Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer Reruns - The Sequel

Just like a horror movie, I'm back with another rerun!

(This post is about 2.5 years old, but still holds very true to me.  Although, I will say I've had a little trouble with not always ordering the small size...I definitely need to get back to that for everything!)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Thinking Beyond the Diet

Very early on, when I started my diet "this time" (as opposed to my countless other diets over the decades), I became aware of the concept of maintenance, thanks in part to Lynn.  I'd stumbled upon her blog, saw that she had lost a lot of weight...and was keeping it off.  It was a light bulb moment for me - oh, people actually go on a diet, lose weight and STAY thin?  What a concept!  Sounds a bit silly, but truly, how many times have you gone on a diet with a goal weight in mind?  And changed your eating habits just until you hit that goal weight?  Yeah, I think we've all done that.

Because of that light bulb moment, I kept the idea of maintenance in mind the entire time I was losing weight.  I tried to think about how I was going to keep the weight off - and as my diet evolved over the months and months that it took me to lose 100 pounds, I constantly asked myself  "am I going to be able to keep eating like this?" after I was "done" with the diet.  If I honestly didn't think it was something I could keep up, I looked for alternatives.  And that's how I eventually stumbled into the way I eat now...I tried out different things, I read tons of successful bloggers and how they were eating, and I even *gasp* read a few books along the way.

These are some of the lifestyle changes that I made as I lost the weight and consider them my "standards" now:

Eat breakfast.  I never used to do that.  Over time, I switched from eating no breakfast, to eating a Yoplait fat-free yogurt with Kashi cereal, to now eating Greek yogurt with either fresh fruit or dried cranberries and some homemade granola.   While I loved the Yoplait back then, I can't even stand the smell now - it's too artificial and sweet to me.  But the first few times I tried Greek yogurt?  Yuck.  It was too sour for me.  Now, I love it.  Tastes change, and as I ate less and less processed food, I ended up not liking the chemical taste that comes with so much of the diet foods. 

I don't eat fast food anymore - haven't had McDonalds or Taco Bell (my old mainstays) in years.  Seriously!  I keep an emergency Clif Bar and a couple 100-calorie bags of almonds in my purse, in case I happen to be out and lunch is delayed, but I rarely have to break into my stash because I try to plan my meals, even on busy days.  I know things can get away from us, and that seems to be the excuse I see when dieters end up "having" to do a fast-food drive thru, but really - aren't you worth the extra few minutes to either fix yourself something healthy (it doesn't have to be involved...lord knows, I'm the queen of simple when it comes to meals) or have a little something (like the nuts or a bar) to tide yourself over until you CAN eat a regular meal?

When you are having something (usually a treat) where you can choose the size, always go for the small.  On the rare occasion that I get an ice cream, I order a small.  EVEN THOUGH my mind tries to trick me by saying "you hardly ever get ice cream...go for the double" - I get a small.  Same goes for something (somewhat) healthy, like a smoothie.  Jenny and I used to run for smoothies, and after 4 or 5 miles, that large smoothie had my name all over it!  But a small is what I ordered, bargaining with myself that I could order something else if I was still hungry afterward.  Which, of course, I wasn't.  It's not always an easy thing to order the small, but in the end, I'm usually glad I did.

The last thing that I have to work hard at doing is splitting my meals and sharing my treats.  I'm a first-born and don't share well.  This is not a natural concept for me, STILL.  But by sharing some tortilla chips with Jeff at Chipolte, say, means that I can have a few without going overboard.  Same for the burger and fries that we routinely split on Friday nights...I get to eat something that is definitely more on the decadent side without blowing my maintenance to smithereens.  Same for desserts - while it's rare that we have anything other than frozen yogurt, if we do order a dessert, it's always split.  And as for that frozen yogurt...heck no, I don't split that!  I am, however, working hard to make sure I can still see the sides of the cup after I've filled it...those self-serves places are a blessing and a curse!

I'm not a professional dieter, I just play one on the internets.  What works for me may not work for you.  However, this IS working for me, and if you are looking to make some permanent changes in your weight, why not give it a try...after all, what do you have to lose?


  1. This is such a good idea to re-run some of your best articles! Such nuggets of wisdom--its helpful to me to read and see that we have some of the same good habits, and also some ideas for me to try (or renew, like ordering small :) ) Also fun to read that your thought process was JUST LIKE MINE when you started--it had to be a forever change.

  2. Tony never used to eat breakfast and normally didn't eat until well after 1 in the afternoon - I never understood how he did that because if I don't eat within 15 minutes of getting up I can't get going! Loving the re-runs!

  3. As a newer follower of your blog I'm loving these 're-run' posts :)

    I did the same as you when I was in active weight loss phase-focused on the long term/maintenance. I was losing the weight to stabilize my glucose numbers and I knew this was something I'd have to do for the rest of my life. Looking ahead all the time really kept me focused, and I'm now two years into maintenance and still going strong :)

    On a side note-I actually never eat in the morning. I do an IF protocol as part of my maintenance plan, and I usually break my daily fast at around noon for the day. For me it works best to eat all my calories in the afternoon/early evening. And I eat fast food all the time hehe :) I really enjoy eating out and I knew from the beginning that I had to learn how to work it in, in order to not set myself up for failure. At the end of the day, we each need to figure out what works best for us, and then run with it!

  4. Lots of great advice! I accidentally practiced your size advice several weeks ago. I had failed to plan and was way too hungry. I stopped at a fast food restaurant and ordered a kids meal - small cheeseburger and small fries. The old me was thinking I'd still be hungry and needed a value sized meal. But guess what? It was plenty of food for my lunch and didn't make me feel miserable!

    1. It's funny, even when I'm SURE the small size won't be enough, it almost always is. Kudos for making such a good choice!

  5. After reading the recent re-runs, I think it might be really helpful for me to take some time to go back and read your archives periodically. Thanks for the insights!

    1. You know, sometimes I'll be searching for something in my archives, and reread a post and think "oh yeah, that was a good idea" - so I should do the same!

  6. The last year I am really bad at eating breakfast, I often skip it. I have learned to bring some to work and eat later but at the weekends I often don't eat before lunch. I'm just not hungry. I know it's not good though.

    Portions are so huge in the US. When I see a meal that is split it's often the meal you get when you order something here.

  7. You're choosing some gems to re-run. Honestly, those are tips everyone can use, dieting or not! I say that because I am discovering as I get *ahem* older, I truly need less food. If I'm being honest, I am full after way less than what I previously would have eaten.

  8. I suspect a lot of people would be more successful in the long run if they thought of maintenance the whole time they were losing weight. Great choice to re-run!


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