Getting Healthy With A Plan
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.
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.
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!
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