I can remember being four years old and being on a diet. My Mother decided that I was fat, took me to the doctor and asked him what she should do about “this problem”. I still remember the incredulous look on his face. I was not overweight. At the age of four, I weighed forty pounds. That’s the average weight of a four year old. Since I was put on a diet so young, from that time until I came to David’s Way at 61, my life was a constant see-saw up and down the scale. I felt guilt and shame for eating and developed habits that caused me to gain weight until I was fat more than once. At one time I was a size 22. I developed binge and deprivation cycles of weight gain and loss and my whole world centered around food. Nothing worked to keep me at a healthy weight until I made up my mind that a strong, healthy body was the one thing that I wanted. If that’s true, then I have to do everything in my power to create that body. I was developing high blood pressure, depression and anxiety and nothing helped me until I broke the addiction of eating added sugars. David’s Way saved my life and gave me the drive to create the life that I want in a body that serves me well.
That’s Easy for You to Say
No, it’s not. I hear comments all the time like “Oh, Brenda, you don’t understand, you’re skinny!” Well, I’m not skinny. I work out very hard to make sure of that. However, neither am I fat. I have fought the scale my entire life but did not win until I committed for the long-term. That’s the key to weight management, the long-term commitment. We all have weight fluctuations and periods of more or less focus on our goals. The day to day fluctuations don’t matter. It’s the long-term achievement that is important. When you are committed to a goal, you expect good days and bad days. Your commitment is not based on ease of execution. It’s based on the goal. You have a clear image of your outcome and every decision that you make is made to move you closer to that goal. “Easy” or “Hard” are nonsensical in this context. Every action is essential to success regardless of level of difficulty.
Set Realistic Goals
I can well remember setting myself up for failure by waiting until 2-3 weeks before going to the beach and thinking that I could drop a quick 20 pounds. That’s not going to happen. When we set ourselves up for failure by setting unrealistic goals, we will usually gain weight instead of losing because the stressful situation that we have placed ourselves in causes us to dump cortisol into our bloodstream and stress eat. Not only would I miss my weight goal, I would usually go on vacation bloated, fat and miserable. If you have a goal, go to the Calorie Counter Pro and enter your information for a realistic rate of weight loss. We advise setting your goal at 1 pound per week to be realistic and enable yourself to eat enough to maintain lean muscle mass.
Clarify Your Motivation
Know why you want to lose weight. Looking great in a bikini is a good reason but vanity may not be a strong enough motivator. Being healthy, decreasing your blood pressure, controlling your blood sugar levels, energy and stamina to sustain you through a long work day and being able to work when others are struggling to live on Social Security are real life goals that will remind you of why you began this journey towards optimum health in the first place.
If You Buy It, You’ll Bite It!
DON’T BUY FOOD THAT YOU DON’T NEED TO EAT. Don’t even try that line, “It’s for the kids.” The kids don’t need it either and if you take it home, YOU will eat it. Leave the sugar-laden garbage in the grocery store. Load up on lean meat, chicken, turkey, eggs, yogurt, fish (particularly salmon), other seafood, veggies and a little fruit if you like. Complex carbs in beans and oats will fuel your brain well. Look for wholesome snacks that will keep you satisfied and fuel your workouts. Sugar based foods are sources of empty calories that are devoid of nutrition and filled with excess calories that will only add fat to your frame. If you consider yourself even remotely serious about getting healthy, avoid refined sugars.
Small Changes=Big Results
Remember, good things take time. Make small changes to improve your health and before you know it, you will see results. Stay focused on your goals and take one step at a time. Take pride in every small victory that you achieve. There will be setbacks. You will have days when it’s easy and days when you want to quit, but stay focused on why you started and keep going. Don’t judge yourself too harshly. Negative self-talk will raise your cortisol levels which will make you crave simple carbohydrates including added sugars which will pack on the pounds. Just keep doing your best and “Trust the Process.” (David Yochim)
“Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan.” (Emmett Roper-Dad)
My Dad always told me to plan ahead. There’s no better time to employ that strategy than when you know that you are going to eat out or travel. Get online and research menus and activity options. You can choose between an unhealthy restaurant and a restaurant where you have some healthy options. When you’re planning your vacation PLEASE don’t do like a woman I once knew and plan it around free food. She was morbidly obese and pre-diabetic and was thrilled at the prospect of being able to binge and gorge for two weeks for free. Use some common sense. Plan an active vacation centered around physical activity like hiking or swimming. Eat in restaurants that serve lean broiled meats and seafood and vegetables. Avoid buffets. They are a recipe for destruction.
David says that “What gets counted, gets done.” We have a Calorie/Macronutrient Chart that lists the calorie count for hundreds of common foods. Keep track of your calories. You can go to the Calorie Counter Pro to determine how many calories you should eat in a day to lose 1-2 pounds per week, or to maintain your current weight. We strongly suggest losing no more than 1 pound per week. It will be easier and the changes you make are more likely to stick when you lose slowly. You also have more time to adjust your body image. You can read about body image in David’s recent article, Shattered Body Image. Unless you give yourself time to adjust your mind along with your body, your changes are less likely to be permanent.
If you eat a high protein breakfast you will feel better all day and be less likely to over eat. If you skip breakfast you will get weak and very hungry and be prone to binge on simple carbs. You will feel justified to eat anything that you crave because you feel deprived. Nip that in the bud with good breakfast choices that satisfy and keep you going strong into mid-morning. You will be able to think more clearly and navigate your life to a more healthy advantage. If you don’t like what others have for breakfast, find something that you do like. We have countless recipes here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness that can get your day off on the right foot. Try Low Carb Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Bread for a true healthy treat that’s sure to please.
It’s been said that the only difference in a winner and a loser is that the winner gets up one more time. I believe that to be true. Go ahead. Get up. I dare you.