Lose 10 lbs in 10 weeks

Sounds like a cheesy infomercial, doesn’t it? I promise you, I’m not trying to sell you anything.

RWA Nationals is just 10 weeks away, and I don’t know about you, but I’d really like to be a few pounds thinner by the time the conference arrives—ten pounds to be exact.

When I’m not busy being a writer, I work as a personal fitness trainer. It’s my job to help people drop excess pounds and get fitter. Losing weight isn’t difficult, but it does take commitment and dedication.

You might think that as a trainer, my eating habits would be perfect. Well, you’d be wrong. LOL. I’ve had a lifetime struggle with my weight. I always will. Teaching a bunch of fitness classes keeps me from gaining weight, but my slack eating habits keep me from being at my best weight right now. I’ve gotten a bit off track and need to tweak my diet. Thus this blog post.

I know there are probably many of you who would like to be one size smaller by Conference, so I thought I’d blog about my journey and offer you tips and suggestions to meet your own weight loss goals. Every Sunday for the next 10 weeks, I will give you another step (the ones I’m taking myself, and the ones I give my clients) to losing weight in a healthy, safe way.

Week One

Step 1: Weigh yourself. Naked. First thing in the morning after doing your bathroom business. Write that number down.

Step 2: Measure yourself. At belly button level. Every inch you lose here is approximately 5-8 lbs of bodyfat. Write that number down.

Step 3: Take a “before” photo of yourself. This is optional, and for your eyes only. Then, after 10 weeks you'll be able to see how far you've come.

Step 4: Keep a food journal. This is not optional. “They’ve” done studies proving that dieters who kept a food diary lost far more weight than those who didn’t.

For right now, I want you to do this the old fashioned way: with pen to paper. This week, we won’t focus on calories or what kind of foods we’re eating. You just need to promise me you’ll write down everything you eat, down to the last bite, lick and taste (referred to as BLTs to the pros). You can also write down the time you ate, and if you were hungry or not.


Noon: ½ tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread, made with light mayo
Small apple
Latte with skim milk, splash of vanilla syrup
(pretty hungry. Hadn’t eaten since 8 a.m.)

1:30 p.m. – Small handful of chocolate chips (not hungry, but I saw them in the pantry so I wanted them)

The act of writing down every single thing you eat might be all you need to do to start losing weight. This is usually all I have to do. It keeps me honest. I’ll be reaching for a cookie or second helping of dinner, then I’ll remember I have to record it in my food journal. No, thank you.

Step 5: Drink 8-10 glasses of plain water a day. Add 8 oz for every 30 minutes you exercise each day. This will keep you hydrated, help you feel more satiated, and will keep your liver happy. A happy liver is much more efficient at burning fat.

Step 6: Get moving. Yes, this means exercise. No, it’s not optional. I want you to break a sweat 6 days a week for at least 20 minutes. This doesn’t have to be formal exercise. You can dance around your house. You can walk the dog. You can play tag with your kids. But do something for at least 20 minutes that makes you breathe a bit harder than normal.

If you already exercise regularly, take it up a notch. Add another day of cardio. Add 10 minutes to your current cardio days. Something.

Next week: We’ll add another step in your diet, and another step to your workout plan.

Good luck. Let me know how you’re doing. And let’s all be down a pound by next Sunday. We can do it.


  1. I'm joining you Rebecca!

    I haven't been taking care of myself since I gave birth late last year. Understandable of course, new baby takes a lot of getting used to, plus the whole sleep deprivation thing :)

    But I figure it's time to start getting back in the health groove and lose the baby weight.

    And going to conference is a great motivator.

    Thanks for allowing us to tag along with you :)

  2. Bless you Becky!!! I need to lose ~40 lbs, and this weight is killing me-literally! If I lose the weight I can get off my CPAP and breathe normally. I've been sick ~5 times since last year, and almost always after a plane trip. And I have 2 more trips to go. I don't workout often because I'm always sick! Any help will be greatly appreciated. Ironically, I used to be so rail thin and unable to gain weight-ah the joys of middle age-NOT! Thanks so much for doing this!

  3. Hi Danielle and Marianne--so glad you'll be joining me. :)

  4. Yay! I did 30 minutes on the treadmill today-go me-lol!

  5. Nice job, Marianne. Keep it up!
    I taught my 60 minute Turbokick class. Plenty of cardio for me. :)

  6. Okay, I'm in. Maybe it will help me to "be" accountable to you! :-) I'm running a half marathon in August, and would like to shed the extra weight I put on over winter. Did I mention I HATE the cold, and get too bored and mental on the treadmill, so my running mostly came to a halt over winter.

    Thanks for putting this together! :-) See you next week.

  7. I'm in too. The food journal scares me, but I'll start it tomorrow. Thanks, Becky!

  8. Rebecca,

    What a fabulous idea. Count me in.

    Just reading your post made me sad I've gained so much weight since I hung up my Nikes more than a decade ago (I taught aerobics for 10 years). Recently I've lost 10 pounds, but it was mostly due to stress. But your 10 lbs in 10 weeks sounds like the perfect way to take advantage of that weight loss in a healthy way. Thanks so much!

  9. Pris--So glad you're here with us. Training for a half marathon? Good for you! Do you have a good training program for it? If not, let me know and I'll give you links to some.

  10. Anne--I think you'll be amazed at how effective a food journal is. I give myself about a 7-lb swing on my weight--once I'm at that +7 lbs, I start food journaling. And that's usually all I need to do.

  11. Vicky, my Nationals roomie!!! So happy you're here. 10 lbs off due to stress must mean you've been awfully stressed. :( That's not good. Hopefully, the added exercise and healthier eating will help your body combat that stress.

    Do you think you'd ever want to teach aerobics again? I love teaching--and I don't have an excuse to skip my workouts because people are counting on me.

  12. I'm in! As we are tracking everything we eat, I have a fantastic ap I use on my phone. It's called My Fitness Pal. It tracks calories, subtracting what you eat from the total calories you should have for the day. It tracks your water, and your exercise as well. It has a huge vault of foods you may be eating and the calories, fat, sodium etc in each. It really helps me. I need to lose 15 more pounds in 5 weeks. Puerto Rico here I come!!

  13. Becky -

    I know you'll motivate lots of writers (maybe even me :)). I don't necessarily need to lost 10 pounds, but I could probably stand to tone up the ones I have. Any suggestions for integrating small exercises throughout the day?


  14. I'm going to give it a go. I would love to lose some weight. I'll start my food journal today but I might have to skip the scale thing for right now. It's mid-afternoon and I've already eaten breakfast and had a snack.

  15. Hey girl! This sounds fantastic. I need it super bad - pastry and cookies have become the new staple of our house, and it's totally my fault. Count me in! And thanks!

    (P.S. Hi Pris!)

  16. Can a senior, semi-handicapped person join this challenge?

    I need to get back on my food plan. I have severe arthritis, get around with a cane or a wheeling walker, and try to follow "The Fat Resistant Die" which really decreases my pain level. I have been so bad all winter. I'm thinking working with a group of writers is just what I need. Part of the problem I fell of my food plan is that I was too busy concentrating on my writing. I find it difficult to do both at the same time. I think having a group to work with will help.

    I'm not going to national. Would love to but it is way to much for me to handle physcially. I am going to a small writers conference the first week in June and I'd love to drop a few pounds and a size or two by then.

  17. Erin, I'm so glad you decided to come over. Don't kill yourself to get those 15 lbs off. 5 weeks isn't that long a time. It's okay to aim high, but don't think you've failed if you lose *just* 5-8 lbs. I want my clients to lose 1/2 - 1 lb a week, because then I know they'll keep it off.

  18. Kelsey, welcome! Funny you should ask about fitting exercise in. I'll probably be talking about this in Week 2's installment. But for now, how about some pushups. I know they suck. Hate 'em. BUT...you'll love what they do for your arms. On the toes, on the knees, or against your kitchen counter. As long as you're fatigued by the end of your set of 10-15, you're doing them right. 3 sets of 10. 3x/week.

  19. Kay--Welcome. Just weigh yourself tomorrow morning first thing. No biggie. I think you'll like keeping a food journal. It keeps you honest and is very eye opening.

  20. Jennie!!!! I'm so happy to see you here. I hear you on the pastries and cookies. They just call my name sometimes. But we can resist. We can say no. And, occasionally, we can say yes, but I'll talk about that in a later week.

  21. Pat, absolutely you are welcome. Anyone can join me:) The Fat Resistant Diet is a good one. I've heard it really is a miracle worker for those with arthritis.

    Eating well doesn't have to take a lot of time. It's all about making small changes we can live with and stick to. Hopefully, by implementing the small changes I'll lay out for you, you'll find that you do have time to eat well AND write. :)

  22. Wow, so glad that you are doing this. I am so hopping on this bandwagon. Albeit, a few days late. I definitely need to lose some weight and can use all the help that I can get. Thanks for tips.

  23. Danielle, you're only a couple of days behind the rest of us. Anyone is welcome to join in any time. :) if anyone has any specific questions that you don't want to post to the loop, feel free to email me off loop. rebeccajclark dot author at gmail dot com

  24. I'm in, but I'm starting the hard way. I've got a colonoscopy scheduled for tomorrow, so...well, you know. Let's just say I’m already down a pound just this morning. Anyway, once I'm eating regularly again, I'll be right in here with you all. I need to lose more like 60 lbs, but we'll start with the 10 and go from there.

  25. Lisa....Ack!!! That doesn't sound fun. I will assume it went well, and you are feeling fine again. :) Good for you for having that done. Very important.

    You have it right on the weight loss. You can't lose 60 lbs until you lose the 1st 10, eh?

  26. Okay, I'm going to be a week behind but I'm doing the measuring, etc. today and starting my journal first thing Monday morning. Should be a challenge since I'm having lunch out with critique partner who flew in yesterday. But I really need this not on weight wise but pain wise.