One of the hardest things when you are making changes in your eating habits, establishing new ones, is not giving up! I wanted to share How I keep going on a Health Journey without giving up!
My history with Weight Watchers
I’ve been a part of Weight Watchers for 25 years! My twin sister and I joined back in 1999 and in 8 months lost 70 pounds each. When we first joined, I was working part time, my kids were 3 and 1 years old and I was lucky that a meeting was Wednesday mornings at a local park district a few blocks from my house – so it was easy to attend.
I packed up the double stroller every Wednesday and walked over – left the double stroller upstairs (the meeting was in the lower level) and brought a blanket and toys to entertain my kids during the meeting.
Sometimes that worked, other times, if they were too disruptive I would leave the meeting early (but most times it worked out!). There were 2 people who were at the weigh in table and one person in particular, her name was Carolyn, was my favorite and I would wait in line for her if I had to.
She became my biggest cheerleader and was always happy to see me. I think that kept me motivated during the week because she was so invested in my journey! If there was no one else in line, we could chat for a few minutes before the meeting and she always was so nice to me!
Joining with my twin sister Biz was probably the best idea for us. We actually owned a 2-flat – she and her daughter Hannah lived upstairs and my family lived downstairs. Sometimes if there was a particular food we liked that wasn’t available in stores, we would order a case of it, have it shipped to our house and divide it (Kashi Cereal, Erin Bakers Breakfast Cookies, Krusteaz pancake mix to name a few!)
We also were able to workout together – sometimes before work – sometimes after work – which was always fun having 3 little kids running around while we were trying to do Tae-bo!
We also loved the concept of counting points for food – and how to use them wisely. When we lost weight in 1999 – the focus was on high fiber foods, the higher the fiber, the lower the points. Over the years WW has changed many times – keeping up with new science and ways to lose weight.
But how do you stick to it????
I wish I could say, I kept off that 70 pounds – but after my 3rd baby was born, I gained a lot back during pregnancy BUT – I did keep off some and never got back up to my highest weight of 217 (I am 184 now) so I’ve got that going for me!
I wanted to offer some tips that have helped me over the years and how to make this a lifelong journey that is sustainable!
Tip One: Eat food you love!
Eat foods you love!! One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting out, is cold turkey cutting out everything they like and treat it as a diet (hard boiled egg for breakfast, salad for lunch, chicken, broccoli and rice for dinner) – if I see one more what I eat in a day for weight loss with boring foods – I am going to lose it! LOL
If you eat cereal every day for breakfast, maybe switch to a cereal that’s healthier and add things like chia seeds, hemp hearts and fresh fruit on top. Or if you eat McDonald’s McMuffin with egg – make your own version at home, with Thomas Brand English Muffins, a fried egg cooked with cooking spray instead of butter, turkey sausage instead of pork sausage). It not only is better for you but you control the ingredients!
Spending your whole weight loss eating too little food, eating foods that you don’t enjoy, then what happens when you get to goal? You can’t sustain it, because you used short cuts that didn’t work. Eating foods you love while losing weight makes it a lifelong probability of staying at goal.
Tip Two: Try new foods!
Try new fruits and vegetables. Before I started my original food blog (www.slim-shoppin.com) back in 2008, I was the PICKIEST eater! I hated most vegetables. I liked carrots, celery, and green beans and that was about it! I challenged myself to buy a new vegetable at the store, look up how to make it and go from there.
Guess what? It turned out I liked WAY more than I thought I would. Asparagus, onions, peppers, spaghetti squash, peas, edamame, broccoli, and so many more! It opened up a whole new world of what I could make for me (and my family) and I loved getting creative with these new foods.
Tip Three: Keep trigger foods out of your house!
Keep foods out of your house that are trigger foods. Most of us got overweight due to emotional eating, being stressed out, or just being tired and not wanting to put effort into what we are putting in our mouth! If I had cookies, candy, donuts, icecream, cheetos, etc. then I could easily eat a bunch of cookies instead of pausing, asking myself what is the problem is and redirecting my thoughts.
That was a WW technique a few weeks ago and we talked about what to do when you want to eat everything in sight. Call a friend instead, having something healthy on hand to eat, go outside for a walk, garden, do your nails, etc. until that feeling goes away (which is sometimes only temporary).
Tip Four: Share your journey outloud!
Include people around you what YOUR health goals are. You aren’t asking anyone else to change what they are doing, but you want to make changes and need support. Many times I would start a weight loss journey on my own, without telling anyone in case I failed, then I wouldn’t have to feel like I let people down (which wouldn’t be the case anyways – since my family has always been supportive!)
If you are in a situation where you aren’t the person who cooks for yourself – try to get involved in the meal planning or ask if things can be prepared a different way. Over time, people will recognize that this is what you want your lifestyle to be and it will become normal to them.
Tip Five: Eat more at home
Try to limit meals outside of the house. My family always orders pizza every Friday night and I look forward to it all week! If we were to then order takeout, or get fast food on top of that several times every week, it’s hard to make your healthy habits sustainable and weight loss much harder.
If you are new to cooking or meal prepping, keep it simple! I love Lisa from Downshiftology – I’ve used her meal prepping techniques for the last several years – she meal preps ingredients that she can use in different ways during the week. Check out her fall meal prep here!
Some other ideas is make quinoa or rice to make a quick stir fry, cooking potatoes, or chopping up vegetables in advance so it’s easy to add to a salad, or soup. My friend Nikki who has lost 70 pounds on WW has a great video on what she does to meal prep – check out that video here.
My sister Biz and my niece Hannah also have great menu plans if you are looking for inspiration too! Check out those here!
Tip 6: You have to care!
The biggest change for me, is that I genuinely care about my body, what I am eating and getting movement in. We’ve all been there when things are going great in the beginning and the next thing you know, you’ve eaten a bag of cheetos and you tell yourself “I don’t care” which gives you permission to go off plan.
When I feel like I’m going to go off plan, I take a look at my journal I’ve been writing in, all the inspirational quotes I’ve added and I quickly take a step back and remind myself, I DO CARE and I’m WORTH THE EFFORT! 😍😍
I have the most amazing journal! You can get it on Amazon Here. (for $17.28)
Tip 7: Think of your future!
Starting a health journey at any age is important, but the earlier you start your future self will thank you!!! I want to go into my later years, being active, and independent, and being able to do what I want. Not spending my time in doctor offices, medications, and limited to what I can do, or relying on other people to help me.
I am 55 years old, and I want the next 40 years (yes I can live until 95 😂) to be the best yet. Thinking of a health journey in that way, makes me excited to keep going. Do you know Joan McDonald? Her daughter is a body builder and encouraged her mom at age 70 to start eating better and lifing weights. She is now 75 and in the best shape of her life! Check out her website HERE.
Tip 8: Take progress photos and measurements!
The scale can be deceptive through this journey and you may think you aren’t making progress, but you are! We lose inches along the way and taking photos throughout so you can actually see the difference can be inspiring and also keep you going when you want to give up.
Here’s a side by side of when I was probably at my heaviest vs. now. I’m always learning, always making new goals for myself and I’m having a great time along the way! 😍😍
What are some of your reasons for sticking to your healthy eating/or weight loss plan?
Let’s get the comments started! I would love to hear what your goals are and what keeps you going 😄
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