Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I thought I would write a list of tips that I never see online (and sure would have liked to before I knew them !)  Actually, most of them just make sense. The thing is, we know these things already, and yet, day after day, we make the wrong choice. Why ?? Because we think that "this once" doesn't count in the long run.
The thing about that is, it does. Every single day, we are faced with thousands of choices, and much of the time, we make the wrong ones.

Not to say we shouldn't be allowed to "break a rule" once in a while, (ie. have a treat), but to daily make choices that point you in the wrong direction adds up, and then you just wonder why the extra weight, why am I unhappy, why does it seem nothing works.... ??
That said, I want to stress that a "treat" is a piece of chocolate, not eight pieces. It is a small handful of chips, not a bag full. And to add to that, a treat is something you do once in a long while- once a week or so, NOT daily.

Back to the tips I want to share with you. I have found a few things that I just picked up along the way, little things that are common sense, but it may be helpful to hear them.
Here goes my version of Weight Loss Tips (that actually help) .

1.  When snacking, make smarter choices. These things add up. I choose a few nuts (maybe 10) or a piece of fruit, or a yogurt.

2.  Do not feel the need to have dessert more than once  week. Less is even better. Portion control is key here.

3.  PORTION CONTROL !!! Did I mention that ?? I think most people have no idea how much a serving is.

4.  Don't be sucked in by commercials. They lie. You DO NOT NEED  A BURGER AND FRIES AND A COKE TO BE HAPPY in life.

5.  Speaking of fast food, when you do find yourself in a f.f restaurant, think fresh. Not fried. Whatever they have that is fresh (ie a salad, soup, a fruit cup, a wrap with chicken/tomato/lettuce) whatever, is better. Anything fried is not a good choice, but if you must, then at least make it a (grilled) chicken. No french fries. Come on. You can do it. Eat one or two of your husband/kid's if you have to. I have been choosing wraps and salads lately. I have not ordered fries since September of 2010.
I survived, and you will too.

6. On that note, I do want to mention, not to put any one thing completely off limits. This is important. When I say don't order fries, I mean I'm sure you can handle not having them today, but know that you CAN have them if you want to- you just dont need them today. See what I did there ???  I am allowing myself to have whatever- nothing is completely and utterly "off limits forever"!
I know that if I say that, I will probably fail, because my expectations are so out there that I set myself up for failure.
DO not say to yourself, I will NEVER again have a piece of chocolate or fried food. You will fail. If you tell yourself you can have it, but are CHOOSING not to today, then you can succeed today.

7.  You have a lot more chances to be active than you realize. Every time you walk around the house, or go up the stairs, or take your kids to school, you have the choice to be active.
I had never done this in all my married life, but I am now RUNNING up the stairs every time.
Not walking- running. Many times a day I run up my stairs.
I am choosing to walk my kids to school and back every day. Yes, it would be easier to drive them, but this is a choice that is not only good for me, but for them too. No more excuses.
That said, I do have to drive occasionally, as I am on my way somewhere.  And that's okay. But ask yourself if your driving is legitimate, or if it is in fact, just an excuse not to walk. You want to drive every day?? Fine. But don't cry when you can't fit into that dress.

8.  Enough with the excuses. I am pretty sure there is an excuse for every active sport and exercise out there. You name it, I've heard it. That's fine. You and your sore foot/ leg/ knee/ back/ butt can sit this one out.
Try it again when you have no issues with any single part of your body. That day may never
come, but whatever. At least you're comfortable, right ?
No ? You want to lose weight and be healthy ? So get out there and do something that you CAN do ! I'm positive you can find something. A good brisk run never hurt anyone....other than me three years ago when I had sacro-iliac joint dysfunction.
....Okay, so there are times when you just can't do cardio. I couldn't for a good two and a half years. I spent much of life on the couch, and not by choice.
But there are always, always options. Really. Walking ? Swimming? Stretching ? Look it up online. there has got to be something you can do to be active !
I saw a motto on someone's blog, and I loved it. "EATING LESS, MOVING MORE !"
How great is that ?!?

9.  When eating at home, choose a smaller plate. Seriously, this works for me. The smaller my plate is, the less fits in it. Simple, but effective. When I was working and wanted to shed a few pounds, I switched from a lunch box to a small lunch bag. If it didn't fit in the bag I couldn't eat it.
(By the way, at that time, I didn't eat a chocolate bar in nine months, and I survived that, too.)
As for seconds, they are NOT as big as firsts. Just wanted to mention. Even better is to not have any seconds. Feel free to take seconds of vegetables, though. ( I know- Yum, right ??) 

10. I have not eaten any kind of pre-packaged bar or cookie product since September. I used to eat the occasional Fibre One Bar or granola bar. We have a cupboard that is all kinds of packaged snack foods. My husband and boys eat this stuff, and it used to tempt me. But I am feeling so much better without them. I
am not as tired or bloated and don't have gas pains. Seriously, I think this speaks volumes.
Anything homemade is better. The preservatives and sugar and oil in these things is crazy ! Not to say you can't gain a lot of weight on home-baked sweets, though, especially the Mennonite version. 

11. This is a big one. I am eating a lot less of everything, (I eat about HALF of what I used to !) but one thing I have done, personally, is to eat less bread products and potatoes and pasta.
Carbs are a big one. They are not the "be all and end all" of weight loss, but I certainly believe that one piece of bread is better than two. I used to eat a sandwich with two pcs of bread, and sometimes Iwould have another half sandwich. (Yikes!) And yes, I could eat a footlong at Subway. But now I choose a six inch, or a sandwich on one slice of bread. I just watch how much of the stuff I am eating in a day. If I have cereal or toast for breakfast, I eat less bread for lunch, and so on.  With pizza, I was eating easily four slices, and now I eat two. See where I'm going with this ? Don't put it off limits, but be aware of how much you are consuming- you don't need that much !!

12. Okay, another big one for me. I didn't realize how many calories I was consuming in LIQUIDS every day. Every single time you drink a glass of juice, or worse- pop, you are taking in a  LOTof sugar and a lot of calories. It's just not worth it to drink empty calories that aren't good for you, and aren't even giving you energy.
I made a decision, a month or so into my weight loss, to try to stop drinking most drinks other than water. I have done very well. I occasionally drink some juice-most often 100% orange or fruit juice, or some V8. Once in a while I will have a Fresca, which by the way, is calorie free, sugar free, and fat free. Not to say it's healthy (it has "fake" ingredients, and is likely made of actual garbage, haha), but if you are looking at it from a purely weight loss perspective, it's certainly a better choice than any other pop.
I do still drink coffee, but honestly, I just don't miss the juice and pop. I thought it would be harder, but really, I am realizing that in the context of a day's worth of calories, it's just not worth drinking stuff that doesn't do
anything for my body.

13. On a related note, I would highly recommend drinking a LOT more water. It doesn't even matter to me how much you are drinking right now- just drink more. I forced myself at the beginning, and sometimes even now, I have to remind myself to drink more. I fill up my glass in the morning before breakfast, at lunch, at supper, and usually a few times in between.

14. Watch your glass size.Seriously.  I saw this on a show. Some lady was trying to sell her idea of a portion control plate and cup. She showed the difference between two sizes of wine glasses. I was surprised to hear that the smaller glass of wine was 100 calories, and the larger one was 200 calories- DOUBLE !
The larger one just looked normal; I didn't feel like it was humongous. I immediately switched to a smaller wine glass, and when I do have wine (occasionally, by the way- NOT every night), I make sure to use the smallest one I have. Again, I really think that with all the media we are exposed to (commercials, advertisments, etc) we now have NO idea about portion control.

These are the things that off the top of my head have been a help to me. Most of these things I just kind of came up with, so I realize it is a mish-mosh of random tips. But if they can help someone feel better about themselves, as I do.... well, then I am happy to share them !!!!

So far, I have lost 32 lbs in the last 4 months. I am proud of that, but I know
that I am going to continue and do even more. I want to be strong and healthy-
for myself and for my children. I will keep on going. I AM DOING LIFE !!

* Note: This was written in January of 2011. As of today's date, Spetember 28/11, I have lost 60 lbs. Woohoo !!

Below is an article from Calorie Count Member. I thought it very interesting !

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