Due to a project I’m working on, (and rather excited about but can’t share quite yet), I have been asked to share the most influential things I’ve learned on this lifestyle change. I was put on the spot, so it was tough to narrow down 2 years of information gathered in a thirty minute conversation, but I decided that the things that came to my mind first were most likely the biggest items to mention. They were – in no particular order:
· I weigh daily, and I track my food daily. If I go on vacations longer than 3 days (long weekend), I take my scale. If I see greater than a .2 gain, I go back to my food log and evaluate the day(s) prior. Was it too much sodium? Too many calories in general? Did I eat some funky new foods that I’m not used to eating? Did I eat past 6PM? I can say with 99.9% accuracy what went wrong. And then what do I do? Fix it, of course. It’s easier to make up one day of problems than a week.
· The reason I think it worked this time? I am on no diet. I am on something that I just do, every damn day, just like I brush my teeth every day or I take a shower every day. Do I mess up sometimes? Just like I get too busy/forget (lazy) to take a shower or brush my teeth, I have slip-ups sometime, yes. I am human. The difference is, the next day – I brush my damn teeth. The next day, I eat what I’m supposed to, what I know is right.
· I pre-plan my success, I never pre-plan my failure. Usually by Sunday, I know my schedule for the week. For example, I know that every day this week but Tuesday I can fix dinner at home, and I know what I’m going to eat. On Tuesday, if I’m going out, I either scan the menu of the restaurant, or I will resign to agreeing in my head what I am going to eat (vegetarian only, as an example). NEVER EVER EVER say: Well, it’s a special occasion on Thursday, so I’m going to eat the fucking lasagna with garlic bread and salad with full fat ranch because BY GOD I DESERVE IT! No. That’s a big no. Suck it up people; quit being whiners about not planning to eat lasagna. Does it happen sometime? Sure. But don’t plan on blowing it before the fact.
· I am a bigger proponent of requiring the food industry to put their nutritional information out there than I thought. Do I think the government should tell me that I can’t have a 44 ounce big gulp? Hell no. That’s my decision. But when I make that decision, I should be informed about the calorie content in that big gulp. For any “chain” restaurants (over 20), I believe they should post their nutritional information somewhere. Now will that happen? I don’t know – so until that day, I will continue to choose to only visit restaurants that do give me the nutritional information. (Thank you, Outback, for finally jumping on board.)
· To be successful for the long term, you must not only learn about how to lose weight, but also about what you are putting into your body. Your body is a self-healing miracle, and if you feed it and take care of it (aka: diet & exercise), it will respond in a marvelous manner.