So I’ve tried and failed to lose fat so many times, my resolve deflating faster than a balloon let loose in the air. I didn’t even lose the weight after posting a blog article almost a year ago stating that I was “sure to do it this time”. I started out strong (too strong), adhering to a really strict diet and rigorous exercise routine, loosing 10 pounds the first two weeks. But I got burned out and quit. Over the following months, I gained the weight back and then some. I didn’t get my resolve back to try again until the end of January 2013.
My new approach was to try eating healthy FIRST (always the hardest part for me) and then add a daily exercise routine. I knew that no amount of exercise could truly compensate for unhealthy and over eating. I didn’t do any crazy diet or take pills. I just made healthy choices with veggies, high anti-oxidant fruits, healthy fats, oatmeal and cutting down on my glutinous grains. I kept the toasted English muffin and tortilla in my diet, however. They filled my stomach, helping me feel satisfied. They gave substance to my proteins and veggies, like when I made a fat-free turkey or black bean, stewed tomato and leafy veggie tortilla wrap.
And guess what happened when I chose water instead of other drinks and ate healthy, keeping my daily caloric intake between 1,300 and 1,500? Combined with my usual daily chores, running the kids around, laundry, dishes and cleaning, I lost 3 pounds the first week and 3 the next – JUST by eating healthier. After two weeks of this, I felt confident enough to incorporate an exercise routine without the risk of sabotaging my efforts through bad eating.
I did 45 minutes to an hour of sweating exercise 6 days a week (taking every Sunday off). I jogged on a Planet Fitness treadmill or outside as weather permitted or I did aerobics in my home. I did all my exercising in the morning after dropping my first-grader off at school and before the younger ones got up for the day. It was sometimes hard when I felt like I needed more sleep, but I forced myself to stay up and just do it.
I also rediscovered the avocado. Some people shy away from this fruit because they either dislike the taste or know that one avocado contains 30 grams of fat, albeit good fat. Well I LOVE the avocado with a little salt and pepper, but only allow myself a quarter each day because of the fat content. I actually spread it on my toasted English muffin. Finding foods that I like, and are healthy, have made all the difference in sticking to healthy eating. I don’t have to JUST eat salads or raw nuts (nuts give me canker sores) or tofu (never cared much for tofu). There are SO MANY good foods out there that I can eat and enjoy that help me stick to a healthy diet, have energy to workout and still lose weight and not feel deprived at the end of the day.
HOWEVER, not being perfect by any means, once in a while, if I’m having a rough day and the thought of sweets won’t leave, I’ll grab either a fun size Three Musketeers candy bar (regular or mint), a mini peppermint patty, or I pop about 15 M&Ms into my mouth. As long as I have the restraint to stop there (and I do), my craving is satisfied and my diet is still on track (but I’m sure to jot down the calories and fat from the extra treat). I write down ALL my calories.
So there you go. This is what presently works for me. I’ve lost 20 pounds in the two months since I began, and I am working on the next 10. I have my brother’s wedding coming up as well as publicity pictures in preparation for the release of my debut novel, Shadows of Valor. I want to feel and look good for those occasions.
I’d love to hear what works for you.