One of my problems has actually been blogger's block. Usually I have lots on my mind that I want to talk about! As I was cleaning the cat box (gross. this is my very least favorite chore ever. could stem from the fact that I've really never been a cat person. hmm.), I was thinking about how many times I've said, and how many times I've heard someone else say, why isn't this working? Admittedly, I do not have a proven track record in this area. But, I think there are some logical steps that we don't always think about. Here are my thoughts:
1. Be honest with yourself. How closely are you following your plan? Are you logging or tracking everything you eat? Are you measuring your food? A lot of times we underestimate how much we eat and the size of our portions. You've heard to use a smaller plate for your meals. That works! When you put a piece of chicken, some rice, and more veggies than you care to eat on a huge plate, you probably have a lone sad violin playing in your head. Put all this stuff on a smaller plate and suddenly it looks like you're having a huge meal! How are you possibly going to finish all this food! It's awesome. Try it! Also, get a kitchen scale that you can put a plate and adjust to zero each time you put food on the plate. This is the one I have. I can adjust whether it measures by ounces, fluid ounces, grams, etc. It taught me that I drink way, way more in a normal glass of wine than the 4 oz. serving you're supposed to have. When there is about 100 calories in each 4 ounces, that's a lot of calories that I wasn't accounting for. Don't forget to count your drinks and all those M&Ms you sneak in at work. You'll find that you don't want to eat those three M&Ms because you don't want to log it. You want to see that you're being awesome, not sneaky!
2. Give it time. This is something I'm really bad at. Changing your lifestyle and seeing the results takes time. Yeah, I know it sucks. But weight often piles on as a result of instant gratification, and you have to realize that weight loss doesn't really care how badly you want instant gratification. It's going to do whatever it damn well pleases and you're just going to have to accept it. Or keep eating that ice cream because you have to have it, and keep gaining weight. I was watching the recent episode of The Biggest Loser where one of the contestants didn't lose any weight that week despite following a strict diet and working his butt off in the gym. The trainers were flabbergasted. If you've read my blog for a while, you know I've been through this too. Sometimes your body doesn't cooperate in the time frame you want to give it. Your body forces you to follow it's own time frame. You just need to keep at your plan and let it work.
3. Plan. One of the most convenient diets I was on was Nutrisystem. The only groceries I had to get were my veggies and my dairy stuff. Otherwise the food was grab, heat and eat. However that can't be every day life for the rest of your life. I like to plan things. When I plan out my food, I am much more successful. Hubs and I don't eat together 80% of the time, so I sit down on Thursday or Friday every week and plan what I will eat for the next week. I like to make my grocery list according to what two or three meals I plan on cooking that week. Then I can decide what meal sounds good first, and I'll eat that for four meals or however many servings it lasts. I can eat the same breakfast almost every day so I pick what I want and go with that. I like to have a variety of snacks, sides, and/or veggies. So I'll put about three things on my list that I can rotate based on whatever sounds best to me in that moment. I'm really good about sticking to a plan once I've made one. However when I have to fly by the seat of my pants, that's when I give in to whatever sounds best at the time, even if it isn't the best choice. In my humble opinion, this could be the best piece of advice I put on my blog. Plan, plan, plan!
4. Change your plan! My biggest success has come from the plan that completely blew my mind when I was given it. For so long I've thought "I need to eat 1200-1400 calories to lose weight. Eat low fat/non fat stuff. Don't eat anything that tastes remotely yummy because it has too many calories. You will probably feel starving for a while until your stomach shrinks to your new diet. Don't eat less than 1200 calories because your body will go into starvation mode." Now I'm following a plan that really doesn't follow any of those old beliefs I had. I'm much happier than I've ever been on any diet before. And I'm never starving! It's miraculous!
5. Don't deprive yourself. I don't think you can be successful if you say "Losing weight means I can never again have (((delicious food you love here)))" What I DO think is that once you change the way you eat, you will naturally desire less of whatever crappy foods you ate before. Over the summer I occasionally ate Taco Bell. Out of the fast food options around my work, Taco Bell was one of the tastiest options to me. The other day I thought about Taco Bell and it sounded revolting to me. Taco Bell? Gross! I can feel my arteries clog up at the sound of it. As you know, recently I made my favorite type of cake because I had a craving. I licked the bowl, but then having a piece of cake once it was all frosted and ready to eat didn't seem appetizing to me. This is a new feeling for me, and I 100% know it's because I've changed the way I eat overall, and now that amount of sugar just isn't appealing to me. I NEVER imagined my sugar cravings would almost entirely fall off a cliff simply by changing the way I eat. It's incredible. I still eat sugar, but in moderation. Which is exactly what I've been told, read, heard, is healthy!
Ultimately, I think the biggest thing is to find what works best for you. Personally, I think I've finally found a lifestyle that does work for me, and I'm excited to see the changes that result!