I firmly believe that one of our major obstacles when is comes to weight loss is this whole idea of “going on a diet”.
I believe that a healthy “lifestyle change” is what will equate to long term weight loss (and weight maintenance). When you go “on a diet”, you eventually – because of frustration, inconvenience, boredom, extreme hunger, or reaching your “goal weight”- go “off your diet”.
However, when you make a lifestyle change, you learn how to keep all of your favorite foods – even desserts- without resorting to drastic measures. You can not deprive yourself of all of your favorite foods and expect that resolve to last for the rest of your life. Not only is that an unreasonable expectation, but who wants to live without enjoying themselves a little?
Diets don’t work, but a permanent change in your eating habits does. So this year, DON’T make a resolution to go on a diet, rapidly lose weight, or eat next to nothing. Instead, make a resolution to gradually and permanently change the way that you eat, your negative habits, and ultimately, your relationship with food.
Let’s be realistic with ourselves – NO ONE has ever “mysteriously” gained 10 pounds overnight. It happened gradually – one cheeseburger, brownie, or ice cream sundae at a time. You need to keep that in mind while you are attempting to lose that excess weight. Just as you didn’t gain it overnight, you are not going to lose it overnight. It is going to take time – probably more time than you would like. Most people give up after a very short period of time because they are not seeing dramatic results fast enough. When you do that, you are being extremely unfair to yourself – your body (and your brain) need time to adjust to the changes that you are making, and to deal with them accordingly. Just as you gained the weight gradually, you need to give yourself the opportunity to lose the weight gradually. We have all heard the saying “slow and steady wins the race” – that saying couldn’t be more true than when you apply it to weight loss.
Losing weight is NOT easy. Do not believe, trust, or listen to anyone that tells you it is! It took me over a year-and-a-half to lose my extra 106 pounds – and it was worth every struggle. I could have easily given up after the first grueling, craving-filled, unsatisfying, disappointing week. As a matter of fact, after three whole weeks of “treat-free”, healthy eating and exercise – I had only lost 2 1/2 pounds. But I stuck with it – I kept telling myself that it WOULD pay off in the long run, that I already had three weeks “under my belt” and to give up then would have negated all the hard work that I put into my new lifestyle. And you know what?? It worked! Eventually, it all became second nature. It wasn’t hard anymore – everyday was no longer a struggle. And here I sit, nine years later and STILL 106 pounds lighter.
I want you all to feel the joy of accomplishing something so daunting and difficult. I want you all to have faith in yourselves and your strength. I want you to have the pleasure of seeing old friends and watching their jaws drop in amazement at how FANTASTIC you look and feel. I want you to be proud of yourself, of who you are, and what you can do.
I want you all to have hope, and to believe in yourself. Stay strong. You CAN do this. I believe in each and every one of you. THIS IS YOUR YEAR — make it a great one!!! You can be sure that we will be here every step of the way providing you with fresh, easy, and exciting new recipes and meal ideas to help you make this your best year yet!!!