Just the Tips, Ma’am

I’m not an expert — by any stretch of the imagination — on nutrition or fitness. But, I have learned a few things along my way to losing more than 100 pounds. In honor of a new year and a fresh start, I thought I’d share some (even though “Top Whatever” lists are overdone).

  1. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else along the way. Your weight-loss story is yours. Their weight-loss stories are theirs. Bodies are different. People are different. Goals are different. Focus on you.
  2. Set yourself up to succeed. If you can’t control yourself at a buffet, don’t go to a buffet until you can. If you can’t say no to one more potato chip, don’t buy potato chips. Put your running shoes in front of the door so you can’t miss ‘em. Tie a jump rope to your purse strap so you always have it. Keep an apple in your pocket. Change takes getting used to. And sometimes change hurts — anyone who tells you differently is lying. But the end is so worth it.
  3. Share your story. You can’t do this alone. Sorry. It’s true. You need someone — preferably someones — to support you. They can be people in your “real life” or blog friends (though blogging is “real life” so maybe there’s no difference). I tried doing it alone in the beginning. It didn’t work. I needed people on my side. I needed to share my journey. That’s why my whole family knows about my blog, all of my friends and my Facebook connections. It’s not just about accountability. It’s about celebrations and support and knowing you’re not alone.
  4. Be prepared for some lonely days. Yeah, you’re not in it alone. But sometimes it feels like it. Friends will may stop asking you to go out to eat with them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “You’re no fun anymore.” You know what? Oh well. Because I’m healthy. And if me overeating and drinking is more important to you than my health? We weren’t friends to begin with. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t get lonely when I’m sitting at the kitchen table eating one of my latest delicious creations with only the cats for company. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy going out with friends who truly appreciate and understand the changes I’ve made I am making.
  5. Show up. If you don’t put in the work, you can’t reap the rewards. Just ask the Little Red Hen. She knows what she’s talking about.
  6. Do your best. If you do your best every day, you will succeed. Don’t phone it in. And don’t give up.
  7. Let it go. So you messed up — that’s what life’s about. You don’t learn if you don’t make mistakes. Let it go and move on. If you dwell on it, you’re sabotaging yourself. Just dust off the chocolate shavings (or cookie crumbs or Pixie Stix dust or Pringle shavings), look at yourself in the mirror and say “I can do this. I DESERVE this.” And then you go and do better.
  8. Stop putting it off. There’s no need to wait until tomorrow. Or Monday. Or next week. Or next month. Or, God forbid, next year. Start fresh right now. Make the next food decision a good one — whether it’s a snack or a meal or a cup of coffee. Do it right now.
  9. Educate yourself. Don’t go into this blind. Do it right. Arm yourself with the tools to succeed — books, blogs, magazines, trainers, nutritionists, doctors, (knowledgeable) friends. Find whatever tools you can to make sure you’re doing what’s right for your body. For those on a budget: Never, ever underestimate the power of the library.
  10. Take measurements. And not just of the scale-y variety. Yes, losing poundage is awesome. But there’s so much more to it than that. Know your measurements: waist, hips, calves, thighs, bust/chest, arms. You’ll see the change there sometimes a lot sooner/better than you will on the scale. I like seeing the numbers on the scale go down as much as the next person. But, guess what. Sometimes they go up. But I’m smaller now than I was five pounds ago. Hm. Imagine that.
  11. Stop making excuses. Realize your power. You have it in you to do this. Maybe you have an unsupportive partner. Or three kids. Or a crazy job. There’s a way to do this that works for your life. Start making the right decisions for you — a healthier you can give more to your partner, your kids, your job. A healthier you is more productive. A healthier you is … well … healthy. Sometimes you have to put you first so you can put others first. (I know, it doesn’t seem logical. Trust me. It is — I am a better employee, a better friend, a better sibling and a better daughter than I ever was before.)
  12. Enjoy the small victories. You’re not going to lose five pounds every week (nor should you). You’re not going to win every race. You’re not going to say “no” when you should. Celebrate the small victories. Welcome all of the wins.
  13. Treat yourself (with respect and indulgences). Treat your body, mind and spirit with respect. And then, simply treat yourself. I’ve stated time and again that I think we were given taste buds for a reason. Eat foods you enjoy. Indulge. But do it in moderation. And make it worth it. I’m a firm believer that the world would be a sad place without good ice cream and good cheese. So I enjoy them from time to time. But I don’t waste the calories on crappy ice cream or ooky cheese. It’s just not worth it.
  14. “Calm down. Enjoy your life.” My trainer gave me this advice. And I think it’s the best ever.


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4 responses to “Just the Tips, Ma’am

  1. wendy warren

    Good advice!


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