Thanks so much to our regular contributor, Dr. Mike Tremba.
You might think I’m a little old to be crawling up on your lap; and after a bulging feast of turkey, mashed potatoes, and uncountable red and green cookies, you probably don’t want me weighing down your knee for too long. However, my inner child never grew up; he simply became wrinkled; so I still like some gift requests I have not had answered. I figure, who better than you to help?
I promise I won’t take too much time; I understand you’re busy and have a few things on your mind. If you prefer, I can email or text my list to your phone; I’m all about the convenience.
First up: I want zero-calorie, great tasting, perfectly textured comfort foods.
It is way wrong that when I’m upset, everything I desire causes a weight gain. I get stressed so I eat something comforting. I get fatter — and that stresses me out even more. What’s that about? How fair is that? If you can’t deliver non-fattening comfort foods, I’ll consider the option of modified lettuce that tastes like chocolate. Just a thought…
When I look in the mirror, I want a flat profile looking back; one that doesn’t require me sucking in my stomach so deep my voice jumps two octaves. I know, I know; fifty-somethings don’t look like 18-year-olds; don’t bore me with logic. But in all fairness, I never had the flat, rock hard look as a teenager either, so I’d appreciate seeing what it feels like to have six-pack abs without having to forego the six packs — if you catch my drift. Please don’t misunderstand; don’t give me a gym membership or sit-up machine; those involve exertion, and who in their right mind wants to wake up Christmas morning to a present requiring sweating and groaning? Yick! I just want to go to sleep chubby, and wake up slim. You figure out how please.
Finally, I want an unending supply of willpower.
“How much can I take off before I get weighed?” She asked.
A common question, I countered with my pat reply, “You are limited by your own standard of decency.” When I am queried about how much clothing one can shed, I know that the person I am about to weigh is having a rough time; I try and deliver the reply with humor.
She pondered that for a brief moment, forced a chuckle, then faced the scale and began shedding everything that weighed more than her earrings; should the jewelry have been more substantial, I assume she would have rid herself of them also.
“OK, let’s get it over with,” she said dropping her jacket and purse on to a nearby chair and sliding out of her shoes. “I’m really scared.” Most dieters prefer a root canal or IRS tax audit to facing the scale on a day when the number inches northward. Judging by the lack of enthusiasm she showed in today’s weight check, I would not have lost money should I have bet that she fell within that category.
“This won’t be pretty,” she whimpered, “I’ve been really bad.”
“Bad?” I asked. “Did you beat up people in the streets? Rob banks? Were you engaged in an illicit affair, inflicting severe emotional distress on your husband and children?”
“Well, no, of course not. But, I just didn’t stop eating all weekend. I don’t know what came over me. It’s like I didn’t care. There’s no other way to describe it; I was just awful. I can’t believe what an idiot I am.”
It’s odd how we use words, isn’t it?
Enough is enough – quit dieting!
Weight watchers, low-carb, vegetarian, detox, Beverly hills diet, cabbage soup diet, grapefruit diet, subway diet, Atkins diet and the list goes on and on.
What is a person that wants to lose weight supposed to do?
Everyone wants the easiest, quickest way to lose the weight. In our society today, we are accustomed to fast results on everything. We have fast food restaurants, fast access internet, up to the minute news and weather and smart phones with everything at your fingertips. So why not the same for you getting rid of that extra bulge around your middle?
I am sorry to inform you, it just doesn’t work that way!
You and I both know that it took some time and overeating to gain the weight, so common sense will tell you that it will take time and perseverance to lose it.
I don’t know about you but over the course of many years, I’ve tried many different types of diets. Some were vaguely successful and some were complete disasters. A few lasted a day or two while others for weeks. The one thing they all had in common is, as soon as I stopped the diet, the weight would magically re-appear.
So how did I lose 40 pounds and keep it off?
I quit dieting.
Below, I’ve listed a few pointers that helped me personally. I lost the weight that I had attempted to lose for years. Some of the following tips I’m sure you’ve heard before. Remember, everyone is different and may be facing some different circumstances, so make sure before beginning any type of lifestyle change – (notice I didn’t say diet) to consult with your physician first.
10 most helpful (healthy lifestyle) tips
1. Get motivated –
Whatever it takes…find something that will motivate, challenge or get you excited about your new healthy lifestyle! Your mindset has got to be in the right place before you can succeed. The motivation will carry you through those moments when you feel like caving in.
My personal tip – I was personally motivated by my “new look” that I had gotten from surgery that corrected a physical abnormality. See my story here. https://thistimeimeanit.com/goals/change-goals/overcoming-obstacles/point-view-overcoming-congential-coloboma/ This gave me the inspiration and fuel I needed to continue on.
2. Eliminate sugar, bread and caffeine.
These foods will make your calorie intake skyrocket. I don’t know about you but I love my snacks and bread. It was very hard to take them out of my life but I wanted to be healthy and look good more than I loved the food. From time to time…allow yourself to have a treat, just remember portion control. You will be surprised that after taking them out of your life, you will crave them less and less.
3. Physical activity.
You MUST move your body…somehow, somewhere, depending on your fitness level. You will need to push yourself past your comfort level each time, little by little at least three times a week. Some ideas for you to think about could be walking, swimming, tennis, dance class, hiking, sports. Just remember…your only limitation is your imagination!
My personal tip – What works for me is bike riding, I love it and I built up my stamina over a period of time. I also joined a zumba class because I love to dance. I’ve never been one to jog or run but the idea of an obstacle course intrigued me, I found a friend to join me in training for the barbarian challenge and it ended up being one of the biggest challenges of my life and I successfully accomplished it!
4. Stay busy.
Begin new projects or discover a new hobby. Do something that excites you, immerse yourself in things that you love to do!
My personal tip – I always loved art but never felt I was good enough. I began taking art classes even though it intimidated me, that is a good thing! Stretch your wings…and step outsideof the box. Do something that you don’t think you can do. I dived into some home projects that I had been putting off and began to write more.
5. Visualize your end result.
We humans have need to have a goal, something that seems real. Maybe an old photo of how you used to look, or a picture of how you want to look. Find inspirational quotes to put on your desk, refrigerator and mirror. Read inspiring stories of others weight loss journeys. Gather information on great new healthy recipes. You have a goal and it is attainable!
My personal tip – The day I lost enough weight the I noticed my clothes were getting to big was all I needed to inspire me to continue on!
6. Drink plenty of water
This is self explanatory.
My personal tip – I like to add some flavor by adding lemon.
7. Download a weight loss website or app on your smart phone.
This will give you moral support from others who are on the same journey as you are and you can also find great recipes, tips and tricks that will help you along the way.
My personal tip – I downloaded “loseit” app on my iPhone. I entered my daily calories and the calories I burned during exercise. I was able to see in chart form how I was doing on a day-to-day basis and it really helped!
8. Don’t starve yourself!
Eat healthy! lots of greens, veggies and lean meat. small portions and keep up with your daily caloric intake. Remember to burn those calories by moving that body!
9. Don’t eat after 7 p.m.
Plan to eat early in the evening. Don’t go to bed with food weighing down in your belly at night.
My personal tip – This was the hardest thing for me to overcome. I love to snack in the evenings while I am relaxing after a long day of work. To get past this, I stopped watching so much television and spent more time doing the projects that I wanted to do.. (See # 4 above).
10. Quit the diet but never quit the healthy lifestyle!
I mean it! If you crash into a brick wall with your new healthy lifestyle or if you get so down and out because you are not seeing any results from all of your hard work…this is when you HAVE to keep going. Tomorrow is a new day, a new opportunity and a new beginning to a new, beautiful healthy YOU!
You have lost the weight, what now?
Maintaining your new body can prove to be just as difficult as losing it. This is why it is so important to look at it as a lifestyle change. You have entered into a new way of eating and taking care of yourself. It is a maintenance plan but it is so worth it.
It took me a year to lose forty plus pounds and now I am in the maintenance phase. I weigh myself regularly to know what I need to do. I give myself a five-pound average up or down before I buckle down seriously. Don’t expect fast easy results but do expect long-lasting results.
I feel better than ever, my clothes fit better and it is actually FUN to go shopping and try on clothes now!
I hope my tips help you into finally accomplishing whatever your goal is in your new healthy lifestyle.
Are you on a weight loss journey now? What tips do you have? Please share!
About the Author: Sherry Cook currently works for Mobile Arc, a non-profit organization that supports individuals with developmental disabilities. She is wrapping up her memoirs and hopes to be in publishing soon. Her desire to tell her story has been nudging its way to the surface for many years. Having undergone personal challenges, living with monocular and low vision, while struggling to “fit in” with society’s version of what is normal. She understands all to well the difficulties life has to offer. Accepting yourself and learning how to overcome is her main platform for her energetic and touching motivational presentations. Her hobbies include painting with acrylics and working on home projects. Sherry can be reached at email@example.com or http://sherrylcook.com
Dieting can lead to a vicious yo-yo cycle that can have you swearing to cut out all junk food one day and binging on ice cream the next. Sometimes, it seems the more you try, the harder it is to succeed.
Though it may seem counter-intuitive, sometimes, the best way to get ahead and to finally meet your diet and fitness goals is simply to give in.
Takes the Pressure Off
When you think about your diet all the time – what you are supposed to eat, what you can’t eat, and what has to happen – you start to put so much pressure on yourself that you may be tempted to eat what you aren’t “supposed to” or to skip going to the gym. The constant thought of your new regime can make you focus too much on temptation, cause you to rebel against it, or just make you feel like you don’t have the mental energy to see it through.
When you stop thinking about all the new “rules” all the time, you feel less pressure and will be more likely to eat in a healthy way. Going to the gym might seem a little more enjoyable. When something seems less like work, it becomes something you are more likely to do.
Limits Feelings of Deprivation
If someone were to tell you right now that you can never eat a doughnut ever again, what would you do? Chances are you would start to think about donuts – maybe think about them a lot. You will start to think about how delicious they are, how long is has been since you’ve had one, and how impossible a future without those donuts seems. Chances are also good that you would go out and eat a doughnut – or two or three or a dozen.
By not focusing on what you “can’t” have, you are less likely to want to indulge in it. Successful dieters sometimes indulge in treats. If you feel a craving for a do-nut – or any other junk food – or you want to indulge at a party, go ahead and eat the doughnut. Accept that you have permitted yourself an indulgence, and move on. Get back on track later. Don’t beat yourself up for being “bad,” as it will likely lead to more indulgences that will completely derail your diet plan.
Allows You to Focus on the Positive
Many dieters focus on absolutes. Either food is “good” or it’s “bad.” Either you are sticking to your diet plan or you aren’t. Indulgences are seen as failures. One chocolate bar can indicate the end of the diet, leading the diet to give up completely.
By allowing yourself to let go of these expectations, you leave yourself room to focus on the positive. Instead of talking about what you aren’t doing, you can highlight the ways in which you are succeeding. Maybe you did have a chocolate bar for breakfast, but instead of dwelling on that, you can focus on the delicious salad you had for lunch or the baked chicken and Brussels sprouts you had for dinner. Celebrate your successes and you will feel more encouraged to continue on your healthy journey.
Allows You to Honor the Process
Success doesn’t come quickly, and you can’t change your habits overnight. Putting too much pressure on yourself only sets you up for failure. If you expect to just stop eating all sugar overnight, or only eat whole foods, or never eat saturated fat again, you’ll likely feel frustrated and defeated the first time that you inevitably break one of these rules.
Understanding that healthy dieting and fitness is a process can help you to achieve success. When you eat unhealthy foods or skip a day – or a week – at the gym, you don’t have to feel like a failure. You can recognize that it is part of the process and know that you will keep working through your goals and find more successes in the future.
In many ways, giving in can help you to get ahead with your dieting goals. “Giving in” doesn’t mean giving up – it means to let go of your expectations and all the rules you establish for yourself so that you can focus on establishing new healthy eating patterns in general.
Have you found that giving in has helped you to get ahead and reach your dieting goals? Tell us about it in the comments!
About the Author: Tara Spenser is currently the resident writer for workingcapital.org, where she researches the most affordable small business loan interest rates available. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging, swimming and being a mom.