In this episode of The Half Size Me™ Show, Heather talks to Lindsey about
- how eating healthier helps with depression
- what her first key to weight loss was
- what were the steps she used to gain control over binge eating
- and much more!
In this episode of The Half Size Me™ Show, Heather talks to Lindsey about
I’ve always said I refuse to be a weight loss statistic.
What this means is I want to beat the odds of regaining weight. Oftentimes, we get so discouraged by hearing about the large number of people who regain their weight after substantial weight loss.
What I realized was there are some ways I can make myself successful in maintaining my weight loss. Over this past year, I had more challenges and wonderful celebrations than usual, but I still managed to keep the weight off.
I want to share with you some of what I’ve learned in my weight maintenance journey — the things I know were the most important to me this year. I’m going to start by recapping 2017 so you can understand why this year was a little trickier than others when it came to maintaining my weight.
A YEAR FILLED WITH CHANGE
From a family and life perspective, we paid off all of our debt. We had been following a modified Dave Ramsey approach for the past nine years and had been paying off various credit cards. This year, we bit the bullet and paid off the remainder of my student loan.
In total, we paid off $180,000 over the past 10 years between credit cards, car loans, and student loans. This is a huge victory, and it has brought many life changes. We are now focusing on selling our home and moving into an apartment to simplify our lives. By removing the house mortgage, we will be 100-percent debt free, and we’re extremely excited about this new phase in our lives.
On a physical note for me, this year also brought a lot of change. My menstrual cycle started to become extremely irregular. I spoke to my gynecologist about this on more than one occasion. She assured me I was too young (at 41) to be going through perimenopause.
However, I knew something was not right with my cycle, and there were other symptoms I was struggling with, like hot flashes at night, night sweats, breast tenderness, and generally feeling exhausted. She agreed to let me have a hormonal panel, and we found out my hormones suggest I am going through perimenopause. I have not used birth control in the past, but she recommended I start because they found a cyst on my ovaries.
I haven’t used birth control in a long time, but my doctor recommended I start because a cyst was found on one of my ovaries. Thankfuly, after I took the birth control for six weeks, the cyst disappeared. This was extremely good news, but all the stress and changes in my hormones caused my weight to fluctuate this year. I have usually not gone above 160 pounds, but I reached out to the Half Size Me community in November and shared with them how much I was struggling with my weight. I was hitting numbers I did not like — 161, 162.
My weight usually does not go above 160 pounds, but I reached out to the Half Size Me community in November and shared with them how much I was struggling with my weight. I was hitting numbers I did not like — 161, 162.
The reality is I know that if I don’t honor my commitment to keep my weight between 150 and 160, there’s a good chance it will just keep going up. I also know from experience that suffering in silence, keeping it to myself and hoping it will just get better never works. That behavior caused me to gain hundreds of pounds in the past.
So, I allowed myself to be vulnerable. I shared my truth and was able to get refocused. The scale started trending back down to under 160 (159.5 as of today).
As you can see, 2017 was full of wonderful things, scary things, and lots of life changes.
What I have learned is that we all are going to change. Our bodies will change, our lifestyles will change, and this is why I stay firm with my commitment to this statement:
To lose weight, you must do what you are willing to do for the rest of your life because this is the only way to know you will be consistent with it.
This year in My Fitness Pal, I hit over 1827 days straight of logging. No matter how crazy my life gets or how distracted I may be, I know I can be consistent with tracking my food. However, tracking my food does not mean I micromanage my food.
It means that when I eat a doughnut, I write it down. It means that when I have an extra piece of cake, I choose to put it into My Fitness Pal. It doesn’t mean that I “can’t” or “shouldn’t” eat certain things, and it doesn’t mean passing judgment. It means being consistent with journaling or tracking what I eat. That’s all.
I also give myself lots of permission to switch out the ways I journal my food. So, if I were to list the things I find are the most helpful for weight loss, the ones that are imperative for weight maintenance, the number one thing would be consistency.
Find a way that you can consistently manage your food. Make it something you are willing to keep up with, day in and day out. For me, it’s tracking calories or points or portion sizes, but I always track. Always.
…AND MIX IT UP
The next thing I find to be important to maintain is finding new ways to keep it interesting. This year, I did a lot of fun physical activities. I added in Yin Yoga. I did a jump rope competition in the summer and a pushup challenge with the Half Size Me listeners and followers.
All of these activities were fun and made my exercise regimen way more enjoyable. I find that by adding in different forms of exercise or giving myself new things to focus on, it keeps the journey exciting and helpful to me.
BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND…
Another thing I recommend focusing your attention on — and this is the one that affects all the others — is your mindset. If you find yourself struggling with the “all or nothing” mentality, with perfectionism, with beating yourself up for not doing a good job, then you need to work on cultivating your relationship with yourself. You need to become your own best friend.
This year, I became Heather’s best friend more than ever. This doesn’t mean any “woo-woo” fluffy stuff. What it does mean is, for example, if I don’t make Heather’s lunch for tomorrow, she probably won’t be able to make as good a choice. I know that situation stresses Heather out a lot, so I’m not going to make her deal with that. I’m going to watch out for her.
Being your own best friend means knowing your own areas of weakness, knowing the areas where you need support the most, and being proactive. That way, you set yourself up for your best-case scenario, and it helps you avoid your worst-case scenario.
…AND LET OTHERS HELP YOU
The last tip I want to offer is that you DO NOT do this alone! I lost weight with support, and I maintain my weight with support. I do not go at it alone. I’ve given that up. I’ve given up telling myself, “I should be able to do this. I’m a smart person. I don’t need anyone. I’m capable. I can do this on my own.”
I used to believe those things, but what I’ve learned is that attitude does not set us up for success with weight loss or weight maintenance. And this year, more than ever, reaching out to the Half Size Me community pulled me back from a possible cliff I did not want to fall over. I know my weakness is food. I know that when I’m stressed, tired, exhausted or frustrated, I’m more than likely going to gravitate toward food.
I need to have safety precautions in place, so that when I feel myself slipping, I have people to reach out to — a place where I know I can be myself, where I know they get me, and where I don’t feel like a freak.
So, that’s exactly what I did. I reached out to the Half Size Me community, spilled my guts, shared my reality, told them about the cyst on my ovaries, the birth control pills, the weight, all of it — and I felt free. Free enough to start making better choices.
So, these are a few the tips I wanted share with you after maintaining for six years. Don’t think that someday it will all just get easier. It won’t because your life doesn’t stay stagnant; it’s constantly changing. Your body is constantly changing. What I have learned this year is that just because my body changes, it doesn’t mean I have to become a statistic. It just means I may have to change a little bit of what I’m doing to make those changes work for me.
I hope you are having much success in your journey. If you need any support, you are more than welcome to join us in the Half Size Me Community. If you would like to work with me personally, you can click here.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Guest Post By LaToya Gay
Whether you’re getting started with a new weight loss plan or you’re nearly to your goal, distractions can easily derail your hard-earned progress in no time at all. Luckily, there are a lot of ways you can manage and minimize distractions to help you stay focused on your goals.
Distractions can come in many guises. For example, taking on an extra project at work, coaching your kids’ soccer team or simple boredom with your current weight loss plan can all distract you from your goal of losing weight. Unfortunately, some distractions seem unavoidable, and so we tend to use them as excuses to ditch our fitness plans.
As we all know, it’s much harder to get back into a routine you’ve abandoned than it is to stay the course and keep moving toward your goal. Here are some great tips for keeping distractions from tempting you out of your weight loss program.
Get a Buddy
As you progress through your fitness plan, it can get easier and easier to talk yourself into cheating a little bit here and there. You tell yourself you’re too tired to hit the gym after work, or you can skip your morning run “just this once,” or it’s okay to ditch your diet for the day because you did so well all week.
Skipping out on workouts and creating unplanned cheat days are the easiest ways to let your weight loss program drift off track. Before you know it, every day will become a cheat day, and you won’t remember the last time you worked out.
One great way to stick with your plan, even in difficult times, is to get an accountability buddy for your fitness plan. Your fitness buddy can be anyone. You can hire a trainer at the gym to help you increase your fitness level, or ask a friend to run with you a few times per week. Either way, it’s much harder to ditch your plan when you know someone else is waiting for you to show up.
If you don’t know anyone you can ask to be your fitness buddy, you can try an app such as FitCliq. It helps to match you with other people looking for a workout partner.
Track Your Progress
If you’re in the middle of a weight loss plan and you’re finding it harder and harder to stay motivated as you move forward, it can be helpful to stay aware of exactly how far you’ve come.
Tracking the changes in your health and fitness can be highly motivating. Try using a program such as My Medical to track all of your health records. Then, at a glance, you can check your medical history and test results and remember how far you’ve come toward your fitness goals.
If you’re nervous about accessing your medical records through an on online app, you can protect your information by using a Virtual Private Network to encrypt your data and ensure it is safe from anyone else who might try to access the information without your consent.
Say “No” More Often
If you’re a person who is constantly volunteering or being asked to help out with things, you probably often find yourself running from one activity to the next, without any “me” time in sight.
All too often when we realize we’ve overcommitted ourselves and find time running short, our health and fitness plans are the first thing to get cut from the schedule. To find success with your weight loss plan, you need to make your fitness commitments to yourself a higher priority than other invitations that come along.
Remember, the word “no” is a complete sentence. If someone asks you to do something, you can say no without offering a lengthy explanation. Your commitment to improving your health is one of the most important commitments in your life. Honor it as such, and don’t allow requests from other people to derail your plan. You deserve to be healthy, and you deserve whatever time you’ve decided to commit to your goal.
Make It Fun
Doing the same workout over and over, similar to eating the same foods repeatedly, can get extremely boring quickly. When you don’t feel motivated to do your normal workout, it’s probably time to try something new. Check out a new workout on a popularYouTube fitness channel. Or drop in on a local fitness class such as Zumba or Pilates. Many places offer a free trial class to new students.
If you’ve fallen into a meal planning rut and you’re tired of eating the same baked chicken and steamed vegetables, consider testing out a meal delivery service. Even if you don’t decide to stick with it long-term, it can provide excellent variety in the short-term and give you some new recipes for your healthy cooking arsenal. Getting your meals delivered can also provide an extra treat that makes cooking something you can look forward to.
Life has a way of creating roadblocks for any goal you set for yourself. The question is, how committed are you to losing the weight and changing your life? If you make the commitment to real change, then no distraction will be able to slow you down.
Leave a reply in the comments to tell us your favorite method of eliminating distractions and staying focused on your goal.
She knows how difficult it is to stay committed to a weight loss plan from personal experience, so she hopes to help those in similar situations with her writing.
You can find more from LaToya at ehealthinformer.com
All right, public service announcement time. I am begging you to please stop starving yourselves. I hit my screen weight — which, if you’re in the maintenance world, you know that is the highest end of where you want to be — on April 22; it was 160.6. I don’t want to go over 160, so I decided I was going to reel in my eating, and I didn’t do anything crazy.
I looked at my average burn on my Fitbit, and it was between 2,200 and 2,400 calories — sometimes a little bit higher, but usually within those two numbers. I took a 500-calorie deficit, which puts me near 1,800 or 1,900 calories a day. I stayed in that vicinity, and I went from 160.6 down to 158.8, to 157.76, to 156.4.
The reason I want to share this with you is because I ate almost 3,000 calories on Mother’s Day. I really didn’t think I was going to lose weight that week. This is what’s important: You don’t have to do extremes. I have several of my clients right now adding calories back in because they had gone so extreme for so long, now they can’t lose weight. We actually have to start to increase their calories, because there’s nowhere else for them to go.
The other thing I really want to talk to you about is protein. I push almost every one of my female clients to eat more protein, and there’s a reason for that. Protein is not used by your body the same way carbohydrates and fat are. When you’re eating carbohydrates, there’s a certain amount of calories lost in the process of breaking it down, so you don’t actually get calorie for calorie what you would with a carbohydrate or fat.
I personally eat at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight. This makes a huge difference. For me, being about 158, I try to eat about 158 grams of protein. Now, if you are 200 or 300 pounds, and you’ve got a lot of weight to lose, that’s an extreme amount of protein to be eating. In that case, even just shooting for what you want your goal weight to be — say you know you want to get to 150 —would even be a better marker. I guarantee you, if you pay attention to your tracking, most of you are probably way under on your protein, especially if you’re female.
I’m coming to you because I care. I really, really, really care, and I have so many people coming to me, saying their moms are starving themselves. They’ve been on repeat yo-yo diets. They don’t understand why they’re eating so little and not losing weight. It’s because they have slowed down their metabolism, and it has adapted.
To actually fix the problem, they need to start eating more, so that way they can go ahead and later take a cut and actually get where they want to be. It’s much better to lose more than a pound per week, like I’ve been doing, on a diet of 1,800 calories than it would be if I had to eat 1,200 calories. But I couldn’t do that if my metabolism had been slowed down because I’d starved myself prior to this. I had to be eating close to my maintenance calories and taking good care of my metabolism.
Make sure you have an idea of what your daily burn is. If you don’t have a Fitbit or some kind of a device, there are tons of good calculators out there. One, Fat 2 Fit Ratio, has a really good TDEE calculator. The Scooby Workshop has another good one. It will give you an idea of where you should be. Then, look at what you’ve been doing and see what the difference is.
If you’re burning 2,500 calories a day doing your activities, depending on your body weight and height, in theory you should be able to eat around 2,000 calories and lose a pound a week. If you can’t, then this might be a good opportunity for you to start to increase your calorie consumption, so that later you can take that cut. It’s so much more rewarding to eat more and lose weight.
Look at your protein. Make sure you’re getting enough. Your body needs it.
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