That’s right people, I just typed over 50 lbs. What the whaaa?! I’m still in shock over this… however, it did need to happen, and to answer the many inquires I’ve received about how I did it, I’m utilizing Oh Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday and listing the Top 10 ways I feel weight-loss is finally happening for me. I highlighted some of these things in my year-in-review post. But I hadn’t hit that magical 50 lb mark yet, and I didn’t highlight a ton of details. Just keep in mind, these are the things that worked for me. Will they work for everyone? I’m not an expert, I just lived it! All I know is that after years of trying this, that, and another diet, exercise, etc, this formula did work for me.
1. Portion control, aka Save half your dinner for tomorrow’s lunch. This is the basic piece of advice I’ve been telling everyone, because I feel this is the main way I lost. Started with mono… which taught me that I really didn’t need a ton of food. When I started to feel better, but didn’t get my large & in charge appetite back, I went with it. Now, I still eat many of the foods I ate before, but I don’t clear my plate anymore. The beautiful thing about portion control is that you will take the time to enjoy your food instead of scarfing it down. And knowing that I get to eat half of it now, and half of it tomorrow really does stop the cravings.
2. Find positive aspects in every day life. You can call me Pollyanna if you’d like, but I don’t care. I feel this may be one of the big reasons I finally started losing: my change in attitude. I stopped being negative. It started in my facebook status updates. Instead of bitching about my kids being sick or being exhausted, wanting a vacation, etc, I really try to only post positive updates. This leaked into my every day life. I stopped my daily bitching and started listening to friends & family about their bad days and tried to help them through that bullshit. Sure, I can still vent with the best of them, but trust me, when you can find positive sides to every day life, venting isn’t as necessary as it used to be, but it is normal. I am human, just like Pollyanna after she fell out of the tree.
3. Just say NO to mediocre food: Focus on eating high-quality, high-protein foods along with fruits & veggies. We’ve been trying to focus on eating locally grown food, including when we go out to eat. I know I said I cut out red meat, but when I crave it, the difference between a locally cut fillet and one that came from who-knows-where is huge. Not only that, but I’ve noticed that the more veggies & protein I eat, the less I need to eat. I’m not hungry 90 minutes later. I can not completely eliminate bread, pasta, rice & sugar from my diet. I would fail. But eating less of them is totally doable.
4. Remember that the first 3 letters of the word diet is die. I heard this line many years ago from a nutritionist, but it really stuck with me. However you choose to eat should be a way of life, something you can do until you die. Is there something not so good for you that you can live without? For me, a few easy eliminations were pop, red meat & fast-food. However, if I feel the urge to eat a cheeseburger, I’m gonna eat a cheeseburger. I try not to deprive myself of food I love… but I am not food’s bitch anymore. I don’t need the 1/2 lb burger!
5. Start your day with a banana. I realize this is extremely specific, but I really feel it should be noted because I’ve been I eating a banana for breakfast along with my yummy french-pressed coffee and I’m good until lunch. I don’t experience cravings much at all throughout the rest of the day. I started doing this about a year ago, and here I am 50 lbs lighter. If you try anything on this list, I highly recommend trying this one. Just know this isn’t the only thing I changed.
6. Don’t eat after 9p. As long as I’m caught up on the chores around the house, which is never; let’s face it, I’m procrastining the dishes right now! Activity after 9p is minimal… and I deserve the down-time, damn it! But, I don’t need food that’s going to sit in my belly until morning. Yes, I break this rule on occasion, but not very often. I don’t need to; because of the food I’m eating, I really don’t feel hungry or even crave much past 9p. Beer on the other hand, is occasionally necessary, as you know, my friends.
7. Keep your stainless-steel water bottle full of water and by your side at all times. It’s another thing that really helps keep things flowing through your system. Drinking water before you eat your meals will help you eat less too. Once I stopped drinking pop, water became my drink of choice… after beer of course! But, if I had a beer by my side all day, I’d never get anything done. But I wouldn’t care about it. Oh what would life be without responsibilities… one can dream.
8. Find ways to be naturally active in your daily life. Do what you can to avoid sitting still. Sound too good to be true? Once I started to feel better post-mono, I had a new lease on life; I found myself to have more energy to chase & rough-house with my kids, to rake a shitload of leaves, or shovel way too much snow. Sometimes, I stand to fold laundry or I’ll make a big effort to actually vacuum the stairs. Confession: this never happened more than once or twice a year before my big weight-loss. It’s also lots of fun to enjoy time with the hubs now too. Sex is a fantastic workout!
9. Find a therapeutic outlet that doesn’t involve food. I used food as a celebratory tool, a depression outlet, a boredom saver… etc. Hmmm, wonder why I couldn’t lose weight? There are other ways to celebrate and fill the empty hole that food used to fill. This blog is a great way for me to express my thoughts, both positive & negative. I also have found simple ways to do things for me, like getting back into yoga, and started doing things that not only give me an outlet, but is a help to others, like cooking meals for new parents, volunteering in the church, joining the choir. Since I’ve learned to take care of myself, taking care of others has also come out naturally, and more positive things have come my way. Karma rocks!
10. Be patient. It took me 8 months to lose 50 lbs, and remember, the first 3 months of that weight-loss, I had mono. Getting super sick kick-started it all. Losing 50 lbs didn’t happen overnight. I could’ve easily gone back to my old habits once I felt better, but I didn’t. And because of all of the above changes I made, I lost about 1-2 lbs a week. Being patient also means not weighing yourself daily. I got a good scale and weigh myself at the same time every Saturday morning, naked. That’s right. I’m sure my clothes don’t weigh much, but I don’t care. Just weigh yourself the same way at the same time once a week. It’s a great way to keep yourself in check.
So there ya have it. Sure, there are a few other random tidbits I could go on about, but these are the big ones. I’m always open to talk to any of you about this, or whatever! Feel free to comment below or email me here.