Playing the Long Game with Weight Loss

By Wendy Camassar

Recently, people have been asking me about my weight loss and how I was able to do it…as if it’s some big mystery. It really isn’t.

In 2007, I started to make some changes in my diet and increase my exercise level. I began to lose weight, very gradually. So gradually, that people didn’t notice until  recently. I cut back on refined carbohydrates, and I eat a mostly vegetarian diet (limiting animal proteins to fish, so I’m not a true vegetarian). The point is, I didn’t go on a diet. I made some lifestyle changes as well as dietary ones, and the weight came off. I was impatient at first, but now I feel that I have a better chance at keeping the weight off. I’m not anti-diet, I just feel that people tend to go on diets, lose the weight, and then go back to their old ways. I’m all about making changes–for good!

So back to the question: “How’d you do it?”

Many people are really surprised that I don’t go to a gym. In fact, I’ve never joined a gym. Gym memberships are great if you use them regularly.  I just know for me, I’m not likely to get up at 6 a.m. and go to the gym. I like to work out alone, in the privacy of my home, with DVDs or my treadmill.  I’m a big walker and I love to go on hikes, so when weather permits, I’m in the woods. I prefer to exercise early in the morning, when the house is quiet.  This works for me, though I realize not everyone likes to exercise so early in the morning. It is time set aside for me, where I can clear my head and get energized for the day.

Some of the workout DVDs that I keep in rotation are by Jillian Michaels, who has become famous for her work on the TV show The Biggest Loser. Her workouts are very challenging and include modifications for all levels of experience and/or stamina.  Three in my rotation are Banish Fat Boost Metabolism, 30 Day Shred, and No More Trouble Zones.  All three are available in the Howard County Library System’s collection.  They can be used by the beginner, intermediate, or advanced exerciser.  She is tough, but I find her to be very motivating.   She is a proponent of circuit training, which involves three minutes of toning, two minutes of cardio, and one minute of core work.  While I have many other workouts that I tire of, or feel like they become too easy over time, I have found these three to be very effective, and challenging enough to keep me motivated to continue using them over and over again!

Wendy has been a part-time Customer Service Specialist at the Miller Branch Library since February 2011. Prior to joining the Miller Branch, she worked as an hourly Shelver at the Central Branch for one year. She is very excited to be a part of the Miller Branch Staff during a time of enormous growth and change!

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing these tips, Wendy! As a Certified Health Coach, I also encourage my clients that long-lasting weight loss is not about going on a diet….it is about making gradual lifestyle changes that are sustainable. Eating foods that are predominantly plant-based, such as vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and beans/legumes, ensures that you will achieve and maintain your ideal body weight easily, as these foods are fiber rich (filling) and nutrient-dense, just what our bodies need. And I completely agree with you that starting the day with some solitude as you work out helps to keep you centered and grounded throughout the day. Thanks for sharing these successful strategies, and congratulations on achieving and maintaining your health-related goals!