If you are reading this, you are probably one of those people who are always struggling with their weight. Believe me, I understand. I have been yo-yoing with my weight my whole life. I understand what it is like to feel fat and unattractive, to not have any energy, and to feel helpless to do anything about it. I have been there. I have lost 170 pounds. Of course everyone wants to know what I did. It was a journey of mind, body and spirit. I believe addressing all aspects is the key to long term weight loss.
I have put together some tips that helped me achieve my long term weight loss. My wish is that you find something here that helps you along on your weight loss journey.
· Find your motivation to change your current eating habits and lifestyle. For each individual person, "the thing", the one thing that finally motivates you to go for it, is different. You have to find your thing; the person, or place, or photo, or health issue that motivates YOU. I recommend taking pictures of yourself so you can no longer avoid knowing what you look like to others. You have to be honest with yourself, even if you are not honest about your weight on your driver's license!
Sometimes the photos alone are enough to motivate you. If that doesn't do it, maybe there is some hot guy you like (or some husband you want to keep!), or a trip you want to take, or a cute outfit that you want to look good in. Whatever your motivation is, post it on the fridge and all around your house and keep it in the forefront of your mind at all times. I kept several things in my mind during my weight loss. One was a photo of myself looking like the Goodyear Blimp's younger sister. The other was that my knees were starting to go and I thought about having to use a lift system to get up the stairs to my house. That one really motivated me. The idea is to find something that gets you motivated and gets you started.
· I am a big believer in the power of affirmations and visualization. It is a very powerful message to the universe and to your sub-conscious mind when you write down your hopes and dreams as if you already have them. I used a journal and wrote things like: "I am healthy and thin", "I weigh 130 pounds", "I am a size 5". You get the idea. The trick is to write the sentences AS IF YOU ALREADY ARE AND ALREADY HAVE THE THINGS YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT. Do not write "I will be", or "I wish I was", or "I want". Once you have your affirmation list, LOOK AT IT EVERY DAY, best is in the morning before you start your day (while you are drinking your green tea!) and even better, all throughout the day and before you go to bed.
To go with your written affirmations, VISUALIZE AND FEEL YOURSELF as the thin person you are. Sit up!! Hold your body like a thin person, walk like a thin person, talk like a thin person. Visualize yourself in the clothes you want to wear, FEEL IT, BE IT! This is an important part of weight loss, do not skip this step, it really helps! One of the things I did is when I was huffing and puffing up the steps from the beach to my house was that I pictured myself bouncing and even running up those steps. Now it is true! Visualize yourself on vacation with lots of energy and cute clothes, visualize yourself buckling your seat belt without holding in your stomach, visualize yourself zipping up adorable Size 5 jeans with ease. The more you do this, the easier your weight loss will be. Trust me on this.
· It is so important to do things that make you feel good about yourself during this time. Please take off those ugly sweats, cut them up and use them for cleaning the house and buy yourself some new clothes that you feel good in, no matter what size they are. NO FRUMPS!!!! eBay, Torrid.com and Alight.com were a Godsend for me as I was able to buy really cute plus size clothing that made me feel great. Don't go crazy, because your new clothes wont fit you for long! Keep cleaning out your closet as clothes get too big on you. Donate them to your fat friends who will want to know what you are doing or even sell them on eBay. Don't keep around "fat clothes" just in case. You don't want to have that to fall back on. Don't create safety nets for yourself this time. Go for it or Go HOME! Get a manicure, get your hair done, treat yourself like the princess (or prince) that you are! The trick is to keep you feeling good about yourself and not fall back into self pity and overeating. If looking in a mirror frustrates you, don't look in the mirror until it feels good!
· Raise your hand if you are a member of The Clean Plate Club. Yep, I thought so. I am the same way, there are starving children in Africa, you know. I have learned to ask for smaller portions because it is so hard for me to leave food on my plate. If you are still served too big portions, repeat after me, "It is okay to leave food on my plate. Worms and bugs need food too, it will get eaten by something eventually, it doesn't have to be me." Keep saying it. Stop eating when you are full. It is always good to drink green tea 10 minutes before you eat. You will feel fuller faster and will have that extra motivation and willpower that you need.
· It is very important to identify and release the belief systems that keep you eating food to self sabotage your dreams. If you are overweight, your beliefs are holding you there. It is very possible to change these beliefs with your persistent new thoughts and emotions. EFT and other belief releasing methods are great for indentifying and releasing limiting beliefs.
· Don't put off your life until you get thin. Start doing the things you have been putting off. Live NOW as you would if you were already thin. Be thin now!
· Find a long term eating plan that works for you and that you can stick to. What is important is that it is a program that you can stay on without feeling deprived and hungry (feeling deprived leads to overeating!) and that will support you after you have reached your goal.
· Sorry, but you cannot get out of the exercise thing. It is essential not only for weight loss, but for your overall health. Start out slow, don't push yourself. Take a walk with a friend or your poor dog who never gets out. Find fun things to do for exercise that you don't dread. As you lose weight, you will find that your energy level is higher and you will WANT TO EXERCISE. Really! I never thought it could be true, but as I got thinner, I actually wanted to exercise because I had so much energy. It just feels so good for so many reasons. There are also lots of great online workout programs too.
· Stay conscious when you eat. If you are like me, you can go into a kind of food stupor and you don't even think or breath until everything on your plate is gone and then you wonder where it went! Put your fork down between every few bites, eat slowly, chew, chew, chew! I still have to remind myself to do this. It is a hard habit to break, but so important to do for your health and weight loss goals.
· Be kind to yourself. Don't beat yourself up if you really want to eat something. If you are going to feel guilty before and after eating, you are not going to enjoy it and it will be even worse, body, mind and soul. Enjoy your meal, enjoy every single bite, slowly. Then just get right back on and continue. You deserve it and you are worth it. Be like thin people and when you overeat, compensate. Get right back to listening to your body. And if you are going to eat something that you consider bad, like a hamburger, be sure to eat it with leafy greens like a salad to help your body digest it.
· Congratulate yourself on the big and small victories and successes. I threw a party when I was able to cross my legs again with ease (but of course I didn't tell anyone what the party really was celebrating!)
· Do not let yourself get to the starving point as that can lead to a major overeating binge. It is always better to eat 6 small meals during the day, or at least have a snack between meals to keep your metabolism up. I usually snack on nuts (don't go overboard, but they are a good source of protein and very filling) or fruits or both.
· One of the best things you can do for your overall health and weight loss is to stop eating processed foods. Fill your diet with whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Foods that are still in their original, natural form. Highly processed breads, pastas, meats, and other foods that no longer resemble what they once were will slow down your weight loss. Fried foods are out too, they are just horrible for your system. Become a lean, mean, greaseless machine!
· Drink lots of water. This helps with weight loss but will also help to keep your skin hydrated to avoid stretch marks and hanging skin. Use lots of lotion too. Coconut oil is one of the best products for your skin!
· Get yourself some support. Hang with people with like minded goals. Get a Life Coach who will support you and keep you accountable. Join other groups that will support you in your dreams.
· Look in the mirror everyday and say "Love You" and mean it, no matter where you are with your weight loss goals!