The last few months have turned my world upside down! And it turns out that a lot of things I had going on were really in the wrong direction, and upside down is just what I needed!
The first, and probably biggest, thing has been FOOD. The mere concept of food is what has taken over my life. All our plans revolve around eating lately, and it’s actually been in a good way. In June I reached a final breaking point with my weight and how I felt, and I decided to really get a grip and make the changes I knew were needed. At the same time, one of my best friends (Jen……I luvs ya) kicked off a fitness/health challenge. Turns out two months of competition is just what I needed to really get my butt in gear. And through this challenge period and finally having wellness “click” for me, I have learned so much! And all the mystery about eating right has disappeared for me….so I wanted to share a few things about how to make it less of a mystery for others too.
When I decided to join in the wellness challenge and really get a grip on my health and weight, I followed the eating plan that was in the Game On Diet book that our challenge was based on. It’s a great, basic, consistent way of eating. And it goes along with Jackie Warner’s instructions that I had read before……not to mention the advice that every doctor and nutritionist had ever given me (and that I somehow didn’t follow). Our challenge lasted for one month…..and then I did another right after it, so I had two solid months of following the same plan:
1. eat 5 times a day. 5 TIMES!!
2. eat a carb, a lean protein, and a healthy fat at every meal
3. eat buckets of veggies (not quite buckets…..but it did feel like that)
4. cut out the processed stuff: sugar, non-whole grain carbs, caffeine (except 1 cup of coffee in the morning) and go for ORGANIC whenever possible.
5. exercise (break a sweat) for 20 minutes every day
That was it! In doing this, everything became so achievable and reasonable. Having a supportive fiance helped – he didn’t play the game with us, but he did do all the things with me and it made all the difference. I struggled with my weight and how to make changes…..and when it sunk in 2 years ago that I had over 50 lbs to lose, it became overwhelming and felt impossible. And with all of these changes, I am halfway to my goal and it’s taken less than 3 months. What felt like a lifetime to accomplish, is now right around the corner!
So…..for anyone out there that feels like they can’t take on big changes like this to adjust your weight, your blood sugar, your mood, you cholesterol (oy! mine was terrible)…..I want to let you know that you really can, and it’s WAY easier than you think.
1. Check in with a doctor. This is not negotiable! But it’s also easy and painless….the doc is going to tell you what you can’t see, but need to work on. And a good doc is like the coach who is there to keep you on the right path and help fix you up when you get knocked around.
2. Don’t try for changes until YOU are ready for it. When you look in the mirror and say “I am so ready to do this”….that’s when you should.
3. Face the facts and be prepared to sacrifice. It feels hard to give up a mocha in the morning, but you can do it and it will change your life. Skipping cigarette breaks may feel impossible…..but the reward is worth it.
4. Make the plan. This is a big reason our team challenge worked for me….there was a clear plan and it basically told me what to do. If you have an IDEA of what you want, but not the PLAN…..you won’t make it. Write down what you are going to do, eat, and practice, every day.
The PLAN is why my life is overtaken by food. I plan out what I am going to eat every morning, for every meal of the day. And where I can, I plan it out for days at a time (like dinner one day is lunch the next). Thinking about what I am going to eat, when I am going to eat it, and where I can or cannot eat, takes up a lot of time while I get ready for work and sometimes on my commute – but that time spent planning and making myself prepared has saved me more than once from a burger for lunch or some fast food tragedy for dinner.