It used to be that I would reward my weight loss efforts by indulging in a cheat day. That’s all in that past now because I’ve learned to offer myself much better rewards. You shouldn’t reward yourself with food because it is meant to keep us alive; it doesn’t provide any other value other than to sustain life. This was very difficult for me because I love food. I don’t like cooking, but I certainly love eating. Here’s what I’ve learned by rewarding myself with food.
It Thwarts Your Efforts
If you reward yourself with food, it’s not conducive to your weight loss efforts. What does that mean? It means that you’re undoing all of your hard work because you’re participating in a reward that’s simply not good for you. It may seem like a good idea to reward yourself with a cupcake or some other treat, but, believe me when I tell you, it’s not worth it. Do you know how much exercise you have to do to burn off those calories? Forget that!
It Keeps You in a Vicious Cycle
How is rewarding yourself with food any different than emotional eating? It isn’t! If you’re going to be successful, you need to change your entire outlook on food. This is so freakin’ hard to do! Since I was diagnosed with diabetes, I’ve cut a lot of food out of my diet but I kept a few things despite how unhealthy they are.
You’re More Likely to Binge
If you’re going to reward yourself with food, you must keep in mind that you’re more likely to binge. I know I would if I were to reward myself with pizza or anything else for that matter. You can tell yourself that you’re just going to have one of this or one of that, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to stop there. Sugar and all of that other crap have a way of tricking us into eating more than we need. Before you know it, you’ve binged on pizza, cake, cookies, or whatever. Don’t take the chance!
You definitely need to reward yourself for a job well done; just don’t do it with food. I have my rewards set up in 10-pound increments because that works for me. You have to find out what works best for you and go from there. Here are some ideas for rewards that don’t include undoing all of your hard work:
Small shopping spree or you know, a trip to Target alone 😉
A day off from housework (this is one of my favorites!)
Girls day out (with a healthy lunch)
Day trip to somewhere new with the family (get them involved as much as possible)
Like I said, you need to create a reward system based on what works for you. These rewards are things that I absolutely love to do so they work for me. I’ve even started to reward myself with a brisk walk/run these days. It’s amazing how awesome exercise makes me feel and I want to feel that every chance I get!
Before I get into this post, let me be clear on a few things. I’m still fat and yes, I’m fat. Fat isn’t a dirty word. It’s a fact. We all have fat; some more than others. Don’t go getting all offended because I’m talking about myself. I’m not a personal trainer, nutritionist, or anything else. What I am is a real woman, a wife, mother, who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes back in July. I’m a real person, a fat person, who’s busting her ass to lose weight the natural way. What does that mean? It means I’m not taking any pills (other than my prescribed medication), using any special food, drinking shakes, or doing wraps. I’m eating right and getting off my ass more. Now that that’s done, here’s my weight loss advice.
Don’t Wait Until You’re Sick
This is what I did. I tried losing weight about a million and one times before my diagnosis but it never stuck. This time, I don’t have a choice. That’s kind of a good thing for me because when my back’s against the wall I come out fighting. But, I shouldn’t have let it get this far. There are days when I feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle and that no matter how hard I try, nothing works. You’re going to have those days no matter what, but if you wait until you’re sick, you’re faced with the fact that you don’t have a choice anymore.
Be Brutally Honest with Yourself
This is so freakin’ hard but oh so necessary. I took a long, hard look at myself in the days after I was diagnosed and I didn’t like what I saw. I saw that I was lazy when it came to taking care of myself, but what was worse was that I realized I didn’t love myself. I have so much love for everyone in my life but I didn’t have that same love for myself. It’s time to face facts and get honest.
I started this blog for that reason and to hold myself accountable. I put it all out there on social media, everywhere. I’m a fairly open person anyway, about most things, but it was really hard for me to put my weight out there for the world to see. But, as hard as it was to do that, the compliments mean so much more! People are more accepting than we give them credit for and most of them want to see you succeed.
Don’t be Easily Discouraged
I don’t care what anyone tells you, there is no quick fix for weight loss! Got it? There’s no pill, shake, or wrap that’s going to make you lose weight without you putting in some elbow grease of your own. So, forget about all that crap right now. With that said, you’re going to feel discouraged from time to time; that’s to be expected. You’re going to have days where your food is on point and your workout was amazing and the scale either doesn’t move or goes up. After losing more than 30 pounds, I still have days like this.
Don’t let days like that get to you. The more you move, the more muscle you’re using and building. Even if the scale stays the same or goes up, listen to your clothes. They’re going to tell you how you’re doing overall. The scale doesn’t know the difference between fat and muscle and your weight doesn’t define the effort you’ve put into getting healthy.
Don’t Use Fad Diets or Gimmicks
You already know these things don’t work so don’t waste your hard-earned money on them. Weight loss is a $20+ billion industry and it shouldn’t be. The only way you’re going to lose weight and get healthy is by eating better and exercising. Who says Cize is better than running around your neighborhood? No one! In fact, getting outside is more beneficial than staying inside anyway. Fresh air and sunshine do a world of good for your mood and your body. The only time I exercise inside is when it’s raining. Of course, this will probably change once winter sets in and it’s -20 degrees outside.
Hard work is the key to success – no matter what you do in life. Weight loss isn’t any different. In fact, you just might have to work harder to lose weight than anything else. Check this out – as we get older, our bodies start to turn against us especially if we’re not healthy. It gets harder to lose weight, concentrate, see, hear, you name it. Don’t let that discourage you though! If you bust your ass to get healthy now, that’s one less thing you have to do later in life.
Keep a Blog or Journal
You need a place to get your thoughts out, which is what this blog is for me. It’s my online journal that allows me to speak my mind about my weight loss journey, what’s working, what isn’t, what I’ve learned, etc. I’ve learned patterns from keeping this blog and it’s helped me hold myself accountable and learn so much more about myself. You need something like this during your journey, too. It’s therapeutic to get your thoughts out of your brain and you’ll sleep a lot better. If you’re not ready to put it all out there for the world, keep a paper journal instead. You need that outlet.
It’s so much easier to lose weight when you have the support of your friends and family. I received a ton of support from my Facebook friends when I put it all out there. I was blown away! My husband is my biggest supporter, my kids are second, and then it’s my mom and my friends. I couldn’t do this if I didn’t have their support. You need people in your life who want to see you succeed and who are willing to help you get there. My husband has heard me bitch, moan, groan, and complain about everything that bothers me, weight loss related or not. I also started a Facebook page where I share motivational and inspirational photos so be sure to head over and give it a like.
Log Everything You Eat
If you eat something, write it down! I use Lose It! to log all of my food and exercise. I love this app for a ton of reasons. It has a barcode scanner so you can just scan in the foods you eat. It also has the ability to use your location to pull up restaurants near you if you’re eating out. The app is free but I have a premium subscription because I use the other features as well. I log my blood sugar and track my carbs, which are premium features.
There are a bunch of weight loss apps out there, and I’ve tried a few of them, but I always end up using Lose It!. Do you have that one app you’re drawn to? Yeah, that’s how it is for me with Lose It!. I love everything about that app!
Make Small Changes
I’m here to tell you right now that if you go all gung-ho on this crap you’re going to fail. I’ve done this a million and one times, remember? So, I know. This time, I took the entire month of August to work on my food. I changed my breads and pastas to whole grain, I cut sugar out of my coffee, and I started eating Fiber One bars for my snack. I worked on portion control. August was the month of food for me – there wasn’t any exercise. I’ve never done that before but it seems to have worked this time.
I’m really comfortable with food now and eating anywhere other than home doesn’t scare me like it used to. I know what’s good for me and what isn’t. I also didn’t give up everything. I still get my iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts and that won’t change. Yes, they’re not good for me but I don’t want to deny myself of everything I enjoy; I just get one instead of 2 or 3.
The beginning of September, I started adding exercise. My FitBit Charge HR helps keep me on track with my movement, calories burned, and miles walked. It’s great motivation for me and I participate in challenges to increase my motivation.
NEVER, EVER GIVE UP!
No matter how you feel or what the scales says, never, ever give up! Now is the time for you to take care of and love yourself. If you don’t support you how can you expect anyone else to support you? Think of yourself as your best friend. Would you give up on them? Would you talk negatively to them? No you wouldn’t. You would love, support, and encourage them to always do their best. That’s where you need to be with yourself!
I’m sure you’re sitting there saying it’s hard to do that, and I know it is, but it’s essential. You have to love yourself if you’re ever going to take care of yourself the right way. Stop making excuses for this, that, and the other. Do what needs to be done and you’ll thank yourself for it later. Now is the time! Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed so don’t put it off.
Shew – so, that’s my weight loss advice. This fat girl won’t be fat for too much longer and I won’t ever be fat again. It took type 2 diabetes for me to finally get here but don’t let that happen to you. All of this is real advice from a real woman who’s doing it this way. But, if you don’t want to listen, that’s up to you. I’ll still be here, losing weight, my way. I’ve lost more than 30 pounds since August 1 so I must be doing something right!
Good luck on your journey and I’m always here if you need support, encouragement, or a shoulder! We’re in this together – don’t forget that.
I’ve been in the vicious cycle of emotional eating for all of my adult life. Anything that happens in my life always leads to food. Family get-togethers, celebrations, sad affairs, stressful events, you name it – there’s food involved. My family gets together to eat all the time and mostly for no reason at all other than to eat together. My grandmother has this saying, “Food is all we’ve got.” My family is full of hearty eaters.
When I was growing up, I dealt with some pretty traumatic events in my life. In fact, I’m still in therapy so I can deal with everything properly and finally leave them in the past. It’s somewhat amazing how one thing can affect you in ways you never imagined for the rest of your life. I have trust issues, food issues, and many more issues to discuss. Anyway, I believe these events led me to emotional eating because there was nothing else to do. I felt like I had no one talk to about the things that were happening in my life when I was growing up.
My family is very judgmental and it irritates the living hell out of me. I work hard every day to not judge others because I know how it feels. I’m an accepting person who definitely has and isn’t afraid to share opinions. I think my emotional eating has gotten more severe as I’ve gotten older. I think that’s because I never dealt with my many issues before now.
I have a good life; it’s not the best and could always be better, but it’s a good life. I have an awesome husband who supports me in everything I do, no matter how stupid he might think it is. I have 2 boys who would do anything in the world for me and me for them, and I have a few close friends who are always there for me. I have a great job working from home and I work with some really amazing people. One would think that I have everything, and I do, except for a healthy lifestyle and a normal outlook on certain things.
Food is the one thing that’s never let me down. No matter what, it’s always been there and tasted amazing. However, I’m learning to not have any expectations on anything. No expectations means no disappointment. I used food for comfort because it never made me feel like a burden. To this day, I have a difficult time telling others my problems because I don’t want to burden them with my issues. I’m learning to overcome that, too, and that’s very difficult. I don’t feel that way with food. Food doesn’t ask questions, it doesn’t judge me, it doesn’t poke fun at me.
You have no idea how difficult it is for me to make this and my weight public. I’m so afraid of what others are going to think of me. I can hear some of the negative comments now. But, I can’t let that keep me from being the best possible me. I have to grow a thicker skin and remember that when others criticize me it’s because they’re insecure about themselves. I need to start thinking of food as an acquaintance and not a friend. It’s something that sustains life not something to make me happy.
Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I built my life.- J.K. Rowling