Friday, September 20, 2013

Diet vs Lifestyle

  When someone loses 75 lbs everyone wants to know how they did it.  If I had a dollar for every time I was asked "how did you lose the weight" I would be quite wealthy. While I have always enjoyed sharing my story, I often got the feeling nearly everyone was disappointed with my answers/advice.

I wan't able to share a magic potion or special drops that melted their fat away. No fairy dust, no pixie pills to make them slim in a month. I wasn't able to say it was easy.  I did not have a recipe for a secret weight loss shake or some special 'sprinkle stuff' for them to put on their food.  I could not give them the number to my 'wrap' consultant who magically made my waist smaller and thighs no longer rub together.

In 2006 I was a new Mom and roughly 75 pounds overweight and my blood pressure was extremely high.  I had never been this out of control before.  I knew what I had to do, it was like nothing I had ever done before. I was NOT going on another diet. This time I was going to change my lifestyle, change what I ate, change how much I exercised, change the people I hung out with (most of them had to go), change my outlook on life, and the hardest one... change the way I felt about myself.  Little by little, I got where I am today. You hear it all the time.... "It's a lifestyle, not a diet". Well, it's true.

You see....I did not starve, or use any SlimFast shake/bar meal replacement crap, not once.  I ate food, real food, lots of vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, and you know.... all the foods that contain one ingredient, such as broccoli, spinach, sweet potaoes, blackbeans, etc..  Getting my body moving was next. I bought a pair of descent running shoes and began walking, pushing a stroller. I walked everyday for at least 30 minutes and raised my time to an hour when weather was nice. I began finding excuses to spend more time outside. I spent my weekends in the woods hiking with my family or riding my bike.  I found activities that I liked to do, running/cycling, and the weight came off while I enjoyed myself, really it did.

Along my journey I added small changes like drinking more water and keeping track of my food intake. The internet was very helpful while I researched food.  Four years ago I looked up my favorite fast food restaurant, I have not eaten there or at any fast food place since. In June of 2007  I quit watching so much Tv, cut down to less than an hour, and got reinterested in my own life.  I also quit watching and reading the news, if it doesn't happen in my house I wasn't interested.

Changing your lifestyle does not happen over night.  In order to be successful I suggest taking it day by day, changing small things and getting them into your routine making them habits.  I remember taking a good, hard look at myself in the mirror and telling myself what I needed to change, what I wanted to accomplish by these changes.  By talking to myself, looking me right in the eyes, I realized I could no longer lie and pretend I was happy with who I saw in the mirror.  Not only my outside, but my insides. After some soul searching I was able to see that I was the only person who could change these things.  I have control over me, what I eat, what I think, and what comes out of my mouth.  

I had good days and bad but I never gave up. At 44 yrs old I am in the best shape of my life.  I have noticed that the better I eat the better I feel.  The better I feel the better I eat.  Quite a healthy cycle to be stuck in huh?