Originally Posted by holditagainstmexo
Has anyone simply had sucess in lowering their portions and eating healthily?
I lost about the first half of my weight loss, without trying to lose weight at all.
I had more than 30 years of failed diets under my belt. For more than 30 years I spent more time on diets than off, and only gained weight for my efforts (because I could gain weight a lot faster than I could lose it).
I was very anti-diet when I started. So much so that I had to take weight loss off my agenda entirely. I decided that I would make and commit to healthy changes whether or not the changes resulted in weight loss. At the time I thought that I couldn't lose weight, so I wasn't going to even try. I figured that I might not get slimmer, but I would definitely get healthier.
My health situations was really poor at the time, so I didn't lose weight at first, but I did get healthier. I celebrated the fact that I was stronger and able to do more (some of the progress was so poor, I wouldn't have necessarily seen it, if I weren't writing everything down. My food/diet/exercise/health journal put the progress in black and white. I could see that I was having more good days, and fewer bad days.
Eventually the weight started coming off, but I saw it as the reward for my progress, not something I would judge success or failure by, but it made me want to lose more, so I switched my focus to try to lose "just one more pound," while always maintaining the weight loss I acheived.
I had to stop seeing a week of "no loss" as being no better than weight gain - in the past if I wasn't losing, I thought I might as well be gaining and at least getting to eat what I want. I had to learn that just maintaining was an achievement to strive for. Even when I couldn't lose, I could maintain if I just decided that every bite counted, and every pound counted. I didn't have to be perfect, I just had to do better. Even slips and binges weren't valid reasons to eat more so I could start fresh tomorrow or Monday.
I focused on making my binges and food mistakes smaller and less frequent.
Eventually I had to put more focus on my diet. Just eating less and better wasn't yielding results anymore, so I had to start dieting. So I tried some of the diets that had failed for me in the past. I started experimenting and I discovered that I could change my diet whenever I wanted to. All of the diets I tried helped me lose weight. The diets hadn't changed, I had.
No matter what kind of diet I want to use, I translate it into an exchange plan (a short-hand form of calorie counting, where you count foods by their food group, and all foods within an exchange group have very similar calorie counts, so an 1800 calorie exchange plan will contain about 1800 calories. Instead of having to count each one, I count fruits, veggies, dairy, protien, starch, and fat exchanges.
But I learned the plan doesn't matter. I can change food plans every week if I want to, but I can't change my willingness to have and be on some plan (even if the plan is just eat less and move more).
The secret isn't in the food plan, the secret is in finding a way to decide not to give up.
Making it fun, helped a lot. Sticker charts and mini-rewards, kept me going at first. I made a chart and gave myself a sticker for every pound I lost. If I regained, I didn't pull the stickers off, but I couldn't earn a new sticker until I had lost a "new" pound (had lost what I had gained, and one more pound beyond that).
Every 5 stickers I would do something for myself or buy myself something small (say a new paperback book, or even a 99 cent song from itunes).
But in the end, it was just about finding a way not to give up.