Monday, September 27

Recipe for Success: Eat Right, Get Active

I just love fat pictures!  Last month was the one year anniversary to the beginning of my weight loss journey.  From August 2009 to February 2010, I steadily lost over 95 pounds.  I’ve had several occasions since beginning my weight maintenance journey in March to consider the attitudes and choices that made me so successful.

While I was losing my weight, many people would ask, “So what are you doing?”  I could see the excitement, the expectation in their eyes.  And I knew it would die as soon as I gave them my answer: “Well, I’m really just learning how to eat healthy and exercising my butt off.”  Most people would look disappointed, congratulate me, and move on.  Only a few would push for more on what I was doing.
Don’t hear what I’m not saying.  There are plenty of diets out there—diet foods, diet programs, different dieting philosophies—that do work well for some people.  But, for most people, all that is needed is food education and a kick in the butt.  Most of us want to eat well; we just have no idea how!
When it comes to food, the most important part is to find healthy, low-calorie foods that you enjoy.  In completely revamping my daily diet, I remembered how much I loved fruits and vegetables.  Honestly, a dinner feels incredibly satisfying to me when I get to finish it up with a cup of fresh mango (mangoes are so stinkin’ good that they totally count as dessert).  And I often have to cut myself off because I love fresh zucchini so much that I could eat a pound of it every night for dinner.  When you build in plenty of healthy foods that you genuinely enjoy, you’ll find yourself easily motivated to stick to your diet.
In addition to enjoying healthy foods, you’ve got to get up off your butt!  I know, I know—you hate exercise.  But being active doesn’t need to be strict exercise.  Take a walk to relax.  Go wrestle with your kids.  Help a friend move.  It’s extremely important to build activity into your regularly life, not just to weight loss but also your general health.  You’ll begin to find that it feels like you have more energy to spend when you spend more energy (that’s me channeling Mr. Miyagi for the day).  I feel so sluggish on days that I don’t get to the gym.  But days that I run around none stop and still get to the gym, I feel like I could keep going for hours!
What kind of changes to diet and activity have you found that work well for you?  Were they easy or hard to incorporate into your life?  Do they keep you motivated?


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