Community Roundup: Lose Weight and Fight the Winter Blues

iVillage members share their advice on the health message boards

Are your dieting resolutions but a distant memory? Why not set a deadline for your weight loss goals? Seeing as many of us will procrastinate over everything from asking for a raise to scheduling a vacation, an upcoming special occasion can be the kick in the pants we need to get started. Having an end date can make our weight loss goals seem more manageable, provided that we’re not trying to drop 50 pounds in a month.

iVillage member Kelly_Renee is doing just that. Her goal: to lose 30 pounds before going on a cruise.

By now, most people realize (The Biggest Loser disciples excluded) that slow and steady weight loss -- up to two pounds per week -- is the best way to achieve long-lasting results. But with only 13 weeks to go, Kelly’s goal weight is slightly over what health experts recommend. So she asked members on the Losing Weight board if they thought it was a realistic goal.

Dior-abraham offered this advice: “I'm not telling that you can't lose all 30 lbs, but that will be a little bit out of the safety zone. Can you let go of the last 4 lbs? I don't think they will make a very huge difference in your appearance.”

It took member earnhardt-.jr.fan five months to lose 25 pounds. “I logged everything that I ate and went to the gym six to seven times a week for an hour. You can do it, but it'll be a commitment,” she says.

Then you have to consider whether those months of deprivation will make you want to pig out on the cruise. Under the best circumstances, it’s hard to resist fruity umbrella drinks and all-you-can-eat buffets. If you’ve been saint-like until then the weight you worked so hard to get rid of could pile right back on. If you can figure out a pace for taking off the weight that won’t leave you feeling miserable and deprived, you’ll fare much better in the long run.

When you diet, how much weight do you aim to lose each week? Talk about it on the board, or chime in below.

As we know, getting healthy isn’t just about weight loss… or eating better or exercising more. It’s also about staying happy and stress-free, too. On the Tone Up Your Body board, cmkarla asked members if they make a conscious effort to tend to their emotional health when trying to live more healthfully.

“I have learned that keeping my stress levels low and my emotions fairly even means I feel much better overall. Meditation has been a great tool to increase my mental and emotional well-being, and I only wish I could do it more,” says ladybookworm.

Ting_tn works out regularly to boost her mental health. “I also plan a lot of down time when I can so I can recharge and catch up on rest,” she says.

Cmkarla loves how yoga class can improve her mood, and pegasus33 has taken to journaling every day to fight her funk.

My mood-booster of choice is exercise. I know working out makes me feel much better about myself and my life. That said, I don’t always do it. I’ve been on a workout hiatus all winter, and it shows as much in my mood as it does in my ever-tightening pants. So here I am caught in a catch-22: Working out will make me feel better, but my bad mood pretty much guarantees that I’m not likely to hit the gym any time soon. The good news is, I know spring will give me the emotional lift I need. It’s just kind of a long time to wait.

How do you take care of your emotional health? Join the conversation on the message board, or chime in below.

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