I wanted to share a little bit more about my journey to health that you won't find in my bio. Once I stopped growing in my teen years, my weight pretty much remained the same until I had children. At the end of each pregnancy, I had gained 10 lbs that would not come off, it was stable, I was not gaining more weight, but nonetheless, it would not come off and I would not go on a diet. I don't believe in dieting, in fact, I have to admit that I have never been on an official diet. Lately, everyone I talk to is on a diet, probably because of the time of year. It starts with Halloween and ends after New Year, parties, heavy food etc. When you go on a diet, it usually means once you reach your goal you go off the diet. In truth, you "go off" your diet because you have been restricting calories and losing muscle and your body can only take so much of that. Then within days or weeks you gain back what you've lost and then some.
Three years ago I lost over 35 pounds and I did it without going on a diet. I did change a few of my food choices but mainly made lifestyle choices.
I had been eating a pretty clean diet for quite some time to start but after having children my body had "reset" to a higher weight. By changing some foods and some lifestyle habits I was able to lose the weight and keep it off without starving myself.
So how did I do it?
There are three non-food factors involved in weight loss:
The first thing is to slow down at meal times, chew your food and be present in the meal. What exactly does it mean "to be present" with the meal? It actually starts with meal preparation, as you are preparing the meal, your body is literally getting ready to eat. When you sit down for the meal, create an inviting atmosphere. Light candles, play soft music etc. Think about where the food comes from, how does it smell? What does it taste like? Will it create health in your body or not? Take a few deep breathes and relax. Next once you put the food into your mouth, chew your food. This is probably one of the hardest steps. Many people take two bites and swallow. This will make it harder on your body to digest the food. This is essential, even without changing anything else in your diet, you will see a difference. You will eat less without even realizing it.
You also need to slow down in life. It's not a race. Plan ahead so you are not rushing to all of your appointments. This rushing around (stress) takes a toll on your hormonal system and actually makes it more difficult for you to lose the weight.
Next is sleep; In order to regain health, you need to heal. In order to heal, you need to sleep. I believe this was the catalyst for my weight loss. I went on a retreat for school and honestly probably ate more there than I do at home, but I literally sat around all day. There were chefs to cook food, there was nothing to clean or people to take care of. It was great! We had class discussions, yoga, and a little bit of free time where groups of us would go for short walks. When class was over at 7 pm, I went back to my hotel room and went to sleep. By the end of the weekend, I think I lost 5 lbs. So rest is really important.
Then you have exercise. Exercise has so many benefits besides keeping your weight in check and you don't need to run a marathon in order to see benefits. A combination of weights and aerobic is great. But if you have been working out really hard for a long time, you may need to back of a little on the exercise and take some time to rest. The first few months when I was losing weight, I spent little time at the gym. Not because I didn't want to be there but my schedule wouldn't allow. Again, for me rest was really important.
Next comes food: The food you put into your body is probably one of the most important factors in health. You need to eat real food as much as possible. Yes I know the packaged foods seem convenient but have you looked at the ingredient lists on those things? They are loaded with salt, sugar, food coloring, flavors and genetically modified ingredients. Some of the words you can't even pronounce. If you don't know what the ingredient is, do you think your body will know what to do with it?
I know it can seem overwhelming, but eating real food is not as hard as you think. It does take some planning but I think it may even expand your food choices and once you feel the effects of eating clean, you will choose to never eat those packaged foods again!
A side effect of eating real foods is that your body releases the toxins it's been holding onto, you feel better (without stimulants like caffeine), look younger and you finally reach your ideal weight with little effort.
There are so many other factors that can affect weight but dieting is not the answer. They key is finding out why you have the weight gain and addressing that!
It's not a "quick fix" like some diet programs but a lifelong eating plan. It may seem overwhelming but it can be done, just take baby steps. I have been there, my diet was the worst...if I can do it, so can you! And the best part is that you don't have to do it alone.