Well, the day is here. The official end of the fabulous weight-loss competition between Jeff and me. I am excited to say I achieved my goal- it was the sweetest birthday present to myself.
Here’s the new old me.
I totally get that the picture is blurry, I like this one because I randomly caught some muscles, I like looking strong! And that’s way more important to me than probably anything else. So, you get muscles.
Over these past few months, a bunch of friends have reached out privately to share words of encouragement, ask questions, or give me such wonderful inspiring words of support and humbling words of admiration, so I’d like to share with you a few things I learned if in case you’re currently going through this or considering it.
I was driving in the car one day for a very long trip and I hadn’t planned food for the road, so I stopped in a gas station and grabbed a few pseudo-healthy snacks. And as I reached into the bag for a pretzel I grabbed three or four, and I realized I was making an assumption that the one pretzel I was about to eat would not satisfy me, so the additional ones were already in hand. But I’ve learned that one bite can really satisfy you if you let it. If you linger. If you think about why you’re eating it. So ok, I’m not saying one pretzel is a meal, but making an assumption that you’re definitely eating many more before you even experienced the first is a mistake. So, eat your pretzels. Or your cookies, or your whatever. But truly be present in the bite you’re eating and give yourself credit that maybe, just maybe, it will satisfy you. By the way, that small snack bag of pretzels lasted me three days.
I learned that accountability is king, and having a friend committed with you can be one more tool in your arsenal of attack. Jeff couldn’t make me stop eating, but he could bring me back to the reason for this goal. And maybe some days it works, some days it doesn’t, but even if it’s one time out of ten that reaching out to a friend helps, well, that’s one day out of ten that you succeed, which is surely more than zero days out of ten. In that vein, having a ridiculously supportive boyfriend and son who helped motivate and support me was amazing. In my time of weakness, I could call ahead and Eric literally ALWAYS helped me with a healthy snack. He’d go to the store absolutely any time I wanted to get me the staples which were:
Raw red pepper. We ate probably a thousand red peppers since December. Eric would eat them with ranch dressing or hummus, I’d eat them most of the time just raw. And almost always they worked to get me out of my crunchy desires
Sliced apples. I don’t care what kind of apple it is, you increase its appeal a million times over by slicing it thinly. And if you slice it yourself and walk into a room with it, every single person in that room will want a piece. (And when you’re dieting and this is YOUR snack and everyone else wants it, you will get grouchy. I mean, I’m guessing…)
Roasted cauliflower. There were days I ate an entire head of cauliflower myself. It’s a perfect, warming delicious and healthy food. There is always cauliflower in my frig and always will be.
Low-salt everything. These past few months I really learned the importance of limiting salt. And when you’re limiting other things that are delicious, it’s easy to turn to salting everything. Don’t do it, just adapt. Or weigh yourself every day after tracking all your food- when you fail to lose weight, check your salt, it’s way too high.
Normal, high fat ordinary foods. I don’t do fake-sugar anything. If I want a treat, I’m having the treat, but I eat just a bite or two, and I try to slow down and really figure out if the treat is satisfying me. For example, I spent an entire week craving eggplant parm from my favorite restaurant. It was torturing me. And then I went for a treat and it just tasted…different. It left an aftertaste and seemed to have a metallic taste. The bloom was definitely off the rose, and now I’m not pining away for it. Or, one night I went to treat myself to a cannoli. I opted for the small one, and after the first bite I realized it was just too sweet, too…just not good. So it’s important to continue to visit your favorite foods, you may just find they’re not what they used to be and you’ve then taken the power away from those cravings.
Greek yogurt/honey/granola/fresh fruit. Amazing, and a small amount fills you up.
Iceberg lettuce. I love all kinds of more delicate lettuce, but iceberg keeps so much longer and is so full of water. We used it in place of taco shells one night and it was perfect. And many nights my emergency fill-me-up food was a huge iceberg lettuce salad with shredded carrots and cucumbers. It’s a few calories to use for dressing, and everything else is free. Here’s a tip, keep your dressing separate and dip your fork in it before you grab the lettuce, you can eat a surprisingly little amount of dressing that way.
I can go on and on and maybe subsequent posts can include more info, but these are just a few basics.
I guess I’d be remiss to not discuss my working out. Most of the time I’ve been running and riding my bike trainer. Most of the time, 5 days a week. And when I work out, I almost always work out hard- this picture above is me fogging up the car in cold after I finish a run. I like to switch it up and choose the more active options when I can- we go to the grocery store together, I opt to walk home. Keep run gear in the car (or wear it under my clothes) so I have no excuse to take an opportunity to run. I have learned to stop thinking about it and procrastinating and just do it. Earlier is better than later. Oh, and I like to track my progress every which way I can- I take pictures and look at it, I upload to a few websites and compare my stats.
My next phase is to continue working out, but to switch it up a little more. I’m going to be weight training a lot more, and praying for spring so I can comfortably ride outside, Eric and I have gotten back to rock climbing too, what a great way to switch it up.