I married my wonderful husband in December of 2006. In preparation for the wedding, I did what many women do, I dieted. I used a website called Fat Loss for Idiots. I loved it because I was able to choose foods I liked and it generated a two week diet plan for me. At the time (the plan has since changed), I was given four things to eat per day and I could eat as much of those things as I wanted. I was on the diet for eleven days and then had three cheat days. The idea was that you tricked your metabolism, never getting in to a rut. It was fun to eat a sleeve of nuts and still lose weight. But it wasn’t tenable. And it triggered some old bad habits – I had a bout with an eating disorder in college (a result of dating someone who was pretty horrible).
I lost the weight for the wedding and looked great in my photos. But I learned nothing about food and didn’t do much by the way of exercise (one Vinyasa class per week does not an exercise regime make). After the ceremony and before the reception, my husband took me by the hand and said: You’re going to eat like a normal person now, right? Yes – sort of. Like an average person – yes; like I should – probably not.
Since then, I have learned that balance is really the only way to go. Eating three cheeseburgers every night isn’t good for you. But neither is eating a grapefruit for lunch and a bag of chips for dinner (true story). Being mindful of what you eat, being honest about how it effects your body, drinking lots and lots of water and finding an exercise (or two or three) that you enjoy and can come back to – that works.
It has taken me a while to get here, and I have to really thank My Fitness Pal for helping me see the error of my ways. Small steps, taken and then maintained and then added upon have helped me reach my goal and I am not only happy but am sticking with it. I have read many articles, seen many signs in my Bikram yoga classes, stating that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. That consistency is important. But I also think you need to take on one new task at a time. Trying to change your diet and exercise and maybe stop smoking and drinking less all at once – even if maintained for 21 days – can not possibly work for the long term. Think of one thing you would like to change. Decide today is day one and go for it. When that goal has been achieved, you will be more motivated to add another. And another. And another.
I do look good in that photo, though.