My issues with food started in my childhood. I was a picky eater that was addicted to junk food. In hindsight, I can see that the behaviors I displayed back then set me up for failure as an adult. I never cared much about ‘meals’, but present a dessert, a bag of Cheez Doodles or a package of cheap, hard, cream filled sandwich cookies (preferably lemon) to me and I was in heaven. I could survive on processed, high carbohydrate foods without giving protein, fiber or vitamins a second thought. My mother baked and cooked most of our meals from scratch. I thought ‘homemade’ was so old fashioned. I didn’t want baked macaroni and cheese, give me the processed Kraft macaroni and cheese! You know, the throwback kind in the skinny box that came with cheese powder and was a neon orange color. She made us eat shredded wheat, raisin bran and cornflakes. The day my father brought home Pop Tarts you’d think he’d been found guilty of child abuse. My mother wanted us to eat healthfully and prepared nutritious meals. As a child, I wanted no parts of that. I carried those behaviors into my teen and adult years. Needless to say those high carb, fast food and processed food habits landed me on the door step of 300lbs. My journey has been going on for about a decade now. I’ve hit several plateaus along the way. Fortunately I never put the weight back on. Once i lost it, I lost it. I just got ‘stuck’, or my effort level wasn’t enough to produce actual results. I commend those that can lose 100+ lbs in a year. It took me nearly ten years to lose 120 lbs, but I am more than thankful for the journey and the knowledge I’ve learned along the way. I’m only about 25-30 lbs from my goal weight/size. Whichever comes first!
One of my favorite quotes is from G. I. Joe. “Knowing is Half the Battle”. You can’t successfully overcome any issue without fully understanding what is causing it. Being REAL with yourself about your workouts, what you’re eating and drinking is the bottom line. Track your food intake until you get this weight loss thing down pat. Stop worrying about your hair, what other people think or how expensive your sneakers and athletic wear is. Educate yourself, there are too many free, reliable resources found on the internet to be ignorant about health and nutrition.
I’ve used Weight Watchers, appetite suppressants, protein meal replacement shakes, as tools in my journey. These were just TOOLS. I had to put in the work. Having a support system is great. But someone else should not determine how well you progress on your weightloss/health journey. At the very least you should invest in:
A gym membership, (there are a few nationwide franchises that offer $10/monthly memberships, There may be a planet fitness franchise in your area) OR Fitness DVDS (collagevideo.com is an EXCELLENT online source) OR Create your own gym at home (kettle bells, jump rope, resistance bands, etc are great if you don’t have a lot of room)
Also: a heart rate monitor, a good pair of sneakers, a good sports bra all are essential. (When I couldn’t afford a good sports bra, I wore two cheap ones at a time) .
Find a Zumba class, or fitness boot camp in your area to help add variety to your regimen.I don’t skip breakfast, skipping breakfast sets your day up for failure. Other than my protein shakes I choose not to drink my calories. Soda, tea, alcoholic beverages, and juice consumption are limited. Try diluting your favorite juice blend with a flavored club soda or sparkling water. Fruit infused water is another of my favorites. A crockpot is soooo old school but comes in handy. You can prepare healthy meals for yourself or your family with a little bit of prep work. Soups, stews, chili and other one pot meals are right at your fingertips.
I watch my carbohydrate intake. You don’t have to follow a low carb lifestyle, but limit the white: sugar, breads,potatoes and rice. Fruit and veggies are great NATURAL snacks. I enjoy eating and making kale chips and sweet potato chips.
Don’t eat what you don’t like. You’ll only be miserable trying to follow a ‘diet’ comprised of foods that you don’t enjoy. This is all about a lifestyle change that you can LIVE with.
Don’t worry about how you look to others when you start your fitness journey. Just do you. Don’t let self doubt hinder your success. Don’t allow the “I Can’ts” keep you from being the person that you want. I was fortunate to have a great trainer that pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I cried when I was mad at him for pushing me. I cried when he pushed me to success. I would have never believed that I could run a 5K or do a wall sit for 12 minutes. I’m not the ‘face’ of fitness. (And you don’t have to be either). The full hips and thighs on my ‘pear’ shape isn’t the status quo for fitness. And I’m perfectly OK with that. I am recreating the ‘face’ of fitness. This curvy, pear shaped African American woman is strong and determined and that is all that should matter.
I’m also trying my hand at blogging. Check my ‘baby’ blog out at www.fat2phat2fit.blogspot.com
Ladies, Weight loss blogging is a great way to share your story, share your struggles and share your success with others who are losing weight. I’ve created a quick guide to setting up your weight loss blog. Check it out.