With my new attempts at turning my life around and trying to take better care of myself, I have come across all sorts of commentary and well-meaning advice and well, I thought I would offer some of my own advice to the mix. Remember, these are MY personal experiences alone and everyone is different so before anyone takes my advice as word set in stone, please see your doctor.
1) Just as I stated above, before dieting and exercise, it is very important to see your doctor. Last spring, when I needed a prescription renewal for my migraines, I also asked my doctor about my weight. She said that I should concentrate on the migraines and neck pain first. I started going to physio therapy and not long after wards, I started eating better and exercising.
2) Just because I may not look overweight, does not mean that I am not. I am tired of hearing this. I am tired of hearing that "I am not that big" or how I should not count calories or make healthier choices.It doesn't mean that someone isn't obese or plus size that they are not a healthy weight. The same goes for the opposite. Some people might be considered plus size but they are very healthy. My doctor told me that for my age and height, I could stand to lose a few pounds. Well, she was a lot more polite about it but let's call a spade a spade here.
3) Many well meaning friends have invited me to all sorts of seminars on fad diets or even told me about the fad diets they are on and how I would quickly loose so much weight. Personally, anything that has the word "healthy" in it, usually isn't, especially when their main goal is to promote losing 20 pounds in a month. For women, the healthiest way to loose weight is no more than 2 pounds per week (hence 8 pounds per month) otherwise, it could have some serious effects on your body.
4) My scale can jump around a lot. Apparently, this is normal.
5) Eating better and exercising has been very addictive for me. It has really helped me with stress and anxiety.
6) There is no magic method I use for my weight lost and I do not have any special recipes or foods I eat that help me lose weight. I simply count calories on the "My Fitness Pal" app I have on my phone. I try to get as much exercise as I can. I eat more home cooked meals but once a week, on Friday night, we have our special supper which usually consists of a pre-packaged meal. You know, frozen french fries, pizza, nuggets. Anything that I can throw in the oven but I do limit my proportions. I cut out all soda from my diet. If I do crave something bubbly, I go for the diet kind. I cut out all alcohol but will have an occasional glass of wine. I stopped eating Mcdonald's and fast foods.
7) For those wondering on what I do actually eat, it's simple. A lot of protein (chicken, canned tuna, etc) as well as very little sugar. Protein helps keep you going and fills you up. This is what helped me lose the weight. Honestly, I don't crave junk anymore. I will have an occasional cupcake (we have them once a month at my work) as well as a piece of cake (son's birthday). I don't deny myself. I do not follow a specific diet (i.e. Atkins or Weight Watchers, etc.) but simply eat well. That means lots of veggies and fruits, grains, proteins and all that stuff that might not always taste as good as a donut but is healthier for you! If I do plan on eating carbs (ie pasta) I try to eat them for lunch. I pretty much cut out all bread from my diet unless I plan on eating the occasional sandwich. Sorry I can't offer you more. I just cook a lot and sometimes get creative with my meals. I might occasionally post recipes or food ideas I eat often for those looking for inspiration. We shall see. I am not one of those quinoa eating ultra health food nut either. I just don't eat fast food or processed food anymore.
8) If I do crave something sweet, I take a small piece of chocolate, break it into little pieces and mix it with my yogurt.
9) Just because I count calories, doesn't mean I have an eating disorder. I eat what is required. In fact, I am eating more than I ever did in my life. I am just choosing better foods. I will NOT starve myself.
10) Just because something says it's good for you or it is healthy, isn't always the case. Read the labels. I am not a morning person so I immediately thought the Carnation Breakfast Essentials shakes were perfect for me. I would mix the powder into one cup of skim milk and voila! Instant breakfast to drink while I get ready to go for work. I never ate breakfast before (which is a big no-no by the way) and I felt like this would be better than nothing. While breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, these shakes, while yes, they do have lots of vitamins in there are loaded in sugar. In fact, if you read the label, you would notice that there is 22 grams of sugar per packet. That is roughly 5 to 6 teaspoons in one cup! I take 5 to 6 teaspoons of sugar in one day! No wonder the app on my phone kept telling me to watch my sugar intake! This is why I read labels before making any purchase. Now I eat plain old cereal (Cheerios) with almond milk in the morning!I will only use those breakfast shakes if I am running really late.
11) My weight loss is full of trial and error. Thanks to this experience, I am learning about my body every day.
12) There will be good days and good weeks but there will also be bad ones. I hit a plateau a couple of weeks ago where I gained weight. I realized that I wasn't counting the right portions and started losing weight again after I made a few adjustments. There were weeks where I lost 2 pounds and week where I only lost a half a pound. Don't beat yourself up over it. It is a learning process.
13) After a huge workout, I drink about 1 to 2 cups (careful, high calories) of chocolate milk. It is full of protein and has all sorts of good things in there to help your body and muscles. Plus, it's a great motivation for me to go out and move around! I love chocolate. It is very important to replenish your body after a workout, otherwise you feel like shit and this is really bad for you!
14) Ladies, weight gain does happen, especially if you are doing a lot of strength exercises or .if you are like me you tend to put on a pound or two during that time of the month and the gain is due to your monthly "friend,"don't stress too much about it. I try to avoid giving in to my cravings and I usually lose that extra weight afterwards
Well, I am no doctor or diet expert. I am just a girl who is fed up with being unhealthy and with the way she looks. This is what is working for me. If you have anything to add, please feel free to comment.
*Image from left to right = from beginning to most recent*