For full disclosure, I was never an ‘’overweight’’ person. Rather, at one point in my life, I found myself packing on the pounds and weighed much more than normal. I felt unhealthy and knew that I was making poor choices, based on lame excuses. A firm determination to turn things around started me on a road to healthier living. My weight returned to normal, I relieved myself of the guilt and other negative emotions that came along with my little health hiccup, and I made a renewed commitment to living well. Here are three helpful tips that worked for me, and I am confident they will work for you too.
Making Little Changes Motivated Me to Make Bigger Ones
One of the hardest things about losing weight is shifting our deeply ingrained habits and becoming more aware of our eating behaviors. Our desire to want everything ‘’yesterday’’ often inspires drastic changes which will inevitably lead to failure. In theory, sure, we can turn this around in an instant. But, if we possessed that level of will power and that strong a mind, we probably would not be facing weight problems in the first place.
So, we need to approach the situation with a strategy that will increase chances of long-term success and change. I found that making little changes showed me what I was capable of, and it motivated me to keep going and stepping up my health game as I went along. Maybe I would forgo the bread that came at the beginning of the meal, or actually stop eating when I felt full rather than feeling compelled to finish every bite. Instead of buying that candy bar on a whim, I told myself I would eat the fruit at home for dessert instead. These seemingly small choices send a strong message—a message that says you are capable of taking control of your health.
Realizing It Was Okay to Still Eat for Pleasure
I eat a pretty healthy diet, I must say. But, I still enjoy plenty of foods that that are considered ‘’unhealthy.’’ I sometimes like to have a piece of cake for dessert that is undoubtedly loaded with sugar and saturated fat; I will get a craving for Reeses’ peanut butter cups and I simply cannot resist. Italian food is a weakness, and I love me some ravioli with a nice, creamy sauce. Eating is not just about survival. It can be a pleasurable activity and there is nothing wrong with that. I know there are people who have sworn off sugar and processed carbohydrates forever, and I deeply admire them. I am not sure this is absolutely necessary, and by releasing guilt over liking to eat these foods sometimes, I stopped depriving myself of things I felt like I should never eat. Not a fan of absolutes. When we allow ourselves to enjoy food, we develop a healthier relationship with it. When we get too strict, we are setting ourselves up for emotional eating binges.
Worked Physical Activity into My Daily Routine
When we think of exercise, we think of carving out formal sessions, like hitting the treadmill at the gym, or attending that Zumba class. When we experience a time-crunch, these activities fall by the wayside. It happens sometimes and that is okay. When I was my thinnest, I had not seen the inside of a gym in two years. Besides my shift in eating habits, simply being active in every day life helped me shed those pounds. I was traveling long-term at the time and I simply walked more. Instead of taking a taxi or subway, I walked. If the place was too far to walk the whole way, I walked part of the way before flagging down a taxi or hopping on the bus. During short visits home, I was without a car, so instead of waiting around to borrow someone’s, I walked to the supermarket or to the hair salon to get a trim. Even short bouts of a few minutes at a time add up. Take the 10 minute walk back and forth to the sandwich place you frequent every day—20 minutes right there. Instead of driving to the convenience store right down the street, walk. It does not seem like a lot but it adds up.
About the Author:Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about all things health; if you are interested in experimenting with specific diet systems in the area, she recommends learning more about this Los Angeles HCG diet provider.