TOP 5 changes that I've made that I believe are here to stay and have contributed immensely to my success in having lost 160lbs.
1. Going out to eat is no longer an exciting, wonderful experience. In fact, it is much more of an annoyance. I have so much mistrust in the restaurant industry. Fake food, fake ingredients, unnecessary ingredients, ridiculous calorie content. I just dread the thought of one meal out meaning that I've eaten half my days worth of WW points on 1/2 a restaurant portion of something I could easily make at home for 1/4 the price, the sodium, calories, fat, and who knows what else they've hidden in there for "flavor." My list of acceptable restaurants is very short and therefore, is fairly boring. Being invited out to restaurants that aren't on my acceptable list is anxiety provoking. I hope that will change as times goes on so that I will be able to relax more in these situations. I will say that in the past few months I've chosen to, instead of ordering an entree' that I will pay a lot to just eat half of, I use these times to indulge in dessert for dinner. I usually order a slice of pie. It's a special occasion, and it's likely that I am saving calories and definitely $$. An added bonus is that one piece of pie fits into my belly much easier than a full dinner, so my skinny jeans stay skinny and I don't feel too full or bloated to enjoy the rest of the evening. ;o)
2. I plan for everything. I used to just fly by the seat of my pants. Eating whenever and wherever food was offered. And exercise? What's that?! Now, I keep a fully stocked gym bag in my trunk. I keep a bag of apples in the backseat. I pack my breakfast, and lunch, and dinner, and snacks for the day. I make gym rolls of my clothing as soon as they come out of the dryer and keep them ready to grab. I like cooking and prepping at this point. It was very difficult for me to start doing this, in the beginning it seemed like on overwhelming amount of work to be thinking so far ahead. Luckily, I stuck with it long enough to realize that the benefits FAR out weigh the effort. And it gets so much easier over time. At any moment in the day I can tell you what my next meal will be and what my exercise plan for that day is. I have superimposed the schedule of 3 of my local YMCA's so that at any point in the day I can jump into a class.
3. I lost the all or nothing attitude. I can't tell you how many times I failed at dieting because of one bad meal or day. Any little obstacle was a good reason to blow my whole diet out the water and start the next Monday...the next month,... the next New Year's resolution... Now, I still have good days and bad days when it comes to food and exercise, but I've realized that just making a conscious effort at all on a daily basis means that I have way more good days than bad. I do still succumb to the occasional binge. I recognize that they are mostly boredom driven. I forgive myself as quickly as possible and try to pick myself up, dust it off, pop my collar and move on like a boss...
4. I make time to be sweaty. I remember thinking that sweating and heart pounding were signs of a body in distress and should be avoided. Now, I feel that way about sitting in the movie theater so long that my legs get stiff. I get such an endorphin rush from killing it in my exercise routines. I notice very quickly now when my body is changing, for better or worse and can make adjustments. I used to be embarrassed about huffing and puffing and being sweaty, but that was because I was so out of shape. NOW my huff and puff, and sweaty is sexy as all get out! I WORKED OUT!
5. I talk about my struggle and success. I have found such an amazing support group of women who are so encouraging. We are able to be open and honest about our struggles and successes. I used to hide and cover up my feelings of failure and anxiety. I just stuffed food in to try and keep the disappointment I felt down. Being able to talk about how I'm feeling about myself has been such a relief. I don't have to make the world believe I am perfect. In fact, I don't even have to BE perfect! Being able be honest about who I am and what my flaws are has let me really focus on the things that are WONDERFUL about me. The things that ARE within my control and that has led to confidence, which I believe begets more success.