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Don't feel bad!

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I've been getting a tremendous amount of e-mails/comments lately from people. Most of them are so wonderful, so thank you! A lot of them say something along the lines of, "I wish I could be like you. You make me feel like a failure because I can't get myself in gear and lose this weight. I feel bad I don't eat as well as you. I don't know how to make the food you eat. I can't do the exercise you do. There is no one that can help me."

First of all, stop being so hard on yourself. I was once in a place where I had no idea what or how much I should be eating. I ate way too much (and a lot of unhealthy stuff), and that is why I was morbidly obese. I grew up in a family where we ate a lot of junk, so I've been overweight my whole life, so I know exactly how you feel, and I know that it's overwhelming, especially in the beginning.

You have to start where you are. You can't fast forward through this. There are no shortcuts or secrets. It's a learning process, and it takes time and patience. I'm not posting my meals to make anyone feel bad, so don't feel bad if you don't eat exactly how I eat, because I don't eat perfectly either. Every single one of my meals isn't perfectly balanced. Sometimes when we're running out of things, I try to make due with the food we have. I only started posting my meals on From Fat to Fit because I got so many people asking me what I ate, so I thought it would be the easiest way to show everyone, and that maybe it would give people ideas.

Most of the food I make isn't too complicated or time consuming. If something feels incredibly difficult and you're spending forever to make each meal, you aren't likely to stick with it, are you? So, over the last 3 years I've just gotten practice at putting meals together, so now I have certain staples I always buy at the store. Think of things you like to eat, and make a shopping list based on that. Now that I've been doing this a while, I know the amount of produce to buy that will feed us, so I rarely have stuff go bad. Spend some time when you have it looking up healthy recipes on Sparkpeople or Pinterest, and then take your time at the grocery store and see what meals you can come up with. You don't have to eat what I (or anyone else) eat if you don't like it. Just eat what you want, eat as healthy as you can, and count the calories for it. You can use Sparkpeople, do Weight Watchers or a manual food journal. But, you have to be accountable for what you eat. People don't get overweight unless over time they are consuming more calories than their body needs.

I've read it on numerous weight loss blogs I visit, and it's a notion I completely agree with myself, and it's that you have to make changes that you are willing to do forever. It really does have to be a lifestyle change. You can't eat salad and grilled chicken and vegetables all week and binge eat and drink every weekend and lose weight. You need to find balance, and it is not going to happen overnight.

As far as exercise goes...

I realize that not everyone can run. They might be too out of shape, or have a knee or back issue, or whatever. So, don't run if you don't want to. It's just what I do. It's ok to do exercise that you are comfortable with. I started out walking, because that's about all I could do at the time. I didn't belong to a gym or own a treadmill. So, I walked. And as you do it, you get faster and are able to walk for longer periods of time. Again, fitness can't be rushed. It's a process, and your body has to adjust and you have to keep doing it. People ask me all the time, "How can you run like that?" The answer is, because I run. I started off small, worked my way up to it, and kept doing it.

With all that said, you do need to push yourself. If you are walking and it's too easy, walk faster. You should be a little out of breath and sweating. It's supposed to be challenging to do a workout. Pushing past your comfort zone is what changes you and makes your body stronger. However, you don't need to kill yourself and spend hours a day working out.

Before I started losing this weight 3 years ago, I tried lots of ways to lose weight. I'd lose some weight, but I'd always give up and gain it back. The reason I gave up is because I was trying to do things that were not balanced. I was trying to eat extremely low calories, exercise like crazy, and never allowed myself any junk at all. When you feel deprived, it makes it hard to stay on track. Now that I'm more balanced, I've gradually lost weight, and kept it off.

Losing weight is a mental battle, and it's one you've got to fight every single day. I still struggle all the time, but I don't give up. Just know that you do have it in you. I never believed I did, but when I started telling myself that I would not give up, and I'd keep trying, it made me realize that I did have it there all along.

Stop telling yourself you can't do it. If you repeatedly tell yourself you can't do something, you never will. Start saying, "I will." Even if you can't do certain things yet, keep working toward them. No one just goes out and runs a marathon, they train--for a long time--to be able to do it. And, try not to compare yourself to other people. I know it's hard, because I still find myself doing it from time to time. We all have our own lives and difficulties, and are fighting our own battles. The truth is that some people do have to work harder to lose weight. It's unfair, but it's how it is. It doesn't mean it can't be done though.

Do this for yourself. You can't lose weight to please anyone but yourself. The truth is that you're the only one with the power to change you. You may not have someone to work out with, but you've got people (like me) who will try to help you, and you can't use other people as an excuse to do, or not to do something. Once you start eating better and exercising, you will feel better. You will have energy, and it will transform your whole life. I know, because it happened to me. I am just an ordinary wife and mother who decided she wanted to be healthy. Now that I am, I would not trade it for anything.

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