Shape Magazine recently published “8 Little-Known Diet Secrets.” I recommend you look at it because there is some good information, and a lot of stuff struck a chord with me. Here are the tips (be sure to check out the article for the info behind the tips):
1. You’ll get a huge confidence boost. So true. I never knew I even needed a confidence boost until I started losing weight and looking like the person I felt like inside. Now I feel much more like the person I’m meant to be and because of that I feel stronger — and more confident.
2. Losing weight won’t solve every problem. Yep. That’s true, too. Losing weight has helped me feel better about myself and feel healthier and happier. But that doesn’t mean that it’s cured everything. I still have to deal with other areas in my life I want to work on — my career, my friendships, my relationships. I’m just a smaller person dealing with those issues.
3. Not everyone will be happy for you. While most of the people in my life are super supportive and helpful, I can still feel the negative energy coming from other people. And some people can be extra-sneaky about their sabotage attempts. The thing is, they may not even realize they’re doing it, and it comes from a deep issue with their own self-confidence. I’ve learned to accept that fact, and I know it doesn’t have anything to do with me — it has to do with them. So, I plan our time together a little differently knowing that a dinner out may present some uncomfortable moments. Instead, I try to incorporate a walk or window shopping or something along those lines.
4. You can’t eat like you did before. Obvious. I’ve changed so much about the way I eat since I started on this journey, and it’s now become second-nature. I no longer drool over my friend’s hamburger and onion rings. And I can easily order off of restaurant menus to make sure I’m getting the most healthful option.
5. Veggies will be your savior. I’ve always — always — loved vegetables. All vegetables. So this one’s not new to me, but it’s true — adding a nice, colorful variety of vegetables to your diet will not only make it easier to shave your calorie counts, but it will make eating more fun. Who wouldn’t like looking at a meal made with beets, orange bell peppers, yellow summer squash, green peppers, blue potatoes, eggplant, purple onions? (Yes, that list is all the colors of the rainbow — pretty dinner, right?)
6. You may need a refresher course. We all hit plateaus at one point or another in our weight-loss efforts. At that time, it’s important to look back at what you’re doing and what’s going on in your life: food, exercise, stresses, emotions, etc. and re-evaluate. Look at what you’re really doing — rather than what you’re telling yourself you’re doing. Hold yourself accountable. Did you really eat just a half-cup of frozen yogurt, or was it more like 3/4 of a cup? How many beers did you really drink last Saturday? Are you working out in your target heart rate zone, or are you walking on the treadmill at a little slower pace so you can talk to your friend or read a magazine? There’s almost always a reason your weight-loss has plateaued. And I’ve found that the reason is, 99.9 percent of the time, me. Go back to the basics. Measure your food. Plan, plan, plan. Make your workouts count!
7. Your old workout may no longer work. Boy, am I sad to report this is true. When I was at my highest weight (271), a 30-minute walk burned up to 500 calories. Now I’m running, and it takes me over an hour to burn that many. It’s a sign that what I’m doing is working. I’ve now added strength training, polymetrics during my runs and different types of cardio to the mix. I use interval training. I really mix things up to keep my body guessing and keep burning as many calories as possible. Do I miss the days when my calories burned away faster? Sure. But I don’t miss the fat that’s gone with them. So, I’ll keep mixing it up and surprising my body. Funny thing is that when I surprise my body, I’m also surprising myself with how much I can do. I never knew that under that 271-pound girl there was a runner. Who knows what fun things I’ll discover about myself next!
8. You may still think you’re a fat person. Sure, I’m not at my goal yet. But, I am a heck of a lot smaller than I was before (size 10/12, y’all!). It’s really hard to change the way you see yourself. What I’ve seen in the mirror for 28 years was a fat girl staring back at me. Now that I’m a smaller version of that girl, I still look at her sometimes and can’t believe who’s staring back at me. And when I go shopping, I have absolutely no idea what size to try on or buy. I’ll hold something up, sure it won’t fit me, and it’ll be too big. I’ve made so many trips back and forth to dressing rooms with wrong sizes. (Bonus calorie burn!) A lot of the time, I walk in with such an armload of clothing that the fitting room attendants look at me like I’m crazy. Last time I went shopping, I had a size 14, 12 and 10 of one pair of jeans in two different colors — six pairs of jeans — because I had no idea which ones would fit or how they’d look in a different wash. My body’s still changing as I continue to lose weight, so I expect this to continue. I’m interested to see how it feels — how I feel — at goal. Will I be comfortable in this new body? Will I even recognize the woman staring back at me? Time will tell.