Sunday, January 5, 2014

Tips and Tricks volume 1

People I have been meeting recently have a hard time believing that I used to weigh 205+ pounds.  I get asked all the time for my tips and tricks.  So, I decided that I will periodically share some of the things that have worked for me.  Feel free to share in the comments your tips for others as well.  My goal is that people come here to be inspired to lead a healthier life.  Disclaimer: this is what has worked for me.  Nothing is a quick fix - if it is, it is not going to last.

1. Find an anchor.  This is something that is going to remind you of your goals.  It could be a picture, an article of clothing, a trip, an affirmation or mantra,  a person, etc.  Mine has changed over my journey.  First, it was my children.  Then it was an affirmation of "nothing tastes as good as healthy feels".  As the compliments came pouring it, I regained my motivation.  Next, I used the tokens I received when I hit milestones through Weight Watchers.  My most recent anchors are my progression picture and my size 8 pants.
2. Classify foods as "all the time foods" and "sometimes foods".  I have a sweet tooth and and various times in my life I was treating myself more often than I should.  Sometimes multiple times in one day.  I found that swearing off cupcakes made me think of them more.  The more I thought of them, the more I wanted one or six.  Then, I couldn't control myself.  Now, if I want a cupcake I eat enough of a cupcake to satisfy the craving.

3. Move more than you did yesterday.  Find some physical activity you like.  Do it for 5 minutes today.  Build it up until you are getting at least 30 minutes in a day.  Feel free to switch it up daily too.  Boredom is one of the top reasons people don't stay active.

4. Enlist a buddy.  Tell your friend your goal, exercise with your friend, and/or have the friend keep you accountable.  I didn't have this for when I went balls to the wall with WW, but I have it this time.  It makes a lot of difference.  When I want a doughnut.  She tells me to have a doughnut, but not from downstairs...make sure it is really good and worth every point ;)

5. Reward yourself (and follow through with the rewards).   Just make sure they are not food rewards (you are not a dog).  Even my dog is satisfied with a pat on the head and, "you're a good girl".  Seriously, I created a reward plan for myself that keeps my budget in mind.  Work out 5 days out of 7 - give self mani and pedi.  Reach goal weight - 60 minute massage.  Pants too big - buy new pair throw out old (I LOVE buying pants that are a size smaller - it is a high for me).  Make the rewards exciting to you.

6. Listen to your mom: "Eat your veggies".  There are a lot of good nutrients in them that fuel your body. If you like them swimming in sauces and dressings, gradually cut back.  My favorite way to have veggies is roasted with seasonings like garlic, basil, and other herbs.

7. If you fail to plan you plan to fail.  I never planned out my meals per day and time.  I planned my meals for the week. When I make my grocery list it is: 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinner, 14 snacks, and ad hoc stuff for the kids.  I make sure there is a variety of grab-n-go for the nights that get choatic and things that need more time to cook for when I have the time.  If something comes up Tuesday, I am not freaking out that I was going to make chicken and rice and have no back up.  It is more like, oh well, we will have chicken and rice on Wednesday and fresh fruits, veggies, and sandwiches tonight. Also, schedule exercise like you would anything else. Write it in your calendar.

8. Be kind to yourself.  There will be times you feel like a failure.  DO NOT beat yourself up over it.  Stand up, brush yourself off, and move on.  What can you do better now?  What can you learn from the set back or obstacle?  Dinner party where you had too much wine (this is what I am most guilty of) -  get back on track in the morning.

9. Acknowledge that it isn't easy.  It is a challenge.  One I believe you can overtake.

10. Be brave.  Try new things.  Start crossing stuff off your bucket list.  Live your life!

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