This will be my first blog entry in all my time on Spark People, on and off its been about a year! I've been on a weight loss journey for the past 3 or so years, and I can say that Spark People is my saving grace time and time again when I need guidance to help me continue building a healthy lifestyle.
A Spark is a magical thing. Its as if you just made this huge impossibility a little bit more tangible. For me, that feeling of impossible weight loss carries me back to when I was ten years old and my mother took me to a weight watchers meeting. I didn't think much about my body, all I knew is that I was significantly taller than the other kids. I was referred to (and still am) as a gentle giant. I love my mother deeply, and she did this as an act of love. I share the need to binge with my mother, and she didn't want to pass this onto me. She wanted me to know how to eat healthy, but unfortunately this was not how I interpreted being in weight watchers as a kid.
Some ten years after that time, I was 5'11'' and weighed in at 235 pounds. Despite playing club sports in high school and college, and working hard as a student, the pounds had added up, and continued to creep on in the hazy fun of college life.
Today, I weigh 185 pounds and am confident that this change is for good. After falling off the wagon during the holiday season, then getting a job at a restaurant/ bar and taking time to adjust to the free food and cheap drinks, I have found myself tracking and exercising once again. One step at a time, slowly but surely, I've begun to lose the weight I put on these last couple of months.
I've lost (and gained) weight in many different ways before, but I've come to realize true success comes with the partnership of a few different lifestyle choices.
For an emotional eater like myself, the power to forgive yourself after a meal, a day, a week, a month of "bad" eating is the greatest kind of love you can give yourself. Its much easier said than done. To give yourself a mental hug and show yourself the love (that you can somehow give to everyone put yourself) is a priceless ability. Be kind to yourself.
2. See food as fuel.
To me, this one is another way to be kind to yourself. As a teenager I would eat anything sweet that I could get my hands on. And I mean.. anything. I've come to realize that our bodies are our beautiful machines. They will be with us forever, and the thing is.. you only get one. Food isn't a time killer, or a substitute for sorting out your feelings. If I do overeat and perhaps have a binge, I remember that food is fuel. I will forgive myself, and then go to the gym the next day and give it all I've got.
3. Breakfast. Breakfast. Breakfast.
We've all heard it. Breakfast is the best way to start your day right. If I start my day off with something protein packed an tasty, perhaps an egg white omelette (with some garlic and onions), a whole wheat english muffin, maybe some avocado and a cup of tea.. I can promise you that my day is infinitely better. When you put the effort into your meals, you are pushed to enjoy them and savor the work you put into it.
4. Applaud the good things you do.
We've all got our bad days. Our days when we didn't sleep right, when we woke up late and didn't get a good breakfast in, and when your co-workers brought in a huge box of pastries, brownies, cookies (or whatever your demon might be) into the office. Perhaps you ate one. Perhaps you ate five. Before you have a chance to spiral out of control and do more damage to your beautiful machine, earnestly reflect on the good you've done. Maybe you made a great protein packed, veggie filled dinner last night. Maybe you've got a streak going where you've walked the dog every day this week! Remind yourself that although it might feel as if all of your work seems to be crashing down around you, that you've done good too. Frequently remind yourself of any accomplishments you've made, big or small.
Good luck on your journey, friend!