Let me preface this post by reminding you - I am not a doctor nor a nutritionist. See your doctor before following any advice given here!! Also, this is how *I'M* doing it.... you have to find your own groove.
I recently got a PM from a lurker asking how I'm staying OP. And Sue asked me to post what I eat everyday, since I am losing well, and have been since January. The thing is, it isn't just what I'm eating that's helping, it's so much more!
When I began to feel serious about losing weight back in January, I asked myself these questions:
- if I don't do it now, when will I?
- what is my plan going to be? It had to be healthy..
- what things can I do to help ensure success?
- am I ready to do this for the rest of my life?
First of all, imo, losing weight is a frame of mind ... you have to be ready. And if you repeatedly try and fail, then ask yourself.."What is my payoff for staying fat?" That is a direct quote from Dr. Phil, and it is highly effective. I had to find out what I personally got as a reward from staying overweight. For me, it was the comfort of eating. I like
the feeling of pudding in my mouth... I like
the crunch and salt in Doritos... I like
the smoothness of mashed potatoes, and the taste of almost all foods! I used food as a drug to calm my nerves and to soothe my bruised feelings when something unpleasant happened. And I used them to celebrate when I was happy. The way these foods made me feel was my payoff... so I had to find a different way to get the same balm. Now I use limited portions, or I do an entirely different activity to get them. You can find one if you try. It is so much easier to stop one bad habit, if you replace it with a good one.
The next thing I did was talk to my family. They've seen me try and fail so many times, and I know it hurt them as much as it hurt me. So I told them that I was going to start WW again, and that I needed their help. That I wouldn't be making many desserts and would be limiting the amount of food on the table every evening. We still eat regular food, just less of it. Katie and Neal eat more than me, obviously, but I don't make tons of it like I used to. If your family isn't willing to help you, you have bigger issues than weight loss, and should probably focus on those first.
Also, I got all the junk food out of my house. No one living here needs cookies, candy, etc. (no one in any house needs that stuff!) Yes, I can, and do, have treats... but a steady supply of them is just too tempting. If I was strong about avoiding these types of foods, I wouldn't be overweight in the first place, right? Once I got used to not eating them, I truly stopped craving them. The sugar in fruit now satisfies my sweet tooth. I try new fruits... not just apples and oranges, using the money I save on chips and cookies to buy kiwi, mangos, plantains, and other delights. I personally don't even buy the Lite version of cookies and crisps because then the cravings would never go away!
What about a goal? For me, a weight goal should be a number or size that I can stop at and stay there without starving myself everyday of my life! Life is too short to be miserable. I still don't know mine, lol. But I will sooner or later.... Also, I don't think of the Big number of pounds I need to lose .... I think about 1 pound at a time. It would have been overwhelming to think I had to lose a 100 pounds .... but I knew I COULD lose 1 pound. Then another... and another. And I have never even thought about meeting a timeline. If I set one and didn't make it, then I might feel like a failure. Week after week, I'm doing as well as I can, and that's all I ask of myself. That's one reason you don't see me doing challenges and competitions. I'll get there when I get there, lol.
I have noticed in the past that when I lose for an event, like a wedding, a reunion, a vacation, etc., I always gain the weight right back after the event is over. So this time I am losing for Life.... until the day I die, I will be doing Weight Watchers. And I want
What to do about reunions, birthday parties, hoidays, etc at home? I eat what everyone else does, just less of it, if it is mealtime! (only fruit or free veggies if it's a snack) When there is a buffet, I skip the really high point foods in favor of more
food. I take LOTS of free foods to keep my jaws busy. And I focus on mingling, visiting, and anything other than the food when others are getting seconds. I go talk to an aunt, hold a baby while the momma eats, gather dirty dishes, refill the napkin holder... anything to keep myself busy, once I've had my allotment. But what's most effective is... thinking about weigh-in day. Would I rather have a brownie now, or show a loss on Saturday? That's a no-brainer for me!
All restaurants have healthy food choices now that they are afraid of being sued, lol. I used to take an orange or grapes with me to McDonald's with the DGDs... now that they have apples, I don't have to. There just isn't any reason for me to over-indulge. When I'm on the road, as when I'm home, I write down exactly what I'm going to eat before I eat it. There's not much room for error this way, and it takes away the panic of not knowing.
To help keep the motivation, I started a weight loss scrapbook. It makes me smile, and makes me proud to see the change in pictures. I have in mine the Serenity Prayer, my Mission Statement, my Top Ten Reasons to Lose, a month-to-month weight loss record, and photos. The "before" ones and several since. Another motivator is keeping "too small" clothes in the closet. That's highly effective, lol.
Sometimes the numbers on the scales move downward very slowly, so I keep track of my body measurements, too. It's a re-inforcement that I am doing the right things for my body which brings me to Exercise....
I have very strong feelings about exercise, and refuse to do anything that I'm not willing to do for the rest of my life. Have you ever seen what happens to a body that is used to vigorous exercise then the person stopped? Yikes! So I do what I'm fairly certain I can keep up with for years and years to come. I walk the treadmill every other day. On the in-between days, I do exercises for my arms, and also crunches for my abs. I'll continue to increase the length of time or number of repetitions as I can. Finding something I really like to do was the key for me.... no way would I be doing some of the stuff that's out there.... it is a personal thing, and each one of us has to find their niche. For some people it's pilates, or Denise Austin, or WATP (I started with the 1 mile of this) .. anyway, you get the point.
Lastly, I thank God everyday for helping me get through this. There have been funerals, blood tests, sick babies, a cancer scare, arguements, and other very, very stressful times since January. But with God's help, I got through them without overeating. You may have a different Higher Power, and that's ok, too. Whatever it is, draw strength from it and give thanks. But finding a way to cope during stress is imperative.... I had to replace the old habits! I try a bubble bath, meditation, peace and quiet with a cup of tea, taking deep breaths, whatever works at the time... other than comfort food! So far, so good.
Being able to come here and talk with my friends is such a big part of me staying OP, I can't even tell you about it! I truly don't know what I'd do without you Jaded Ladies!! You understand that what I weigh is NOT who I am.
I hope this came across as helpful as I intended, and not preachy. I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I know what is working for me now. I may have to change it later, who knows?
If you got one helpful thing out of all this (and oh I hope you did!) it has been worth opening up my heart to let you take a peek.