Recently, I have been teaming with some co-workers for a series of one-month challenges to lose 10 pounds a month. At the end of the first month, one person lost 12 pounds, which is fantastic. The rest of us did well but then gained some of the weight back toward the end of the month. I have to admit it was discouraging to lose 9 pounds then gain back 5. I can tell why I did well, and then went backward. I stayed very strong for the first three weeks, counted calories and felt encouraged. At the three-week mark a couple of things happened. 1) I let my guard down. By reaching a good weight and feeling motivated I thought to myself “this is easy, I don’t have to keep working so hard.” I lied. Although it was pretty easy to follow the program, I DID need to keep at it. 2) I caught a cold and got off track. With a sore throat and feverish feeling, I gave into cravings for salty snacks, comfort foods like mashed potatoes, and ice cream. 3) I slacked on tracking. My daytime routine stayed pretty consistent but by the end of the night I got lazy in recording my calories. Writing it all down is very important.
Anyway, the point is that as long as you are moving in the right direction and don’t give up, applaud yourself. The only way to fail is to quit!
Thank you Dee–we all need a little cheerleading every now and again! Don’t quit!!! Guilt and self-punishment aren’t options and tomorrow is always a new day! We all need some lessons on being our own best cheerleader–not enemy! Keep on keeping on my friend.
For more great advice from Dee visit her SITE
Have a great weekend!!!!!
Thanks Dee–this is just more proof that a calorie doesn’t equal a calorie—Check out a little about Johnny Bowden who gives a great explanation on this topic. All calories are not created equal. And Snicker’s doesn’t satisfy!
We recently had a dietician come to my work to talk about reading food labels and she gave a great presentation about the acceptable levels of sugar, sodium, trans fat, protein and carbohydrates. One thing that she said about calories was funny, that you could do a Snickers bar diet. What she meant was that I could consume all 1200 of my daily calories in the form of Snickers bars — about 5 a day — and lose weight. If you create a negative net calorie point, you lose weight. You need to burn more calories than you consume. Twelve hundred calories of sugar and fat however, will not lead to any long-term benefit PLUS you’ll be starving all the time from the high sugar, simple carb rush. The trick is to get your 1200 (or whatever) calories in each day in the form of colorful, nutrient-rich, raw or minimally processed fruits, veggies, lean proteins and whole grains. That is what keeps you feeling full, energized and ultimately healthy in the long run.
A few posts ago-we shared Jim Ryser’s success story of overcoming addiction and empowering himself to teach and counsel others. If you missed that post you can see it HERE. The cycle is so true. I don’t think I can honestly think of anyone that doesn’t have addiction to overcome. Negative thinking, food, chemicals, exercise, self-abuse are only a few that we encounter daily. Dee has been struggling with her issues with sugar and she writes—
I’ve been contemplating addiction the past few days, considering the cycle of the way that people deal with emotional discomfort by masking pain through the consumption of _________ (fill in the blank). I have filled my blank in with food. Last night I became so angry at a situation in my home that it took everything in me to not eat or drink. Food (and chemicals) distract us. Even if these crutches of ours are not mind altering, they are always mood altering.
It is easy for me to look at that circle of addiction with alcohol or drugs because I am thankfully not addicted to those things. I see that people feel pain, use things to not feel pain temporarily, physical effects wear off, pain comes back, need for another drink/dose. The routine never stops until the issue is worked through and dealt with in a more healthy and productive manner.
But then I look at my addiction, which is food, and because this is closer to home, it’s hard to see as clearly how to break the chain. One technique that I think works for many people is to write down their emotions and food-related impulses. This one for me last night was clear as could be. I was about to go to sleep and didn’t feel the least bit hungry. After the chaos subsided a bit, I walked into the kitchen for the sole purpose of finding the worst possible food choice on hand to consume quickly and mindlessly. Thankfully, I realized the irrelevance of how eating would make me happy and I turned myself around. What did make me happy, this morning, was seeing an overall seven pound weight loss on the scale for the month of August.
This long-term reward will ultimately be more gratifying that a bag of Doritos would have been last night.
For more pearls from Dee visit her site HERE
Thanks to Dee for sharing a very important point—
Diet should not be a hobby.
So many times we go head on into a diet to lose weight based on willpower and determination. We do well for a while and since we’ve chosen a habit that isn’t sustainable, we fall back off the wagon only to gain the weight back. It is so much better to focus on changing one small habit at a time. Pick one little thing to change at a time. Start by drinking more water, eliminating soda, or adding breakfast into your routine. Those aren’t overwhelming and are certainly sustainable changes once they are accomplished. Then after it becomes a regular habit, it’s time to pick the next small step. Soon enough, the well deserved side effect of effective weight loss ensues.
Roller coasters are fun!
Metaphorically speaking that is. I am not an amusement park roller coaster fan at all. I’m a chicken. There is nothing about a churned stomach and reckless body motion that is at all amusing to me. Control issues perhaps.
But a diet roller coaster is really not bad — provided that you end up on the ground with the ride is over. Some people diet by weighing themselves every day. I do, because it’s kind of fun to see how scientific the numbers can be. For example, I have been steadily losing a bit of weight all week. Yesterday, after getting to my 1200 calorie limit and not eating more until bed time, I blew it and ate a piece of pepperoni pizza at 11:00 pm. It was homemade and I served it to the kids for dinner without even trying it. But as I was cleaning the kitchen before going to sleep the pizza jumped off the counter and into my mouth. There was nothing I could do. It wasn’t my fault.
Sure enough, I woke up knowing that this morning’s scale would not show a smaller number but a larger number. The number went from 181.5 yesterday to 182.5 today. Bummer! But, overall, my weight has gone from 187.5 last Thursday to 182.5 today. You can’t let a single scale reading count for much. It’s the big picture that counts. AND, don’t let great results let you think you can slack either. That’s the mistake I made at the end of February when I had lost 20 pounds in two months. I thought I could relax on the diet for a while. That “while” ended up being five months and the return of ten of the pounds I lost. Having chosen a habit that isn’t sustainable, we fall back off the wagon only to gain the weight back.
For more of Dee’s journey visit her SITE
You all remember our dear real, honest, dedicated friend, Dee who has shared her weight loss/health struggles with us over the past few years. She has done amazing and lost quite a bit of weight by making simple lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, (like me and I am guessing everyone) life gets in the way of prioritizing our own bodies and health and we fall off the wagon. Dee and I had an unusual circle of events this last week. I sincerely believe they were signs from the Universe telling us not to lose site of the mission at hand. Yesterday, Dee’s blog post read as follows——-
THE DOMINO EFFECT:
Today started with a call from my sister on my way to work. I should preface this story to say that I’ve felt isolated in my attempts to take care of my health and isolation equals failure to eat well and exercise. So at 8:20 am my little sister mentioned that her friend commented on this blog, something about someone being helped with the right message at the right time. Before looking into the message, I received another little jolt of encouragement from my friend who is also my dentist. She is a beautiful woman (inside and out) who is determined to get the best of her health through exercise. I know she has adapted a routine of walking regularly and has been successful at weight loss (congratulations Dr. M!) Before I left her office today, she instructed me to walk for 30 minutes when I get home. I like a challenge so I halfheartedly mumbled “OK”. Then when I was half out the door but still close enough to hear she said, “if you don’t you have to do double tomorrow.” And — because I had no other choice — I replied “deal!”Here’s the fun of that story. I did come home and walk two miles. Without her direction to do so, there was a zero percent chance that I would have exercised. I invited my husband to walk also, and he did. He commented that he has been wanting and needing to get back into the routine of exercising and this was just the push he had been hoping for. So some stranger in Indianapolis, who encouraged my friend Angela to remind me to keep going prompted a discussion with my dentist who challenged me to exercise which involved my husband who in turn prompted me to continue to walk the next day. What a great chain reaction. You never know who you might help or impact. Sometimes the right people are in the right place at the right time saying the right things.
Visit her site at http://www.gettingthebestoffood—she may be “still a small voice”–but, a powerful one indeed!
Thanks Dee for sharing
Here is a great new post from our dear friend Dee–please check out her site http://www.gettingthebestoffood.com She shares her journey and includes a realistic attitude that accounts for all the daily struggles, stress, and obstacles that sabotage us relententlessly. You go Dee!!!
The first time I saw this diagram was nearly a year ago and it has never left my memory. Over the past few months I have noticed how refined foods such as white bread and sugar have effected hunger throughout the day. This simple illustration shows how all highly processed foods, fats and oils look in the stomach. I’ll be right back, gotta grab an apple.
OK, I’m back, less starving than I was a minute ago. If you look at all of the diets that have been successful and popular, most of them have fruits and veggies in common. Atkins, not so much because it’s an all-protein diet. The challenge that I’ve found is getting veggies to taste good. Fruits are naturally delicious without anything added, but veggies are usually better when you make them bad…like broccoli with cheese sauce, fried green beans with butter, creamed peas, spinach au gratin. At this point, I’m finding it more challenging to make veggies fun. Well, fun is a strong word. I don’t know if they’ve ever been fun. Here are some tricks I’ve learned:
- Bake kale with a spritz of olive oil for crispy chips with a touch of sea salt
- Hide spinach in smoothies, soups, baked eggs
- Mash sweet potatoes with a touch of cinnamon, almond milk and agave nectar and bake for fake pumpkin pie
- Use romaine or Boston lettuce leaves to wrap the healthy ingredients you would normally put on bread, like tuna salad, grilled chicken, lean steak
- Soak dates — use the water as a healthy natural sweetening liquid and puree the soaked dates with water to make a paste as a solid sweeter for recipes (paste with spaghetti squash and cinnamon is great.