Eat to Live, or Live to Eat

One thing that has really taken over our country is over eating. Gaining weight doesn’t just leap on us, it creeps up on us. Its the extra donut here and the few extra chips there that turns into six donuts and an entire bag of chips! Before we know it we shun bikinis and begin buying sweatpants. Inside we are feeling less confident and that triggers us to eat even more! Its a vicious cycle; but it can be stopped. Here are a few tips that helped me loose weight.

  1. SEIZE THE DAY- You have a dilemma, you had planned all last week that Monday (which is now today) you would start being healthy and eating better; your grandmother called you and after a half hour long chat you are meeting her tonight for dinner at the local Applebees. Lets face it, Grandmas have it engrained in their minds that their grandchildren are living off of water and saltines. You are starting to envision her telling you to order an appetizer because you need more meat on your bones (which makes you seriously question her vision), then you picture her insisting upon paying for the dessert. You imagine the chocolate lava cake’s gooey sweetness in your mouth and the decision is quickly over. “No use in fighting with Grandma!” You say to your self and then add, “I will just start my diet tomorrow.” Tomorrow is a dangerous word. Tomorrow is the word that can also be translated, under certain circumstances as failure! You can find an excuse everyday to start your diet tomorrow. Today is the day. Whatever you may face, choose today to stick to your guns and eat healthy. If your grandma suggests a place where you just can’t resist the french-fries then invite her over for a specially planned feast made by you! Or explain that you have made a life change to eat healthier and suggest an option where you are in control and not your appetite! You can do it, but you have to do it today! Carpe Diem!
  2.  Learn to say NO- This was a hard step for me but the best for me when I got it down. I love food! (Doesn’t everyone?) I remember times where I would be on a diet but at the time I worked in the food industry. We could pretty much eat what we wanted there, and the chef was amazing. After a while of a small bites of Wisconsin mac and cheese or bruschetta on bread I realized I wasn’t loosing weight anymore. I had been working out and eating healthy the rest of my meals throughout the day. Those little bits here and there were costing me. Finally I determined to say NO. I told myself I had to say no even to one bite because I realized that one bite would lead to more bites. Saying no is hard. Sometimes I felt like If I didn’t eat something I would be missing out or never get a chance to try it.  Realize that you really aren’t missing out. And that you will get to try it, just not today. Realize that if you aren’t saying no, you are saying yes to potentially having to workout more (no more running please!)  I have said in my mind to help myself out with saying no, “I will be able to eat this another day, but I don’t need it today.” And you know what’s great? Saying no gets easier! After a couple weeks you will be used to passing on the extras you don’t need or really want. Remember it goes the same for saying yes, the moment you give it once it become easier to give in again. Words to live by: “Thank you, but I’ll have to pass on that!”
  3. Replace- Replace your morning latte with a cup of tea; replace a bag of chips with your lunch with your favorite fruit or vegetable; replace soda with water (do it! you will be amazed at the weight you will start to loose);When I went on my diet I replaced my usual lunch with a bunch of vegetables and maybe a few nuts. Crazy you might say,  but when I did that I cut out a significant amount of calories, got a lot of nutrition, and wasn’t hungry. Replace your large plates with small plates so that the plate looks fuller and you are getting the proper size (note: the size of plates that are given to us at the restaurants are unfortunately almost enough for one small family, beware!);replace the junk food in the cabinet with healthy snacks only, don’t wait till they are gone, donate them to the local soup kitchen (you will be helping others and yourself!).  And the list goes on and on….Replace!
  4. Activate-I think why today obesity is such a phenomenon as opposed to the past is that we have technology that does the work for us. People in the old days would go out and plow the field themselves, walk to town, chop the wood, clean the house (without vacuum, Swiffer, automatic shower cleaner). They needed a lot of food to keep up with them! Today we have machines that plow the fields while you sit in them, we drive everywhere, we buy those ready to light bags of fire wood, and we have invented robot vacuum cleaners. Technology is wonderful but we have to get moving! Find something that will get your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day. This doesn’t mean you have to sentence yourself to the treadmill and staring at the wall. Find something active that you enjoy, or at least don’t hate. Get into different sports, offer to walk people’s dogs, search for cool hiking destinations, take dance lessons (zumba and hiking are my favorite!) Activate, your body will thank you!
  5. Eat good food- I saved this for last because it is the most exciting thing about weight loss! You can still enjoy the food you are eating! Eat things that taste good is what I recommend. Often diets are started with the notion that you cannot eat anything that tastes good. We eat boiled flavorless chicken and steamed broccoli for three days and end up feeling like an animal that has just come out of hibernation. This is just a sure road to a diet blow out at the nearest Golden Corral. My co-worker brought this to mind when she was telling me about her diet and what she was eating and how she was going crazy. With the food she described I would go crazy too! Do a little digging online and find nutritious recipes with similarities to food you may like. Learn how to cook lean meats just right (tip from someone who trained under a chef, always marinate…always..), follow the recipe and get a thermometer so that you don’t over or under cook. If you do opt for pasta have a pasta night! Get your small plate out and enjoy! (one tip that I found effective is to skip the meat if you are going to focus on grains for a meal) When you are eating make the meal about the people you are with and enjoying every bite. Serve fruits and veggies as sides instead of buttered rolls (just get used to having to eat vegetables! They will grow on you in flavor and God made them as our natural diet-sooooo good for you!)This way you become fuller faster and are having a meaningful conversation. There are so many healthy delicious options to find and enjoy! I will post some recipes that I recommend!

I hope this blog has been helpful! I lost weight and you can too! Loosing weight won’t be easy…at first; ask God for His help, He will help you!When you get into a habit of making good choices you will find it easier, feeling more energized, looking at that bikini and thinking about wearing it (unless you are a dude =) ) and being more confident. If anyone has any other tips or success stories or frustrations comment!

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