Monday, August 6, 2012

Houston, We Have a Problem!

What is the very first step toward a healthy lifestyle?  Admitting you over eat!  Once you can fully grasp what is going into your mouth, the sooner you will be on the road to a new you.  My recommendation to you is to log (honestly and completely) what you put in your mouth for at least 1 full week, maybe even 2 to get a better picture.  It can be as simple as a little notebook, 1 page for each day.  To be very accurate you should list individual ingredients.  I would list the food, the amount, the calories and carbs for a start.  Now, one of the biggest problems people have is what "looks" like a cup.  Or what they "believe" is a serving.  You are almost never correct.  Believe me!  If you want to take your health seriously, I would highly suggest investing in a simple digital kitchen scale (mine can weigh in oz, g, kg and lbs).  Also for measuring, get ready to use your measuring cups and spoons.  Weigh and measure your foods to get a real good reality check.  Did you know that one serving of spaghetti is only 1/2 Cup?!  And how much do you really eat for dinner?
My digital scale, $20 from Wal-Mart.

What is the second step toward a healthy lifestyle?  Realizing that diets don't work!  A "diet" is perceived as a temporary thing.  Once people get to their desired weight, they usually start eating the way they did before, which inevitably leads to gaining all, and in most cases more than, of what you lost.  Another interesting thing about a "diet" is that it contains the word "die".  So for these reasons I do not consider myself on a diet.  It is not temporary, nor will it kill me.  Instead, I am on a "live-it" because that's what you have to a new lifestyle.

Once you realize that diets don't work, then you can start making changes to your new live-it.  There are sooo many different eating plans out there.  I've been on Weight Watchers, the 6 Week Body Makeover, Atkins and plain old starvation.  Sure, they worked temporarily, like I said.  But obviously since I was 275 lbs just a few months ago they didn't work for the long term.  Don't get me wrong, and don't send me hate mail.  Some of these programs work very well for some people.  From what I have gathered, though, they don't work for many people for the long term.

I started my live-it instinctively and also from information all over the internet, and I decided to just change one thing at a time.  As it turns out, my nutritionist and life coach says that if you want to make permanent changes in your life, they need to be gradual.  Too many things all at once is too hard to manage.  Don't make it hard on yourself.  Look through your food journal and ask yourself, "Where can I make improvements?" 

For me, I knew I had to give up my addiction and abundant indulgence in Mountain Dew.  Oh my gosh...just hook me straight to the tap!  I realized I was drinking 9000 calories a week!  That right there is 2.5 lbs worth of calories that I don't need.  My doctor told me though that since I'm on a medication that has a side affect of making people crave carbs, switching to a non-sweet drink will spell instant doom on my efforts.  He suggested I switch to diet.  UGH!  Diet sucks!!!  I knew I had to do it though.  But for permanent, long-term change, I did it gradually.  I mixed my soda half regular and half diet.  Oh, Lordy was it awful.  But after a few days I got used to it.  Over the next week or so I gradually reduced the regular and increased the diet.  Now I exclusively drink diet, and i don't mind it!  But it has to be Fry's brand generic diet Mountain Dew or Lemon Lime.  I seriously can't stand diet Pepsi or Coke or anything like that.  I don't even like real diet Mountain Dew.  But I found something that works for me, and I can stick to it.
Thank Heaven for Diet Citrus Drop!!! I go through 6 2-liter bottles a week!
That's an example.  And another thing, because I just know some people out there are just fuming over me suggesting to drink the chemicals and sodium in diet soda (and as much as I drink it)...  A) It works for me.  B) It was also recommended by my doctor.  C)  There really isn't that much sodium in diet soda.  Just saying. 

So pinpoint the things you want to change.  Here are some other ideas:  Switch to olive or canola oil; switch to whole wheat pasta (Super Wal-Marts have a great selection of whole wheat pasta); buy whole grain breads; start getting in the habit of reading nutritional labels; start weighing and measuring your food; increase your fruits and vegetables; reduce your overall calories and carbs; start walking around the block; eat more protein; eat less snacks.  The list can go on and on, and the thing is there is no "correct" list.  It's a list that you come up with for yourself individually.  Sure, some of your things may be the same as some other people's, but not everyone needs to work on the same exact things.  BUT ONLY CHANGE ONE THING AT A TIME!  Get used to it, incorporate the change into your daily life comfortably.  Then change the next thing. 

There's my recommendations for you today.  Admit you have a problem, get a reality check on what you really consume, realize "diets" don't work, and make a list of things you want to improve.  Then start slowly making those changes.  That's a good start.

Feel free to email me at or comment here.  Again, I am not trying to say there is one correct way to make your lifestyle changes.  The important thing is "what works for you".  So don't beat me up, k? :)

Take Care,

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