Its time to get serious and face the music. My butt is so big...(how big is it)...it now requires its own zip code. :)
Seriously - I've been fighting the battle of the bulge since the day I was born. Its only in the past few years that I've come to understand why I am overweight and why I eat emotionally - more on this later.
But let's start from the beginning. In August of 07 I decided its time to take off the gloves. I've always been a haphazard dieter. Nother ever lasted more than a few weeks with the exception of Jenny Craig. I think the only reason that worked for me was because I was forced to invest Big Money to stay on the program. I lost about 72 pounds then gained all of it back plus 48 more.
The lesson learned? Diets don't work. There, I said it. That 700 million dollar industry that claims you can lose weight IF you use their product...is lying to you. If some pill really worked don't you think everyone would be all over it? That was a tough realization because I kept thinking that it was something *I* was doing wrong. Instead I forgot the prime rule of advertising - they want your money and they will lie to get it.
So would I say that Jenny Craig worked? Yes, using any calorie / fat restricting food plan will work BUT you have to do the homework and find out why you overeat. Simply resticting calories will cause you to lose weight, but you won't keep it off until you understand HOW you got there in the first place.
But before we go into that I want to share with you the life changes I've made to lose 27 pounds so far! :)
1 - Change of Attitude - Success starts with a healthy dose of 'I Can Do This'. There was a study done in the Netherlands which found the people who had the confidence in their ability to control their weight lost more than those who doubted themselves.
Be realistic in your goals and think in small portions. Set a goal of 5lbs rather than 25lbs. The more goals you reach, the more focused (and successful) you'll become.
Got a pair of pants or a dress that is too tight? Hang it up on your bedroom door so that you see it day in and day out.
2 - Clean up that Kitchen - This is a key to success. Get rid of the junk food - just having it in the house will entice you to overeat when you're having a weak moment. Heck - even when you're feeling strong you can stray from your life plan! I know I do.
3 - Get cooking - The more you cook the better you'll be at doing it. People who eat at home are more likely to stick to their eating plan. (raising hand) Me too! I try to eat out only 1 - 2 a month.
When you come home from the grocery story, clean and cut up your veggies (celery, carrots) and put them into baggies where you can grab them quickly.
Research new, light recipes at www.allrecipes.com - get a subscription to Cooking Light Magazine and Weight Watchers Magazine. I have both subscriptions and they're great!
4 - Make Friends - If you have friends that are trying to lose weight also, get together or join an exercise or weight loss program. Another option is to join a weight loss group online. Heck - comment on this blog - I'll keep you company. :)
5 - Get Ready to MOVE! - Research indicates people who move more, lose more. Yeah - sitting on the couch watching movies doesn't burn nearly as many calories as walking. (I hate math too)
Find an exercise you enjoy. For me it was swimming / water aerobics as I absolutely LOVE being in the water. The best part is that I go to the pool and join up with a group of health-minded indivduals and I'm the youngest! :)
Make a scedule for your exercise. It is as important as going to the doctor or taking your car into the garage. Those activities are scheduled - shouldn't your exercise be scheduled too?
6 - Drink - Bring on the water! I've found the more consistent I am with my water intake the more weight I lose. Also, I'm less likely to retain water which is important.
Bored with water? Add some lemon or mint, chunks of fruit, cucumber - anything to add a little flavor.
7 - Be Honest - Math doesnt lie. If you eat too many calories and don't burn them off with exercise you WILL gain weight. No ifs ands or big butts about it.
Keep a food journal - yeah, I hear the groans already. I hated doing this until I discovered a little program at http://www.keyoe.com/ - and it tracks everything for you. Woot!
The scale really is your friend. Keep track of your weight and the above program does that too.
8. It's all about Habits - This is not a diet - this is a Life Plan. Either you manage your life or it manhandles you, its as simple as that. Plan ahead and keep foods on hand that will enable you to stay on track. Yogurt, cheese, high fiber cereal, fruit, oatmeal, peanut butter, whole grain crackers - those are staples in my kitchen.
9. Forgive yourself - If you slip it isn't the end of the world. Losing weight is is a long term goal - it isn't something that happens overnight. If you have a small slice of cake, you won't gain all your weight back but you have to remember to get back to reality the next morning.
I allow myself snacks - I'm a sucker for chocolate cake. Do I eat cake? Yes, in moderation. I will bake a cake (no icing - not a big fan of it) and freeze individual slices wrapped in plastic. How do I keep from eating the whole thing? I keep telling myself that eating the cake will not enable me to reach my goals. I want to feel better, look better and move more easily.
10. Learn from your mistakes - Keep a journal for emotional support. Write down WHY you want to eat that cake. What is going on inside of you? What are you trying to fill with that cake? Keep doing this and you will, over time, see the pattern to your overeating.
Now, ready...get set...GO!