Awareness + Accountability + Focus on Long-Term Goals vs. Short-Term Wants
It’s a pretty undisputed fact: Research has shown that people who keep track of what they eat and weigh are more likely to succeed at losing weight and keeping it off than those who don’t.
A New York Times article I re-read recently quoted a research expert who summarized it this way: “Self-tracking teaches people how their environment and behaviors affect their health, said Carly Pacanowski, a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow who studies eating behavior. “It’s a preventive daily strategy that always stays with you,” she said. “Over time, it provides a lot of interesting information. It lets people be more in the driver’s seat with regard to their health.”
I agree. Though keeping a daily food log and tracking your activity takes focus and consistency, and it doesn’t work for everyone.
If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you know that I believe the process of losing weight and keeping it off is PERSONAL — meaning what works for one person is not necessarily the answer for everyone. My overall approach to weight loss, as with most things that fall into the personal development category, is to “know thyself.” Read more
Wine. Peanut butter. Dessert. What do these three delightful things have in common in my world?
A) I LOVE them all! B) I’ve had a rocky relationship with each of them; C) I’ve learned a lot about myself and my body in exploration of, and with, them over the years; D) At least temporarily, I’ve broken up with each one of them; or E) All of the above.
Well, the answer is E — all of the above.
You might find this surprising, but I lost -211 lbs and 80% of my body fat on a diet program where I was NOT totally and completely deprived of these three loves. After I hit my weight-loss goal, and as I’ve worked to maintain a healthy lifestyle, things have gotten more complicated and, yep, a bit rocky.
I’m sharing my personal story with wine, peanut butter and sugary desserts because I’m guessing many of you can relate. You, too, may have foods (or patterns related to food) that worked for you…for awhile — or at least you thought they did — and as you’ve evolved, changed, or as life happens — your relationship with certain foods may also needs to change.
What do I mean? Read more
And anyone who has lost massive weight and kept it off!
Finding the delicate balance between healthy living for life (weight maintenance) after massive weight loss and not going too extreme in the other direction is NOT easy. For many of us who have been obese for most of our adult lives, it requires intense self-awareness, focus, diligence, and learning to live and cope in new ways — without using food as a “go to” source of comfort.
On the one hand, it would be so easy to let things slide back into a slippery slope of using food as a crutch to meet emotional needs. Often, that is the addictive personality at work in us. We fear letting things slip to the point of resuming old eating patterns and putting the weight back on. And on the other hand, for many of us, it would be just as easy to become obsessed with watching our weight, working out to extremes, dieting for life, and not finding the new healthy that works for us — both for our bodies and our minds.
There are two extremes that many of us fear. It’s not as simple as losing the weight and going about your business. And if you think it will be, you will likely fall into one of these categories.
So when I see success stories of people who have not only lost massive weight but maintained it, and who are willing to share how difficult this process is, it makes me smile. And I want my blog readers to know this side of the story as well. Read more