Sometimes it is very hard to stay focused on your long-term healthier you goal. Life and disappoints get in the way more times then not. Sometimes even people unintentionally or intentionally try and sabotage your success.
So how do you stay focused? Take each day one at a time. Tackle each roadblock one at a time. You may have to change your relationships as well. For instance, if you and a friend always meet for Friday night drinks, maybe you can meet for Saturday morning strolls around the park. You have to determine why you are meeting that person in the first place. Is it for drinks or is it for companionship?
How to deal with sabotage? This may be hard to determine but sometimes it is very blatant. Tread lightly if you can and try to change the dynamics of your relationship. Maybe you can talk frankly with the person on how his/her actions affect your progress. He/She may or may not be willing to support you. As harsh as it seems, you cannot let other people’s decisions and actions deter you from getting healthy.
Misery loves company. There will be other people on a similar journey but he/she is failing or lost determination. I had someone tell me she would like to see how successful I am in three years. The statement did not shock me but I wasn’t mad either. I have taken steps to ensure my continued success.
Setting up short-term goals can help with the success of becoming and maintaining a healthier you. When you win on a short-term goal, that success can boost your determination to win on the next goal. On the same token, if you fail on a short-term goal you can use lessons learned from that failure to win on the next goal.
Unfortunately, willpower alone cannot sustain your continued success; this is where a support group comes in handy. There were times where I just didn’t feel like working out but I went because my husband was going. I went to support him though I didn’t have the willpower to go for me.
What do you do when you have lost the weight? Losing weight is difficult enough and is sometimes an uphill battle but what happens after you have lost the weight? How do you keep the weight off? What are your new goals?
I have lost over 118 pounds since August of 2014. I lost 50 pounds initially but put 30 back on when my husband suffered from a life threatening illness. Once the threat was over he and I started our Healthy Journey; which started with the Kaiser Weight Management Program. This program taught healthy eating and healthy life skills. This was not a diet program, this was a behavior change program; a lifestyle change. This program was my springboard into a healthy lifestyle based on balanced nutrition and fitness.
I am currently in the Lifestyle Phase of the program, which for me means weight maintenance. For others they are still losing weight in the phase but I am happy with where I am. Thus far I have lost 96 pounds, I am under 30 BMI, my body fat is normal and I am healthy, no diseases. In short, I am healthy and fit so why lose more weight?
The Lifestyle phase can last a lifetime if you choose. In this phase we have weekly meetings hosted by a facilitator; who also happens to be a nutritionist. We check in and talk about our failures or successes and then she gives us tips, tools, or advice; if we need it. Going to class every week helps keep me motivated, educated, and committed; the administrators of this program are very helpful and supportive. The program also sponsored a heart walk and the fitness challenge Strive Across America; I participated in both activities.
Fitness is a key component in weight management. You have to find the right balance of exercise and rest to sustain your health goals. I didn’t want to just workout to be “working out”. I wanted to embrace fitness as a routine that I enjoyed and I wanted to be fit and toned. To ensure I was on the right track, I hired a personal strength trainer. She taught me correct form and circuit routines that strengthen my core. If your core is weak your form will be weak and you can hurt yourself. She worked with my husband and I for a few months until she moved away. I had the routine down and I loved it. I loved seeing my strength and flexibility grow but I wasn’t at the fitness level I desired so I started searching for an alternative. Luckily I stumbled across Orange Theory. At first I wasn’t too sure I would like to group training but I tried it out and I was hooked. This was just what I needed to elevate my fitness level and push me. Currently I go to four classes a week. I am working my way up to five.
In addition to Orange Theory, I also participate in Fit Bit Workweek and Weekend Warrior Challenges. The competition helps me exceed my daily step goal. I am competitive so I try to stay on top and sometimes that pushes me to over 100,000 steps in a week. Talk about walking; I am sometimes on fire and I love it. When spring comes back we plan to start our Saturday hiking again.
Nutrition does not take a back seat to fitness. You cannot workout but then eat bad and still maintain your weight or health. You have to find the perfect balance of both. Measuring your progress helps you stay on track. I started to notice the scale going up and my pants getting a little snug. I checked over the history of my journey and found the culprit, Quest Protein bars and Splenda. I compared the trend of my weight fluctuations with the consumption of proteins bars. Once I removed the protein bars and stop using Splenda I lost the weight that I gained in less than two weeks time. I have decided to remove all process foods from my nutritional plan. Instead of protein bars I eat protein; either lean meat, an egg, beans, or peanut butter. This also means I cook more but that is something I would rather do to maintain a healthier me.
What I have learned is weight-loss and weight management is hard and even harder if you try to do it yourself. You need a support team in order to help you stay motivated and successful. I also discovered that it is better to ask the experts or ask for help then depend on your own research or motivation. My own research was flawed before I hired a trainer and joined the program. I am not saying you have to spend a lot money on a program or trainer but what I am saying is speak with a doctor or nutritionist. Health experts are there to help, so why not use them?
Food glorious food. I can remember that from the movie Oliver Twist. I just loved food. Fried food, junk food, and desserts. I thought having a good day meant getting a good meal to eat.What is so funny is that I am a pretty picky eater so I didn’t like a lot of food but the food I did like I overindulged. When I changed my Lifestyle I had to reprogram my thoughts about food and my relationship to it. I had to focus on healthier eating but can “healthier” food really be fulfilling?
Yes, surprising I don’t feel deprived at all. I eat well with lean proteins, whole grains, veggies, low-fat dairy, and fruit. I purchased an inside grill so I grill my meat most of the times.
The lean proteins that I eat are red meat, pork, fish and a variety of Jennie-O turkey products. Believe it or not you can get 96% lean beef at your local Safeway. I also found 96% lean burger patties at Smart and Final. If I buy steak I make sure it is lean. I buy those very thin pork loins and for fish I mostly eat Salmon and Tilapia. Eggs are another source of protein that is good. I use Eggland’s large eggs. Bean are also a good source of protein. You can really spice up the food with natural spices and herbs.
I use the Sara-Lee Delightful Whole Wheat bread which is only 45 calories per slice. I must say this bread is indeed light and good. My husband likes the Oroweat Whole Wheat Sandwich thins which are 100 calories. I like to use these for hamburger buns and egg sandwiches. I use the whole wheat penne for my pasta but I don’t eat pasta that often. I will also eat brown rice. I keep it pretty simple but there is a wide variety of whole grains you can choose.
Veggies are always good. I use carrot and celery sticks for my snacks. I eat spinach, broccoli, peppers, and greens. I cook with onions and mushroom often. I keep it simple with veggies because I have a food allergy to corn and cauliflower. I don’t like to experiment too much because I will suffer. I found my favorites and they are good enough for me. But if you live near a Farmers Market, Sprouts, or Whole Food the options are endless.
I found a great alternative that help tickles my fancy. The alternative is Bolthouse Farms Yogurt dressing. These dressing are delicious. My favorite flavors are Ranch and Caesar Parmigiano. These dressing are low in calories and fat. They can be found at Safeway in the fresh pre-cut veggies section. I have made garlic bread using the Ranch dressing and Chicken Alfredo with the Caesar Parmigiano.
An alternative to my sweet tooth is Quest Protein Bars. My favorite is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. The good thing about these bars are they high in protein and fiber. I typically have one for either a snack or afterwork protein. When I have a chocolate craving I will grab a bar. My husband uses the Nugo bars.
An alternative to soda can be sparkling water. Most stores will have their versions of flavored water. I really like the Key Lime and lemon flavors. However, be careful because a lot of them have artificial sweeteners which may be toxic to some people.
The key to eating healthy is choosing fresh unprocessed foods whenever possible and try using in season fruits and veggies. Always review nutritional labels to make sure you make an informed decision on what foods you eat. You can find some great healthy recipes on Pintest.