So back when I was overweight and “dieting”, Friday’s used to be a mixed bag of emotions. I mean, I loved the day overall, because obviously #weekend 😂, but secretly hated them as well . . Fridays meant that I had no routine for the next few days, and at that point in my life, I needed routine in order to stick with my never-ending yo-yo dieting.
For me, weekends meant that I didn't really workout (I belonged to a gym that was close to work and therefore far from my house) and more (unhealthy) meals and drinks out. I was also a slave to the scale and every Monday morning I would weigh and see that I had gained everything I lost the previous week, sometimes more. 🙄 I would start the week depressed and moody, I’d eat what I thought was healthy (but really wasn’t), “punish” myself by going to the gym for two hours a day until Thursday, when I would became overly exhausted and ditch it completely, and then by Friday, back to binge eating and drinking. I felt like a hamster on a never ending wheel 🐹.
Over the past few years, I can happily say that I have finally gotten off that ugly hamster wheel - but it did take a lot of time and unnecessary sacrifices for me to figure out how to manage my new and current lifestyle. Here are the ways that I stay (mostly) successful:
1.) Eat fat. Ideally more healthy fats and in moderation, of course. But fat is needed in life!
2.) Count Macros instead of calories - trust me. Let me know if you need help with this!
3.) Don't restrict foods - If I don't allow myself chocolate during the week, then come Saturday I overeat it because I know I wont be able to have it for another week. So yes, I have a serving (or 2) of chocolate every day. I just trade it in- if I'm having chocolate (or any dessert), then I may up my protein at dinner or skip the glass of wine. The point is - I eat what I want, I just do it consciously.
4.) Don't ever force yourself to go to the gym or do a workout that you hate. Instead find something that you love so that you get excited about it and look forward to it. Maybe you want to join a sports league or a running club? How about working out at home or doing classes at home at your convince? Get a friend and challenge each other! There are so so so many ways to get and stay active - find something that you love doing!
5.) Drink water! Aim for about 1/2 your body weight in ounces each day. You'll stay fuller, eat less, and be hydrated!
6.) Don't use the gym or your workout as punishment for eating more (or worse) than normal. Tomorrow is a new day, look forward and not behind you.
7.) Ditch the scale and use measurements! I have a great measurement sheet on my resources page, check it out.
7.) Look at the big picture each day, if possible. If you know your going out for a big dinner, then maybe eat a salad for lunch to counteract the dinner macros. If you know you're not going to get a workout in, then lay low on the carbs, etc.
8.) Life happens. Sometimes your day doesn't go as planned, and it's SO important to remember that that is perfectly ok. If you decide last minute to ditch the gym for happy hour with your best friend - thats fine! You need to live your life and you have to enjoy yourself. Just don't throw away the next day or the next week because of that decision. Enjoy yourself, get a good nights sleep and start fresh tomorrow.
All this to say, that I'm finally happy with myself. I've made lifestyle changes and stopped dieting, I've stopped using working out as punishment, I still go out to eat at least twice a week and drink alcohol, I've stopped relying on the scale and in doing all of this, at (ugh) 37 years old, I'm the most in shape, the most confident, and truly the happiest that I've ever been in my life. Oh, and most importantly - I love weekends and the activities, celebrations, and social gatherings that it brings!
I jumped on the Intermittent Fasting bandwagon for a few months back in April and although I felt pretty good doing it, I learned that it just wasn't right for me. Prior to trying IF, I counted macros and tracked everything I ate in MyFitnessPal (which is an amazing calorie and exercise tracking app). I had been doing that for a year and since I'm a snacker, tracking calories showed me my problem areas throughout the day and helped me manage my food choices. The only downfall, for me, was actually sitting down and spending time tracking my foods. So with IF becoming popular, it seemed like a great option since really, all I would have to do is track my "windows". For those not familiar with IF, you are allowed to eat whatever you want (but only eating until your full - you can't just bing eat all day) within a set number of hours. I chose to eat from 12pm-6pm so that I could be able to eat lunch and dinner with my family, which means that I couldn't eat from 6pm-12pm the following day (this is knows as 18:6 - 18 hours off, 6 hours on).