Wow...I can't believe spark has been in my life for one whole year...In that year I have managed to loose some weight, get married, fall off the wagon, gain some weight, get re-motivated and hop back on the spark wagon....and loose a whole heap more weight! I also managed to kick bulimia and the hold she has over straight to the kerb, finally thanks to Sparkpeople I have learned that it is possible to loose weight without resorting to disordered behaviour. I now have a healthy relationship with food and I love exercise too! Spark has become my way of life, I shall keep sparking until I reach my goal...and It will help me maintain when I get there!
In the last year Sparkpeople has taught me so much!! Here are some of my secrets to sucess....
1) Invest in a good food scales and measure everything, portion control has been very important for me as I ate quite healthy before.... just too much of it!
2) Drink water...all day long, carry a big water bottle around to remind you to drink.
3) Try do strength training 3-4 times a week...building muscle helps boost metabolism and burn fat when we sleep.
4) Keep trying new things; different foods, different exercises...try keep your body guessing.
5) Don't be afraid of looking stupid... this stopped me from trying zumba for a while, but I went, I found that others are so busy focusing on themselves that they don't notice you...amd I had the best fun ever!
6) Change your mental soundtrack. Instead of being so damn hard on yourself be positive and kind. You can and you will because u are truly amazing!
7) When you think you have enough chicken on your plate, add some more it's a great source of protein.
8) Pay it forward. When You are having a good day reach out to a sparkfriend who is struggling...some day you may need support too.
9) Keep some carrot sticks in the fridge, they're a great snack and also can be used as a side alternate to fries.
10) Make a workout playlist. Its so much easier to build up a sweat and put a good work out in with some good tunes playing.
11) Quit focusing on what others are doing, be it on spark or at the gym, don't be bothered by who is sparking more fitness minutes than you or what intensity the person on the next machine is working at...the only person who's effort counts is your own.
12) Cut back on soda, even the diet stuff...have some sparkling water instead...bubbly hit and good for you too!
13) Reduce amount of white processed food, try wholegrain. Try cut bread out altogether, get some rice cakes, rye crackers or oat cakes instead.
14) Don't skip meals...hunger will catch up on you.
15) Track all foods you eat...it will help keep you accountable
16) Put your all into each workout... keep thinking in 20 mins this will be over...in 10 mins this will be over....before you know it your workout is DONE and you will feel great for it!
17) Never underestimate your body, it is amazing and can do more than you think it can.
18) Reward your success, so you had a great workout, you didnt binge, you stayed focused through a tough time...give yourself a pat on the back.
19) Spread the spark...everywhere!!
20) Embrace the changes in your body, they may be small but celebrate them!
21) Make friends with the scales, enjoy watching the numbers go down but don't kick yourself if they go slowly or stay the same.
22) Embrace your inner child, run around and remember how much fun it was to play...exercise was never a chore back then it just happened.
23) Not every dinner has to have a carb based side....I'm irish, we serve potatoes with everything...it was a tough lesson to learn!
24) Go easy on the alcohol...its full of empty calories and always makes me want to binge eat the next day.
25) Everybody makes mistakes, we are only human...just start again!
26) Trust the process, we can't loose weight every week, it will go up down and stay the same but with consitent effort it will come down, down, down!!
27) Don't try loose weight alone...tell friends and family what you are doing, get all the support you can. I used to hide my weightloss efforts for fear of failing...now i'm open and honest and loving all the support.
28) Don't eat just to be polite.
29) When eating out watch portion sizes and order sauces on the side.
30) Have a little of what you fancy... moderation is the key. Denying yourself foods will make you more likely to fail in your efforts.
31) Snack on protein based foods to keep you full between meals.
32) Don't stuff yourself at every meal, just have enough to keep you going til the next one.
33) Get your workouts where and when you can... I love doing zumba wii while my 2 year old has his afternoon nap.
34) Cut down on caffine.
35) Eggs are a great source of protein and can be used at any meal.
36) Get a good pair of trainers. Your feet are everything so treat them well.
37) Introduce more activity into your day to day life.
38) Keep some veggies prechopped in your fridge to make salad making easier.
39) Make eating enjoyable...try making low fat pizzas, low fat fajitas and burgers...tastes great but still healthy.
40) Make sure and get enough fiber every day as low fat high protein diets can lead to constipation.
41) Don't reward yourself with food...you are not a dog.
42) Don't eat the kids leftovers either.
43) When eating at a friends house bring your own healthy dish, at least that way you know there is something you can eat while you have tastes of other dishes.
44) Take rest days from exercise, it helps your muscles build and recover.
45) If you try a class and don't like it try with a different instructor before giving up on it, it's amazing how much techniques can vary.
46) Invest time and money in therapy...its an investment into your future happiness and is money well spent.
47) Allow your self one "unhealthy" meal a week...I have chinese food every saturday night, I just go for a healthier option.
48) Sweat is fat crying!!
49) If you are a member of a gym ask the trainers to set you a program, in my gym they are happy to help anyone who has a genuine interest in getting fit.
50) Enjoy the journey, no matter how slow it is... I'm loving becoming the best me I can be!!