What is/are the most important thing/s you have learned on your journey?
For me, I think most important is that I don't have to be hungry all the time if I make good food choices. I always have had this fear that the trade-off for slimness is eternal, gnawing, hunger. I am beginning to see that it doesn't have to be that way.
Another important thing for me is the realization that if I put a little thought into my eating behavior, I will not have to give up cheescake or peanut butter forever . I guess I am talking about a bit of moderation and delayed gratification.
I don't know why I have had the attitude that "I want what I want when I want it", with regard to food, when the rest of my life isn't like that.
I am feeling optomistic about maintenance, now. When I lost weight previously, I had not the slightest clue about how to maintain. None of the books or articles I read really addressed the problem. Now, from spending time on 3fc and reading the Ann Fletcher books, I have an idea about how to go about it.
1. You can make room for just about anything if you plan well. Dessert, a glass of wine, even one night of indulgence at a holiday party - if you balance everything out, you'll see it on the scale, without having to abstain entirely.
2. Fast isn't better...it can be good, but slow is good too. Slow teaches you that the scale isn't the only thing that matters, which is INVALUABLE when you get to maintenance and don't have downward scale motion. My 6 mo. plateau made me less reliant on the scale to feel successful, which is an important maintenance tool.
3. There is always a way to make it work. There is no situation in which you cannot do SOME movement, in which you cannot make the healthiest choices possible. Sometimes it is harder to do so than other times, but there is always a way.
Wow, it's tough to narrow it down to just one, I feel like I have learned enough to fill the Encyclopedia Britannica. I will cheat and give 5 lessons that were very important to me.
1. I can not expect long term results from short term actions. I can't diet for a short time and then "stop" and expect to keep the weight off. I used to restrict, lose some weight, stop dieting and eat normal again. I would regain all the weight I lost and more. I had to change how I ate normally.
2. Because I had to change how I ate normally, it had to be positive and sustainable. No more starving, no more plain chicken breasts, no more 800 calorie days and deprivation. I had to like what I ate. I made some big changes (no more fast food, sugary soda, packaged baked goods) and small changes (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, more fresh fruits and vegetables). Instead of NOT eating, I switched my focus to eating foods with powerful nutritional properties - my plan was a combination of Whole Foods + calorie counting. Whole foods made me feel good, everything else just kind of fell into place.
3. It is impossible to eat healthy by accident. Knowing that an apple is a good snack is easy, actually having the apple ready for snack time is hard. Planning, shopping, lunch packing, looking up recipes, it's EASY but time consuming. I have to PLAN to be on PLAN. If I get stuck without a healthy sanck when my work brings in a huge plate of tempting pastries, I have contributed to my own temptation.
4. Forgive myself. Life is messy and complicated. The best planning will sometimes fail. I will sometimes eat foods that I didn't plan for. I will sometimes feel bad about it. I don't let it derail me, I just get back on plan at the very next food choice. One afternoon of too many crackers and cheese at a work function did not make me fat.
5. Life time accountability. I accept that I will weigh myself once a week, food plan, food journal and estimate calories everyday for the rest of my life. Sticking my head in the sand and ignore weight gain got me to 200 lbs.
SIX YEARS at maintenance weight!
After almost a year of successfully changing the way i eat and going from 237 pounds to 185 i think the most important thing i learned was a 2 parter...
1........... every thing You put in Your mouth 'counts'
2............ You do not have to be 'perfect' 100% of the time to see results...just find a good healthy diet and STICK with it 95% of the time. You see results and can still fit 'living' in.
I have learned I can eat. Yes I said eat. I never ate enough. I eat from the time I get up until I go to bed. My body loves food and I love to eat it. I don't do without a thing just make good choices.
1. It's okay to eat. I remeber back in high school I would starve myself all day unil I got home and usually just eat dinner. Only to pig out on the weekends. Obviously that got me nowhere.
2 You can't just eat one healthy item and then eat whatever the rest of the day. Yeah, I used to think that a sald for lunch and take out for dinner would be okay.
3. Healthy food actually taste better than junk. The more I learn to eat healthy and make smarter choices the more I find myself not liking fatty foods as much.
4 Pasta everyday is not good. ...Well, it's not, plus it gets boring.
5. Exercise can be fun especially when you begin noticing positive changes in your body and it actually makes you feel better and puts you in a better mood.
6. It takes time, no one is going to lose 20+ pounds in a few short weeks. Don't be in such a rush. There's a choice you can either take your time and get the weight off at a fair and healthy speed or you can drop most of it quickly and then gain it all back making it take twice as long as the healthy way.
*MY opinion is what counts in my life. I've been given so much advice on this journey, and I've had so many people tell me "you need to stop losing weight" and things like that. It's all about how I feel in my body, and I honestly stopped caring what anyone thought a long time ago. This also applies to running -- I used to be afraid to run because I didn't want people to see me running. I was embarrassed. Now I just think -- how silly. Who cares what anyone thinks of me running? I'm doing it for me.
*I really can do anything if I put my mind to it. I'm not just talking about losing 115 pounds, though that's a biggie. I'm talking about the running. A former obese couch potato who has NEVER been an athlete has turned into a person who now coaches running and has finished a half marathon. I'll probably run a marathon next year. I never would've thought that could be a possibility.
*I don't have to give up any foods. I know this varies for some people, because they can't eat "trigger" foods, but I'm a moderation kind of girl. If it fits in my calories for the day and I want it, I'm probably going to eat it. It never slowed me down.
Lisa Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. -- St. Francis of Assisi
That there are some foods I simply cannot eat in moderation, so I don't eat them at all. (sugar and refined flour) Definitely not the answer I was looking for. I'm so grateful to be getting my life back from my compulsive overeating!!!
Protein really puts an end to cravings. It makes all the difference. I eat some kind of protein at each meal.
Go 3 fat chicks!
Last edited by shoupfamily : 12-10-2007 at 09:38 PM.
Reason: Forgot something!
Oh gosh. I've learned so very much. A few things that come to mind:
-I've learned that healthy foods are just as delicious (and most often MORE so) and satisfying as unhealthy ones.
-I've learned that I really DO have control. And that I am way stronger then I ever knew.
-I've learned that there are just some foods I am better not having in my home at all. And that I should probably throw away my Kitchen Aid mixer. Me and home made baked goods are a major no-no. Always will be I'm afraid.
-I've learned that I must, must, MUST plan to eat healthy foods, and map out my menu on a daily basis. Without fail. I absolutely can not have it any other way. Eating healthy does NOT happen by chance.
-I've learned that protein and fiber are very filling and great aids in weight loss.
-I've learned that underneath the lazy, sedentary person, there was a productive, energetic, active and very, very lively person.
-I've learned that doing without some high calorie, high quanty food is a small price to pay for being fit, thin and healthy.
When eating out - split everything. (If eating alone, ask for a carryout container when you order your meal)
Breakfast REALLY IS important.
Eating regularly (every 2.5 - 3 hours) is the key to success. Skipping meals is a recipe for disaster
Eliminating highly processed foods and simple sugars from my diet was not as hard as I thought it would be and makes me feel soooo much better!
Exercise is not a 4 letter word. Variety is the spice of life - keep trying new things and repeat what you enjoy.
Daily scale fluctuations are normal and not cause for kicking the dog, cat or mistreating any living creature
And most importantly - this is a lifestyle change. Keep living life. Do not put life on hold during this process. Life is precious and every moment is meant to be lived and enjoyed. Do not miss any opportunities or experiences because you have not yet achieved "perfection". Enjoy being you - now - just as you are - you are wonderful!!!!!
__________________ Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?ICor 6:19 My Pictorial Journey " " My Goal Story