I remember clearly feeling panicked and not knowing what to do. I weighed the most I ever had, and I saw weight loss as this thing that I knew other people could do but I just didn’t think it was possible for me. So, I did what a lot of women have done and decided to just stop thinking about weight loss. I began eating whatever I wanted, I gave up on exercise (because I just couldn’t do it consistently anyway), and I focused on being “body positive.” Well, what do you know… my weight went up even more. But I thought I needed to be content with that. It would eventually “settle into a set point” right? Wrong. It just kept going up.
Eventually I got tired of feeling the way I felt and decided that I needed to make a change. I decided that the Health at Every Size movement was wrong and actually damaging. I wasn’t healthy. I was always physically uncomfortable. I felt sluggish. I felt sick to my stomach a lot. I just knew I needed to focus on healthy habits.
In 2020 I began implementing healthy habits and quickly saw weight loss happen. I went from 193 pounds to 169 pounds. Then the stress of last school year had me eating all the things. I ate a lot of chips, king sized candy bars, tacos and hamburgers regularly for lunch, etc. I gained 17 pounds back. In that moment I realized that my habits weren’t quite habit yet. They weren’t automatic, all of the time. I tried joining the Balance 365 coaching and actually started gaining weight. But I did learn some good things through the program that I began to implement on my own starting in June.
I didn’t overhaul my diet. I didn’t cut anything out. I didn’t stop eating foods that I enjoy nor did I stop drinking coffee with creamer.
I looked at the giant staircase in front of me and decided that I needed to take one step at a time. I knew I couldn’t get to the top of the staircase all at once. It felt overwhelming at first. I thought I would never get up those stairs. I felt like there was almost no point in doing this if I had to take it slowly, but y’all, it works.
And I’m still not at the top. But I’m much closer than I was in June. I started at 185 and am down to 160. I want to lose another 15 or so pounds, but I know I will get there. One step at a time.
So what DID I do?
I implemented new habits. Some of them at the same time, but oftentimes it was one at a time. I got to where they were automatic, then I added more. And now I have pretty consistent healthy habits. There’s still more growth coming, but I think that’s the point. I’m going to always be growing. And I love that now!
These are some of the habits that I implemented (not necessarily in order):
- Added a lot more fruits and veggies to my diet
- Began having consistent adequate protein
- Began drinking more water
- I’m down to one soda every few days (from drinking them all the time)
- Started having the same high protein/fruits/veggies breakfast every single day which helped with all of the other habits (and no, I’m not tired of it)
- Joined Street Parking and gained a consistent movement habit that I LOVE. I’m now working out 4-5 days per week. I’m looking to add a walk or yoga to my off days.
- I get 8,000-10,000 steps a day (when I’m in the classroom).
- I consistently meal plan and prep (I was doing this before).
- I take my lunch to work every day. I eat out maybe twice a month for lunch (instead of regularly).
- I eat a healthy snack at the end of the work day, usually full of protein. Greek yogurt and beef jerky most days. Sometimes I have a protein bar and/or nuts. This keeps me out of the gas stations.
And here is where it gets imperfect.
I have coffee with creamer every day. But I don’t put sugar in it anymore (in addition to the creamer!).
I still have things like chips, candy, cookies, etc, but just not all the time. Deprivation leads to binging which doesn’t help with weight loss.
I eat lots of fruit. This actually isn’t an imperfect thing. It’s so good for you!
Sometimes my meals don’t have enough of each macro or enough fruits and veggies.
Sometimes I eat more than I would like.
Some days I don’t get enough water.
Sometimes I miss a workout that I have planned.
Shoot, last week I couldn’t work out at all because I was sick!
I take two steps forward, and sometimes one step back. But I always just keep moving forward. Life is imperfect. It’s impossible to live in extremes. It doesn’t work. Period.
So how does this relate to you?
I’ve been asked many times how I was able to lose weight. And the answer is always the same. Small habits. One or two at a time. Keep it simple. Don’t deprive yourself.
Like I said above, I used to drink Coke Zero alllll day. I thought I was addicted. But it was because I kept trying to quit it completely, then I would binge. And drinking a lot of soda makes you feel terrible! I decided to allow myself one per day. And at this point, I have one every few days. I don’t crave it like I used to. It’s like that with anything (well, except drugs and alcohol).
Just create small habits.