Friday, September 30, 2011

From Someone Who's Been There, Done That (Bought the XL Tshirt)

Okay, so people ask me sometimes what my "secret" is. As if there's some magic cure. There isn't.
As soon as they realize it's not, they lose interest. "Ugh, you mean I have to actually WORK at it ??"
Um, yes.  

So here is some practical advice from someone who has SO been there :

1.  Take on an "Eat Less, Move More" motto. Try it in all the small things.

2.  Try it without salt first. Does it need that much ??? That said, don't stress about a pound, which can often be water retention from salt. This is not true weight gain (or loss) anyway, so don't sweat the small stuff.

3.  Cut down on carbs- in a big way.  ie. Do you need FOUR pcs of pizza, or could you eat two, and maybe some more veggies ? Either way, you'll be full, and it won't matter in ten minutes from now.
a.) Think of how obsessed we are with carbs, esp bread. Toast or cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, garlic bread/pasta/bun for supper. Try one less carb a day. For breakfast try a yogurt and a banana. Or for lunch, beans or soup with some veggies.
b.) If you ate bread for breakfast, try lunch without it. Or supper.....See where I'm going with this??   ;)
c.) Eat your sandwich open-faced. It tastes the same without the second piece of bread on top. Same goes for a burger.

4.   Snacking- try a healthy snack. Ideas: Nuts, an apple, hand made trail mix, a banana, a yogurt,a cheese string. Usually 7 or 8 almonds does it for me, and I'm good until supper. A snack should be a bit of protein to tide you over- not another meal !

5. Give up pre-packaged junk food for a week and see if you survive. If you do......try it again next week.
* This includes boxed cookies, granola bars, chips crackers, Fibre bars, and Cereal bars. Anything that you keep in your "junk" cupboard is there because it's junk. If it doesn't go bad or need to be refrigerated, it's likely not good for you.

6. Discover salsa. And hummus. And chick peas in general. A sandwich can taste great with mustard instead of mayonnaise. Try beefing up the protein in your salad. I love to add boiled eggs, chick peas, or even a few almonds /pecans to my salad. If you want, add some chicken breast. This is a full meal, packed full of protein.
And seriously, I have not missed mayonnaise -at ALL- in the past  year. I've never once said, "Dang, I sure wish I had eaten more mayo in the last year!"
However, I have said, "Dang, I look good in these jeans !"

7. Almost any meal can be done in a healthy way. Taco salad or burritos, for instance, can be made healthier. Rinse the fat out of your meat and add more veggies. And it doesn't have to be doused in dressing. Again, salsa is your friend !  I always add corn and peppers to mine. If I use less meat and more veg/ lettuce, it tastes great, and I don't have to feel like I have made a terrible food choice.

8. If you slip up with your eating (party/holiday/ wkd away), don't beat yourself up over it.
Don't feel like you've now failed and can't do it. Pick yourself up, and keep going !! You can likely lose the extra  pound or two in a week.
Don't decide you're a failure !! ~YOU CAN DO THIS !!!!!!

9. This one ties in with #5, but I want to address this. I always had trouble with JUST HOW MUCH weight I had to lose. I said to a friend once, who was trying to lose five pounds (yes, just five);
"It's like you're standing in front of a puddle... but I'm standing in front of the ocean".
I felt hopelessly weighed down by the sheer amount of weight I had to lose. It made me feel like I could never do it; it was just too much.

So I changed my attitude. Here are some facts about you:
-You put on one pound at a time, you are going to have to take off one at a time.
-Time is going to go by anyway, you may as well try to take off a bit of weight at a time, and see where you are in 3 months. In 6 months, In 9 months. Picture yourself next Thanksgiving, Next Christmas. Next summer; what do you want to look like ? It's going to come anyway, just go for it and see how far you can get !

So here's how I did it. I started off just deciding I was going to go for it. I was going to do something active- TODAY. So I did. And it wasn't terrible, so I did it again the next day. And the next. Take it a day at a time, not 60 lbs at a time.
In 2 1/2 months, I had lost 20 lbs. I never thought I would get there, and it felt great !
In 6 months, I had lost 40 lbs ! Wow. I couldn't believe it was my body I was looking at in the mirror.
In 8 mths, I had lost 50 lbs !!!
At this point, one year in, I have lost a whopping 60 pounds ! 
I was amazed that I could do it...but I did, and you can too !

Start small, and you will get somewhere. A walk, a bike ride, whatever. You will slowly start to realize that you don't want to sabotage your hard work (exercise) by eating badly, and so you will find yourself WANTING to change your food intake as well.

You have nothing to lose... but the weight !!! Pardon the pun.

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