Whether you’ve been dieting for a short time or all your life, you know that life gets complicated. And, whenever things are complicated, it’s time to get back to the basics. What are the basics? The basics are the tried and true—those things you previously did that brought results and gave you satisfaction in accomplishing your goal(s). Losing weight is not always fun, and it isn’t always fast and easy. That’s why when you reach a plateau or something has thrown you off track in losing weight, get back to the basics.
Start where you are. Be sure to drink more water throughout the day (at least 8 ounces). Cut back on your carb intake. Eat more vegetables and fruits. Eat smaller portions of protein. Get in some type of exercise—walking, aerobics, etc. Recognize you’ll need to eliminate the things that have gotten you off track. (No, you really don’t need that donut). Most importantly, strengthen your resolve by renewing your thinking. You can do this. It’s a matter of getting back to the basics, sticking with them, and soon you’ll be enjoying good results.
We’re just such creatures of habit. We always return to the ‘scene of the ‘crime’. In this case, the crime of eating off plan to placate our taste buds. Whenever situations, good or bad arise, what food do you desire most? I dare say it’s probably not carrots and celery. Most likely it’s cookies, cakes, pizza, etc. Why is that? Because we’re creatures of habit, and we’ve instilled the habit for the ‘go to’ foods when we’re stressed, pressured, sad, or even happy. It’s time to break the chain of habit and replace it with better choices. Instead of sweets that are not only high in calories and sugar, etc., fix a fruit smoothie. It’ll give you the natural sweetness of fruit plus some protein if you use milk or almond milk or add a powdered protein, but please, no soy. Add more healthy benefits with chia seeds, flaxseed meal, a little coconut oil, perhaps a banana, and either raw honey or stevia. Especially with the summer heat, healthy fruit smoothies will satisfy the needed sweet taste and provide protein and needed energy.
So often we run our lives on EMPTY with family, kids, school, jobs, and anything else we’re involved in. A LOT of the time we stay on empty because we fail to REFUEL. You don’t expect your car to go 500 miles on a tank of gasoline, right? We can’t expect our bodies and our minds to continue operating at maximum level if we’re on EMPTY. What usually happens is we stuff in the ‘feel good’ foods. You know, those ‘comfort’ foods, and we just keep running. But as we’ve all discovered, we soon hit the wall of tiredness, exhaustion, extreme fatigue, forgetfulness, and exasperation. It’s not good to run on EMPTY but that’s what we’ve done. We haven’t given our bodies the food it really needs. We’ve tricked ourselves into thinking we’re good to go when we can’t even think straight.
Most likely it’s because we’re not eating properly. Carbs can’t and don’t sustain you for the long haul. They’ll have you flying around and then drop you like a ton of bricks. Protein, on the other hand, will deliver what your body needs and continue providing for good performance where all systems are go. Start trimming back the carbs and go for the protein and good vegetables. They’ll make your body happy and it’ll work better for you. You’ll also be happier in the long run
Yesterday I had to pick up a particular item at Target. I zoom in, heading for the aisle I needed. As I approached an aisle facing me on the left, I saw many people standing around gazing at the items on the shelves. Even a store employee led someone to the area as well. All the activity got my attention so I turned to see what was so special about the things on those shelves. CANDY. It was all of the Easter leftover candy that had been designated to those shelves. What wasn’t surprising was that each shelf displayed a 50% OFF sign. I can appreciate a good sale, but I continued walking while processing it all. That’s when I noticed something sad. The majority of people gawking and pawing at the 50% off candy were very overweight. I understand their excitement because they’re saving money, but I also thought how sad. Just because something is 50% OFF doesn’t mean it’s a good healthy choice for you. Don’t fall for the hype. Go for the good, healthy foods instead.
It’s funny the kind of conversations you can overhear when you step into an elevator. We had entered a building elevator and a family group followed. We had already punched the floor number we needed, and the main spokesman for the group, or in this case spokeswoman, informed the rest of her family and us that here in the south, you don’t punch the floor number you need. You mash the button for the floor number you need. They all exited the elevator before we did, and I turned to Jack and said “I’ve never heard that ‘southern’ term mash. Had you?” He hadn’t either. Needless to say, in our 32 years back here in the South, we’d never heard that term. Just goes to show you, you don’t always know everything especially when visiting a new area. Now as far as mashing those buttons go, think I’ll just mash the lock on our front door.
By the way, the fire pit tonight (shown in the picture) looks like the perfect place to enjoy some smores, but alas no smores ingredients with us. Oh, well, think I’ll just go mash the room lights and check my emails.
Happened to hear an advertisement on the local television station and along with pictures to entice you further. What did concern me was the tag “Making Your Dreams A Reality…At The Sugar Factory”. Oh, mercy! Can the Sugar Factory really make all my dreams a reality? I doubt it, but the hype advertising leaves you interested in just what they might have, and maybe you could indulge just a little. We didn’t search out the Sugar Factory. We don’t need any further enticement to eat off our plan. We can do that fine on our own. Perhaps a little treat here and there might be okay, but it’s a slippery slope so we would say use caution. You an enjoy a sweet taste in so many other natural ways. Yep, gotta get back to finishing the Trader Joe’s orange we brought. What better treat is that here in paradise, the Keys.
The Super Bowl came and went. Golf tournaments came and went. The Daytona 500 came and went. Other sports activities came and went. Were you part of the cheering crowds who, while watching their favorite sports, were participating in mindless eating? Hey, it’s all too familiar to most of us because we’ve been guilty of it. It’s the intensity of the game that causes you to reach your hand into the bag of chips and stuff them into your mouth without realizing how much you are really eating. It’s the this is what I always do and what I always eat routine or the I might not get to eat this again syndrome that makes you salivate at the thought of wings or nachos or cheese dip, chips, salsa, cookies, or gooey brownies, right? Opps, sorry. But what happens when we eat mindlessly? We’re just stuffing things in (empty calories) without really needing them. We’re using those trigger events to yell for our comfort foods—ones that make us feel good whether our team or person is doing well or not. It’s important to make mindful and enjoyable food choices. Sometimes you just have to say NO to the trigger foods and find alternatives that are enjoyable and healthier for you. Here’s to diminishing mindless eating. Are you with me?
Now that you’re losing weight doesn’t mean you can totally back off and eat whatever you want. We’ve tried that before and it doesn’t work well. In fact, we gained some weight back. I think we probably used the excuse that we could and so we did. Ugh! Any excuse is not a good excuse, and just because you can doesn’t mean you should. But, IF you do fall into this temporary side track, shake it off and get back on plan. The regret is not what you can’t have. The motivation is what you choose not to eat right now to reach the better goal of weight loss and better health. It’s too easy to gain weight, so let’s not use any excuses. Carry on with your eating/exercise plan!
You don’t have to go off your diet or healthy eating when you plan ahead. And this is helpful whether you’re working or taking a vacation. We’ve talked about this before as an excuse, but we’re adding some helpful suggestions that you can incorporate into your busy schedule. Recently we scheduled a week at the beach but knew we would have to stay on plan and walk a lot so what did we do? We planned ahead and made some meals that we took in our cooler. Yes, it took several hours the day before we left, but the results were worth it, and I might add, we totally enjoyed having the heat-n-eat meals for lunch and dinner. We didn’t have to add to our expenses by going out to eat which could tempt us to eat what we shouldn’t. So, when you’ve got a trip planned, and if you have a kitchen available where you’re headed, figure out what you will eat before you leave. Once you have that set, you can get the food items you need and prepare them ahead of time. Remember, you can always freeze what you are making and take it frozen, then just defrost, heat, and enjoy a quick an easy meal while enjoying new surroundings…maybe even at the beach. It’s just a matter of doing the prep work. (By the way, we took a pot of ground turkey chili with organic kidney and black beans, some steamed broccoli florets, kale, zucchini, celery, green beans, and seasoned ground turkey to add to some Trader Joe’s Vegetable Broth for a healthy soup).
We’re just impatient people for the most part. Granted, some of us have longer periods of endurance than others but at some point we all yell “I’m tired of this!” Have you been there, especially in the dieting arena? You know the scenario I’m sure—the seemingly skimpy salads with yucky dressing, carrot and celery sticks for snacks, or worse yet (in my opinion) the flavorless rice cakes. I get tired of these things, too. If you’re on a weight-loss journey, you’re going to have to deal with being tired of the same stuff day after day. It goes with the territory. That’s when you need a boost of thankfulness. Not so much being thankful for the stuff you aren’t at this moment enjoying but thankful that you can appreciate what is placed before you and profit from it. Yes, even in your weakest time with your emotions saying you’re just tired of eating like this, you can see a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. We forget to be thankful that we do have taste buds to enjoy flavors and textures. I’m reminded of a scripture that says not to grow weary in well doing. Doing a diet, no matter what the plan includes, demands at the center of following through, we’re thankful that we have breath, that we can enjoy all of God’s goodness, and that we have a plan for better health. Change your thinking and recognize that you can turn your ‘tired of this’ moments into celebrations of getting closer to your goal and wellness.