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What lifestyle change has made the biggest difference to you?

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Old 07-07-2008, 05:21 PM   #1
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Default What lifestyle change has made the biggest difference to you?

What change have you made that has been the most benefit? Is your exercise routine really moving you along, your new found love of roasted vegs? What is it that keeps you going???

I think when I quit drinking soda and switched to crystal light, I really jump started my weight loss. The caffeine in the soda was making me want to eat all the time. The crystal light is really filling me up and the flavor kills some of my cravings.
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Old 07-07-2008, 05:29 PM   #2
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Two things... cutting the sugar and the exercise. I love that when I have to walk somewhere it feels like my muscles just propel me along. It's almost like I don't have to make the effort anymore, kwim? It's so nice to not feel like I'm dragging myself everywhere I go.
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Old 07-07-2008, 05:31 PM   #3
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Running. I still don't enjoy it, but it really helped get my weight loss going again so I keep doing it.
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Old 07-07-2008, 05:37 PM   #4
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Getting a CSA box of produce. It basically grounded my entire eating philosophy (local, in season when possible, eat tons of veggies, and try new things), and made vegetables a key part of my life and menu. That allowed me to cut calories and continue losing weight while eating tremendously delicious food.
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:29 PM   #5
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Wow...hmmm, I would have to day the decision to concentrate on eating foods with powerful nutritional benefits and to reduce foods with limited nutritional benefits. I drastically increased the amount of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, complex carbohydrates and healthy fat I eat. I eat a LOT less of white flour products, fast food, packaged baked goods and 0 nutrition snack foods (chips, pretzels, cookies, etc).

It was a really simple idea for me, but the impact was immense - I ended up cutting out most sugars (except for fruit) in my diet and helped to eliminate my cravings. I didn't know I was such a slave to empty carbs until I was suddenly free.
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:40 PM   #6
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Running! I learned to love it. I've been running three years. The first two years I ran about 12 miles a week. Now I run 35-40 miles a week. I eat whatever I want and still lose weight. The key is that what I want is only the healthy stuff. I've lifted weights for years also but when I picked up the running miles, the weight really started coming off. I weigh 198 now, but look like I weigh less. I've lost 37 pounds this year which is the rate at which my doctor recommends. I feel great, better than when I was thin years ago and I credit the running. The time and effort is an investment in myself.
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:50 PM   #7
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Hm, I would have to say that the two lifestyle changes which have made the biggest impact on my weight-loss are

a) counting calories and, in conjunction,
b) allowing myself a decent amount of them.

You see, I've been eating fairly healthy food for years now, and I've been pretty active all that time as well - exercising on and off, but doing tons of walking pretty much always. The problem was my all-or-nothing attitude - that I either ate too much or too little. Breaking the binge-restrict cycle by keeping my calories in a controlled but relatively high range for weight loss has turned out to be the key for me.

Interestingly, I always thought it would be the mental/emotional side of (over-)eating that I needed to work on. In a way, that still applies, because with my former attitude I would not be able to bear the relatively slow weight loss I'm experiencing now. But then, that attitude was also fueled in a big way by the feeling of deprivation I felt with a lower calorie level.

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Old 07-07-2008, 07:02 PM   #8
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Cooking every day. I rarely cooked before. Now I feel like all I do is cook! But it's the only way to do whole foods.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:24 PM   #9
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I think the biggest lifestyle change has really been an attitude change. I no longer allow myself to punish or berate myself, or even think in terms of failure. Eating off plan is not "cheating," or an excuse for unrestrained eating for the rest of the day, The day after off-plan eating or after a small gain is not "starting over." It's all just part of the journey of progress, not perfection. And most important of all, diet and exercise are not punishments or torture I have to endure in order to get what I want, or to punish myself for having been "bad."

Rather I look for ways to consider the process a way of pampering myself. I am not horrible for being fat, I am worthy of treating myself well, and part of that is taking care of my body, mind and spirit. Sometimes that means treating myself to a $2 piece of ugli fruit or a $6 quart of fresh blackberries. Sometimes that is reminding myself that I have a right to enjoy public activities and am learning to refuse to be embarassed or ashamed for swimming, walking, biking... in public.

Most importantly of all, not putting my life on hold, for "when" I lose the weight. I realized several years ago that most of the things I had on my "when I've lost the weight" list, didn't have to wait. I try to remember that every day.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:33 PM   #10
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Weightlifting. It taught me that I'm far, far stronger -- both mentally and physically -- than I ever dreamed. It taught me about discipline, perseverance, and the ability to withstand short-term discomfort for long-term benefit. It completely changed my body, my mind, and my life.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:49 PM   #11
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I don't know if there is any one thing I can give more weight to than others.
For me, this time is about the whole package.

Food: finally figuring out what works for me, basically taking bits and pieces from a bunch of programs and creating a "Lori Plan" that I can stick to for life.

Exercise: all of it, strength training, cardio, flexibility. I do think, however, that running has changed everything for me exercise wise.

Mental: getting rid of the 'stinkin thinkin' about myself and the obsession with the scale number.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:58 PM   #12
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I think actually taking the time to fit in exercise....I had gotten out of the habit when I got pregnant with my last baby (she will be 2 on Thursday!) and I just ballooned from there.

Also eating like I am....it was hard to throw out the junk that I loved but I have found healthier goodies
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:13 PM   #13
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Without a doubt, numero uno - it would be calorie counting. It forced me to do two very, VERY important things.

#1 - It made me accountable and forced me to STOP overeating by setting limits to my food intake. It forced me to have much needed boundaries. For the first time in ages, I had a shut off valve.

#2 - I knew I had to make the very most of my precious calories, so therefore I made the switch from sugary, carby, processed foods - to wholesome healthy foods. Never would have happend without the calorie counting.

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Old 07-07-2008, 09:50 PM   #14
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Great question! this is kind of hard to explain, but I'd like to try, since the last few pounds have been getting easier, rather than harder, to take off. Basically, if I try to think really holistically about health as I have been, increasingly, for the last few months, then I just naturally want to eat good foods. I've been:

Focusing on the positive aspect of food rather than the negative, or eating good foods rather than not eating less healthy foods.
Planning menus and filling up on fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, and lean proteins so that when some baked goods come my way, I'm not interested.
Learning about, and thus being able to appreciate locally grown whole foods.
Learning to respect the physical body and give it the food it is meant to eat, not some chemical concoction.
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:53 PM   #15
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Not being afraid of carbs. I failed a few times on Atkins and was never able to lose more than five or ten pounds. I would always gain it back as soon as I went off of it. WW has rewired my thinking and I can enjoy carbs again. I only lay off carbs a couple days before an event.
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