How to NOT Lose 40 lbs and Gain 20 Back
Several years ago I reached the highest weight I ever had been. I was in my mid-20's, had gotten married, was going to school while working full-time, and didn't think much of my health at the time. I gradually packed on about 30 lbs throughout my 20's. Then I saw a picture of myself, which didn't match the image I had of myself in my own mind (which was about 30 lbs smaller). If you've ever gained weight, you know what I'm talking about. You don't realize it until you see a not-so-flattering angle of yourself (not like the figure-flattering angle you look at yourself in the mirror).
At that point, I knew I had to make a change, because the number on the scale actually DID match my body. I had gotten pretty plump.
In the meantime, my father-in-law was battling cancer and later lost his battle. Throughout that time, my husband at the time and I started researching natural ways to treat cancer. We discovered a whole other world out there beyond conventional medicine that we had never ventured into but left us very intrigued.
I actually saw an infomercial about a book that explained how to never get sick again along with natural ways to treat ailments. With the loss of m father-in-law and my unhealthy state I had fallen into, it got me thinking about lifestyle, what we put into our bodies, and how we treat our bodies. I no longer had a desire to try a new diet but to change my lifestyle. The infomercial had nothing to do with weight loss but more about overall health. That's what I needed -- a lifestyle change.
So I bought the book from the infomercial (and the second edition as well) and learned a lot about what being healthy really was. I learned about organic foods and toxins. This scared the crap out of me, and let me tell you, that is where my real motivation came from. I became aware of what I was putting into my body and what I was exposing it to. I cut out all processed foods, quit going out to eat, ate only organic , whole foods, and started walking every day. The weight did not just drop off, but just like it had slowly crept on, it definitely slowly crept off.
I felt great! I had more energy, my skin looked great, and I was losing weight without starving myself! Maybe there IS something to this living a healthy lifestyle and eating whole, organic foods. I had changed my entire mindset about how I looked at food and how it affected my overall health.
During this process, I stopped craving things like sugary foods (which I truly was addicted to before) and fried foods. I still even ate bread! I bought a bread maker and made my own, of course, or I bought sprouted whole grain bread. I wasn't starving myself and I wasn't working out all of the time. I was just taking walks and making sure I kept my body active. My body was functioning how it was designed to function.
Then came along influence...and stress...and temptation. I had not eaten a doughnut in over 2 years. The new job I had taken was in social work, which is notorious for having unhealthy workers due to it being a stressful career. We ran to food for emotional comfort. And it had to be processed food, since we were so busy. We ate on the go frequently, which meant a lot of fast food.
I kept firm to my new healthy lifestyle for quite some time, but little by little, I succumbed to the doughnuts that were always just a few steps away from my desk and the pizza buffet that was just across the street. There I was heading back to my old ways. And there they were, the pounds slowly creeping back on just as they had before.
This was several years ago, and I was able to live a truly healthy lifestyle for several years.
We talk about "lifestyle change" instead of dieting, which is really what we need, because it is more long term. But what about when our lifestyle changes back?
That can happen too. We have influences around us every day, whether good or bad. We have advertisements everywhere that remind us of all of the yummy processed foods that are so easily accessible. We have co-workers bringing in doughnuts and cupcakes to the office. Even this picture to the right makes me crave sweets!
It's impossible to avoid all of these temptations, but it is very possible to learn how to not let them get the best of you.
Here are some ways to stick with that healthy lifestyle and not lose all of your progress that you've made already by changing those bad habits.
1. Surround yourself with like-minded people
If you're around people who like to get together and eat pizza and drink, then you will more likely do the same. If you're around people who are choosy about what they consume and are conscious of how they treat their bodies, then you will more likely do the same. It's that simple.
2. Read about health and how to take care of your body
Learn about how foods affect your body. Read about what exercise does to your body. If you know how your body works, you will take more consideration in how you treat your body. It also keeps these thoughts active in your mind about the lifestyle you are striving for.
3. Find something active you love so much that after doing it for so long, you can't live without it
I found that I hate when I can't run. Sometimes I don't want to do it, but I miss it when I can't. I also love getting ready for triathlon season every year. It's something to get excited about and look forward to. Running and triathlons are not for everyone, but find some activity that you cannot live without, and you'll no longer want to skip a workout.
4. Change your perspective on food
Repeat after me: Food is fuel.
We often use food to fulfill some other need other than for fuel. We go out with friends to eat, we get bored and eat, we see an advertisement and eat, or we get emotional and eat. Listen to your body and eat only when your body (not your mind) is telling you to eat.
5. Grow your own food
Not everyone can have a garden in their backyard, but it's a great idea if you can. It's so much more satisfying eating what you grow. You know where the food came from and you know how it was grown. If you have this option, do it.
6. Stop bad habits before they start
It's way too easy to go back to old ways. There is temptation all around us even with a lifestyle change. Be aware when you start to notice giving into these temptations, because each time you do it, it will be easier the next time. If you give in on occasion, just be mindful about making that decision next time so you don't make it a habit.
7. Make a habit to be prepared
You will get into situations where you don't have time to eat something healthy or you don't have any healthy options. Be prepared for this. Food prep is very important. Also, keep healthy snacks with you. I've had jobs where I'm on the road a lot, so I would make sure I had some almonds or carrots or some kind of healthy snack, so I wouldn't be forced to stop at the gas station or through a drive-thru for an overly-processed snack.
8. Love yourself
Don't beat yourself up when you give into a temptation. We are wired to have these temptations and be influenced. We don't always make good choices either. It's part of being human. Just remember that everyone has their own struggles.
Learn to love and respect yourself so that you want to take care of the body you have been given. You have it your entire lifetime, and it will treat you how you choose to treat it.
Disclaimer: I use affiliate marketing, which means that I provide links to products that I make a small commission on when they are purchased through my links at no cost to you. Any information I provide about the products is my own personal opinion.
I am not a professional; therefore, any information that I provide should not be taken as professional health advice but is my own personal opinion and from my own personal experiences.