Another 2 hour night shift break! It’s a great time to get some writing done!
I was thinking about my “get healthy” journey and pondering what the heck took me so long?
Growing up I was pretty active, played on sports teams, and generally didn’t do a lot of playing video games etc. As well my parents never had junk food in the house (aside from my dad’s nightly snack favorite which is ice cream), so a combination of those things kept me at a reasonable weight. In high school I was a “bigger” person in most senses of the word but not overweight in the least. Then I got out of high school, had no organized sports, and could eat whatever my heart desired as well as cafeteria food for 4 years. Add that to my genetics and a general non chalant attitude about my weight and things slowly started creeping up.
Over the past 1 1/2 – 2 years I started to not feel comfortable in my clothes, hated shopping for clothes, felt generally more pain and had to increase my pain medications. I began to realize that if I continued to not care what I was putting in my mouth then I would end up in really bad shape, I would struggle more than necessary through pregnancies and maybe never be able to get pregnant (there’s research supporting losing weight as an effective method for fertility issues in people with PCOS). Over the past 5 years I’ve been up and down with trying to care about what I was eating and how I looked, never really dieting just being careful, but there was never any rhyme or rhythm to it. I could just never fully commit to it and that’s what I’m trying to explore here. Losing the first 10-15 pounds was ALWAYS easy for me. Give me 4 weeks and I could get rid of that no problem, and then after that I’d once again become complacent and I’d gain it back. I’ve done that probably 20 or more times.
Recently I’ve heard several people mention how they “need” to start watching their weight, or what they eat or that they “shouldn’t” be eating what they’re eating etc. I’m sure you’ve either felt the same way or at least heard it from someone around you. A lot of people will ask me how I’ve done it, or if I’m on a diet and I find that hard to answer. Yes, I’m eating different foods and my “diet” is different, but no I’m not “dieting”. If I could give any advice (even very little) to someone wanting to lose weight or just make a lifestyle change this is what it would be:
- Make a list of reasons you think you need to make the change. After that take a few days to look at it and really evaluate if you care a lot about those reasons. If you still sit on the fence you probably don’t actually want to make the change, however if you can even make a few tiny changes throughout your day eventually you will get to the point of wanting to fully commit. This is mostly a mind matter, change your mind and you can change your body.
- Make very small changes gradually, and you will be able to see success at a gradual but safe pace. I’ll do a post later on about how I made small changes which have become habits and normal in my life.
- TALK about it! This is one of the biggest changes I’ve made from 5 years ago trying to lose weight to today keeping 50+ pounds off. I’m 100% open about how I eat and why I eat that way. Carlos no longer complains that we don’t eat the same food but congratulates me on my successes and daily encourages me to continue on. When I’m craving the worst type of food I voice it, and the people around me who know how much this means to me supports me as I literally struggle through. Sometimes I cave, but often I find a compromise, but if I hadn’t talked about it I would have caved within seconds. Now I’m able to talk myself out of my cravings, and I’m getting really good at finding substitutes for my cravings.
- Close you’re mind and clean out your house and your pantry! Throw everything away that is detrimental to clean and low calorie eating and forget about the “money” you are throwing away. Don’t think “oh I’ll just finish off this bag of chips and then won’t buy them again.” NO NO NO, throw them out NOW! If it’s not accessible to you, you won’t eat it. Work is the hardest place for me to be because down the hallway is a cafeteria filled with my cravings, but at home I rarely crave bad things because we generally don’t have bad things around. Sometimes Carlos will have a treat or two, but I make sure that we buy small portions of those treats.
I have so many more, but I have to get back to work! Please share your tips and tricks with me, I’m always looking for more. I hope this helps some of you who are feeling like they’ll never make it. YOU CAN DO IT!