Coach Jen shared my post yesterday and someone posted a comment, asking if I'd do a post on nutrition, some things I've learned or things that work for me. I thought it was a good idea to share some things I've learned, so here we go!
Over the last year and a half I've learned that a lot of people have
advice on weight loss, much like pregnancy and everyone has something to
chip in. You have to take everything with a grain of salt and find what works for you. I was overwhelmed at first with everything I heard but I've taken some to heart.
I've been asked a few times what my secret has been. I'm at the point
where I get a little blunt. Secret? Really? It's a little frustrating
when people think there is a big secret, a magic pill or fad diet that
works. Some folks want the the easiest and fastest way to lose
weight...and part of me feels like they think I had to take a short cut
to lose the weight, it's slightly insulting.
Other people truly want to know what they can do. What I tell both
groups...I don't have a secret. The thing is, losing weight and
keeping it off is not easy, at all. It takes a lot of hard work and
My first bit of advice, if you don't know, find someone who does. Coach Jen and I talked early on and agreed it would be good to find a registered dietitian. She pointed me in the direction of Beth Shutt,
who is awesome. Beth walked me through my eating habits, and we took
"baby steps"...focusing on one area to improve on as we went along. Working with Beth has helped me immensely. A lot of what she told me I already knew, a lot of it is common sense, but hearing it helps. Things like...
- Counting calories, carbs or fat grams are not as important as the
quality and quantity of food that you eat. I did find it helpful to
measure my portions.
I was told that once I quit eating junk food I would see it tastes like
crap. I admit, I've gone a few times to grab something quick. And it's
always a mistake. It makes me nauseous.
- Alcohol does in fact have calories. I miss beer, but it's 100% unneeded calories.
- Drink water, lots of water. I drink 6-8 24oz bottles of water a day.
- I eat more often than I used to. I'm putting healthier options in my body, fueling the machine so to speak.
- Television makes me hungry. All the food
related commercials don't help, at all. The restaurant industry doesn't
care if you're fat. Their job is to sell what they make and turn a
profit, not help you get healthy.
- Running is a great way to lose weight. Running is easier when you have
good shoes...thanks to Mark at Runners High n Tri for showing me that.
I learned I couldn't do it alone. I should have mentioned this yesterday, while I put in the work I wasn't alone. I've been blessed with an amazing support
system...a kick ass coach, fatastic mentor, awesome friends and a loving
and supportive family! No way I would be where I am today with out
each and every one of them.
I learned that you will never lose weight because
someone tells you to. Not your doctor, not family members, not the love of your life. I can't tell you the number of times since Pam
and I have been together that she wanted to get healthy and wanted me
to join her. Sometimes I tried. Other times, I sabotaged her. At
the time I didn't see it that way...now, I do. I regret doing that. You have to make the decision to get healthy...and you need to do it for you.
Sure I lost weight for Pam and the girls, but I did it for me. I am selfish and want to be with them as long as I can. Being healthy gives me a much better shot at that. Once I started to lose weight, I wondered why I didn't do it years ago.
I fought the feeling of regret a lot the first few months I was losing
weight. I got over it be realizing I have one life, who knows how long I
have. No one can predict how long they'll live. Instead of regretting
what I could or should have done, I decided to enjoy every second I
have with Pam, K and PG.
When I weighed in over 300lbs I used to curse seat makers on buses,
trains and airlines because I didn't fit into them. I don't think I'll
ever lose the feeling I had when I'd get on the blue line, or when I
watched people get on and see the one empty seat next to the fat guy. I
would see folks cringe or shoot me dirty looks. I hated that. I
couldn't see my feet while standing up and couldn't touch my toes, or
tie my shoes without sitting down. Kneeling became very difficult. I
learned that being fat is not natural. I was overweight and lost weight,
I feel happier and more confident.
There is no greater feeling than realizing you fit into a pair of pants
that did not fit you a couple of months ago. What's better than that? Having to buy new clothes! I so need to go replace my wardrobe! Anyone want to go shopping? A very close third...watching someone you know, who hasn't seen
you in a while, walk by you and do a double take because they don't
recognize you is awesome! I had this happen at the Illinois 1/2 Marathon. Saw an old friend along the course and watching her expression change from "who the eff is that yelling at me" to "hey, I know that guy!!!" was awesome!
The failure rate for dieters is high. Even successful dieters often gain
the weight back. I've lost over 100lbs and have been fearful of falling off the wagon and gaining it back. As time passes I gain more confidence. I won't gain it back. I am stronger than my urge to stuff my face. I feel like
I've been given a second chance and I'm not going to squander it.
The hard work pays off. Anyone can do what I did. You have to be ready
and committed to making a change. I say it often, the hardest part is
starting. Once you do, don't look back. You will have good days and good weeks, and you'll have bad days and bad weeks...don't dwell on the bad, know you'll have a good day soon. And enjoy the ride!
So get moving and make it happen! More later!