Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Chance to Change

Over the last several months, I've been asked about the foods I eat because I've lost 30 pounds and kept them off. I have to say that I made this a lifestyle and not a diet. That's important. Why? The foods you eat have to be foods you can live with every day. It's not possible to diet off the weight and then go back on the foods I ate before.

I began going to Weight Watchers Aug 11th, 2006. I lost weight very slowly by learning to try new foods, control my portion sizes, excercise (which I did prior), and learn to like vegetables in a huge array.

I thought I knew healthy food. I thought I understood how to feed my family. I learned I did not. I had to learn the skill of substitution. I also had to experiment with recipes to discover things I had never tried before. I decided that this would be an adventure.

It took me 3 1/2 years to walk in the door of a Weight Watchers meeting. It took me 8 months to lose 30 pounds. What was the magic? Recognizing I had a problem, and a closed mind, due to my own fears. I had to face my fear. The fear that I couldn't lose weight and if I failed, I had no hope. Then it would be my fault, my failure, my incompetence.

One day I asked myself, "If I do nothing, can I live with myself staying this way? Can I live with the knowledge that I didn't do everything in my power to avoid diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure? Could I take one more chance and try one more time?

I walked in the door. The ladies smiled at me and welcomed me warmly. They helped me overcome my fear of failure.

There were weeks I failed. The leaders taught me to refocus and keep working the plan, the decision I'd made.

Once I made the decision, I only had to manage the decision as John Maxwell teaches. I'd made the choice to change so all I had to do was get educated by people who could help me learn to change. I kept going even on bad days, bad weeks, and through the holidays. I kept on keeping on. Some weeks I gained. But most I lost. Some weeks I lost two tenths of a pound. Okay, a lot of weeks I lost only two tenths of a pound. I kept on.

And one day,in April, I met my goal. I could have stopped at any time. I could have given up on the week's I gained. I looked back to a year ago. One year ago I had only lost about 4 or 5 pounds after almost 3 months. I could have never joined. Where would I be? I'd be at least 30 pounds heavier, hurting from my legs, and unhappy with something about myself that I really did have the power to change.

I had to turn my face to a future hope. I kept that hope alive by focusing on that dream rather than on a bad day or week. When I thought about quitting, I looked back and asked myself, "If I never did more than the few pounds I've lost, is it enough? I've lost this much, look at that!" I turned my attitude for excitement at every little loss instead of an attitude of disappointment that the loss was too small. I changed my attitude of self-propogating failure to an attitude of praising small successes.

You know what that did? It gave me a new self-confidence and belief in my abilities as a side benefit. Wow!

One of the most significant changes, after attitude, I made was portion control. But I didn't want to be hungry. So I bought a new book on how to cook vegetables. Nope, not kidding. I read it and went shopping. I'd never really eaten a lot of vegies growing up. They were more like a colorful condiment than part of the meal.

The next major thing I did was add fiber. I changed my choices on breads and pastas. They had to have fiber and extra nutrients. AND, they had to taste good. So I thought other people might like to know the foods I found that actually taste good and can replace the foods I thought I couldn't live without.

Tomorrow, I'll share some of the brands and foods that I've taste-tested and found great!

Thanks for visiting:-)
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