If you’ve read The Sh!t They Don’t Tell You (Part I), you’ll understand why I’m writing this. Dieting is hard, and what’s even harder is that there seems to be only two types of people in this world. The really fit, chipper ones, and the overweight, unhappy ones. Where are all the ones in the middle struggling to get from Person 2 to Person 1? Where is their advice and encouragement? Having someone with a 12 pack of abs yelling at me to eat a salad doesn’t do it for me, I need real experiences from people like Susie Smith down the road who just lost 30 pounds and still manages to pick the kids up from school. Well, guess what?! I may not be Ms. Smith, but I WAS Person 2 who became Person 1 and I’ve decided to share my dieting insight with the world… a second time.
IT’S LIKE RIDING A BIKE
Maybe the reason your past attempts haven’t worked is because you tried to go 7 days a week to the gym with a goal of running 8 miles on the treadmill. Rome wasn’t built in a day honey, and neither is your sexy bod. Fitness is like learning to ride a bike… it takes time. It’s a state of mind (although I hate that saying, it really is) that builds over time as you learn more about food and exercise. Start off small. Start by walking around the block a few times after work or going to the gym just once or twice a week. Not so hard, right? Then maybe incorporate another healthy thing into your life each week. Maybe next week you walk a little farther and substitute an apple for a bag of chips at lunch. Before you know it, you’ll be meal-prepping and running marathons (too much?).
THE KIDS IN NEW GUINEA AREN’T GOING TO EAT YOUR LEFTOVERS
I really had to tell myself this, which to this day still cracks me up. Maybe I’m the only one with this problem because I was raised in the South with parents who taught me not be wasteful, but I felt obligated to eat everything on my plate, even when I was full. DON’T DO THAT! Stop eating when you are full. Period. Eat slowly so that your stomach has time to digest the food (eliminating the whole “I feel nauseously fully” feeling after), and learn to recognize when you’re really full. Yes, you paid for it… I get it. But paying for it financially doesn’t mean your hips have to pay for it physically. It’s paid for either way and in the long run you’ll learn better portion size, saving you money in the future. And no, little orphan kids from third world countries aren’t going to starve because you didn’t finish your plate. I’ve never understood that saying but believe me when I say you are not contributing to world hunger when you decide you’ve had enough.
LITTLE PLATE, LITTLE BELLY
In correlation with the above paragraph, I’d say start small. To this day I still eat my meals on a bread and butter plate. In fact, dinner plates have become almost obsolete at my place! Our brains are so used to super-sized everything that we think we’ve got to load up to be happy, and we really don’t. And if you’re like me, you think you’ve got to eat everything on your plate and that plate better be full to start with. Eliminate that problem by using a salad or b&b plate. Go on, fill that sucker up too. I guarantee you 9 times out of 10 you’ll feel satisfied after finishing that plate if you take your time and eat slow. And if you don’t, you can always go back for seconds.
NOT ALL HEALTHY ITEMS ARE HEALTHY
Just because a PR firm did a fantastic job at marketing something as healthy doesn’t mean it really is. Read the label! And surprisingly enough, some actual “healthy” foods are really high in calories. And before some nutrition guru yells at me, I realize there are a million other ways and more important components than calories, but… calorie counting is how I successfully lost weight, so it’s what I’m sharing with you. For instance, did you know that most bananas have 90 t 140+ calories each? Sure, they’re great for you, but if counting calories is your method of attack here, you may want to cut back to 1/2 a banana on your oatmeal in the mornings. Some other high-in-calorie “healthy” items include avocado (full of good fat, though), granola (SUPER high in calories so lay off it on the morning parfaits), and Orange Juice (high in calories and sugar).
THE HOLY GRAIL OF WORKING OUT
I’m about to tell you something that will change your life. Brace yourself. There is this thing… called pre-workout. I don’t know how I didn’t hear about it when I was struggling at 5am every morning for 4 months straight trying to burn my ass off in the apartment gym, but it’s amazing. Pre-workout is a powder that you mix with your water to help get you amped for your workout and some also help you recover after. It was a game changer for me because I REALLY struggle to get pumped for the gym and then want to quit most days about half way through, if not sooner. Not anymore! I mix my little pre-workout up about 15 minutes before my workout and am on my way, sweating and lifting in rhythm with Shinedown radio on Pandora. Do some research on different products (I’ll review some of my favorites in a later post) and be sure to take the minimum amount the first time so your heart doesn’t explode or you decide to lift the entire weight racks for curls.
I’m not much of a selfie person, but I am SO glad I decided to take a “before” photo on day 1. There were so many times that I didn’t feel like I had made any progress, but once I compared my current photo to where I began, it was crazy the difference! I took a photo once a week and would compare day 1 to each current photo, and also looked at the comparison between each week as well. It’s crazy how much progress you can make without knowing it (and sometimes without the scale even showing it).
YOU WILL WANT TO QUIT
There will be a time when you want to quit. Maybe you won’t see the results you wanted as quickly as you wanted, or you feel judged by your friends, or your husband isn’t supporting you like you had hoped, or you’re grumpy or tired or miss Kit-Kats. Whatever the reason, the day will come that you want to give up, and that’s okay. You’ll have a million reasons why you need to eat Ranch dressing on everything again and maybe you’ll slip up a few days. But let me remind you beautiful, that you need only one reason NOT to give up, and that reason is you. YOU are beautiful and great and determined and deserve to live and be the person you want to be. And you are so amazing that you can do it, I promise.