Monday, July 30, 2012

The Nitty Gritty

So how do you do it?  That is always the question I get.  The answer rarely satisfies. 

No one wants to hear: there's no formula, just good old fashioned healthy eating and physical activity.  And honestly, what works for one person doesn't always work for another. 

But for what it's worth, here is my list.  What has worked for me.  I have tried other things before and even during.  And I find that the following is my "formula" if you will.  Most of is probably common sense for you.  For me, it took me a bit to put these things together until I had my epiphany:

  • Have a Plan.  Take the time to set some guidelines.  Be specific. Are you cutting out processed foods? Are you going to eat "X" calories each day.  Are you eating 2 cups of vegetables every day? Having a basic plan helps stay on track when the unexpected occurs.
  • Get Physical.   Be brave. Walk into that gym.  I was so afraid that I would stick out, the lone out of shape and overweight person in a room of extreme fitnessista's.   Truth? Not even close!  No one cared about me! And there were all shapes and sizes in those classes.  I have tried so many new things: Zumba, Cardio Kickboxing, Piloxing, Bootcamp and returned to a few favorites like Hiking and Cycling.  Variety has been key to keeping me on track.
  • Get in the Know.  I keep health and fitness forefront.  The more you know the harder it is to go back to unhealthy living.  Blogs, books, documentaries, they've all helped me to learn that not all food is created equal.  In fact, some food can barely be called food!  I turned to labels, nutrition stats and ingredient lists and decided that I needed to know what was in my food before I blindly inhaled it.  Establishing some food morals helped me to get my priorities straight.
  • LOVE your food.  I use to think despising food was the key to losing weight.  I LOVE food.  I love eating food.  But all the skinny chicks seem to snub food.  "I'm not hungry" was a phrase I rarely have said.  But now I've learned I can LOVE my food.  I just don't waste my time with food that I don't LOVE!  Food that gives me the most bang for my calories - tastes great, high in nutrients, fresh, pleasing to the eye and palate - THAT'S food worth loving!  If it's going to cross my lips it better reeeally be worth it.   Clean your plate? Not if it doesn't taste good. Listen to me:  It's OKAY to push away a plate of crappy food.  I KNOW what your momma said.  Do it anyway!
  • EAT MORE!  I can't finish this post without a shout out to the book that catapulted my weight loss.  Eat to live!  After trying calorie counting, weight watchers, Atkins, cabbage soup diet - you name it -  I didn't have any real lasting success until I read this book.  Primarily a plant-based diet, with no calorie counting, good food, and consistent weight loss without feeling deprived.  Here's the secret:  When you eat nutrient dense food, you can eat MORE! And who doesn't want to do that AND lose weight?  Seriously! It literally changed my life. 
So that's it.  That's the practical part of my journey - the nitty gritty, the old how to.  No, not quick, not easy.  It's taken some real investment in time, effort and commitment.

But today? It's just my normal.

What new normals have you worked into your health/fitness journey?

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