Yes! 50 lbs.! So many positive changes have happened and I am only 1/3 of the way to my goal. My back never hurts any more. I still get up 2 – 3 times a night, but I’m sleeping deeper. I get up from a sitting position easier, walk up a flight of stairs without being breathless, look forward to walking…and my clothes! I had put away clothes that didn’t fit any more, took them out recently and found some of them were too big! What a wonderful discovery!
Do you want to know my secret? I DON’T HAVE ANY!!! Ali encouraged me to exercise, showed me the foods I should avoid, encouraged me to eat healthier and that’s it. No miracle pills, no fad diets, no expensive machinery. Living better! Every pound I lose is the encouragement I need to keep at it. And the comments, of course…have you lost weight? You look good – what’s different? Do you think I would shove potato chips and cupcakes into my mouth after hearing that???
The first day was the hardest day. The first week was the hardest week. After the first month it became second nature. I keep reminding myself (and so does Ali!) – This is not a diet. This is not a means to an end. This is the rest of my life. Which is no big sacrifice because I FEEL REALLY GOOD! I still have 100 lbs. to go. I’m not ready to buy a whole new wardrobe. My little black dress is still waiting patiently in the back of my closet. I know the next 50 pounds won’t come off as quickly as the first 50 did. What difference does it make? We have made major changes in my life and it is all good.
Would you like to know what I do? I will tell you, but remember – this is my plan. It works for me. It is healthy for me. I have no idea what is right for you. But I’m all for sharing.
First, here are the rules (please keep in mind I have to lose 150 lbs. This is the big leagues. I have to mean business):
• Exercise (walk) every day, unless I am sick. Rain and snow are no deterrent unless there is ice on the ground. I walk 20 minutes on work days and 30 minutes on the weekends. I often walk a lot more on weekends, depending on the weather and my mood and other obligations. If the weather is lousy or it’s dark out when I can finally fit it in, I walk in place indoors with Leslie Sansone on a DVD. But I prefer walking outside.
• I don’t eat out much, but when I do I order a salad with protein, like chicken or shrimp on top, a little vinegar for dressing. No bread. No soup. Eating out to me is like walking through a minefield – I want to know exactly where I’m going.
• I eat very little prepared, packaged food. I don’t add salt or sugar to anything. I gave up coffee. Actually, the only beverage I ever have is water, with the occasional exception to a small can of V8. It was hard giving up my glass of morning orange juice. Ali explained it was high in sugar and real fruit was so much better for me.There will be time for wine when I am 150 lbs. lighter and a whole lot healthier
• Breakfast is a grain, calcium and fruit
• Lunch is a sandwich (easy to pack for work)
• Dinner is a protein and lots of veggies and or a salad. I don’t have carbs at dinner
• Mid-morning at work I have 3 prunes and 5 almonds
• Mid-afternoon I might have the can of V8, but honestly, I rarely do any more. I’m just not hungry then.
• Nothing after dinner.
• I try to drink 64 oz. of water a day. I don’t always manage it.
Does this sound Spartan? It would have to me, too, before I started. Now it is normal and tasty and filling. I have gotten past the cravings. High fat, high sugar foods are now repugnant to me. They were poison to my well-being and I am so glad to be past them. Is this what it is like to finally be free of the clutches of alcohol or drugs?
I am not a machine. When Thanksgiving comes I will eat my world-famous stuffing and mashed potatoes and pumpkin bread. But you know what? I will probably feel sick afterwards. Just a little reminder from my body saying, let’s get back on track! So this would be a typical day for me:
– Tai Chi at 6:30 am, then
– Breakfast of 1 cup plain Cheerios, ¾ cup fat free milk, 1 cup sliced strawberries on top
– Around 10 am 3 prunes, 5 natural almonds
– 12 pm lunch of 2 slices 40 calorie whole wheat bread (nothing on it), with 2 slices of turkey, sliced tomato and Romaine lettuce. Also ½ cup sliced fruit or an apple.
– Walk for 20 minutes
– Snack mid-afternoon of a V8 (maybe)
– Dinner at 6 pm of ½ chicken breast cooked in Pam olive oil spray and lots of roasted or sautéed veggies, like peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes dumped on top and a salad with fat free dressing. No bread, pasta, rice, etc.
– Do arm exercises after dinner for about 10 minutes.
I change up what I eat all the time. Breakfast could be ½ cup fat free Ricotta cheese on 2 slices of whole wheat toast with sliced bananas on top. Maybe a good salad for lunch with a sliced hard- boiled egg (no bread) and then brown rice with dinner. Instead of chicken for dinner I may have salmon, but 2 – 3 dinners a week I eat vegetarian. I don’t eat beef, pork or lamb; just chicken or fish…a personal preference. I take vitamin D, B12 and a multi vitamin every day, with my doctor’s approval.
I will post some great recipes soon. Most of them are changed to my own tastes, habits and time constraints. Maybe they will help inspire you. Living well is a privilege and a pleasure; something to work hard at and be proud of achieving. I am on the road. I hope I see you there.