Sunday, October 29, 2017

The "Secret" To My Success... Very, Very, Very Long... Part TWO

Okay, now that the hard part is over, "The "Secret" To My Success... Very, Very, Very Long... Part ONE - READ THIS FIRST) , let's talk about what I'm doing and what I changed this time around to actually be successful with my weight loss and fitness.

This is the biggest and important change of all - I stopped all cheating cold turkey.

There are no more cheat days, cheat meals, cheat snacks etc. If it doesn't fit into my macros and calories then I don't eat it. The only exception will be Christmas day where I get one free day and even that won't be a free-for-all. It will be one meal and one small desert. NO binging!

Yes, not cheating is hard. It takes a lot of willpower and the first week is the absolute worst (the 2nd week isn't the greatest either) but I promise, it DOES get easier! The longer you don't cheat, the less you will want to.

You will need to take it one hour, one day, one pound at a time. Post about it all over Facebook if you have to, talk and talk and talk about it when you need it and it really does help to have someone who will stop you but let's back up for a minute. Here's in what I basically do....

1) I admitted to myself that I am a simple carb and sugar addict and I can NOT control myself when it comes to those foods so those foods are no longer part of my life. The longer I don't have them, the less I miss them. Not only do they make me break out with unhealthy skin and added pounds but they set of this chain reaction of binging. I haven't had any high carb foods in 143 days and I don't even want them at this point. And ever since I stopped eating them, I stopped binging.

It's kind of like being a drug addict. Simple carbs and sugar are my drug and I'm getting clean.

2) I count carbs, both total and net (carb total minus fiber). I track several macros including carbs, protein, fat, fiber and sugar. I stay under 49 total carbs and usually under 42 net carbs. Usually I'm in the mid-30's and upper 20's for net carbs although it varies throughout the week. I keep the fat higher and the protein somewhere between medium and high and get as much fiber as possible. The sugar naturally stays low because I don't eat unhealthy, sugary carbs.

3) I count calories. I keep it under 1300 calories a day. On days when I work out my calories have been going between 1250 and 1300 and on days that I don't work out I try to keep at about 1200 or under (since I'm short this is working for me).

I use MyFitnessPal for all my food tracking and absolutely love it. There are other places you can use but MFP is my long-standing favorite.

4) I weigh and measure all my food and all my ingredients. NOTHING goes in my mouth  until I know the calories and macros and everything get weighed down to the last almond. I have a lot of spacial perception issues (which sure is fun as an artist) and can never accurately estimate portion sizes so to be safe, it all gets weighed and measured and I'm used to it by now that it barely takes any time.

5) Exactly as the quote says I have changed my mindset on food. I'm choosing not to eat certain foods. I can have them if I really want to but I'm choosing not to because it will mess up my food plan and my weight loss and, because I know, it will probably make me feel like crap and not be worth it!

As an example, I found some mini Reese's dark chocolate peanut cups so I figured out that I could have one for so many carbs so I saved room for it and had one waiting to enjoy it. I'm still waiting. It didn't taste anywhere near as good as it used to and was really not worth it in the end. I'd rather fit in a small piece of some really good, high quality chocolate instead!

6) I've found substitutes for food I love. I started out with basic low carb/keto substitutes but it turns out that my Fibromyagia doesn't like alcohol sugars and they set off my fibro flares so all of those yummy things are out for me but they could be okay for you. You have to try numerous things to see what you like and what works for you. I did find some snacks without sugar alcohols and some recipes that I love and make often. Things like keto blueberry muffins make an amazing breakfast for me and I LOVE them!

7) Intermittent Fasting. Basically periods of time when you don't eat. I started mine without even realizing I was doing it. My last meal of the day is dinner at 5 pm and then I don't eat again until 8-9 am the next morning which gives me a 15-16 hour window of "fasting" and I'm asleep for most of it so win-win. Some people fast for 24 hours, some for longer, some for shorter. It's not necessary but it works for me!

8) I have people around me that support me and help me through the hard times. I have my family, my friends, my kids and my online communities. I have my Instagram which absolutely keeps me accountable as well as a private Faceboook exercise and "diet" board where everyone supports everyone else. I have the Facebook keto board which is an immeasurable help and I also have my trainer just a few clicks away.

I'm very, very lucky to be supported by some many people and I owe them a lot. That's one of the reasons I want to give back to others who might not get the same support or may need a little more. People help me and it's my turn to help others!

I also have this blog which also helps keep me accountable!

9) I set up rewards for every 30 days that I don't cheat. My first 4 "30-day" segments were rewarded with really cool weapons and my next 4 will be funny tanks tops (I already have one and just ordered the next).

You may need to set up more frequent rewards to make it work but 30 days works for me. If I could think if something little that I wanted (it can NOT be food!!!!) I may have done weekly rewards but I'm happy with what I'm doing and it definitely helps keep me on track!

10) I weigh in officially once a week (but I weigh myself every morning just to keep an eye the daily fluctuations) and I take my body measurements every 6 weeks or so. I also take progress photos every 13-15 or so pounds. I also post my weekly scale photo on Instagram and post my weight, measurements and progress pics on Instragram and my blog. That way, gain or lose, I'm still accountable for it!

11) I celebrate every victory that I can but I don't do it with food! I do it by, I don't know, I guess just being happy about it and posting online about it. So I lost a little less than half a pound some week... great... it's still a loss!

I lost more... awesome!

I went so many days without cheating... woohoo!

I was massively craving something and didn't give in... definitely something to be proud of!!

Look for the positives in what you're doing, NOT the negatives!

12) I celebrate NSV's (non-scale victories). Things like a smaller clothing size, clear skin, more energy, being able to lift a higher weight, being faster on your run...whatever it is! Whatever improvements you make, they need to count!

13) I exercise!! This is so, so important and you can do it any way you like and anywhere you like. If you like the gym and can afford it, great!! GO there!

If you prefer to work out at home, awesome! Work out there!

Do you want to run? Then run?

Do you hate to run and don't want to do cardio... okay, do some yoga! Lift some weights!

Who cares as long as you do something and enjoy yourself!!

Personally I do strength training (at home recently and am loving it), cardio because... well, it's not my favorite but I need it so I'm at least doing cardio I don't hate, and a long stretch with a lot of yoga poses thrown in. I don't run. I don't do Zumba, I don't really do classes. I do what I love (or like and deal with) and I'm happy with that!

14) This leads me to the next very important part... finding what works for you! I count calories and am low carb/keto (I'm not officially, strictly "keto" since I don't stay at 20 carbs and under so I usually just call it low carb/keto to be fair). But this won't work for everyone.

Someone may just want to count calories. Someone else might want to go Vegan. Someone may want to do Paleo and someone may just want to something entirely different. You have to find what works for YOU and not for someone else!

Personally, I truly believe that low crab/keto is the best thing in the world for me. It makes my fibro flares better, it obviously works for me for weight loss, my skin looked amazing up until something went wrong a few weeks ago (you can read back about it if you want but I still don't have an answer and don't see the Derm until the 14th so there's not too much posted about it) and I look and feel a decade younger!

But you have to find what will work for you! It may take some time and some experimentation or you can just decide on a way to go and just do it. Eventually something will click!

15) It takes time.... OMG, does it take time! I didn't become obese overnight and I'm not going to lose it overnight. I have had amazing success since I stopped cheating and I've lost weight every week since June 6th but I know that eventually it will slow down and come to a crawl. It won't continue at this pace forever and I have mentally prepared myself for that. You have to be ready. You have to know that you're facing a long, tough road and just, be ready. It will take a long time but, hey, that time will pass by anyway!

16) Take it pound by pound! If you're looking to lose, let's say 100 pounds because that's what I was looking at, thinking about losing the whole 100 pounds could be incredibly overwhelming! Take it pound by pound, day by day. What I do currently is know what my final goal weight is but I celebrate every 5 pounds lost so I always have my long-term goal and then 5-pound increments for my short-term goals and this works out well for me!

17) Be ready to set-backs, plateaus and an occasional gain. Now, honestly, I haven't had any of those since I stopped cheating but I'm sure they'll come eventually so I'm trying to look at all of it in a positive light.

For example, I spent that one year changing my mind on my eating plan and losing and gaining the same so many pounds for, well, the whole year. I can look back at that and kick myself for wasting a year and losing time and all that crap or I can look at it as a lesson learned: yes, I made no weight loss progress that year BUT I did generally maintain a 25-30 pound loss, I didn't gain everything back plus some and I learned what I can handle eating and what I can't!

18) Plan on a long-term plan. I know it's kind of a thing to say this but it's true, it is NOT a diet! It's a lifestyle change! If you only follow your plan until you're doing losing weight and then go back to what you were doing before, you will weight what you did  before! Yes, you will have some more leeway but you have to make a real, sustainable change which is yet another reason to do what works for you and what you can live with for the rest of your life!!

I plan on doing this for the rest of my life and I'm totally fine with it. Find what you can do, what you will do, and what will happily sustain you for life and you'll do great!

I think that may cover it for now but I'll definitely post more if it comes to me and, once again, if you would like some help, or just talk or have any questions for me please don't hesitate to reach out to me and keep in mind, I'm not done yet but I'm getting closer to it every day!!

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