I’ve been living my “after” life for 8 years now. My transformation from before to after began in the spring of 2007 after committing to losing 65lbs.
This is the story (and what you can learn and apply to your life) of how I went from this:
To this (in less than 1 year):
I was always the bigger kid growing up. I don’t remember it making me miserable as I was a pretty happy kid. In high school, I never obsessed about my weight. I just chalked it up to “I’d always be big.” I do remember a few times where I made fun of though. I went through college with a couple of ups and downs in my weight but nothing permanent. I always ended up heavier and never really happy with how I looked in the mirror and more importantly how I felt day to day. I never really had a last straw until I weighed over 200lbs which was where I was at in the spring of 2007.
What worked for me? Weight Watchers worked for me. But that was only the starting point. What I liked about Weight Watchers is that they provided a structured program to follow while setting small goals with the big picture in mind. If you give me rules to follow and promise me results, I will follow those rules to a T. And I did. Almost to an obsession. I religiously tracked my points and exercise everyday. I rarely gave in to temptation and limited my social engagements where food was present. I hit the gym hard. I started taking BodyPump classes and came back running. Exercise was my dependable everyday stress release. The weight was coming off and I was ecstatic! By November, I had reached my final goal of losing 65lbs.
The hard part came after the weight was off. Maintenance. I had my doubts about keeping it off. I had created a not so healthy relationship with food by obsessing about every morsel of food I ate and not to mention missing the treats and indulgences I had deprived myself of. Gradually, I became a little lax on my “food religion” I created and gave into indulgences, sparingly. But amazingly, the weight didn’t come back on because I had learned about portion size and listening to my body. I no longer counted points; I ate sensibly. I made exercise a habit and an everyday occurrence. It’s something I enjoy doing to this day. In the time that has past since losing my weight I have not been more than 10lbs above my lowest weight (aside from being pregnant). I attribute it to the healthy habits that most people that have successfully lost weight have incorporated into their lives.
The National Weight Control Registry has compiled a list of 8 healthy habits that successful losers do to maintain their weight loss. They are:
- They are physically active everyday. Yes! I am. I may not “work out” at the gym or go for a run everyday. But I am physically active. I move more and sit less. These days its chasing Corrine around outside or in the basement on rainy day.
- They eat breakfast. I can’t function without breakfast! I wake up so hungry that breakfast is usually the first thing on my mind. And breakfast needs to have a nice variety of foods, not just carbs. Add some protein with a cheese stick, eggs or even protein powder in a smoothie.
- They make healthy food choices. This one is kinda vague. So I’ll say to me, this is practicing the 80/20 rule. Make sensible choices 80% of the time and give yourself a break on 20% of the time.
- They control portions. This is a big one if you want to include some food that may be a yellow or red light food (see my post on what is healthy?). I still eat cookies, french fries and chips. I just control those portions to a satisfying size.
- They keep track. I do keep track of my weight but not always on the scale. When I’m not pregnant, I would use my clothes as a guideline. If my favorite jeans were getting too tight, I would know to re-assess my food and kick up the exercise. The scale can lead to an obsession as your body weight can fluctuate on the order of pounds from day to day for various reasons: hydration, hormones, if you had a big meal the night before 🙂
- They find food-free ways to deal with stress. And I’ll add food-free rewards to this one. I would reward myself with new workout gear when I achieved a small goal like losing 10lbs. Stress relief for me = exercise, running, anything active!
- They surround themselves with support. Yes! When I was actively losing weight I attended the Weight Watchers meetings every week. And I did it with friends. So no matter what, I had a support system. My husband was great during this time. He didn’t need to lose weight but he definitely benefited from eating more sensibly.
- They believe they can do it. You won’t be successful without it.
How many of these habits do you incorporate in your day?
If you’ve lost weight, I want to hear about it! Tell me your story and if you can relate to mine.