“Sara, how do you do it?”
I have people ask me this on a regular basis. I feel like at the moment they ask me I never have the exact words. I have thought about this a lot and this is what I came up with.
1. You have to WANT to change. This is number one for a reason. No matter what anyone does or says to you, if you do not want to make the change, there is no way you will and be able to stick with it. I spent many years hating the way I looked in the mirror, the clothes I had to buy to fit my body, and just not liking myself. I’ve had people say some pretty horrible things to me, but it did not make me want to change, until I had the mindset to change myself.
2. Stop telling yourself that you will start tomorrow, or the first of the year, or the first of the month, etc. Changing your life doesn’t have to start on a Monday and actually it shouldn’t. You should start today, at this very moment. Live in the now, not in the future.
3. You have to realize that this is a lifestyle change, not a diet. Diets DO NOT work. There is no weight loss program that will help you lose 10 pounds in 10 days and keep it off forever. There isn’t a magical pill you can take and make all your clothes fit just right. You have to change your eating habits, your exercise habits, your entire life. I’m not saying you need to go from eating fast food three times a day, seven days a week to eating a strict fruits, vegetables, chicken, turkey, and water diet. Start eliminating foods as you go. It’s a process that you should take one step at a time.
4. You need to realize that it is not going to be easy. You will have your alarm clock set for the wee hours of the morning to workout before work and when it goes off, you will feel like screaming. You will have people bring in delicious food to your work and you will have to politely decline. Your husband will ask for fast food for dinner and you will have to bring him home a burger and french fries, and then make something healthy for yourself. You will go out for a jog and be far from home and don’t have enough energy to make it back, so you cry all the way home. Your feet will be sore, your body will ache. And after all of your suffering, after all of your hard work you will step on the scale and it will say you gained a pound. These things happen. They happen all the time. But, you cannot let it affect you. You work hard for this, you push through it and I promise you that it will get better and easier as you go.
5. You will have to push yourself to workout. Start with something simple. Go for a walk around the block. Once you do that for a week, go two times. If you get winded by getting out of a chair, sit in a chair and stand up five times. Do anything that makes your heart rate raise. Some days you will not want to work out, but you have to do it anyway. You need to find something that you like to do. Something you enjoy. Find a workout partner that will push you to go workout, even if you don’t feel like it. Make a schedule. Do whatever it takes, but just eating healthy will not help you lose the weight and see the results you want. You have to exercise. Just find an activity that you enjoy doing and get out there and do it.
6. Start learning how to make delicious, healthy food. Just because you are eating healthy, doesn’t mean the foods you eat have to be gross or something you don’t enjoy. I spent hours and hours looking for ideas and recipes. I tried my best to find healthier options to the foods that I love. I love cheeseburgers and french fries. When I get a craving for it, I can make a turkey burger with carrot and sweet potato fries. I love spaghetti, but instead I started eating it using spaghetti squash and making my sauce with ground turkey. I love pizza, but when I am hungry for it, I make a way healthier version instead of ordering one (I’ve got a recipe coming soon!) Also, you can still eat things you love, just eat smaller portions. You don’t need to make everything a large size. Eating smaller portions will definitely help you lose weight!
7. Take a look at what you are drinking. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather use my calories on yummy, delicious food than a drink. This is coming from a former soda pop queen. No joke, I would bring a 2 liter of pop home from work with me and my husband and I would have it gone that night. We had pop with dinner almost every night. I would have a can of pop during my lunch at work, if not a 20 oz. When we went out to eat, we would get refills and refills of pop. It was absolutely ridiculous. I haven’t had a drop of pop since the day I started my journey in the middle of January. I quit cold turkey. I had a migraine for a week straight. But it was totally worth it. I lost a lot of weight within that first month and I know a majority of it came from not drinking pop any longer. Also, beer and liquor. If you eat healthy all week long and on Friday night you go out and have two beers, a mixed drink, and three shots you are not doing yourself any favors. I’m not saying you can’t do these things anymore, but take some time and take a good look at what you are drinking and see if it is worth it to you.
8. If you screw up, start again. This one is a tough one for me. It’s hard to get passed the mindset that if you eat something bad today, I might as well continue to eat unhealthy today. No, if you have a Double Whopper with a large fries for lunch, it’s not too late to turn your day around and have something healthy for dinner. If you go off track a day, or even a couple days, that is fine. Just start again tomorrow. It’s not worth beating yourself up over. Just do what you can, get back on track, and keep yourself accountable. You always need to give yourself a cheat meal, cheat day, whatever works for you.
9. Be organized. Make an exercise schedule. Make a meal plan. You need to be organized with your weight loss. I have a weight loss board that I will share with you soon. I have a calendar, a dry erase board, and some cork boards hanging up in my workout room. Just have an idea when you will work out, or else it will be even harder to try to squeeze it in. It will end up being 10pm, you have to work at 7am the next day and sleep is going to overrule your workout plans. Have an idea what you are planning on eating. Prepare your lunch the night before. Make sure you have your chicken thawed out for dinner before you head out the door to work. It is the little things that will help keep you on track so you won’t skip your workout and end up going through a drive-thru for dinner.
10. Set realistic goals. Try to make short, manageable goals that you can achieve. Of course it is great to make an overall goal, your final goal weight, but it is really important to make small goals throughout the way. It will help keep you on track and keep you going. That is where the Dietbet website helps me a lot. I started my weight loss journey by joining this website. The goal was to lose 4% of my body weight in 30 days. That was an achievable goal that I accomplished. Right now I’m on my last month of a 6 month Dietbet to lose 10% of my body weight in 6 months. Each month I had a goal weight that I have reached. I truly believe this website helped to keep me accountable and to lose the amount of weight that I have. I will make a post about the website next month, when I complete my six month challenge.
11. You need to realize that it takes time. Losing weight takes time. Anything that is hardwork takes time and dedication. There is a post on Pinterest that I always see.
This is completely true. After a month I could definitely tell a difference in myself, how I felt, and how my clothes fit me differently. After two months, my family and close friends started really noticing a difference. And right now I’m at the point where a lot of people are starting to notice. I’m not saying that you need to lose weight for someone to notice or to please someone else. But, it would be a lie to say that when someone notices that you are losing weight and tells you that you are looking good that it doesn’t make you feel wonderful. It’s always nice to hear. Just remember that this change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. Lots of time.
12. Love yourself enough to make the change. You only have this one life. You were given only one body. Start taking care of it right now. You deserve to live a long life in a happy, healthy body.
That’s all I got. I remember how I felt just a short six months ago. I was angry and I hated myself. If you are in that stage right now, I want you to know that I believe in you. If I can do this, so can you. I am here for you. If you ever need anyone to talk to, I’m your girl. Just leave me a comment, email me, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. I’m everywhere ready to chat! I support and love each and every one of you.
Believe in yourself.