Ahhh… the age-old- craptastic dieting cycle all of us dieting girls fall into.
Here is a little story. (No, not about Jack and Diane, but keeping humming that while you read.)
Let’s talk about the my “dieting” habits and how they progressed.
One more thing before we begin, I now no longer say I am dieting, or, I can show you how to diet!! JUST NO!! I now say: I can show you how to make lifestyle changes, because a diet usually ends (cutting for a show, dieting down for a weigh-in, fitting into a dress for a date).
The reason “diets” do not work long-term is that they aren’t ever really long-term.
Ok, stepping off soapbox, back to the story.
In college, I do not remember putting on the freshman 15. Actually, for me, it was the opposite- I really had control of my diet for the first time. Of course, I did what every other girl does: I ate less* and did cardio.
(*I ate less as in… ohh gummy bears are fat-free…. I can eat those, or hey.. this smoothie has fruit.. score! Cardio, cardio, cardio, eat low-fat crap, and repeat cycle.)
That worked for a little while and I think I lost a few pounds doing that. Also, around that time I started lifting again, with an emphasis on again. I did have the advantage of being in the weight room in high school because I played sports.
Really, to be honest, I was not serious about anything.
Oh, to be young, and have a pre-baby body, and a metabolism you haven’t ruined yet.
Around my third year of college I met my the man who would become my husband. We met at the school gym where I was working at the time.
I was still so unknowledgeable about my diet. I was lifting regularly and still cardio-ing but I was still not fueling my body with what it needed. I most certainly would never have thought to write down when and what I ate. So, I met him, and a whole new world of ‘food is fuel’ was introduced to me.
This stage in my diet journey is so important for three reasons:
1. He taught me to write it down- write down everything you eat.
2. He taught me to eat every few hours.
3. He taught me that what you eat matters. Food is not created equal, eat for what your goals are.
4. He taught me the (what is now lovingly called by many) ‘Bro Diet’.
This worked. I dropped major body fat and major pounds. He was working toward doing a bodybuilding show and I followed the diet with him. I was the smallest I have ever been and will probably ever be.
So why don’t I still do this?
Here is my problem with the Bro-diet:
The food sucked. Tuna, chicken, brown rice, broccoli, protein shake (not good protein like this, I mean nasty, cheap, all-I-can-afford-in-college protein). Then, you repeat foods the next day to hit your caloric goal. When I hit a plateau we cut carbs, when I hit another plateau, we upped cardio.
Like I said: this works. I’m not really knocking the Bro-Diet. But, there’s that word: diet. It’s just not sustainable for many people.
After college I had to enter the real world. I gained the freshmen 15 of the real world (is there a name for that? adult 15?) and really did not care. I then gained another 15 pounds and was like… uhh… maybe it is time to do something about this.
I tried my old Bro Diet, but I just didn’t want something that restrictive. I wanted to be able to go out to eat with my friends and cook an actual dinner. So I joined WeightWatchers and it was GREAT! I was not a novice in the healthy eating department, but I was a novice in the eating healthy in the real world department.
I really cannot say enough good things about WeightWatchers. I lost the weight and I learned how to balance what I want to eat vs. what I can actually eat so that I could achieve my goals. I HIGHLY recommend WeightWatchers to anyone who feels like making good food choices is like a foreign language to them. It is not a diet but a lifestyle change. Also check out the new commercial . I mean… that’s my life right there.
Moving on. So far we have done these:
- low-fat crap and cardio
- cardio, lifting, and still low-fat crap
- Bro-Diet (restrict calories and food choice, lifting, and cardio)
- WeightWatchers and some gym
Fast forward to having kids.
I have been blessed with two amazing little boys, and I would not change anything, because the end result is: I have them.
BUT let’s be real: when you give birth to your second kid, and on a good day you are 5’4, and you weigh yourself AFTER you know you have already lost some weight, and the number reads 278…
That’s, well, I’m not really a good enough writer to explain what that is, so let’s just say it’s a shitty thing to see.
So, how did I eat to lose weight? I did just that. I ate.
I combined all of what I learned and wrote down EVERYTHING I ate. I planned my meals for the week and I ate them. I did not just eat brown rice and chicken. I used Pintrest and Instagram and I love these ebooks here .
I found things that would fit my calories and carbs for the day(this was a number I picked because I was comfortable with it and seemed to lose weight). This worked. I lost weight.
I have lost over 100lbs but… recently I noticed that my eating is not helping me acheive my fitness goals. If my past eating history is any indication, I knew it was time to change it again.
Where am I now?
I still would like to lose a little more weight, but I would also like to eat food, and run another half marathon, and lift heavy things, and be in kick-butt shape. Those goals can not be achieved on 920 calories a day with 30 carbs.
Those goals can not be achieved by not eating all day so you can eat frozen yogurt while watching Pretty Little Liars. I have read and read and researched this whole If It Fits Your Macors plan.
At first glance I was like uh, no, I don’t want to eat processed food and junk, and what kind of program is this?!
BUT THEN on my Instagram feed was just the best thing I had read on IIFYM. I was sold.
I paid 20.00, had my numbers done, and I LOVE IT!! I really feel like for the first time I am fueling my body with what I need to be athletic, all while losing these last stupid pounds. (I also really hope that I make up with my metabolism because we are not friends at the moment.)
The point in sharing all of this is: do not give up. You do not have to be some fitness or diet fanatic to achieve your goals! It is a learning process. Try not to make yourself stick to a diet you know won’t work in the long run. Figure out what works best for you. Even if you are seeing 200 or 300+ pounds on the scale, you can do it!
Enjoy the process and go kick butt!!
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Questions? E-mail me at email@example.com!