Tag Archives: lifestyle change

Tips on Maintenance from a Professional

Today’s post is from my friend at the Ravenously Disappearing Woman.

Yesterday, was an education day at the bariatric center. The behavior modification specialist did a wonderful presentation on maintaining weight loss.  Though I’m only 1/3 of the way through the program, preparing to sustain my recent and future weight loss is crucial.  I’ve lost and gained in the past because once I’d reached my goal, I’d slowly return to my old way of eating.  This time I have way too much invested, in terms of health risks and the overall cost of this endeavor to return to old habits.

Unfortunately, I’m aware that chronic obesity is a disorder that has no real quick fix and no long-term cure.  The only way to stay at a healthy weight for life is to be ever-vigilant of food choices, portions and physical activity. It sounds incredibly daunting to do for a lifetime, doesn’t it?  However, I’m trying to re-wire my brain to view chronic obesity as something that must be controlled, like high blood pressure or asthma.  Just as must take my asthma medication and avoid potential asthma triggers, I’m equally bound to make the right food choices, practice portion control, and exercise daily.  Here are some of the wonderful tips that I learned to aid in maintaining weight loss:

  • Journal all food and drinks that you consume at the time you eat or drink them.  This helps to keep you mindful of what you’re putting in your body.  If your journal isn’t nearby, write down what you’ve had on a scrap sheet of paper and transfer the info to your journal later.
  • Exercise and engage in physical activities, at least 30 minutes per day, but make your exercise plan realistic for your lifestyle.  Find the time of day that suits your schedule.  If you choose to workout at a gym or wellness center, be certain that it’s close enough to your home that you’ll actually feel like driving there.  I remember learning in a college fitness course that statistics have shown that people who live more than 15 minutes from their place of exercise are more likely to skip working out.
  • Actively Practice Portion Control.  Learn what an appropriate portion size is.  Web MD offers a great portion size guide.  I’ve printed this and keep it on my refrigerator.  Using smaller plates, cups and bowls that contrast the color of your food give the appearance of a fuller plate.  If you eat out at restaurants ask for a to-go box with your meal and put half of it to take home for the next day.
  • Plan your meals and snacks weekly. This will decrease your likelihood of making impulse decisions about food choices.  It will also teach you to not use food for immediate gratification, because you’ll know what and when you’ll be eating.
  • Remember that you are in control of what you eat. Choose carefully the foods that you allow in your home.  Don’t allow others to talk, or guilt, you into eating foods that could jeopardize your success.
  • Practice mindful eating.  In doing this, you should be aware of what and how much you’re eating.  Additionally, you should be eating in the moment and not chowing down mindlessly in front of the TV or computer.  Focus on your food and take the time to enjoy the fuel that you’re giving your body.
  • Identify the things that trigger your overeating.   Avoid situations that may cause sensory stimulation like the sight or smell of food. The Food Network channel is probably not the best thing to watch!  If avoiding a trigger is impossible, plan ahead to have a healthy alternative.  Also, realize that sometimes the things that our body craves are really signals of something else that our body actually needs.  If you’re craving something salty, you may actually be thirsty.  If you’re snacking because you’re overly tired, you probably need protein.
  • Learn from previous weight loss failures. Think about the choices that you made the last time you lost and regained and don’t repeat your mistakes.  I thought I could go back to my normal style of eating and still magically keep my weight off.  Boy, was I wrong!  Read all of the information that you find on maintaining weight loss.  There are so many great online resources on weight maintenance you’ll never run out of material!

AND FINALLY…

  • Focus on the health of your one and only body!  Just focusing on the number on the scale won’t do.  Lot’s of people decrease that number through unhealthy means.  Think about yourself as an entire, beautiful, amazing package that thrives on healthy, well-portioned meals and activity to keep going.

What do you think?  Do you have any other tips for long-term weight maintenance that could be added to the list?  Tell me about it below! :)

 

Share it: Successful Weight Loss Maintenance

Punctuated with a Blossom

This morning Mother Nature wrapped up my pruning posts, punctuating them with a big, pink bow–er .  . . blossom.

One of my favorite rose bushes looked decidedly unhealthy this spring. I watered it, feed it, watched it, but it didn’t regain health. In desperation I pruned it almost to the ground, hoping to give it a chance at growing properly even though the time for cutting back seemed long past.

At first I wondered if the bush would be a little sticky stump all summer. Then suddenly it shot up, three long branches climbing toward the sky. A few days ago I noticed buds. They looked a little strange on the edges, and I wondered if they would even unfold.

Here’s what greeted us this morning:

roses backyard 1

Not only had the bush survived the harsh cutting of the shears, it offered what may be the most beautiful and fragrant blossoms of any of my 8 rose bushes.

The deep pruning produced great dividends.

If you read those two pruning posts earlier in the week, (Cutting Away and Another Lesson from the Roses), you know what I’m trying to say. Sometimes we make choices for health–inside and out–that seem drastic.

Big changes.

A deep cutting away.

And though there may be a season where it seems all for naught, eventually wise change produces great return.

rose back yard 2

Don’t give up on your journey to better health, my friends. The joyful results are breath-taking as you reclaim your life.

Tweet this post:

Wise change brings breath-taking beauty

(PS. If all this pruning talk makes you think of other areas of your life, not just sugar or McDonald’s french fries, you might want to tune in on Sunday. Several years ago I wrote a devotion about pruning. I’ve decided to share that tomorrow on Spirit Seeker Sunday.)

Weight Loss Journey Day 30

green apples

Apple pie on the way!

Thanksgiving! (Remember, these posts were written a couple of months ago.)

Today is not about counting calories, even though I do.

I don’t count to stay within a plan, I count to make it up later, so I can even out my week on other days.

Apple pie. Cinnamon rolls. (And let me tell you, I make the best!) Turkey and dressing.

I enjoy it all.

But . . . I don’t eat until my stomach hurts, and this is maybe a first EVER on Thanksgiving.

Real Time Update:

I love that I continued to lose weight through the holidays without feeling deprived. My BeNew did its job. I kept walking. When I indulged in food that was heavier than usual, I savored every bite–then was more intentional to eat well the next meal or the next day. The weight kept dropping off.

That’s one of the best lessons I’m learning–to enjoy my food without becoming over full and to balance a turkey and dressing day with a day of lots of fruit and veggies. For me, weight loss can’t be about deprivation. I can’t live that way long term. But (barring catastrophe) I can eat healthier and move more for the rest of my life.

This is about life change, not just dropping a few pounds to look good in a mother-of-the-bride dress. When that happens, it will just be a fringe benefit.