Today is the day I have lost 10.5#. Woo Hoo! I am now roughly 1/2 way to my goal of losing 18 to 20 pounds. At one point, I was so stuck, I thought I'd be at my highest weight forever. I had no hope. I was wearing all my "big" clothes. I deleted pictures of myself. I had given up except for one tiny voice in me that said I had to try. What is working?
1) Positive Visioning: If all one does is focus on "how bad my weight and body are", then I believe that The Universe will bring "bad weight" into your life. I am trying instead to focus on positive messages such as: a) I would like to bring XX weight into my life because I will be healthier b) I am exercising to reduce my risk of diabetes and because it makes my muscles feel good or c) I am trying this recipe because it will be fun to learn. You get the gist. Keep a journal of messages you give yourself and pay attention if they are negative or positive. Give yourself messages that are in the affirmative not burdened with "bad" thinking such as: " I should " " I am terrible because " " I am not worthy of... " or " I cannot ."
2) "Go White Free" -- Six months ago, I started practicing a "South Beach diet- modified." The minute someone tells me, "You have to be on a diet", is the minute that I start eating incorrectly. My diet is essentially low carb and low fat but very healthy, delicious eating. I have eliminated most things processed, "gluten" "white" and "wheat" such as: white bread, pasta, potatoes, crackers, chips, etc. I have eliminated sugar entirely. I am never hungry. With so many food choices out there now for those who are gluten sensitive or intolerant, this switch has been easy. I eat rice pasta and rice crackers (no more than 1/2 C each meal). I buy gluten-free bread from a local baker. I take snacks on the road when traveling so I don't get crummy food at convenience stores. I have veggies and lettuce washed, cut up and ready to use. Each week, I challenge myself to make delicious salads complete with a protein such as tuna, chicken, steak, feta cheese and/or nuts. I search the internet and my recipe files for carb-reduced or -free recipes and challenge myself to make at least two new ones/month. The point: reducing refined carbs and everything "wheat" and "white" has been very easy and in fact, fun.
3) Next, exercising more...I "shoot" for 200 to 300 minutes a week and am rather compulsive about tracking Fitness Points on SP. I do an exercise tape 2 X week; walk/hike or x-country ski or snow shoe 2 or 3 X week; and do yoga and at-home strength training 3 x week. Again, I am not a rigid person so I do what feels good on that day. It's direction not perfection.
4) Reduce alcohol.....Everything I have read says that women should only have 7 drinks a week, men can do 14. I track on alcohol because those glasses of wine with dinner or when out with a friend really add up. I have switched from wine to Vodka with Diet Tonic.
5) Get a grip on stress: The most effective tool for me has been a complete reduction of stress. I have changed my job (I work for myself so this was somewhat easy). I have quit seeing some people in my life who are stressful. I let go of petty conflicts. I am trying to meditate more often. I don't take on unnecessary projects or things that seem stressful. I say no. I have started to take care of me first and then everyone else later.
6) Finally: I have tried my hardest to deal with any health issues that prevent me from having energy or exercising to the extent possible. For me, I have had to get allergy treatments; I had to admit I have exercise- and cold- induced asthma; and I had to deal with menopause symptoms. I have heal pain and had to deal with that... My point: until these underlying health issues were addressed, I simply didn't have the mental or physical energy to shop correctly, cook good food, exercise a lot or truly believe I could lose 18 to 20#.
Not all of these will work for everyone and I don't profess to say what works for you. But, a year ago, I thought I was just going to be certain (big) size forever, and predicted I would be a very unhealthy older person. This picture is of me hiking in New Mexico this weekend. I am triumphant. I am happy. I am healthy. You can be too.