A few years ago at a family reunion I had a couple cousins, and my grandma, ask how I got "so skinny." Let me just say that I've grown up a bit and lost some baby fat... But, I also happen to have curves, extra baggage, and dimples. Some days I like the way I look, and some days I don't. I'm a girl. That's what we do. Anyway, so here I had family members ask me what my secret was. And I've had friends ask me the same after I lost some weight in college. "What's your secret?" And every time I tell them, their faces drop and then they shrug their shoulders and keep on doing what they're doing (which isn't working for them). So here's my secret. You ready? You sure? You're sure you're sure? Okay then... Watch what you eat, and eat right.
For some strange reason, most people think it's easier (or more fun) to work their butts off. Literally. I'm not a huge fan of sweating buckets. And frankly, I don't believe our bodies need to be pushed to exhaustion in order to be healthy. But I pay attention to what goes into my body. And you can workout as much as you want, but if your body isn't getting adequate amounts of GOOD fuel, then that might be the reason you're hitting a plateau. So stop killing yourself at the gym. Stop eating bad food. Eat right and use (not abuse) your body. And make feeling good, not just looking good, your main goal. Got it?
I'm just going to throw these next few tips out there for anyone who may be interested... it's worked for me in the past, it's worked for family and friends, etc. It may or may not work for you. So, here are a few suggestions. Some might seem easy, and some may make you groan. But you decide how you WANT to feel. And I think you'll find the strength you need to make good choices ;) Are you ready? Here we go!
- Stop drinking pop. Soda. Whatever you want to call it. I don't care if it's "diet "(don't even get me started!). Just stop. Drink water instead. Lots of it.
- Stop eating/drink dairy. Or at least seriously limit your intake. If you must, eat a slice of cheese OR a small helping of yogurt. One serving, once a day. That's it.
- Eat a piece of chocolate a day. Go ahead. I give you permission. But don't over-indulge on desserts. Stop baking those cookies. Or make them and give them away. If you are addicted to sugar (and most people are), this will be the hardest choice to make. But it will also be one of the best. If you have to have some dessert, then eat one dessert a week. Set aside Sunday (or whatever day) as your special day, where you treat yourself to a small slice of pie (or whatever it is). Just one slice. Eat that pie. Enjoy it. And then move on.
- Snack throughout the day. Your snacks should include fruits, vegetables and nuts. NOT that reduced -fat crap they sell at the store. If you're hungry, then take a drink of water. Still hungry? Eat a healthy snack. Then take another drink of water. Still hungry? Go do something to distract you until it's mealtime ;)
- Here comes the meal planning portion of this so-called diet:
- Breakfast: Protein drink with a handful of almonds on the side.
- Lunch: Huge salad with a serving of protein. Light on the dressing.
- Dinner: Just one serving of protein and whole-grains, and then as many vegetables as you want. No, potatoes do not count.
And that's it. You're not going to starve. And it's not for forever! The key is to keep things interesting. Please, please, PLEASE, don't have the same protein drink/salad/dinner every day. You will get so bored so fast which will lead to discouragement and self-doubt, both of which are more poisonous than you can imagine. Listen to your body. Love your body. Eat what sounds good. Try fun and exciting recipes. Go on walks. Do yoga. Smile. Be happy. And feel good about yourself. *B