So every so often I have a breakdown. Not so much a nervous breakdown but more like a diet breakdown. If I could pick one thing in my life that needs the most improvement at this moment in time it would be my diet. I go back and forth, sideways and underway and in other words I have tried it all. I have been on Weight Watchers, lost 15 then slowly gained it back. I literally have an entire Ikea bookshelf overfilled with just exercise and diet books. I have tried just eating lean cuisine’s and lost 10 but then gained it back. I have tried just exercising, just eating clean, a mix of both and after a few weeks of eating chicken and asparagus every night for 3 weeks I BREAK DOWN!!! I even worked two different gyms and both times trainers developed a plan for me, it was a really decent plan but lo and behold my friend named willpower never shows up when I need her. Some friend! Ha!
I guess for those of you who don’t know me and are reading this, if there are any, lol, I should tell you that I have always been slightly overweight my entire life. When I was younger, it was a bigger deal because I would get made fun of for being chubby. I was the tallest in my class and that made me feel somewhat better because I always got to be line leader and I knew deep down inside I was just big-boned, haha! Being overweight never kept me from doing things that I loved like being in the school play, chorus and cheerleading. I cheered for 4 years from the ages 8-12, then I played softball for 3 years after that. Don’t get me wrong, I was ALWAYS self-conscious. I developed rather quickly too, to add to the chaos. I was the girl who had a huge chest in 5th grade and people would never fail to mention it. I took a cotillion class in 7th grade and my popular dance partner said “I can’t even get my arms all the way around her” out loud so everyone could hear. I was humiliated. I wasn’t sure if he was just calling me fat or if my chest kept him from being able to put his arms around me.
I just wanted to be skinny, like all the other girls seemed to be. Here I am 29 years old and still struggling. With all these years of dieting behind me I have learned a few things that work and don’t work. I am a work in progress. I have had many health problems that have deterred me one way or the other but after a long talk with a loved one, I know I need to get serious with my health. I see people who are handicapped and sick and even people who are dying who have more motivation than me and I feel like I need to get off my butt and get fit not just for myself but for my husband, my family and just plain the future. Like Nike says: JUST DO IT!!
I guess the moral of this story is that if there is one thing I have learned about diets, it’s that you should never say diet. It truly takes trial and error to find what works best for you.
I believe what’s best for me (now that I have tried everything and failed) is this…
1. Low carb is good, keep the carbs to a minimum of one serving a day.
2. Stay away from fruit juice. It seems healthy but is loaded with sugar and calories. Eat whole fruit instead.
3. Drink tons of water! Just say no to soda! I feel good when I drink at least 4 bottles of water a day, but that really is a minimum. If I work out it is definitely more, and I’m talking about 4- 16 oz. bottles. It is hard at first but it helps with everything from digestion to skin breakouts.
4. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. I do a mix of walking on the treadmill and different workout Dvd’s.
5. If you mess up, realize that you need to pick yourself up and keep going. Everyone messes up. It’s a part of being human. No one is perfect.
6. Don’t wait till you’re starving to eat. Have consistent meals every 3-4 hours.
7. Stay consistent, even if you don’t see results right away. Impatience is what gets me in trouble the MOST! If you put in the work you will see results.
8. Protein makes you full so eat lots of it! Preferably lean meats like chicken, turkey and fish.
9. Veggies never made anyone fat, unless they are covered in butter and cheese. You can eat as many veggies as you want and you will not get fat!
10. Take a multi-vitamin. You never know if you are craving that ice cream because you have a calcium deficiency or not. Even if it’s not the cause of the craving, it helps to cover any areas where your diet may be lacking and is just overall good for you.
11. Have a great playlist! Music ALWAYS helps me stay motivated! I like to listen to Britney Spears, Usher, Enrique Iglesias, No Doubt and basically any high tempo dance music that’s fun.
12. Believe in yourself and find a buddy that believes in you too. If you can, find a journal and write down what you eat. It helps stay accountable to what you put in your mouth. I find it especially helps with unconscious eating. You know, the eating when you’re watching the tube and shoving things in your mouth, that’s unconscious eating. When you finish a whole full size bag of chips because you had your mind focused on who was giving who what rose on The Bachelorette! You know what I mean! “-) This one is really hard for me, I have to remind myself to think positive and stay upbeat about the whole process.
13. Go to a naturopath and find out if you have any food allergies. I went to one and she did a bunch of tests and told me that I am allergic to milk, which I kind of knew but she confirmed it. She also said my hormones were all out of whack and told me what types of foods to eat in order to get them back to normal. She also helped with some adrenal exhaustion problems I had been having.
14. Have a cheat meal once a week. You can eat what you want and YES! You can have dessert too!
15. Don’t give up. You can’t fail if you never give up the fight. I’m a firm believer in that. Nuff said!
These are just a few tips that work for me. I have an enormous sweet tooth and right now during Halloween sugar is everywhere! I bought little bags of pretzels to give to kids instead of sugar in case I have some left over, I won’t have candy lying around.
Let’s help each other get healthy! What did a doughnut ever do for you? Nothin! So just say no! No amount of cake or soda or Ice Cream ever made it worth someone dying of a heart attack.
Hope this helps anyone that might be struggling with their weight. I know these few things have helped me a ton.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! HAVE FUN AND STAY SAFE!