Hi Hayley

I am obese.  I hate that word, but I can't deny it any longer.  I weigh 220lbs and I am 5'5. I’ve been overweight for more than 15 years, I’m 35, and I’m at the highest weight I've ever been.  I have a thousand excuses, but none of them hold water and I can only lie to myself for so long.  I feel like I know what to do...I just don't know how or where to start. I’m quitting pop...I’ve been a popaholic my whole life.  My SIL asked if I would run a 10k with her in 1 year.  I said yes, but really....WTF?!  How do I even begin?  I haven't even started, and I’m already overwhelmed.  Please Help.  I really am ready; I just need a push in the right direction. 

Thank you, N



It sounds like you are ready to make a change in your life so I want to congratulate you for that, but you need to understand that this transformation is not going to happen overnight, there will be set backs and it is going to be tough.  Understand that you are NOW on the path to a better you just by writing to me and admitting to me, yourself and all of Lainey’s readers that you want change.  Today is the day that you say goodbye to the old you and start to build the person you want to become.

You have to forget about the big picture - it is too overwhelming.  If you continue to focus solely on your desired outcome you will never succeed.  It would be like climbing a mountain and only thinking about the top, rather than focusing on each step that you need to take to get there.  Forget about the weight loss; set your mind to your sister-in-law’s challenge of a 10km run in a year and work backwards. 

I am assuming that you are not a runner so step one is to learn how to run. Trust me, we are incredible animals and we can do anything we set our minds to, so enough with the excuses.  The first thing you should always do when beginning an exercise program is see your doctor so do that as soon as possible.  Then commit to 1 hour of “moving” a day.  I do not care what type of moving you are doing but every day you need to do 60 minutes of light cardiovascular exercise.  If you say you do not have time, you need to make time.

Once moving has become a habit for you, change what you are doing in that hour.  Add in 60 minute power walks, indoor cycling classes and yoga classes. Continue your progressions by adding very short 30 second running intervals (whenever you can) into your walks. Turn those into 60 second intervals and eventually progress to a walk/run program.  You are now on the path to learning how to run 5 kilometres so sign up for a fun 5km race.  After your first 5 kilometre race you now can start training for the 10km run.  See? It is not that bad when you break it down.

Fitness is a positive circle: the more you do the more you want to do and the more you will do.  You will crave new challenges as the feelings of accomplishment you receive from achieving something you never thought possible are some of the best feelings in the world.  Start small and each day, week and month you will grow.

We all understand that weight loss really comes down to what goes into our bodies so your nutrition will have to be addressed.  Giving up pop is a great idea but that is just the tip of the ice berg.  You need to start listening to your body and start giving it what it needs and remove all the processed and extra foods that we do not need.  I told a client today that when she is about to put something in her mouth to stop and ask herself is she hungry and is this something that her body needs.  I do not believe in diets, they never work, but understanding portion sizes and your body’s cues are very important.  When you are eating a meal do not keep eating until you are so full you feel sick.  Instead, stop at a point where you are satisfied and get used to that feeling. 

Try writing down everything that you eat, or download an app like MyFitnessPal which allows you to easily record everything you eat, tells you how much you should be eating and holds you accountable to what you are eating.  Knowing you have to write it down will prevent you from consuming calories you know you should not be eating.

If you fail now and again and give in to the ice cream that is staring at you in your grocer’s freezer, do not beat yourself up over it.  Instead understand why you felt you needed the ice cream, learn from the situation and move forward. 

Turn the corner and begin to head down the path to the new you today.  Take it one change at a time and continue to remind yourself that every step you take you will be one step closer to who you and I both know you can be. It will not be easy and it will require hard work, sacrifice, commitment and dedication but believe in yourself and you will be successful.   

Attached - Hilary Duff goes to pilates.