After the birth of my second I found myself quite overweight and unhappy. I decided to make a change. I used Clean Eating techniques (the ‘What’) and Weight Watchers (the ‘How’) to lose 35 lbs. and I learned a lot along the way. At first I was angry; the weight wasn’t coming off like I wanted it to. I realized I was being very lackadaisical in my approach. I had to have a very firm talk with myself. I was no longer in my 20’s. I had had two kids. My body was not the same anymore and I had to take this seriously if I wanted to change.
I wish to humbly offer up my top 5 tips that I really took to heart and incorporated into my life, my body and my brain to help me.
1 - Focus on eating right and let the weight-loss be a happy side-effect. For the longest time I didn’t get this, I made weight-loss my primary focus that eating right was a necessity for. When I switched my thinking around everything fell into place. Every time you think about doing something crazy, like cutting out all carbs except lettuce and tomatoes, ask yourself one question “Is this something I can do for the rest of my life?” If the answer is No, then FIND ANOTHER WAY. IF YOUR EFFORTS ARE TEMPORARY YOUR WEIGHT-LOSS WILL BE TEMPORARY TOO!
2 - Do away with any goal with a number in it. Get it in your head – This Is For Life. Not just until you lose 20 lbs, or until the next Big Event. Release yourself from dates and deadlines. If you have a time-based goal and you only make it part-way there you are more likely to throw in the towel. But it’s a life-long journey so if you lose your way temporarily, just steer yourself back onto the right path; you have your whole life to get it right! Try this – instead of weighing yourself once a week, try on a goal outfit once a week. Be happy as you slowly find it easier and easier to do up the buttons. Once you can fit in it and feel awesome who cares what the scale says?
3 - Strive to eat 5-7 servings of vegetables a day. I have little boxes on my journal that I ticked off with every serving – when I reach that 5 mark everything gets better – My meals double in size, I become more regular ;), and I can feel all the vitamins and minerals coursing through my body.
4 - Eat something you love every day – that way you always have something to look forward to and never have to feel like you’re just holding out to your next ‘treat day’. It also prevents “deprivation over-compensation” caused by not eating cookies, not eating cookies, not eating cookies … then, I HAVE TO EAT THE WHOLE BAG! If you love something, eat a little bit of it everyday, or find an equally-satisfying alternative. Ice cream is a nice treat – when I found Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches I could eat one and not do the damage a full-fat version would do, but it was just as good.
5 - Take pictures the whole way along. Even though it was really hard in the beginning, I tell you, I stare at those pictures for hours! I flip back and forth between Before, After, Before, After!