As I think back over my weight loss, it was a hundred small changes that made the difference. But three main small changes:
1) Plan Food: Planning what I’m going to eat for lunch and snacks
It sounds kind of obvious. But it’s not really. Before I lost the weight, I would wake up and think to myself “I’ll do better today.” Then drink a coffee, maybe have some toast if I had time, but I wasn’t “really hungry” yet. Off to work.
About 10 am I was starving. More coffee. By lunch, I was REALLY hungry and it was sooo soo hard to not overeat. Then by 6 or 6:30 when I walked in the door at home. Again, I was REALLY hungry. Would start cooking dinner before I even figured out what to have… that meant, putting water on to boil (for pasta) or throwing some meat in the microwave to thaw. Or more often than not, grab something on the way home. When the kids were in middle school/high school there was stuff to do just about every night/weekend, that we were working around.
My plan now: Shop on Sunday. Spend time in the produce section buying vegetables, vegetables and more veggies. Lots of fruits too. 7 apples, 2 bunches of bananas, cauliflower each week. melon or strawberry or oranges etc. in season. I have cauliflour for dinner on Mondays. Take a banana and an apple to work for snack everyday. Take one or two waters with me to work. Pretzels for snack at 3 pm. Crockpot cook chicken, enough for one or 2 freezer meals each day. And now, I ALWAYS eat breakfast and it’s usually my biggest meal of the day with 2 to 3 eggs, but usually egg beaters. Low fat cheese. Two slices of toast. and black coffee no milk.
2) Plan Exercise: Planning to exercise 3 days a week for one hour.
We’ve been a member of a gym for 20 years, and paid the membership fee when there were actually MONTHS we didn’t go. Now, I sign up for classes and go to ones I pay extra for. I’ve made friends in the classes and they email me when I don’t show up. I’ve learned all kinds of things I NEVER thought I would.
I remember that first boot camp class. The first time I walked into the spinning room. The first yoga class (that was actually a yoga/pilates fusion type dance class). Each time, very intimated. The first kettlebell class and the butterflies in my stomach. Actually feeling fear when I had to do a one arm swing. Each time I accomplished it, how much stronger I felt. This session is kettlebell/TRX fusion. I’m feeling really strong out of class, but still very wimpy when I’m trying to do it.
On top of that, I really started biking with friends and found out I LOVE it. I used to love it in college and I forgot. It’s that “flow state” that is so cool, where time just stands still and fun flows thru the veins. It’s hard to find activities like that where I don’t worry about clients and projects and billings and work. Or my family or undone projects at the house, etc.
3) Avoid Triggers: Staying away from trigger foods and trigger situations.
I didn’t realize how certain things send the snowball down the hill. I kinda knew, but didn’t want to face it. Pizza. Potato chips. Soft chewy breads. Potluck buffets. Family gatherings on holidays where everyone makes their “best” dish to share. Bored rainy weekend afternoons when I didn’t plan anything fun.
Not eating that first bagel at Panera. I used to always get a coffee (with a quarter cup of half and half) and a dessert style cinnamon bagel toasted with butter at my hour coffee with my girlfriends on Friday morning after we got the kids on the bus.
That’s 80 half and half calories, 420 for the bagel and 2 pats of butter 80. S80 calories without even thinking about it.
So for the month of December I’m going to focus on the basics:
1) plan my food.
2) keep showing up to my exercise classes
3) stay away from trigger foods.