs, and upper arms

Post-Diet Update:

I weighed myself on Tuesday, August 27, 10 days after the diet's completion, and I clocked in at 137 pounds! I wasn't trying to lose anymore, so it was a surprise. I lost 1.6 pounds in 10 days. Although it wasn't completely necessary, I feel good that following the diet I haven't gained weight. I have established good eating and exercise habits over the past few months, which has helped a lot.

Has This Been Useful?

I hope that I have provided you with some helpful information and resources. I find it pretty motivating to write down my goals, and this is one big step up from that. This has been a great way for me to lose weight, and I hope it helps others, as well!

Credit To homesteadbound

All dividers used in this hub are used with permission granted on hub, Creating Dividers to Use on Your Hubs

Source

Author Information

To learn more about the author, or read more of her works, click on http://kathrynstratford.hubpages.com

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    • profile image

      mjkearn 4 years ago

      Hi Kathryn

      Great hub and advice for getting trim and/or back into exercise. Something that I keep meaning to do and with two exercise bikes in the house you would think it would be easy.

      That just gave me a good idea. I should weld a little table onto the bike that would hold the laptop. Then I'd have no excuse.

      Skipping salt, sugar and alcohol, no problem but caffeine. Are you nuts?

      I once went to give blood and after they took some they said no thanks we already have a coffee machine. Bang went another passive income stream,LOL.

      I was going to ask about the Green Coffee Diet but then I thought this is Kathryn so I probably don't want the answer,LOL.

      I did drive taxis' for a while and lifted dumbbells on a daily basis but it did nothing for my physique.

      Great job, great hub. Voted up and shared.

      MJ.

      PS: Whatever you are doing is working a treat. You look amazing in your video, LOL.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      MJ, thanks for reading and leaving your amusing comments on my page. What a treat!

      Good idea. Welding a table onto your exercise bike sounds great! I'm surprised they don't come with them, nowadays. But I suppose they'd be really expensive if they did.

      I am only cutting down on caffeine. Once in a while I go a few days without, or even a month, but not now! Actually, I had a horrible caffeine headache earlier by just having a normal coffee later than usual. Ouch. And I love coffee. I don't drink it for energy, I drink it for the taste, and the feel, and the smell. Mmmm! I like everything about it!

      I used to donate plasma (the yellow stuff that's separated from the blood, and looks like beer or pee), and after a while I had to stop. They told me it was because my protein and iron levels were too low, but maybe it was actually because of the coffee running through my veins!

      I actually don't know much about the green coffee diet, I have just seen it advertised online. But whatever it is, it isn't a coffee drinking diet, so it isn't fun.

      I hate to say it, but driving is not a form of exercise! Unless you had a Flintstones car! Hahaha, powered by running.

      The dumbbells are only for toning the arms, not so much for losing weight. And men would use heavier ones than I do. I use the 5-10-15 pound ones. I haven't even made it to 20 pounds yet. Oh, well! I'm not a weakling, I'm just not He-Man, either.

      Your last line made me laugh. If I were the "Lean Secrets" girl in the video, I would not be worried about dieting at all. She is very trim, and so freaking cute! I think she is up there with Shakira (the singer/belly dancer).

      Anyway, have a wonderful day, and don't get too greasy!

      ~ Kathryn

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love your determination and the preparation you are undertaking as you prepare to do this. I have no doubt, Kathryn, that you will succeed. Good for you my friend. I won't say good luck because you and I both know it is a matter of will and not luck.

      Have a great weekend!

      bill

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Bill, thank you very much! Very true, we often use the term "luck", but that word doesn't take our hard work and effort into account! I'm glad to hear you believe I'll succeed. It's very encouraging.

      It's not a whole lot of weight, but sometimes the last few pounds are the hardest to come off. Usually I do pretty well at losing weight, once I put my mind to it.

      You have a good weekend, too, Bill! I'm looking forward to mine. I spent a chunk of today working on this, and I have another day free and clear to clean, run errands, and work on one of the few hubs I have started. Saturday and Sunday our plans are up in the air, but I will be happy whether we stay here and relax, or if we go to Connecticut for the weekend. Either way, it's bound to be great.

      I hope your garden and your chickies are doing well!

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      What an awesome hub! Making any lifestyle change takes a lot of work and dedication. It is certainly not easy, but given your game plan, I doubt that you will have any problems. By the way, green tea is definitely a great addition to your plan as it is supposed to help in weight loss besides all of its' other benefits. Thanks for sharing! (Voted Up) -Rose

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn,

      What a really thorough hub! Your prep and research into it all is amazing! I have always had issues through the years even though i used to be incredibly active in many sports. I lost about 4 stones (56 lbs) about 6 years ago and then put on a bit lost it again and lost some awhile ago. Even the amount of walking I used to do has shortened now with my writing but I should up that as the country walks our on my doorstep, literally now! At the moment I am pretty happy and enjoy healthy food for the most part however I do have a chocolate and savory snack weakness!

      Look forward to seeing you cross the finish line with flying colors as i know you will! Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Rose, I completely agree with you about the green tea! I have heard so many good things about the benefits of green tea, and my Uncle had it a lot during his weight loss a while back (I think he still drinks it). I love tea, including green tea, so it certainly won't be a chore.

      It definitely takes dedication, but I am confident I will be able to accomplish this, as long as I am focused and keep to my plan. Writing this is like an extra step to make the goals seem more concrete.

      You're welcome, and thank you so much for reading and commenting. I always enjoy hearing from you.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Suzie,

      Thank you very much! Originally this was going to be shorter, but I didn't have the heart to make it a hub only about me. I like to include information that would be useful to others, and dieting is a subject that most people deal with at some point.

      It's very common for weight to fluctuate, especially as one gets older, or lifestyles change.

      Oh, so you are one of the ones who use the term "stones" for weight. Abby Campbell has an article about how to determine your weight in stones. I had never heard of it before.

      I used to be really bad with sweets. Nowadays I am okay, as long as I only have them once in a while. If I keep sweets around all of the time, I can't stay away. My problem lately has been mindlessly snacking when I'm in the mood for something, or else while I am in the kitchen (making supper, or cleaning the kitchen).

      It is nice that you have a good place to go on a pleasant walk. It makes it easier to exercise more. I know once I start walking along the beach, and get used to it, it won't be as hard to get out the door. Although I should go early in the day, when it is cooler and not as full of people or traffic.

      I think if you are happy, and eat some healthy food, that is what counts. It's good to enjoy food, even if all of it is not health food. Life is to be savored :)

      Thank you so much for being supportive of me. I appreciate it. I'm glad you read my story, and I am excited at the idea of crossing the finish line!

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      It sounds like you have a great plan of attack! Your hub is filled with sensible, sustainable advice. It's impossible for any normal person to go to the gym every single day or eat only carrots or something silly like that. Stuff like that never works! I think the most important thing that you point out is the importance of sitting down and enjoying meals. I think that's the big difference between Americans and many other people around the world - we tend to bolt down random foods instead of taking our time and enjoying the experience (says the person who just ate pretzels in the car for lunch...)

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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Natasha,

      My plan is pretty good, I agree! I hope that since I have put my goals in writing, I will especially remain focused and diligent. I have done it before, but I can't get cocky about it. It'll take some work, but once I lose those last few pounds, I will feel good. I mean, I feel good anyway, but I want to be healthier.

      I would definitely not be able to push myself to go to the gym every day! My building has a gym in it, and it makes it easier, but 1) it would be boring, and 2) I need variety in my life! If only I could get up the nerve to swim in the beach that is across the street from me, I would have another type of fun exercise. But the beach is full of razor clams and other uncomfortable objects, and there are crowds of much better looking young women out there. If I had a close friend around here to go with, I would try. I do love swimming. But not alone! Wow, excuses are so lame. Don't mind my rambling!

      Yeah, Americans are not always big on savoring meals. We are into convenient and fast foods. At least I cook pretty quality meals, rather than eating out all of the time (and it sounds like you do, too), but sometimes I look at the way other cultures view mealtime, and I long for that same experience.

      Haha, well sometimes it is pretty necessary to eat on the go. Whenever I leave home for long, I bring snacks with me. I don't like to go too long without food.

      Thank you so much for visiting my page. I have really, really enjoyed your blogs, and it is nice to see your familiar face here! I appreciate that you took the time to read and comment.

      Have a fantastic weekend, and I hope life is going well for you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Kathryn, very comprehensive and also very helpful. Not going with you on this trip but I will use some of your suggestions and I wish you all the very best. Looking forward to the follow-up results. Voted Up.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      MsDora, thanks for the encouragement, and for taking the time to read and comment on my article. I hope my suggestions have been very helpful. I am very motivated, and can hardly wait to see how I do during this challenge.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Hello and Good afternoon my Kathryn of Kool and here I thought you were still in your early 20's..... but I am so proud of you for having discipline and pride in tackling your diet regime.

      I am fairly slender myself and at one point with my height of 6foot2inches I was down to 189pounds but 2 weeks ago I am back up to my desired weight of 200 pounds.

      I think with me it had a lot to do with my stress, anxiety and depression but with some new pills I am more stable and have a good appetite.

      What an informative well thought out hub presentation though my friend and tonight I will root for your Bruins to win four straight before I have to head out the door for night shift.

      Overcast, rainy and cooler here - gee I hope we haven't missed summer.

      Sending you good energy and wishes from Colin, Tiffy and Gabriel at lake erie time ontario canada 1:08pm

    • kellyteam profile image

      Willette 4 years ago from Michigan

      Hi Kathryn. This is a very thorough hub and I been debating back and forth but, I think I will join you. We have another hubber that has shared great ideas as well Chef-de-jour, but my biggest problem is I love my sugar. But, I will give it another try to step out with you. Good luck to you in your endeavor. I am sharing and voting this up.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Hi Kathryn ~ what a wonderful and thorough hub on your weight loss challenge. Your hub is inspiring me to get back into my old routine. I use to do some weights at home for my arms, some sit ups and other toning exercises, and walk an hour. At this point, I am power walking everyday but not as far as I would like to. I am working up to an hour walk. I am a lifetime Weight Watcher's member. It just means I hit my goal weight at one time in my life~I really want to get back to it. For me, Weight Watcher's was very workable and no non-sense. They teach you how to do portion control and how much of each food group you should eat. They too, always stressed~ drinking 64 ounces of water a day. I will let you know when I get started Kathryn. I want to thank you for getting my head back into the fitness thing. I've really let my good eating habits go out the window. I send positive thoughts your way for a great weight loss and great health journey. Great, inspiring, and informative hub. Hit many buttons and voted up.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I made a decision to diet starting tomorrow actually, so coming across this hub was inspiring as well. The more the merrier on the weight loss journey! Voted up and useful/interesting.

    • CharronsChatter profile image

      Karen Robiscoe 4 years ago from California

      For me, I find engaging in activities I love is the key to staying trim. When exercise is fun--surfing, skiing, even bowling!--it seems more a treat than the treat I can eat.

      With this game plan, you are sure to succeed. Your route looks gorgeous and is sure to keep you out there, and like the saying goes: Nothing succeeds as well as a well-planned ANY-thing. (it goes something like that)

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      Hi Kathryn, what a hub - you have covered so much to enable to begin that weight loss journey -life style changes are so difficult - so easy to slip back into 'habit' - I'm on track right now but have to work to keep that way I guess. An interesting, informative hub, with the topic well covered. Thank you. voting....

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Walking is one of my all-time favorite activities. My particular body type seems to really like it. Nothing else I do makes me lose weight like walking does. Good luck on your journey! You'll do just fine and here's to our health!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Colin, thank you for visiting my humble abode. No, I'm definitely not in my 20s! I feel younger than I am, but I am indeed 35. It feels kind of strange to be only 5 years away from 40. I'm wondering where the time went to!

      I'm glad you're able to get back up to your desired weight. Stress can do a number to us, that's for sure! I'm glad you are taking something that helps you. We want our favorite poet healthy and happy, so we get our poetry fix, and our pleasant conversation :)

      I worked the night shift for a good three years, up until last October. There were some things I loved about it, and some things I disliked about it. Sometimes I miss it, although it is nice to not have to sleep during daylight. That part mostly bothered me in the Wintertime, when daylight didn't last for very long.

      Go Bruins!!! They have been doing very well lately!

      It is very rainy here today, and it's supposed to be worse tomorrow. I waited until today to get out and run errands, not knowing it was going to be so wet and soggy. I don't think I'll do that again soon! It was not very comfortable, but at least I had a productive day. It is 55 degrees out, a bit nippy. I'm sure Summer will be back in full force! And besides, it isn't technically Summer yet. We have a couple more weeks to go!

      Have a wonderful weekend, my friend, and stay warm and dry! Give your cats hugs for me :)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      You have worked out such a good plan and I think that is the key to success. If you don't plan ahead it is so easy to fall back into old patterns. I think you suggests are great. Excellent hub.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Willette (or do you prefer the name Kellyteam?), thank you very much. I'm glad you enjoyed this.

      Sometimes it is hard to decide when to diet, or how to diet. If you decide to, good luck!

      Even if you love sugar, I think you can find a way to diet in a way that works for you. You can cut calories and exercise, but treat yourself as well. Moderation is key!

      Thank you for the good luck wishes, and for the votes and share. I appreciate it, and I'm glad you dropped in to comment. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Twin, I am so happy that I have inspired you to get back into your routine. Once you stop, sometimes it can be hard to start back up again. But on that same note, once you start, it is usually motivating to keep it up.

      Weight Watchers sounds like a really good plan. It has been around for a long time, not like some of the diets that are popular for a while, and then fade away. It seems like the support system is really good, too, and that is important.

      I look forward to hearing from you about your routine, and good luck! You're welcome, and I appreciate that you took the time to read and comment, and to also be supportive of my plans. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      epbooks, great timing! I agree, the more, the merrier! Good luck, and feel free to come back ad let me know how you're doing.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a fantastic weekend.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      CharronsChatter, I completely agree with you! It is so much easier to maintain a healthy body when you have fun ways of exercising.

      My walking routes are very beautiful, and I think that will be a great motivator! Unfortunately, the past 2 days have been cloudy (today it's rainy and in the 50's), so I haven't walked on the beach. But today I walked up the stairs, and I also walked up and down the street (a really steep street) a few times while running errands, and that is about 30 minutes of walking.

      I usually do great, as long as I have a plan and a focus. And if writing a hub about it, where anyone can see it, doesn't motivate me, than I am helpless :)

      Thank you for stopping by to read and comment. You're very encouraging, and I enjoy seeing you. Have a fabulous weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Travmaj, thank you very much! I was almost going to just make a challenge, but then I decided I wanted to make it mostly about preparing for a diet, so it could be useful to many more people.

      Over the years I have maintained quite a few good habits, but since I am human, I slip back into a few bad ones on occasion. I like to find my way back before it gets harder to do.

      I'm glad that you have been able to stay on track! Even if it takes a little bit of work, it is worth it.

      I'm glad you found this interesting. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my hub, as well as for the votes. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Cyndi, I love walking, too! It is a form of exercise that can be done almost any time, and almost anywhere. It is especially fun when you have a pretty place to walk, which in your case is definitely true! In my case, I may not live out in the country, but the beach is very pretty.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, and for encouraging me. I appreciate it very much!

      Yes! Our health! Above and beyond merely losing or maintaining weight, our health is very important.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Pamela, I agree with you completely! I like plans, because then I already have an idea of what my goals and plans are, and I don't have to think too much about it. It's easier to focus on what is important, and avoid pitfalls. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I'm glad you liked my hub! Have a beautiful weekend!

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      You've done a great job detailing out the facts and advice on preparation. I remember when I lost a ton of weight as well in a short amount of time...at least to me it seemed like a short amount of time. I took precautions as well. I think you hit the nails right on the proverbial heads and in some ways, this could even be used for people who want to fast for whatever reason. Great job. Voting up!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great layout and tips to diet prep. I think the mistake so many people make is once they hit their weight loss goal they slip back into bad eating habits. Myself included. As you know I've been following a lower carb diet and have decided that it will be my new way of eating permanently.

      You seem like you're a very determined person and I'm sure you'll have no problem reaching your 10 pound weight loss challenge.

      Excellent hub! Voting +++ and sharing.

    • Fiddleman profile image

      Robert Elias Ballard 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

      Awesome hub! My wife and I both have a health coach from our insurance company and this hub pretty much says everything we have been told to do to lose weight and become healthier. Accountability and actually taking charge of our own health is not rocket science but requires discipline and some good common sense.

    • Gypsy48 profile image

      Gypsy48 4 years ago

      Kathryn, your excellent hub has got me motivated to lose the extra ten pounds that I have been trying to lose for months. I do quite a bit of walking but I also can't stay away from baked goods. I can't seem to have a coffee without eating something sinfully sweet. So I will drop the sweets from my diet and see what happens. Voted up and awesome:)

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Definitely! Already got my walking in by 6AM!

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Wow! You covered it all. Looks like you will be able to easily reach your goal and you are so right to do it when you only have 10 lbs to lose. I've waited far too long and will probably never reach my goal. At least not for many years. Thanks for this great hub!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Kasman, thanks. I like to be prepared, so this is a hub that came pretty naturally. I hope it can come in handy for many people.

      It's definitely good to take precautions while on a diet. I'm glad that you have successfully lost weight in the past. It feels good!

      Thank you for reading and commenting, and also for the votes up. Have a fabulous weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Susan, I agree. I like to be a little more strict than usual when aiming to lose weight, but I also like to keep some of my good eating and exercise habits once I have gotten to my desired weight. Otherwise I could gain weight all over again, and it could be very frustrating. I have done that, too, in the past. I have done pretty well in the past few years, except for the big lifestyle change that occurred once I moved to Boston.

      I think following a lower carb diet is a good way of maintaining your weight. Usually it is pretty hard to cut down initially, but once I get used to it, it's not so bad. There are many types of foods that are pretty filling that aren't high in carbs.

      Thank you for the encouragement, Susan. I appreciate it. Usually when I put my mind to it, I lose weight. So I will just be careful, and be a little disciplined, and hopefully this will have a good outcome!

      Thanks for voting up and sharing, and have a wonderful weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Fiddleman, it's great that you and your wife have a health coach. That is pretty motivating, and getting useful information from someone who knows what they're talking about is a great thing! I'm pleased to know that my hub covers many of the points that your health coach makes.

      Discipline and common sense are definitely needed for weight loss! In the long run, having a healthy diet and lifestyle is a good thing, so any sacrifices made to lose a few pounds, and maintain the target weight, is worth it.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my hub, and I hope both you and your wife have a fabulous weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Gypsy, I'm so happy that this hub has motivated you to lose weight! I'm excited :) It's nice that you already walk quite a bit.

      It can definitely b hard to stay away from baked goods! I try not to make them very often, and the only time I'm exposed to them outside of the house is at family get-togethers. I enjoy them once in a while as a treat. It is especially hard when you associate coffee with sweets! It makes it just a little harder.

      Good luck dropping the sweets from your diet. That alone, over time, could be very helpful. Just indulge once in a while, and you may enjoy it that much more!

      Good luck, and feel free to let me know your progress as time goes on! It's great that other people are losing weight "with me".

      Thanks for the votes, and for reading and commenting on my hub. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      epbooks, Yay!!! That's a great start to your day!

      I managed to get some walking in (up a steep hill, even), as well as a trip up the stairs yesterday, and this afternoon I will exercise, as well.

      Have a fantastic and healthy and energetic weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Austinstar, thanks, I appreciate it. I'm pretty confident I'll be able to attain my goals, but only if I focus on it, and don't get too cocky. It is easy to slip!

      I definitely like to lose weight before I gain too much. Several years ago I was at my heaviest, about 15 pounds more than I am now. Having to lose 25 pounds is no fun, and can be discouraging.

      It's frustrating to wait "too long", and feel like you'll never get down to your ideal weight, but I wouldn't say it's too late. My Uncle was over 500 pounds while in his early 40s, and a health incident scared him into losing weight. He had tried many, many times before that, and had succeeded once years before that, but he gained it all back, and then some. Ever since he almost died (he flatlined, actually), he has lost a lot of weight over the past few years. It took a lot of time, but he looks great now. Even more important, he is healthy and alive, and he has adapted a very healthy lifestyle. His story is pretty extreme, but it is very encouraging.

      Well, even if it takes many years to lose the weight, that's not bad! My Uncle took many years. Time flies! Weight loss isn't always quick, but it can be pretty liberating.

      Good luck with your weight loss, even if it is more involved, and takes a while.

      You're welcome, and thank you so much for reading, commenting, and encouraging me. I appreciate it.

      I hope I have not gone on and on for too long!

      Have a fantastic weekend!

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 4 years ago from Georgia country

      What a great plan you have here! I have always been slim and never gained much weight though I ate a lot of foods in the past that tend to make you gain weight. This was all before I started to eat more healthily. Comparing now and then and after two pregnancies I nearly have the same figure. I wish you good luck with your weight loss challenge and I think you will obtain your goal.

      A very great hub. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Janet, I used to be especially thin when I was in my early 20s, despite not eating that well. I'm glad that you remain slim, and that you eat more healthily nowadays. It is especially amazing that your figure now and before you had babies is nearly the same. Congrats! Many woman would be very jealous of you, but I am just really happy for you!

      Thank you for reading and commenting on this hub, and thanks very much for your words of encouragement. I appreciate it very much!

      You're welcome, and I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi Kathyrn, I love how personal your hubs are. And, being a former personal trainer, based on your stats it seems you are the perfect size and don't need to lose anything. I know we all have your personal best, so I applaud you for sharing your strategies with us all. It sounds like you're on the right track!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Careermommy, thank you, I'm glad you like it.

      Very true, I don't need to lose anything. For my age, body type and height I can be between 130 (or 135, depending on which chart you look at)-160. I am definitely within my range. I just like to be at the lower end. Even more important than the actual weight is the way my body looks and feels. I am mostly concerned with my muscle tone, as well as how my stomach and legs appear. 5 pounds would probably be just fine, enough for my favorite clothes to fit just a little more comfortably. But don't worry, I always take great care not to lose too much. I don't have any desire to be underweight. I want to be healthy!

      Wow, so you were a personal trainer! That is great. It's encouraging hearing that from someone who is more of an expert.

      Thank you very much for taking the time to visit my humble abode, and share your thoughts. I appreciate the support very much.

      Have a fantastic weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 4 years ago from Georgia country

      Thank you for your compliment and also for linking to my hub about unhealthy foods. Wish you also a fantastic weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      You're welcome, Janet! I just realized that I didn't even comment on it. Oops!

      I found that article right as I was getting this one together, and it is absolutely perfect for those who are looking to lose weight, or even just to live a healthy lifestyle.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      This is a very thorough hub full of practical ideas and if you stick to this routine I'm sure you'll end up losing your targetted weight in 7 weeks. Great resource links as well.

      Voted up, useful, interesting and sharing. I'm off to check out your link for making oven roasted chick peas. Need to make them today!

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      I really needed this. I'm so lazy right now and I should start doing some exercise and eat better. I have lost weight before by eating less sugar and start running. It's something I should do now. I don't weigh myself often, but I know I've gained weight when I can't wear some of my pants anymore.

      I know you can do this, and I'll try to get started with my healthier life too. Very good and useful hub! :)

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Hello Kathryn well this one was written just for me I am sure.

      For the first time ever I decided to go an a diet around six months ago but it didn't last!!!Whenever I put my mind to something I always see it through e.g. Giving up smoking for one (also a factor of my weight gain). However I don't eat unhealthily but I have always been very physical working day in day out. Now due to two ops on my back I am not working on my feet all day. Don't get me wrong I still walk and am probably more active than many people but I need to lose this weight. Next Tuesday I am going to see a lady and am starting a 'Herbal life' diet., So we'll see how it goes. thank you for this it was so interesting. I am sharing onto my FB page A Brand new Dawn'.

      Eddy.

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Way to go, Kathy!! Good start, and well planned. And thanks for linking my Lemon Water detox hub. Means a lot :)

      I will check out Abby Campbell's link.... Interested on the meal plan. Recently I took up kettle-bell workout routine, and really like it. I am only doing 15 mins now, to start with, but really feel my muscles pounding, LOL. Thanks for sharing, and wish you all the best.

      Love Boston!!

    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Good for you Kathryn. You are on the right track with your goals. Also make sure you eat fresh, real foods. I only shop the outside aisle of the grocery store. You are an inspiration to us all.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Aloha and mahalo, Kathryn, for re-inspiring me! You did an absolutely amazing job with this hub, comprehensively covering all aspects of this terrific weight loss program while maintaining reader interest. It's nice to have a visual of where you'll be doing most of your walking, and your stats provide perspective. You're a tall woman (my wife is 5'11"), and I am thus familiar with how tall people can "hide" their extra pounds. The fact that you lay it all out there shows me how very determined and serious you are, plus it certainly keeps us accountable, right? Great hub, Kathryn! Thanks for sharing!

      Joe

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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Rajan, thanks for stopping by, and being supportive.

      I'm sure you'll enjoy the roasted chickpeas! They are such a pleasant crispy snack, and flavor can very easily be added by sprinkling on spices.

      I enjoyed coming up with links that would be helpful to many.

      Thanks again, and have a wonderful remainder of the weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Made, I'm glad that this has motivated you. Sometimes it is easy to get into the rut of being inactive, or less active than usual. Oftentimes Winter has that effect on me, but now that the weather here in Boston is warmer, I have no excuses.

      How clothes fit (or don't fit) can be an even better indicator to weight loss or gain than a scale. That's how I first noticed that I gained some weight!

      I'm sure if you get back to reducing your sugar intake, and running, you'll be in fabulous shape in no time! It's encouraging when you have lost weight before, because it makes it easier to imagine that you can do it again, with some persistence and hard work.

      Thanks for the encouragement, for taking the time to read and comment, and good luck! I know you can do well with a healthier lifestyle, too!

      Thanks, and have a fantastic weekend. I look forward to hearing about your progress, if you ever have the time to come back here!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Eddy, that was how I gained weight a while back- I went from being very active, to all of a sudden not having the same activity level, and it was amazing how fast I gained weight! It also didn't help that I was at home, close to food. When I work, I bring a packed lunch that is usually healthy, and I can't really snack on anything else. I started munching on food a bit too often, mostly due to stress. But I have a better handle on it now, and I think I can really turn up my diet plan a notch to lose just a bit more.

      It must have been discouraging to have the operations, and not be able to be on your feet as much. I hope you're doing well now!

      The "Herbal Life" diet sounds great. Good luck! It's wonderful that you are seeking options to help you out in your weight loss plans.

      I'm excited, and I look forward to hearing about your progress. Have a great weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      La Thing, you're welcome. I really like your article. It is down to earth and not like some of the "fad health claims". It's nice to know that such a simple drink can help so much. I hope people check it out, and benefit from it.

      Abby's meal plan is great! Her book is so awesome, and her articles on H.P. are fantastic. Since she is a published author, and very knowledgeable on the subject, her articles seem like such a free bonus.

      I almost bought kettle bells a while ago! They look easier to handle than dumbbells. I'm glad that you are enjoying your exercise routine. I love the way it feels when you exercise, and you can just feel the muscles forming! It's awesome!

      You're welcome, and thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate your support, and wish you well in your healthy lifestyle.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Suzzycue, I will definitely make sure I eat fresh, real foods! Actually, I probably should have put in my diet guidelines that I am trying to reduce my use of many of the pre-made foods. That is a very good tip!

      One of my motivations is that I will be eating lots of tasty fruits, vegetables, Greek yogurts, and smoothies. It's nice to eat foods that I already really like.

      Thank you so much for saying I'm an inspiration, Suzzy! It is sweet of you to say that. I hope I am inspiring, and that I can help people in small ways. I may not be able to change the world, but if I can help even one person in a positive way, my life has meaning.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Joe, thank you so much! What a wonderful compliment. I'm glad I re-inspired you.

      I could have gone on and on, but I wanted to try to keep it as just "diet preparation", since this part of the process is very important. I do better if I have specific goals in mind, rather than just floating around without a focus.

      Ah, yes, I adore being tall. When I gain weight, it is a little here and there, so it isn't always as obvious as it would be if I were shorter. Of course, I am also thicker than aome woman, but I realized many years ago that everyone has a different frame, and just because I'm a size 12 and my friend is a size 1, it does NOT mean I'm fat! I struggled a bit with that when I was a teenager, because I had several tiny friends.

      I am definitely serious and determined, and I like that I posted this. It puts my plans in writing, and gives me the extra push to make sure I work toward my goals!

      I probably mentioned that Karen Hellier was my original inspiration for this. I saw the challenge she made last year, before she went on a cruise, and I loved it! I had already been planning on writing a hub about Diet Preparation, so I just combined it to my new desire to put a personal spin, as well as a challenge, into it. Kills two birds with one stone!

      You're welcome, and thank you so much for visiting my page, even though you have a lot going on.

      I look forward to seeing your next hub! I'm excited about the 10/10 challenge in October, because I love the idea of the challenge, and working with others to get it done. I almost wish I had joined this one, but I think 30/30 at this point would be setting myself up for failure!

      Have a fabulous remainder of the weekend, and good luck with your hubs!

      ~ Kathryn

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Kathryn: I would have to pick "other" in your poll. I have changed to a plant strong diet. For me that means that I eat a vegan diet about 95% of the time. I allow myself the 5% to save my sanity :) I have also been walking a lot more. I am down 15 pounds with many more to lose. I love hearing about other people's success stories, as they are inspiring. I wish you much success and hope you keep us up to date with your progress.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Donnah, thank you for sharing your own diet plan with us. I have never heard of that one, but it sounds pretty good. I enjoy hearing about the different ways people go about to losing weight. I'm glad you are making progress! 15 pounds is pretty good. Good luck to losing more!

      It's good that you save 5 % of your diet for non-plants. I think that is a great way to prevent yourself from making it too difficult!

      Thank you very much for taking the time to read and comment on my article, and I will keep everyone up to date!

      Have a wonderful evening, and feel free to come back with your own success milestones. I enjoy hearing about successes, as well!

    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Amen to that Kathryn. Helping people in small ways add up to a changed lifestyle. Good job my friend.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Well, being the honest person I am I must admit, I am 65, 5'7-1/2" and around 160 lbs....now you know, I really need to diet. I was 148 for years and years and somewhere in my late fifties I blossomed.

      Your tips are excellent. Preparation for dieting is half the battle. I will be re-reading this hub and I think too, I will be thinking about a detox plan.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Elisha Jachetti profile image

      Elisha Jachetti 4 years ago

      Kathryn, GOOD LUCK on your journey!! I wish you all the best. I am a personal trainer, so if you need any extra tips or pointers, feel free to message me!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Mary, for some reason I thought you were in your 40s or 50s.

      I have always heard that it is sometimes hard to maintain weight as we get older. It doesn't take much!

      I'm glad you like my tips. When I am determined to lose weight, it is necessary for me to prepare, otherwise I stray. I agree, it is definitely half the battle!

      I wish you much luck in losing weight, if you so choose, and I hope you update us!

      A detox plan is usually a great way to jumpstart weight loss! I have done it in many forms In the past.

      Thank you for visiting my page, and have a fantastic week!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Elisha, thank you very much for the good luck wishes, and also for the offer of extra tips or pointers. I appreciate it! Since you are a personal trainer, you must have a lot of knowledge on the subject. I will keep it in mind!

      Have a wonderful week.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Such a great hub! Well thought out and well written! Good luck to you!! Let us all know how it goes for you!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Audrey, thank you very much for the good luck wishes! I really appreciate the support. I will definitely keep everyone posted. It is so motivating to have this plan set out, this support system, and a type of accountability that this calls for. I love it! I am doing very well so far, nearly as good as could be.

      Have a restful night, and a great week.

    • Theater girl profile image

      Jennifer 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Good luck! I know how you feel. I lost 25 pounds last year and so far so good! Be well, and consider tryi ng zumba! So much fun!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Theater Girl, I have seen people doing Zumba, and it does look really fun!

      Congrats on your weight loss last year. 25 pounds is pretty good!

      Thanks for reading and giving me advice and encouragement. I appreciate it. Have a fabulous day!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      Yes! I need to do this, too! I generally don't have a big problem, but when even a few pounds creep up on you, it's time to act. Fast! I recently started WW, and it at least keeps me thinking about it. And I am eating better food these days, too!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Marcy, it's great that you like to stay on top of your weight, and that you eat healthier than you used to. I don't usually have a big problem with weight, either. The one time I gained the most weight, I was technically at the top of the "average" range of weight for my age, height and body type. I just don't like to be on the higher end. Health problems run in my family, as they do in most, and I don't want to fall victim to them. I like to stay ahead of the game.

      I have heard good things about WW! Good luck, and feel free to share your successes and thoughts.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, and have a fantastic week!

      ~ Kathryn

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      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great hub Kathryn! Actually, I don't think your weight is bad for your height - you may just need to do some sculpting. I'm 5'5" and my ideal weight is 130 lbs. Anything less and I look too skinny. We have such an obsession with thin in this country that normal weight is seen as 'fat.' I just won't go there. But, I wish you well on your weight loss journey and it sounds very reasonable. I like the book you are consulting because it is true, there are no one-fit-all diet. You really have to choose a diet that goes with your body system. For example, I cannot completely give up carbs. I would love to because I could lose weight faster, but if I do, then I have no energy and wind down like the energizer bunny. So I can cut back on carbs, but not take them totally out of be diet. I love your approach to exercise by walking and diet control. Thanks for an interesting and informative hub.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Suzette,

      Very true, my weight is okay. I'm not into the idea of being skinny (in a skin and bones kind of way), and I will be looking very closely at how my body looks and feels, rather than the actual weight. If I get down to 140, and decide that it feels comfortable, I am likely to cut the weight loss short. These are mostly basic guidelines.

      My lowest ideal weight is 130 or 135, but I don't want to go below 135! actually, now that I think of it, 140 is perfectly fine.

      Yes, sculpting will be a big part of my plans in the next couple of months. I know from experience that it doesn't take much to become more toned, and that is encouraging. That is what makes me feel more attractive than anything else.

      I love the book I am referring to! I know what you mean about carbs. I could cut down, but it would be hard for me to cut them out for long. Energy is a good thing to have. Losing weight can be a good thing, but if your energy is sapped, you won't be able to enjoy life much during that period.

      I'm glad you love my approach!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave such an insightful and encouraging comment. I enjoy seeing you! Have a fabulous day!

    • JamiJay profile image

      Jami Johnson 4 years ago from Somewhere amongst the trees in Vermont.

      Kathryn, you have some strong goals and guidelines here! I have no doubt that you will succeed, especially since you cook healthy meals at home. If you can cook all of your food from natural and/or organic products then you will succeed in your journey. Weight loss can be very frustrating but you have very strong goals and a very good perspective. Good luck on losing your ten pounds, I will be checking back to see if you have formed the body you desire! Keep up all of your hard work!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Jami, thank you very much for your encouragement!

      I am doing very well with not planning unhealthy meals right now! The good thing about the internet is that there's a lot of healthy recipes and snack ideas, as well as the unhealthy stuff. I'm especially looking forward to when we get some more groceries, and we have lots of fresh produce to use. I'm glad I like cooking, and I'm also really glad that Andy is easy to please, and has similar tastes as I do. He is also very supportive when I try to lose weight, or improve myself in any way. When I was younger, I was with someone that had a different attitude, and I ended up cooking one meal for him, and another for myself (because he wouldn't tolerate any healthy food). It was very frustrating! It is definitely easy to diet nowadays.

      Thank you so much, and I will definitely update everyone on my progress. I'm so glad I have a support system here, as well as an extra line of accountability!

      Thanks again, Jami, it makes me happy that you believe in me.

      Have a fantastic week!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

      Both your exercise and diet plans sound very practical. I'm pretty sure you'll achieve your weight goal within a few months if you stick to these weight-loss strategies. I just lost about 4 lbs myself (winter weight!). I didn't do anything special. I've just been working out a little more often and using my calorie-counting app every day (well, almost every day). That's all. Good luck on your weight loss journey :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Om, I'm glad that you have been able to lose your "Winter weight" pretty easily! Congrats.

      Thanks for the encouragement. I definitely think that if I stick to the plan, I will have no problem losing weight.

      I appreciate your visit, and I hope you have a fantastic week!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I do the 150hrs a week exercises, walking briskly and avoid sitting too much an active lifestyle with proper eating does make a difference awesome ideas from you.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      DDE, I agree with you completely. Being active and eating well are great ways to both lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

      Thanks for commenting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Good luck Kathryn! I need to lose a lot more than 10 pounds, but it would be start for me. At least with the warm weather it's easier to get outside.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Glimmer, the weather makes in much easier to get out! Warmer weather can be a good motivator, too. If you decide to lose weight, good luck! I know it can be hard to get started, and hard to prioritize our time when life gets busy.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and have a fantastic day!

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Wow, Katherine! I didn't come in here thinking I would see my name exposed. Hehe! Thank you so much for the thumbs up and such nice words. I was really, REALLY surprised, and I REALLY appreciate you as well. :-) I look forward to keeping up with you and hearing how you're doing. I know you will do well. Keep me informed, Sweets! ;)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Abby, I was so tempted to give you a heads up that I promoted your wonderful book and HubPages page, but I decided to just surprise you when you wandered over here.

      Your book has been quite the inspiration, and it is a tool that I enjoy. At the beginning of my diet I am actually consuming more carbs than I would like, because we are low on many of the foods I need for a good diet, but other than that I am doing well, so far. Andy should be ordering groceries soon (lots of fresh veggies, and meats). I look forward to that, and my diet plan will be much easier!

      I have been planning on doing a review article of my favorite health and fitness books, including yours, but it is amazing how many article ideas I have (and not quite enough time). I hope to include a slightly more comprehensive review of your book in that article.

      I will definitely keep you informed! And it reminds me, I need to get my butt in gear today. I haven't exercised at all today, and since this is a day off from work, it's an ideal time to do it!

      Anyway, you're welcome, and thank you! You are such a wonderful resource for anyone looking to live a healthy lifestyle, and you're a great person, too!

      Have a fantastic day!

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      You are awesome for sharing your progress with us. You are an inspiration! Take care. -Rose

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn,

      Bounced in again to say thanks for your honest up date - it is not always easy but you are doing great so stick with it, it will show. It often took me a week or two to show results while my body got used to the new "rules".

      Great job!!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Rose, thanks, and you're awesome for reading my update! :) I appreciate the support very much. Have a spectacular day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Suzie, thanks for bouncing back here! I appreciate the support. I wanted to leave an update, but at first I wasn't sure how I should go about it. I didn't want to create a new hub for it, because if it seemed too "bloggy", it may not get featured! So I decided to stick it at the end of this.

      Haha, it's funny how cocky I felt at the beginning of this diet. But then again, I set the goals fairly high, and I did okay considering. I actually didn't expect to lose weight the first week, so I don't feel bad. But after my Father's Day feast, I am really watching what I eat!

      After exercising yesterday, I feel great. I worked out my abs and legs, and even my arms, and I can feel it (in a good way).

      Thanks again for reading and commenting! Have a fantastic day.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      For anyone that has decided to go on some kind of a diet to lose weight or become more fit, I hope you are all doing well! I finally added an update to my results at the end of this article, and anyone else can feel free to let us know how you're doing. I am just over one week in, and I'm starting to get into the groove.

      Have a wonderful week, everyone!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Kathryn - Thank you so much for sharing your weight loss journey. Though you don't have much to lose at all, it's interesting to watch and see how you're doing as you progress towards your goals.

      As far as coffee, I don't know how much you normally drink (maybe you said in your article, but I forgot). Anyway, coffee/caffeine can be a great source to fuel morning workouts. I would try to limit 1-2 cups per day though if you don't want to give it up totally.

      A day or two of detoxing can also be very beneficial. I like doing all greens, veggies, and berries with a pure almond milk, water, and ice base. Sometimes, I'll add a little fish oil to my mix... other times, a little Stevia to add some sweetness.

      Good luck on everything! I look forward to seeing your updates. :-)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Abby, You're welcome. I appreciate that you have taken the time to read it, and comment on it.

      I didn't mention how much coffee I drink, because I drink too much :( I like your advice on coffee/caffeine. That is doable.

      I especially appreciate your detoxing advice! I was thinking of asking you about that, because I see so many versions of detoxes, and I like to hear an expert's opinion. Your version sounds pretty tasty (well, sometimes I have strange tastes).

      Fish oil? Like from capsules, or from a bottle? I have never heard of putting that in a drink, but it sounds healthy.

      Mmmm, I love almond milk! I am going to try out your suggestions. That is the kind of detox that would be fairly easy for me to commit to for a day or two.

      Thanks again, and I really appreciate your support! Have a fantastic day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Kathryn, you can either take the fish oil capsules throughout the day. I use liquid fish oil, so I just add a teaspoon or two to my smoothies. I can't really even taste it, but I get the benefits of the fish oil. My favorite green smoothie mix is:

      12 ounce pure almond milk

      2-3 small to medium carrots

      handful of greens (i.e., spinach or kale)

      1/2 cup blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries

      1 packet of Stevia (or 1-2 tsp.)

      a few ice cubes

      a couple of ounces of water if the smoothie gets too thick

      I always seem to use the carrot and berries with whatever mix I use because it adds a little sweetness to the smoothie. Otherwise, it may taste "too green" to me. If I don't have berries, I may add a small apple. Oh! You can add some avocado if you like too (I like that as well).

      You don't have to be so strict with your detox. Just use what you like but with foods that are high in nutrition value. There is truly no right or wrong if you're using mostly veggies and fruits. ;)

      Also, you may want to try some herbal teas. Dandelion is great for purging water. There are some that are labeled "Detox" as well. You can even get them at Walmart. ;)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Abby, thank you so much! That is a great recipe, and there are so many choices! Now I don't have to wander all over the internet looking for possibilities. I like this very much.

      I have fish oil capsules, so I will be sure to start taking them more often. I forget about them unless I actually take the extra effort to remember.

      I have some detox tea, so I will be sure to use that, as well. I have had dandelion tea before, too.

      Fortunately, I love fruits and veggies, and this week we are ordering lots of them from Stop and Shop. It will make this so much easier, because I enjoy it!

      You are so sweet for helping me out!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      No problem, Kathryn. You have always been my greatest supporter, and I enjoy chatting with you as well. ;)

      Regarding the fish oils, they will also help you lose body fat as well. ;)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Abby, I didn't know that about Fish Oil. Cool!

      I'm glad you enjoy chatting with me- same here!

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Kathryn, you must of lost 5 lbs. writing this hub! That took a lot of work. I like your ideas because they are not a quick fix and a guide everyone who wants to shed weight can do.

      My difficulties are eating at night. I do not drink sugary drinks, I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, but I love to snack even on healthy foods like hummus and pita bread, or yogurt and granola. I have tried detoxing before, but as It get older it gets harder to be that strict for several days.

      Voted up and shared!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Carly, I didn't lose weight writing this, although it did fluctuate downwards before I "officially" started the diet! It went back up just a touch, but it is still under 147. That's a start!

      I try to come up with a plan that is pretty easy to keep up with, for the most part.

      I have to admit, I always eat something at night. I try to eat something healthy, but if I don't have anything, I get too hungry. And that makes it hard for me to fall asleep!

      It's good that when you snack, it's on healthier foods. I used to snack on really unhealthy foods all of the time, so the past 5 years is a big improvement over that.

      I hear you. I have to push myself to be strict for a few days! It doesn't come as easy as it used to.

      Thanks for the votes and share, and thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my article. Have a wonderful weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • JamiJay profile image

      Jami Johnson 4 years ago from Somewhere amongst the trees in Vermont.

      Kathryn, I had to look at your progress thus far. The toughest part of eating balanced and healthy meals is the protein... carbs are so much cheaper... but I have found that if you like eggs then you can eat a lot of quality protein for a great price. So start buying and eating a lot of eggs and egg whites :) (but don't overdo it on the egg yolk). Good Luck (again).

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Jami, thanks for the advice and encouragement. From here on out, it will be easier, because we just stocked up on groceries! Now we have plenty of eggs, egg whites, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, fruits and veggies, and other meats. Now that I have what I need to eat the way I would like to, my progress should be much better, and certainly easier. At the end, I was just scrounging whatever we had in our fridge and cupboard into a makeshift meal! Haha, we had the money, we just kept putting off the grocery order. We don't even have to go out, we have Stop and Shop's Peapod service deliver our groceries to us, and since the store is only a few blocks away, it is dirt cheap! I love it.

      Thank you very much, and have a great weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      It's not quite the end of the week, but I started writing the Progress Report for the week. I am doing very well!

      I also wanted to know how anyone else who decided to try and lose some weight or get a little more fit is doing. Feel free to let us know!

      Have a wonderful day, and Happy Independence Day to all those in or from the USA!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Just wanted to say well done on the latest update you seem to have had a good week and the body is certainly toning up, great job! Abby's suggestions for the detox sound fab must try it myself! Enjoy today's celebrations for 4th July try and be good!!!!!! Maybe 1 day off as a treat!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Suzie, I have been enjoying the day! We're just relaxing, but it's nice. Our picnic with my family has been delayed until the 13th, Saturday, but the great thing about that is both of my siblings and my parents are all supposed to be there. We haven't all been together at the same time for over a year. I'll also get to see my sister in law, and my 2 sweet little nieces (2 and 3 years old). I hope no one cancels, because I am so excited.

      I had an ice cream bar earlier, and I plan on having a beer. It should be a pleasant evening. Now I should get supper ready. I am really hungry, so Andy must be famished! I kept putting off dinner time, because I wanted to finish a hub, and now I want to respond to comments. HubPages is so addictive and fun!

      Thanks for being such an encouragement, and I hope you have a wonderful day.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Yep, Addictive and fun certainly describe life here on HP. having to stop mid flow to do a meal is most annoying! LOl MJ and I try to share that (horses for courses, equal rights etc . . . . . . . ) as we both write in our own little worlds. Good to hear you are enjoying your day off for 4th celebrations and your forthcoming family get together sounds wonderful. It is hard for entire families to all be together regularly as they spread their wings.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      This is great. You are very brave to show everyone your stats in as much detail as you have included. I was not that brave in my hub! As far as the diet poll, as you know, I have just today started The Fast Diet. It's 10:08 p.m. and I am not that hungry but we didn't eat dinner till 7:00 p.m. The toughest time for me was mid afternoon. I hope you reach your 10 pound goal.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Karen, I am only a little brave. Notice I did not mention my inches, only the amount of inches lost!

      Thanks, Karen, good luck with your "Fast Diet", and with losing weight! I will be faithfully following your progress, and cheering you on!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      Kathryn Stratford,

      LOL...oh, I see. Well good luck to you too. I got on the scale this morning and noticed I have already lost 1 pound...whoo hoo! Of course I don't know if that will stay or not. I am glad today is a regular food day.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Karen, yay for you! That is an encouragement, and a great start!

      This is my first low calorie day, so wish me well! I'm glad today is your regular food day. It's especially nice after having a restrictive day. Have a good one, and congrats to your progress so far!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks...good luck to you too. This will be fun, encouraging each other. Sort of like the 30 hubs in 30 Days Challenge, only for weight loss!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I just updated this, and am happy to report I lost 1 pound this week!

      How is everyone else doing?

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      So, are you down 3.5 pounds since you started?

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Karen, yes. It isn't a lot for the amount of time I have been dieting, but since I lost 1 pound this past week (despite having Chinese food delivery one night, and a cookout on Saturday), I feel encouraged that my progress will be better from here on out. I want to work harder at it.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      Well, remember they say that losing only 1 to 2 pounds per week is the best way to lose in terms of being healthy, and people have the easiest time keeping it off when losing slowly like that.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Karen,

      That's a good point! Thanks, that is very encouraging.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      Yay! In my first week of the Fast Diet I have lost 2 pounds! Whew...makes the hunger pangs worth it. Of course it might have been water weight but at least it's a loss of something! I am encouraged for me next week! When is your next update?

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Karen, my next update is Saturday.

      Congrats! Even if it is water weight, 2 pounds is great, and very encouraging! It is nice to see progress when we have to endure hunger pangs on those diet days! Good luck :)

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I am a little late, but I just updated my status. How's everyone else doing?

      Have a great week!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      Oh what a bummer. I'm sorry you didn't lose anything this past week. But at least you didn't gain! I'm weighing in tomorrow. I hope I lost something. Right now it doesn't look good!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Karen,

      True, at least I didn't gain!

      Good luck tomorrow.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I made an extra mid-week update :) I am doing pretty good, I think.

      Have a wonderful day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      I think you need a new scale!!!! Trying to lose weight is hard enough without being able to see actual results on a scale. You're doing well in spite of it though and I admire you for that!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thanks, Karen.

      The funny thing is, I have had three scales in the past 2 years that were unreliable. I don't know why I always choose the ones that mis-function.

      Have a wonderful day!

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      Ugh, today has been a terrible day diet wise. I actually cheated with a peach and then was mad at myself. But that's pretty distorted thinking. Why should a peach be cheating???I was so bummed though that I made myself feel better with a glass of wine...also not on the diet! This is going to be harder than I thought. How did you do today?

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Karen,

      It's too bad that yesterday's fast didn't go so well, but that is bound to happen every once in a while, so don't worry too much about it.

      It is very easy to get frustrated over eating something we think is "cheating". I almost got bummed and had a beer last night, so I came close to being in the same situation as you. Of course, if I had wine in the house, I think I would have succumbed (wine is very alluring to drink).

      I actually did better than I thought I would. Partway through the day I was frustrated, and decided I might not worry about the diet for the day. But I was so unhappy that my appetite was naturally low, and I decided to just stick to it, after all! I consumed more than 500 calories, but under 600. Not bad, especially since I got 40 minutes of walking in, and was active for 4 hours at work.

      I wish you luck on your next fast day. Don't worry, though, we don't have to do perfectly every time. There will be times that it will be harder to stick to, but we can do it!

      Have a wonderful weekend. And, as I recall, today is your birthday? If so, happy birthday! I hope you treat yourself to a spectacular day.

      ~ Kathryn

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I just updated this, and I am happy to have made more progress in this week than I have in any week so far! It is encouraging. Good luck, everyone, and feel free to let me know how you are doing.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      Yay...good for you. 2.4 pounds in one week is excellent. Keep up the good work. Yes, today is my birthday and I made sure it was not on a fasting day. I went out to lunch and dinner...and my parents are taking me out tomorrow. I guess I had better exercise a lot tomorrow and Monday before my weigh in day on Tuesday!

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Karen,

      Thanks, I'm very happy about my progress.

      I'm glad that you didn't make your birthday a fasting day- that would not be fun! I'm also happy that you went out to eat, and have even more plans today. It's a whole weekend celebration! Have a good time with your parents.

      God luck, Karen.

      ~ Kathryn

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I updated my results. I lost almost a pound!

      Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

      ~ Kathryn

    • xmags profile image

      Xeng 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you so much for this article, Kathryn! You are God sent! I'm more of the just reduce everything you eat and exercise a bit type. :) I hope to follow your tips and lose some pounds soon. Thanks for the motivation. Cheers to living healthy! :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Xmags,

      You're welcome! I'm glad you like this, and find it motivating. Good luck with losing some pounds.

      Cheers! I enjoy living healthy, and even when I get down to my target, I plan on maintaining a healthy diet, and working on toning my body more.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

      ~ Kathryn

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I just edited this to include a couple of additional links.

      I look forward to updating my results this coming Saturday, because I have lost weight already this week, and it isn't even Wednesday!

      Have a good week!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      Well, that's great news. Are you still doing the fast diet? My diet is dead! I have stopped doing it because I have lost less than 2 pounds in 4 weeks and I don't want to keep depriving myself for nothing. I have gotten a pedometer now and am happily walking my way to weight loss.

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Karen,

      Last week I did the fast diet, but I unofficially stopped. I am just reducing my calories a little here and there, and getting plenty of exercise. My appetite is not so good right now, so no fast days are even needed. I did okay while on it, but I'm close to my target, and soon I will be trying to avoid losing weight.

      Yes, I was so happy to read your hub on pedometers! I think that is a winning way to lose weight- find something you enjoy doing, and that fits into your life enough so that you can comfortably keep up with it.

      Keep it up, Karen- I'm so happy you have found a better way to lose weight and become fit!

      ~ Kathryn

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I just updated my results. I am a few days late, because I was away for a couple of days, and busy yesterday. It's going well, and I only have 5 more days until the official end of my challenge.

      Have a great day!

      ~ Kathryn

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      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      You have lost 7 lbs. altogether and 5.5 inches??? That's great. I hope you reach your final goal this week. You've been an inspiration. I lost a pound this week too from all the walking...YAY!

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Karen, thanks, I'm glad I have been an inspiration.

      I may not reach the goal I originally set, but I am down to a good weight, so I will be happy no matter what. But I am excited to see what my final results are on Saturday!

      Congrats to losing 1 pound by walking! That is excellent, without actually being on a formal "diet"! I think it is going to be great for you! You are an inspiration to me, too, and I'm excited to see how well you do :) YAY!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Okay, I just completed my final diet update, since it officially ended yesterday! I declare victory!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Congrats! I knew you'd do it.

      I initially wanted to lose 20 pounds and I've surpassed it by 16 pounds. I really don't want to lose anymore, but each week I'm still losing one pound per week.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Susan,

      Thanks! It feels good to have lost the weight, and tone up my muscles.

      Congrats to you! Wow, you have lost almost double what you planned. That is spectacular! And this is from going on a lower-carb diet? That sounds like a very sustainable plan.

      I am going to cut down on carbs more once I live on my own. Lately I have been cutting down on my portions of carbs, and eating more veggies. That is a good start.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Yes a lower carb diet :)

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      Wow, great job on the weight loss and on this comprehensive hub. You really put together a lot of useful info here. Since I am always looking to shed pounds, this is helpful. :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Donnah,

      Thanks, I appreciate it. I like to put together plans and information for myself, and decided to take it further by turning it into a hub. I like sharing tips with others, and it worked as way to motivate myself to keep up the work! I'm glad this is helpful to you.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and I hope you have a wonderful day.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      10 days after the completion of my diet, I am at 137 pounds!

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      Yay...you should be very proud of yourself. I am proud of you! Good job.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thanks, Karen! I was surprised, because I wasn't even trying to lose those last 1.6 pounds!

      I hope you're doing well with your walking!

      Have a great night, and thanks for commenting again. You have been a great encouragement to me!

      ~ Kathryn

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