As the new year approaches, I find myself with the same lofty goal of losing weight and eating right. A year and a half ago, I succeeded in meeting my weight loss goal thanks to good ole-fashioned sweat and tears. And yet I find myself making the same promise to lose the same amount of weight (yes, I gained ALL of that weight back). I don’t doubt I can rise to the challenge again, but that got me to thinking…maybe I’m approaching this all wrong. While on my diet, I ate healthy, worked out nonstop, and kept a journal. When I went back over my journal to see exactly where I fell off the fitness wagon, it was right about the time where I hit my goal weight!
At that point, I guess my mind felt that since I was at my ideal weight, I could get back to eating the foods I REALLY wanted to eat and forget all of the foolishness of eating bland twig and berry dishes. Then it really hit me…changing my diet and exercising was never about making better lifestyle choices, but merely a means to an end! No wonder I gained all the weight back!!!! I was never thinking beyond the summer where I would be slipping on my bikini I purchased that was three sizes too small (intentional…I needed motivation).
This time out, I’ll be looking for ways to introduce new foods into my diet that are not just a means to an end but something I can live with and wouldn’t mind eating for the rest of my days. I’ve highlighted three weight loss resolutions that I plan on making instead of looking for a specific number on the scale.
Resolve to Eat Right
I know what you’re saying…duh, ANN! Dieting is an important component of any weight loss effort and some would even say that it’s the most important part of the whole process. I’m not here to disagree with that notion. What I would suggest is that you make this process more about learning about healthier food options and appropriate portions in an effort to find foods you can enjoy well beyond your weight loss goals. It doesn’t all have to be overnight, slowly replace delicious unhealthy foods with healthier alternatives and play around with spices to get the taste just right. It’s about long lasting results, not the here and now.
Get Active and Mark Your Calendars
Another obvious piece of advice is that you have to exercise in order to lose weight effectively. Start a running program (I’m a huge fan of the Couch to 5k Running Program) and be sure to include some strength training into your routine at least 3 times per week. Besides this obvious piece of advice, I would also suggest setting some sort of fitness goal that is bound to keep you on track and make sure to tell your family and friends about it. A good example of this is a 5k race for a good cause, a half marathon, a mud run, a marathon or any other fitness activity that will require you to hit the gym at least five days a week and also allows you to give back.
Build in a cheat day please! Nothing screams failure like depriving yourself of all things delicious and then inhaling an entire bag of goodies as a result. A lot of people worry about the impact the cheat day will have on the scale, so I set my weigh-in day (I weigh myself once a week) at least three days after my cheat day. That way, I have a really good chance of not even seeing the weight fluctuation because I have hit the gym at least once and resumed my healthy eating habits.
Mastering this will not only help me lose weight, but keep it off for life!
Stay tuned for my Week 1 weigh-in and healthy recipes that you can actually feel good about eating.