Small habits lead to big changes

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Before I started losing weight I remember sitting in restaurants with my friends, my mother or my boyfriend, usually feeling self conscious and too big for the room. I wouldn’t make very much eye contact and I had already decided what I was going to eat the minute we decided where we would eat. I would order a pop, usually Dr. Pepper. I would always eat the bread, tortilla chips, or whatever appetizer was put on the table. I would eat everything on my plate until I was stuffed (usually something extremely high in carbs, lots of fried food, and of course smothered in cheese) and then I would hate myself for the next hour or so. I would feel full until the point of feeling sick and when that finally faded, I would plan my next meal. That was my life as a binge eater and that was my life at nearly 300lbs. My life was food. There is no secret formula to losing the weight. You are going to have decide that you want to make a change and then unless you’re getting a surgery or following a very specific and strict diet, you will start to make changes in your daily life. I suggest very small changes. I also suggest making them slowly and one at a time. I’m going to list some of the things I started doing and why I do them, more importantly than that I’m going to tell you why you’re not going to wake up one day and have healthy habits overnight and why you’re not going to stick to them 24/7. (Unless you’re incredibly badass.)

Trading Dr. Pepper for La Croix 

I know that sugary drinks are unbelievably delicious. I personally like Red Bull and Dr. Pepper. I like them very, very much. It was really hard for me when I started pulling those out of my diet completely. Actually, it felt pretty impossible. That is until I discovered fizzy water. To be clear, it is not a substitute for regular water. Drink your H20! Now there are bunch of different brands but what you want to make sure of is there is 0 calories, no sodium, no sweetener. I only buy La Croix or Perrier. Once you start writing down your calories and really committing to staying under a certain number. You’ll realize how fast the calories and sugar add up in drinks. Now when I have even a sip of a Coke at a movie or a taste when my husband has one. I cringe. It tastes like sugar syrup to me now. Just substitute fizzy water for your favorite sugary beverage for a week and I promise you will feel like a different person.

 

Why I eat on an appetizer plate 

One of the biggest hurdles for me was and is portion control. I could eat an ungodly amount of food in one sitting. When my mother would cook I would load up my plate and then go back for seconds or thirds if I felt so inclined. I was easily consuming 4000-6000 calories in one day. I had stretched my stomach out so far that it would actually hurt if I went too long without eating. Once I started educating myself on proper portions and even diving into macros, I knew I needed some help with eating too much of one thing. I started eating on small plates. Now this sounds too simple and most people say to me “That won’t help me. I’ll just get creative with how much I put on it.” Honestly? Then you don’t want it bad enough. There is no quick fix to ending a food addiction and there is definitely no quick fix with changing your eating habits. But I do insist that you try.

Now when I eat at home I always eat on our small appetizer plates. They are a little less than half the size of our normal plates and when I am serving myself I’m always aware that the only thing I can grab seconds of is vegetables. If you don’t have any smaller plates, run to Target and grab a small one on clearance for $1-$5. Try to use it whenever you’re even snacking at home.

Don’t eat out of a bag, don’t eat out of a container,
and be aware of what and how much you’re putting into your mouth.

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You will fail if your thoughts are negative 

Another thing I realized in the last year is how important your thoughts are and what kind of mind set you’re in. Diet is a very scary and silly word. You don’t need to eat zero carbs, you don’t need to only drink shakes, and you definitely don’t need to commit to never eating your favorite foods ever again. You’re living your life right now, you may be unhappy with your body but it is yours and you’re not going anywhere. Once I realized that the only thing that was going to work for me was time and willpower, it changed everything. When I wake up some mornings I want pancakes, some mornings I want to go the gym do some cardio, then come home and eat tuna and veggies. It is up to me to decide which one of those is going to get me closer to my goal.

Time is going to pass whether or not you’re eating well and working out. Think about where you’re at today and think about where you want to be. Whenever you’re faced with a choice do not beat yourself up if you choose the least healthy option. Sometimes you will need a margarita, or a loaf of bread, or some mac and cheese. Sometimes you’re going to feel motivated and enthusiastic about treating your body to a salad and a water. Don’t beat yourself up and don’t make your life all or nothing. Just be conscious of how you’re feeling and be conscious of why you’re making the decisions you’re making. Your situation is not helpless.

You do not have to accept the situation you are in and be a victim of poor choices. 

Being thinner doesn’t make you happier. Being hungry and thin is never what I wanted, I just wanted to be strong and healthy. I’m not where I want to be yet, I’m not at my goal weight. But I’m not sweating or breathing hard when I take the dog for a walk. I don’t plan every meal and think about food all day and I don’t feel disgusted when I look in the mirror or when someone snaps a picture of me. That came from personal growth on the inside more than my shrinking body on the outside.
Never hesitate to contact me for support, questions or help. About anything.
I love to hear everyone’s stories and I love to hear what works for you.

Stay Cheerful

-Dev

 

 

 

 

 

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