Edit: You may have noticed the title change on this post. When I have posts sitting in draft, I generally assign them an arbitrary title until I post them. I put this one up so late last night that I forgot to insert the new title I wanted to use, LOL. Just wanted to avoid any confusion about it.
Most people here know that I am currently working at losing weight and getting fitter. Over the past three months I’ve dropped 20 pounds and I am feelin hotter than I have in ages. I wanted to share some of joy and success here with you.
Am I the thinnest or healthiest I’ve ever been? Hell no. Then again, 95% of what makes a woman sexy is confidence, the courage to be herself, and her attitude about HERSELF in general. Believe me ladies, no guy ever wants to listen to you gripe about your weight, your skin, your cellulite, or any other self image issue you have. As much as they might love you, the only person who can fix it is YOU!
I’ve not had an easy time losing the weight thus far. Jack is a notorious snacker, and my kids have to have access to a lot of things I can’t eat (no, not junk, but a lot of starches like corn, potatoes, and pasta) They need full-fat foods since they are still growing and very active, unlike their mum, LOL. That means I have food right in my face that I love but I can’t have. Guess what? I didn’t bitch and gripe about it, since it’s not THEIR fault their mother/wife has an issue with food. Why do you need to punish everyone around you just because you want to eat like a piggy? I don’t believe in that. I believe in being in control of my life and what I put in my mouth (don’t get pervy on me here).
The keys to success at weight loss are simple, at least the ones I use:
A) Put junk food into perspective. It was not designed to be eaten all the time. I still eat junk food, ice cream, chocolate, deep fried anything, etc and yet I still manage to lose weight. The trick is not to tell yourself that you can never eat those things again, it’s to tell yourself you can only eat them in moderation. If you have a chocolate habit, allow yourself one small piece of chocolate per day. The 80 or so calories will NOT kill you, or make you get fat. If you love fried food, once a week eat as much of it as you want in one sitting. Had a really crap day? Go ahead and have a piece of cheesecake or a fudge sundae. That’s my way of thinking. I don’t feel deprived, I know I can eat any old thing I want as long as I keep it in moderation! Let’s say I want to go out for dinner this week someplace I really love. I will set that meal up as my big splurge and eat really responsibly the rest of the week (both before and after). During that meal I give myself permission to have anything I want, without guilt, because I know I am making really healthy choices for all of the other 20 meals I had that week. I lose weight this way, and I don’t have to be obsessing over all the things I’m ‘not supposed to have’. Deprivation (either perceived or real) is the fastest way to fail.
B) I eat all the vegetables I want, whenever I want. I hate diets that try to restrict you down to very specific amounts of everything. Never restrict your veggies, eat as many as you possibly can, and eat them raw or cooked with little to no fat. I eat lots and lots of fresh cucumber, yellow and orange peppers, tomatoes, and greens. The only vegetables I restrict are corn, potatoes, and beans/legumes due to the high starch content. Otherwise I eat as much as I please.
C) Starches and carbs are not your enemy. They are vital to your survival. Go ahead and eat 1 or 2 starches per day, just make them Smart-Starches. Whole grain breads, whole wheat tortillas, garbanzo beans, black beans, corn, wild rice. All of those are great dietary options, and you can enjoy them without the guilt because they are good for you! Moderation remember, you don’t need to eat 5 servings a day. Repeat after me: Two Will Do. That is my motto on starches and carbs.
D) Protein is good. You need to have some with every meal. I eat three servings of lean protein a day. Cut back or cut out red meat and pork. Eat more fish and seafood. Chose white meat chicken, and start eating turkey! I really love buying turkey cutlets at the grocery store and grilling them. Or I cut them up and make a little stir fry with some bok choy and bamboo shoots. Yum!
E) Fresh fruit is awesome. Eat it, twice a day, and I make sure I’ve had both servings before supper time. Apples, peaches, grapes, you name it. If you really feel you can’t manage that, have some fruit juice. Make sure it’s 100% real juice though, made from concentrate is OK but fresh squeezed is better. Buy juice that has to be refrigerated, that’s your best bet to avoid preservatives and added junk. I often have a cup of juice in the morning with breakfast, especially if I am on the go.
F) Dairy is good, especially for your bones. I have two servings a day, optimally one for breakfast and one for lunch. I drink 1% milk, because skim is icky, and I buy light cheeses to add to wraps or other dishes. Although I don’t quibble too much over reduced fat dairy, since I don’t eat a ton of it and for the most part it’s the healthy kind of fats. No processed cheese!
G) To make it really simple, go out and buy yourself a plate that looks like this. For breakfast just imagine it’s divided into four and put one serving of each food group on it. For lunch I fill a small section with protein, the other with a starch and the remaining half with vegetables. For supper have a small section of protein and the rest should be veggies. That’s just how I work it but you can mix it up. Basically I try to stick to the formula that supper should be the lightest meal of the day, consisting of only veggies and protein.
H) Drink your WATER! I cannot stress this enough! I easily retain 5 or 6 pounds of water alone when I am not getting in 64 oz per day. If you have a hard time drinking water get some Crystal Light. I prefer to add lemon myself. Make a point if drinking at least 16 oz of water per meal, and then add in the other two whenever is most convenient. DRINK YOUR WATER!!!
I) Reward yourself, but not with food. I generally set up big rewards at regular intervals (lets say for every 10 or 20 pounds you lose). Treat yourself to a day at the spa, a new set of gel nails, having your hair done or colored, a night out, or whatever it is you have been wanting and felt you didn’t deserve. Clothes are also awesome, a new outfit to show of the awesome new body, or fun accessories to go with stuff you already have. Make it be just for you, spoil yourself a little. Avoid putting a tight time-frame on when you have to reach these goals. That way, if you don’t make it to the goal in time you don’t feel frustrated and disappointed with yourself, which will cause you to back-slide. Losing weight takes a LOT of time. Have some patience. I also like to reward myself for other healthy lifestyle changes. Say if you consistently go to the gym, three times a week, never missing a week or going less than three times. Reward yourself at the end of each month you do that. Get yourself a new purse, a book you’ve been wanting, or a coffee date with your best friend. Do something nice for you when you are sticking to your schedule!
J) Keep a food journal, or just a weight loss journal in general, or both! I write down every single thing I eat, every single day. This creates accountability, for me, your mileage may vary. I also track my water per day, and any extras I’ve had (like coffee or a treat). Having a written record will also help you identify areas you need to work on. Maybe you’re not getting enough fruit, or skipping meals, or having too many ‘treats’. Keeping a journal or blog to talk about your feelings or struggles you are having encourages success. You can also use it to write down rewards for yourself, short and long-term goals, and any other healthy living stuff you may want to remember. I also use mine for those great recipes you cut out of a magazine and may never look at again. There are lots of possibilities.
So, those are the 10 things I do in order to lose weight. I know it seems like a lot at first, but I wrote it all from having ingrained it into my lifestyle over the past three months. Eventually, you’ll just ‘know’ and you won’t have to be reading or focusing on your weight all the time. Hopefully I’ve inspired some of you! I know a number of my blog friends are working on weight issues right now so I wanted to post some help and encouragement for them.
Keep at it gals (and guys) because we’re all in this together. I’m pullin for ya! We can do it!