All my life I've fought with my weight. Well at least the vast majority of it. I went on my first diet around age 9. That was almost fo..... ah er never mind. It was the Weight Watcher program my mom was on. Over the years I've dieted and gained back more weight than before. So much so that I was loathe to diet ever again. Statistics say that only 5% of the people that lose weight manage to maintain the loss. How hopeful is that? Over the last 4-5 years I've managed to maintain about half of the weight lost last time I dieted (which wasn't a lot), but have watched some creep back on this past holiday season. Yet I dug my heals in and would do nothing because I was not willing to face another loss then gain. My frustration with weight loss comes from supposedly all this "help" in the form of special made foods, gyms, weight loss programs, etc and still I have the extra weight. We're surrounded by low fat, fat free, sugar free everything,weight loss programs,weight loss pills, bariatric surgery, etc and yet, according to Bloomberg Business, obesity rates are up 90% since 1995 in 17 states.. Just 20 years. Why? Well I think I now know.
We are being trained to stay habitually dieting.
Take a look at the weight loss industry, and it is an industry, a multi million dollar industry. Photo shopped actresses and models show us what we should look like. So in seeking that "normalcy"we turn to yet another diet, supplement, or workout program. Eat bread, don't eat bread. Carbs are good. Carbs are bad... Low fat, No fat, good fat, etc. Every year sees a multitude of new diet books on the shelf and those same books are later found on the book shelves of thrift stores. However, America as a whole gets bigger. We're in a cycle that benefits the weight loss industry immensely, but us...not so much. I understand the health benefits of a healthy weight. I also know not all skinny people are healthy and not all fat people are sick. I was considered obese by government standards, yet my blood pressure, cholesterol, pulse rate, A1C, etc were all normal. I wanted to lose weight, but whatever changes needed to be permanent, healthy, and doable without adding to the weight loss industries coffers.
I think I'm finding my way. What am I saying? I did find a way! For the first time in 24 years I'm in "One-derland"! In other words my weight now starts with a 1. Now a lot of people can tout a weight loss, but will it last? I believe this will for me and I'll tell you why. There are no gimmicks. It really is calories in, calories out, but it's real food. It's portion control. It's living my life. For the first time in my life I'm losing weight without feeling like I'm holding on by my finger tips. I've lost since Jan 30th 2016, 31 lbs. It's been seemingly effortless! I wanted to share these findings with you. There's a way to lose weight without tasteless food, deprivation, boredom, feeling left out, etc. While you might think my tips are anecdotal; I've found,for me,they work. In fact this post has been a work in progress over the past few months. I didn't want to say anything about tips or success until I knew this was working. You may not want to use all of these tips. That's okay. Take what you want, leave the rest. Whatever tips I may pass on, the greatest one is to do what works best for you. This is best for me. Originally this was going to be in one post, but I know you have a life and don't need to be spending it in front of a computer reading all of this. So I broke it up into separate posts.
Welcome to part 1.
1) Choose your battles wisely - First of all, a Disclaimer*** I don't care how much they say you can lose weight without counting and measuring. You will fail if you don't teach yourself portion control. Weighing and measuring is the only way to teach yourself. Accept that. Now, that being said....
I LOVE COFFEE! This is a weird statement for me because up until about 5-6 years ago, I never touched the stuff. I loved the smell, but hated the taste. Once I started drinking it I was hooked. You know it's bad when you go to bed at night and the last thing you think of before sleep is "tomorrow I get coffee!". I have to have cream and sugar in my coffee. I've tried to learn to drink it black, but that ain't happening. Artificial sweeteners and Stevia make it taste bitter. I've had multiple false starts mainly due to the fact that, in order to have coffee, I had to count those calories. This time around I asked myself " what foods did I want more? What foods can I live without.". I knew, because of my Thyroid issues, I needed to keep my protein levels high normal and my carbs low normal. Because of that I knew I needed to make sure I was getting protein at each meal and snack. I also knew fruits and veggies are paramount for nutrients, fiber, etc. I needed to make sure carbs came from those things first. What food was last on my priority list? The answer was bread, pasta, and/or rice. Now don't get me wrong. I haven't said "never" to those foods, but it is last on my list of important foods. It's too many calories for the amount of enjoyment I get from it. There are other foods that give way more enjoyment and or nutrition. I still have plenty of carbs. This is not a low carb diet. I meet my range all the time according to Sparkpeople. The Carbs come in the way of Fruits, Veggies, Coffee with cream and sugar, Homemade whole wheat chocolate chip cookies (2 are 120 calories), whole milk vanilla yogurt, etc. I find if I have a high amount of protein at breakfast I will stay satisfied much longer. I have also noticed that if I eliminate bread, rice, etc during one meal, I may can save it for another where it would be more enjoyable. Here is an example of one day of eating for me right now:
2 eggs, scrambled in a little(4 grams) butter, 2 oz of whole milk vanilla yogurt on a cup of whole strawberries with a tsp of sure nuff chocolate syrup drizzled on top. PLUS COFFEE! Yum!
Mid Morning Snack (around 10:30 ish. I don't always have this, but when I do)
3/4 oz Mozzarella Cheese and an apple
5 oz Chicken breast
4 oz roasted carrots (new favorite thing)
Maybe a baked potato with a little (4gms) butter if I am really hungry, but I'm usually not.
3 TBS microwaved popcorn made in one of those microwave popcorn poppers (again if I had a late lunch this might be skipped)
Taco Salad with ground beef or turkey, 1/2 ( that's half yall) oz real cheddar cheese, salsa, lettuce, tomato, and If I want to use the calories, on tortilla chips. If I want to save calories for dessert I will forgo the chips and just have it on lettuce.
Smores- 1 graham cracker, 1 large marshmallow, and 15 choc chips melted.
This is just an example of an average 1200-1500 calorie day, but I've had Papa Johns, Little Caesars (2 slices cheese pizza) Pizza, or Chic Fila (3 piece chicken tenders). My husband and I went out to Texas Roadhouse for our anniversary and we had steak, house salad, and FRIES (we split his serving)!. I counted it! We did make sure to tell the waitress we did not need the bread basket on the table. Anyway, no food is off limits to me. I had Dairy Queen ice cream cake for my birthday! Well and the day after...cause...uh there were enough servings for each of us to have 2! Knowing nothing is withheld from me is very freeing. I just accept I have to have reasonable portions. Know what? I'm not hungry! I don't feel left out! There is a draw back. You have to take the time to measure,count and record what you're eating. I use sparkpeople.com , but you can use whatever site works for you. There are plenty to choose from. You also have to make sure you are using plenty of fruits, veggies, and lean meats as your base. The fun stuff is supposed to be ancillary. This is my and your responsibility.
This is a marathon and not a sprint- Whatever method you use for your success needs to be something you can do for the long haul. There will be days where you eat and don't count it, especially during the holidays. Do it. Give yourself that vacation from the plan with full knowledge and no guilt. You are choosing to enjoy a family get together or party. This doesn't mean you are derailed. It means you control even then what you put in your mouth. This also doesn't give you free reign to throw caution to the wind for the whole holiday season. Pace yourself. Resolve to get right back on track the following day. Accept the consequences of your actions. It's better to accept the small consequences of one day of vacation, than to allow that one day to derail everything you have worked on for months on end before you finally get control again. This also works in emergencies. Funny thing is that knowing I can have what I really want when I want it, has taken the power over me away from the food I eat and has put it into my hands. I find most of the time a bite of something satisfies my desire to taste it and I can move on.
My next posts are ready to go and I will post them quickly so be on the look out. I just wish I knew 20 years ago what I now know.