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Getting Healthy With A Plan

June 11, 2012
By Guest Blogger
|8Comments|


When I embarked on my journey of transformation, I approached it like I was packing for a vacation. I made lists, Excel spreadsheets and binders with recipes for easy reference. Having attempted to get my weight under control many times, only to fail, I took an inventory of what had gone wrong in those instances. I wanted to learn how I could avoid those pitfalls again. My unsuccessful forays were marred by disorganization; I would neglect to prepare healthy recipes and I would find myself in line at a drive-through. I would pack a boring and meager lunch, only to find myself once again resorting to a vending machine “meal.” Failing so many times was a blessing in disguise, because I learned what it was going to take to succeed. The ultimate, non-negotiable key to getting healthy is a plan; without a plan, you will surely fail. This I know for sure.

I finally found success because my plan was detailed and accounted for every scenario. My “Get slim and stay that way” tips are:

Have a Strategy

Having healthy alternatives at hand for sugar cravings has saved me from unhealthy indulgences countless times. I am never without grapes, strawberries or blueberries when I’m on the go. It’s Murphy’s Law that, as soon as I leave the house, my sugar cravings creep up. Having super-food options close at hand guarantees I won’t make a pit stop at the nearest 7-Eleven for a sabotaging sweet reprieve.

Motivation

Every month, when I would weigh myself, I would take a picture of myself in my underwear. Initially, the photos were shocking — I looked worse than I had thought I would — but having those pictures pushed me to stay the course. Whenever I felt like quitting or skipping a workout, I would look at the pictures to remind myself of the reasons I was changing my life.

Lists

I love lists. Typically, I have two to three lists going at once. So when I began my journey, I made a list for everything. I made daily, weekly, monthly and yearly lists with measurable goals. I printed and pasted them everywhere: on the door to my closet, on the fridge, and on the dashboard of my car. The lists were everywhere, so my goals were ever present in my mind. When I achieved a goal, I would cross it off the list; this was great for my confidence because I felt successful seeing the goals getting accomplished. No goal is too small; some of my goals were as simple as, “Drink eight glasses of water per day,” or, “Go meat-free for one week out of the month.” Remember, when setting goals, that this is your journey, so you make the rules!

Don’t Get Carried A-Weigh

In my failed attempts, I would weigh myself every morning — that is a very defeating practice. As females, our weight fluctuates because of so many factors; menstruation and stress are the most prevalent culprits. I started weighing myself once a month, on the same day and at the same time of day. This worked two-fold: it was a true gauge of my progress and it allowed me to focus on the health benefits of changing my life — like more energy and better skin — as opposed to focusing on the number alone. Also, I hid my scale in the closet and brought it out solely for my monthly weigh-in; out of sight, out of mind!

Smart Rewards

In the past I would reward myself with food: “Congrats, Bianca! You’ve lost 5 lbs, have a cookie.” This is the definition of a bad reward system. I started rewarding myself with things that would help me toward my goals, such as new workout gear or a subscription to my favorite health magazine. These types of rewards not only lead to feeling good, but helped propel me to my end result.

Losing weight and changing your life requires a plan. I hope that what worked for me can help you create a custom plan that will help you achieve your health and weight-loss goals!

Bianca Osbourne is a professionally trained chef and freelance health writer. Through her teaching and writing, she aims to educate people about food for skincare and wellness, which she believes is the best acne skincare product there is!

Photo credit: Krissy Venosdale



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8 responses to Getting Healthy With A Plan
  1. I agree completely with this! Having a plan makes it so much easier to keep on going when it gets tough- you don’t have to think too hard about what to do if you’ve got a plan to back you up!

  2. Hey Bianca,

    I really like this article. I am getting better and better at my diet and this is also thanks to the fact that I don’t eat out anymore and that I have a few go to recipes I can make with my eyes closed. :) Healthy fast foods that don’t take more than 20 mins in the making are one of the absolute health saviors in my opionion.

    Your Vitality Guide For Women gets me really excited. I just opend up around 10 tabs with your posts. Looking forward to reading them. :)

  3. Totally agree as well! And having a list or at least a plan for what meals you’ll eat during the week–and then taking care of the shopping and prepping of these in advance helps so much too. I make salads for my Monday-Wednesday lunches every Sunday and the Thursday-Friday ones Wednesday, and usually a big batch of something that will cover 3-4 dinners that week on Sunday too. Such a big help when I’m in a hungry frenzy at work/when I get home from work!

  4. I needed this one. My problem comes when I read articles like this and think, “but I KNOW all this already, and I still fail…”, because I’m not actually putting forth the mental and physical efforts required to sustain my quest and achieve my goals. There’s always another excuse, usually overtime at work these days, to keep me from preparing well enough on the weekends and maintaining during the week. Thanks for the tips!

  5. I have had bad acne all my life. I stopped eating meat and dairy for my health and better skin. I eat tons of green veggies everyday and of course green juice, but it has not helped my skin. Do you have any suggestions about anything else I can do? Thanks!

  6. I also have always suffered from acne. I am on a diet right now that temporarily cuts out grains and sugar (except for naturally occurring sugar in fruit and raw honey) and it is helping a lot. I am only 2 weeks in and I’ve noticed a huge difference in my skin. The breakouts are less severe and the red marks have even begun to fade and heal. In a couple weeks I am going to add sprouted grains (i.e. Ezekiel bread) back into my diet and hopefully the results won’t change. Meat and dairy are important sources of nutrition and I continue to eat both (except for milk) and I don’t think that has affected my skin in a bad way.

  7. “80 percent of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen. My tip here is to keep posting data on your blog. Tell people you’re going to lose weight or exercise daily, and report to them. You’ll make it happen.

  8. Nice Article. Hope to see more article from your side under this category.