Hi everyone, well it is my five-year anniversary since I discovered I had some huge health problems and was pre-diabetic! In the past 5 years I've lost 50 or so pounds (I never weighed myself and actually I did not weigh myself for the first year that I went through these diet changes), so I'm making a "guess" on my weight loss. I've eliminated my pre-diabetes merely through diet and lifestyle changes. Of course I feel a million times better. And I am proud to say that I'm still as committed and motivated to keep making the changes that I need to make, as I was 5 years ago. Although I'm not as terrified as I was 5 years ago ;-)
I've been going around and around on what I've learned in these past five years that I could share to help others. Honestly I probably could write a book here but I really want to narrow down the points that I think are really important. I will say these past 5 years have been years of intense change, intense growth and a huge amount of faith. I've learned that you can do things you never thought you could do, it's just a matter of changing your mindset.
So here is what I have learned in the past five years
- It has to be about making healthy changes, not losing weight. Of course you will loose weight when you change your diet BUT your weight will go up and down, you might not lose what you deemed you want, you might not lose as fast as you want, etc. So do not focus on a number, focus on healthy choices. I am actually glad I did not weigh myself that first year. I never expected to lose the kind of weight I did, so I was just focused on doing the work I needed to do.
- Exercise is very important for your health but as far as weight loss goes (for me anyways) diet is everything. I say 80% diet, 20% exercise.
- Low-carb, paleo, wholefood 30, etc. is NOT a meat-fest. As a matter of fact if you eat too much protein your body can't assimilate it and it turns into sugar. Protein and fat are really import to our health but you have to focus on vegetable, (& I do not mean potatoes and corn). I still keep my plate 70% veggies (a lot of greens) 10% protein, 10% fat and 10% everything else. I HATED cauliflower when I started this and now eat it 4-5 times a week. I drink vinegar water now. Heck I drink fresh celery juice every morning and I do not have dessert every day. I was not this girl 5 years ago!!
- Sleep is everything. That and distressing. Lack of sleep and stress throws your hormones and leptin so out of whack, it can make it almost impossible to lose weight. So focus on your sleep and finding ways to let your stress go and soothe yourself. Which by the way, find ways to treat yourself that does not involve food. This was a biggie for me. I didn't realize how much I used food (especially sugar) to calm myself until I gave it up. Boy was that hard. Fresh flowers became a big treat for me. At-home facials and skincare (Korean 10 steps) has been my treat lately.
- Water. Drink water. Did I say drink water? Drink WATER . Water, enough said.
- Take the time to find out what your trigger foods are. At first it seems everything is a trigger food but in time you will learn you live without certain food and there are some foods you cannot control yourself around. For me bread, really good fresh bread, is my trigger food. So I only have 2-3 times a year (& really enjoy the heck out of it when I do).
- Plan your treats. I tend to have mine on the weekends. I try not to give into last minute cravings. Also I have 1 treat, not a whole day of treats. Lastly I make sure I eat really good the day before and after I have a treat.
- Don't stop. You're going to have setbacks, you're going to have days when you feel like a failure, you're going to have days when you are not motivated but just keep going. Keep pushing against that wall. Focus on the long term, not today. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
If you want to read my 5 yr journey check out my Bloom posts. I have to say that I am really proud of myself because I have maintain this weight loss/lifestyle. That is success in itself. If that's all I ever do is just maintain I will consider that I've won the day. It should be very interesting to see what the next 5 Years bring!