Musings from a Chunky Girl Going Skinny

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by Ashley

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Many of us these days struggle at least a little with food.  Most of us want to lose a few pounds (or a lot of pounds!) and/or eat better.  Here are some things I’ve figured out in the last 3 or so months and why am down 25 pounds and still going strong.

Eat when you’re hungry. Some of us are on a set schedule of breakfast at such and such, lunch at noon and dinner at 5. But if you aren’t hungry at those times, DON’T EAT! There’s no rule that says you have to eat at set times and eating when you aren’t hungry is one of the biggest food problems out there. Also, if you aren’t “scheduled” to eat but find yourself hungry, EAT! If you get too hungry, it causes a feeding frenzy and that’s a good way to blow your calories.

Walk away. Decide what you’re going to eat, jot it down in your food journal, make it, eat it and walk away. Even if you don’t feel immediate satisfaction, you most likely will be full within ten to fifteen minutes and you’ll be glad you waited it out.

Don’t obsess! This is a huge one, folks. We get on a weight loss craze and every waking minute is consumed with thoughts of what we’re going to eat, when we are going to eat, how many calories we’ve had and freak outs about last minute invites to join friends for pizza. It’s NOT a big deal. You can have an off day or even an off week and still stay in weight loss mode. So practice thinking about things other than food and calories. If you obsess, you won’t be able to maintain it. Focus your attention elsewhere. And go eat pizza with your friends.

Let yourself live. Give yourself a day off (not to go bonkers but to eat pizza or eat out) and don’t worry about it. One day isn’t going to blow it. In fact, it may be just what you need to keep on keepin on! Allow yourself to periodically eat your favorites that won’t fit into your daily allotment of calories (mine is pizza.) It’ll keep you sane and help you not to feel frantically deprived.

pizza

Don’t let yourself get too hungry. If I get too hungry, when I eat, I end up feeling apathetic about what I’m eating in my rush to get full. And of course, I eat junk and I overeat. So keep something in your stomach all the time.

Recover gracefully. If you have a slip up, don’t continue eating junk or say, “I’ll start over tomorrow.” Get right back on track at the very next meal. You may be discouraged and feel like you’ve blown it, but that doesn’t mean you give up for the day. You’ll feel better physically and emotionally if you recover quickly.

Retrain your brain on how you think about food and what you eat. Eating is fun but it’s primarily an energy source for our bodies. I often tell myself, “It’s just food.” Remind yourself often that food doesn’t equal life, rather it is simply A PART of life. Practice living for more than just meal times.

Keep quick, healthy snacks on hand. I try to keep my fridge full of things that are low in calories, healthy and tasty. That way, when I get hungry, I’m not as tempted to reach for the nearest bag of chips. My currents faves are cottage cheese, mini Baby Bell cheeses, mini bagel with almond butter, yogurt, apples with almond butter or peanut butter, or crackers with a Laughing Cow cheese wedge.

So, all that to say, you can lose weight and live your life simultaneously. And it isn’t until you change your view of food and your thought process that you’ll be able to maintain a weight loss plan and/or a goal weight. So, I’m gonna keep on keepin on and maybe it’s time for you to take a whack at it too.

TTYL,
Ash

Comments

  1. Carol says:

    You go girl! So happy to hear a success story. It’s all in the mindset change, huh? Good luck on your continuing success.

  2. Dianne in the desert says:

    Hey, Ash! You have the right ideas, for sure. I do want to offer a bit of advice on one aspect of losing weight. First of all, I am not a doctor, so don’t figure that I am any kind of expert.

    I am amazed at how many women gain weight after childbirth. There are reasons for that, but it is not always a case of overeating. Sometimes the recovery from having a baby leaves the body not operating as it should. If weight loss does not start naturally, thnn return to your GYN and ask to have your Thyroid function checked. The Thyroid is the “master gland” and it, with the pituitary, control metabolism (the rate at which food is converted for energy and other needs).

    There is also the matter of the healing for your internal parts. Be kind to yourself for the first month to six weeks. Your body just spent nine months creating a baby. Now it is your job to take care of that body so that it can heal and become fit again. Proceed slowly and build up on toning exercises and such. Get enough rest to feel awake and alert.

    Dieting after a baby requires some forethought. Will you be nursing the baby? If so, then eat so that you are able to be healthy while you are helping your baby to grow. If you are not nursing, then you still need to take time for rest and eat a healing diet that will also help you to lose the “Baby Weight”.

    It always makes sense to talk to your doctor before stating a really strict diet. If you can do so, visit a nutritionist and get help designing a diet that will keep you healthy while you live your life with all of the various activities you have to do.

    Many “fad” duets are not healthy. If the goal is to lose weight, then also make sure that you are not losing out on essential nutrients.

    For myself, I pretty much follow the low gluten, high protein type of diet. I do live with a Thyroid problem, so there are some things to avoid and other to pull into my eating plan.

    Starting any diet is where the biggest problems are found, so I am glad that you pointed out that go “off” the diet for a single meal will not ruin the whole process. Perfection is not the goal; nor is it the best method. Too strict a diet regimen quickly makes people feel like they are being punished.

    Heredity plays a role whether we like it or not. If we come from a big boned family and are big boned, then trying to get down to a size 3 is just foolish. Thin is “in”, but too thin just makes you look ill and eventually, you will be ill.

    To date, I have lost over 75 pounds — pretty much without trying. The “trying” was in the first stage when I established what I was going to eat and learned to avoid buying what I could not eat or would not eat. I have a occasional small dish of ice cream. I have an occasional soda, and I even eat pizza. I reduce the amount of starchy foods, increase the foods high in protein, and lowered the amount of salt I use.

    Pactical; not perfect. Keep on working with your diet. Forgive yourself when you go “off diet”. Increase exercise if your job is a sedentary one. In other words be good to yourself and your “self” will be good to you.

    Dianne — Not so slim, but working on it.

  3. Ashley says:

    When you say you eat when you are hungry; hi do you work that in with kids? I tend to eat when they eat mostly bc it’s the only chance I get. :) Granted I’m usually hungry when they eat, but I just wondered. Thanks! :) Glad you are having success!

  4. Dianne n the desert says:

    Working with your diets and your kids’ eating schedule may be a challenge, but it is do-able. I start the kids’ days off with a good breakfast, which gives me the same opportunity. Later in the day when the kids want a snack, I eat some fruit. At lunch time, the kids have a sandwich and fruit and possibly a home-baked cookie. I have a aalad with raw veggies and half a cookie (if it is large). Mid-afternoon is snack time again for the kids, so I grab some more fruit or raw veggies for me and give them a glass of milk or juice with fruit or a whole grain treat. Dinner time is the same for all of us. Instead of a big dessert, I have sliced fruit for all of us. Nobody needs dessert every night. Since we do not have dessert, I offer a before bedtime snack of milk and whole grain snack and fruit.

    If you are giving the kids a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, put some peanut butter on a celery stick for you. Normal meals and meal times are important, but when and how much you eat should not be a study in how to make yourself feel deprived. Just eat far less of he things that add weight and more of the things that take weight off.

    I keep a supply of hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator. At lunch I slice an egg, a tomato, and use just a dab of Ranch dressing with one slice of whole grain bread. An open face sandwich! It provides enough of everything and is satisfying. I also drink eight ounces of water with each meal and at least half of that with a snack.

    Kids need to be taught to eat well, too, so this is not going to hurt them. If they see that you are careful about what you eat, they will learn to be careful, too.

  5. Learning not to obsess over the diet is a struggle for me. I feel like if I am constantly thinking about, it’ll help me stay on track. But I need to change this to ensure lasting success. Thanks!
    Jamie recently posted…What’s The Best Makeup Foundation?My Profile

    • It is hard to find a balance between being aware and being obsessed. Once you figure it out, the process will be easier.

  6. Dianne in the desert says:

    When you first start a diet, the tendency is to get “into” the process so thoroughtly that nothing is allowed to interfere, which would be okay if no one who was trying to lose weight had a life…

    You have kids. you probably have a job. You have a home to take care of when you aren’t dealing with kids, jobs, and life. Here is what I di to help myself along. I planned the roll-out of my diet. I figured out menu plans that would accommodate my diet, but without my kids or spouse having to “do without”. Making the transition gradual will also give you time to adjust your thinking.

    Start out by having smaller portions of the things you know are not so good for you. Increase the serving size slightly of the things that are good for you. The idea behind this is to help you feel full — satisfied when you have eaten. Put a tall glass of ice water at your place at the table and drink a glass of water before you sit down to eat. The hunger urge is not immediately quenched when you eat, which is why so many of us eat more than we really need. Drinking the water leaves less space in the stomach. It also ensures that you will get enough liquids to keep things happy in the kidney department. Use less salt and more garlic.

    Do not fall into the trap of using “Low Fat” or “low Salt/sodium”, or “No Trans Fats”. With everything that they take out, something else is aeded. Compare the nutrition labels of the “diet” variety to the regular one. Make your own salad dressings so you know exactly what is in them. Buy fewer premixed items and do more cooking from scratch. There are no additives in raw foods.

    Fruit is good for you, but fruit juice provides far more sugar than an adult needs. I have half portions of juice and add water to cut the calories. I use lemon slices in water to make it more refreshing. look at the juices you are buying. “No sugar added? Look for the corn syrup, which turns into sugar when ingested.

    Setting things up in your kitchen so that what you can have is readily available goes a long way toward taking the obsessing thing down to a manageable level. Do not throw away everything, but do start looking before you grab something to eat. In time, with a shopping list made from your menu planner, you will have half of the battle won. The worrying over eating the wrong things will reduce — just like your weight.

    Seriously, try to reduce sugar and gluten. I just got off my doctor’s scale two days ago and have lost an additional 10 pounds since my last visit a month ago.

    Do take a good vitamin, but not Centrum or such. I use adult chewables. I have a good multi and add Omega 3, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zinc.

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