Losing 60+ pounds is tough. Keeping it off is even tougher! Trust me I had tried EVERYTHING (but healthy diet and steady exercise haha cough cough) to lose weight. What happened when I popped the pills, or skipped the meals, or just tried to over exercise and did manage to lose a few lbs was that I would panic. I KNEW it was temporary. And I knew the weight was going to come right back as soon as I quit taking the pills, got tired of starving, or got bored with the gym. It was exhausting.
But now I have lost over 60 lbs and kept it off and it's become kind of EFFORTLESS. Here's what I've learned about what it takes to make it a lifestyle change versus a diet.
6 Things I Gave Up to Be Healthy
1. Workouts that I dread. My college roommate used to want me to go run around the track with her and I thought it was MEDIEVAL TORTURE. But get this - I thought ALL exercise was MEDIEVAL TORTURE because I thought that they all sucked as bad as running. Turns out - I'm just not a cardio queen, but I could spend all day playing with weights or destressing in a yoga class with the lights dimmed. There are TOO many different kinds of workouts to do one that you hate. Find your soul mate workout and then do that!
2. Eliminating entire categories of food. One time in college I tried something called the South Beach Diet which basically meant I could eat vegetables and ricotta cheese if I am remembering it correctly! It was gross and way too restrictive. I didn't like the Food Phases and I didn't like that I couldn't eat any fruit in Phase 1. Then not too long after that the Atkins diet swept through again where carbs were bad and evil and well, I beg to differ! Carbs are delicious in moderation! Today I consider myself an omnivore and I doubt that will ever change so you won't find me eliminating food groups ever again. I choose balance over restriction.
3. Trying to count calories. I know there are some hard core IIFYM people out there but I am definately NOT one of them. My personal opinion is that unless you are training for a bikini competition there is literally no reason to count every single calorie or macro. That kind of obsessive tracking is a slippery slope and as someone who has had a very unhealthy relationship with food in the past - its just not somewhere I'm willing to go.
4. Falling off the wagon. I used to this all or nothing mentality that meant that I tried to follow whatever crazy diet I was doing to the letter. So when I fell off the wagon and ate something that wasn't approved I would automatically assume that I had failed and completely give up all hope at eating a healthier diet. It sounds kinda crazy, right? A better plan is to know that that is going to happen and just start over the next meal or the next day. Progress beats perfection no matter what your goals are!
5. A focus on being 'skinny'. There are lots of ways to become skinnier, but there is only one way to become healthier. Plus - switching your focus to strong is empowering!
6. The Yo Yo weight loss mindset. See if any of this sounds familiar - feel fat, try to eat better and exercise until you don't feel fat & then go back to your old habits. Slowly, the weight comes right back. It's a vicious cycle! And it's also why I don't like to use the word 'diet'. A healthy lifestyle doesn't end in 7 days or 3 weeks or after your big event. It's just something you DO, like brushing your teeth!
If you are ready for results, I hope this list helps you get your mind right! I'm rooting for you, and if you have any questions at all please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join my Fit Tribe by liking my page on Facebook! - Heather