Originally written January 30, 2017
People are super pushy about YOUR diet, right?! Of course, today, everyone is super opinionated about everything. Nothing we do is right. Such complete and utter bullshit. I get sucked in, though. Feelings crushed, seeking validation. If you were looking for a do this and you will lose weight type of blog, I really hope this is not that.
I love to eat. Seriously, it’s my favorite activity. Sitting in front of the tv snacking away with my husband or kids is pretty much my idea of a perfect day.
I hate pills. I’m a huge baby about taking even something for a headache.
And, we are broke. Very, very tight budget. About $100 total for a family (average) of 4 a week. $100 goes far for junk, not so much for whole foods.
Because my health tanked, I had to ditch the junk, see a doctor every 3 months, and take those stupid freaking pills. Pretty much everything I hate. Here are my top tips after two and a half years of research, doctors appointments and kitchen experiments.
- Understand from the beginning that everyone is going to get on your nerves, but they mean well.
- Just because it works for 8 of your friends doesn’t mean it works for you. For example, most people cut sodium, drop weight and their blood pressure goes down. Mine went up. Twice.
- If you don’t already have a style, find one. It’s fun and feeling good about how you look makes it easier to leave the house.
- If the whole house is eating with you, it benefits everyone and you are less likely to go off what is working. It is also easier to do things for them than it is for ourselves. When my toddler chugs his water and when my 10 y/0 chip lover requests a health dish for her birthday dinner, I know I made their future easier. Let’s face it, I suddenly got fat at 24, they could to.
- Having said that, if you can make two meals and eat separately, there is no harm in that.
- Watch for the unexpected. After 6 months or so of much cleaner eating, I got unbelievable cravings for Gummy Bears. It was the biggest source of teasing. I used to be a candy bar at the register type. And fries. It constantly surprises me that I do not want fries. Don’t WANT them.
- Season, season, season, DO NOT SALT. Play with those rarely used spices in your cabinet and don’t be afraid. I use dill weed on eggs, thyme and chili powder on potatoes. Food should taste fabulous and be delightful to eat.
- Ditch the cans and boxes. Swap canned for fresh or frozen.
- Keep a food journal. Seriously, there’s no way around this one. You have to know where you are exceeding to know where to cut. Think of it like your check book. Would you blindly pay for items and services? Of course not.
- Be a food snob. If you are going to have that pizza, shouldn’t it be the most amazing pizza in town? Make what you are spending on calories, worth it.
- Keep a cleaner home. It burns a lot of calories because it takes more than an hour and it’s kind of luxurious to sit in your clean home with candles lit after the kids go to bed.
- The KIDS. Mine are my biggest obstacle. I love them, but, wow, they can derail things like no one else. Keep them involved. They pick out our produce at the open air market in season. Helped plant and harvest a garden. Kids are more likely to eat the food if they picked it out. It’s bizarre.
- Cook outside your comfort zone. Playing with different cuisine gives you more choices.
- Research on your own. The only person I know that works on their weight is my sister-in-law. She does very low carb and it works well for her. Not for me. If it makes you unhappy or if your results aren’t as promising as you would like, don’t be afraid to start again down a different path or add a new dynamic to your diet.
- Chip away or do it all at once. The decision on how much to change and when is entirely yours. I took the chip away approach. I started with sodium, then added whole foods, then added low carb, then added low-fat, then retooled the whole thing towards more unsaturated fat and net carbs.
The way I eat today is as far as I am willing to change my eating habits. It FEELS the best, most balanced and I am not sorry that I took my time.
I wanted to write this blog because today is day 1 of my final sprint to look different and, with luck, drop the pills. I weigh 187.2 pounds and my waist is still 43″ around. The same 43″ it was at 202 pounds and at 172 pounds (stupid, right?!). I’m excited to see if I have found the right combination of foods and activities to lose those inches.