ONE YEAR AGO on June 25th, I hit my WW goal weight!!!! I remember that day being coolest day ever as I realized that I had made a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE change to get to my goal weight instead of dieting. I adopted the WeightWatchers principles and Healthy Habits and applied them into my life daily – which over time created a drastic result and huge accomplishment in my book!!!!
I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Tracey and Laurie for creating the dietSNAPS app which was a monumental part of my success as well!! Once I started tracking my meals with pictures, it opened up a whole new world and perspective for me! I was able to REALLY ‘see’ what I was eating and putting into my mouth each day. I have been able to recognize my eating patterns and choices that I make based on what’s happening in my life. I have also gotten to know my body better by learning and figuring out what fuels my body and gives me more energy versus what drags me down. I am able to do this all by looking back on my days and weeks in my dietSNAPS journal.
I love the quote that says “Success leaves clues” because tt is TRUE!!!! I have been able to maintain my WW goal weight (actually 5 lbs under) for a WHOLE year!!! I still apply the same principles and mentality every day. I keep doing it because it is my lifestyle now and IT WORKS!!! Using WW’s and my dietSNAPS app is what keeps me stable and from slipping back into old habits. When I feel myself slipping, I just go back to the basics of tracking and taking pictures and almost immediately I feel better and am back on track.
Here are my top 10 most important things I have learned on my journey and that I still apply and use today:
1. It is a LIFESTYLE change – not a diet!!!! I had to learn that concept and ACCEPT it in order for this to work. I also learned I could have those not-so-healthy foods that I dearly love – but that I had to learn to eat them in moderation and to always plan when I would allow myself to eat them so I can always stay in control – instead of letting food control me.
2. Track Track Track! I learned that I HAVE to track what I eat/drink/exercise because I do get lazy when I don’t. I also learned that I am visual person and using the dietSNAPS app for over a YEAR now has literally changed my life on how I see and deal with food and was the best method I had ever come across for tracking. Try it out for one week and see what YOU think!
3. Learn to LOVE exercise by making it FUN!! It HAS to be part of this new lifestyle or you won’t get far. I learned that I LOVED trying new classes like the 6 week Body by Frances Boot Camp I did or new classes at our gym like Muscle Blast, Boot Camp, Spin, and Body Pump!!! I also love running and try to sign up for 5K, 10K’s and hopefully another half marathon in the future to kept things fun and challenging! I have seen my body change and take new shape from challenging myself in these classes by incorporating strength training with circuit training and cardio.
4. Get a Friend that has similar goals to do it with you!!! The buddy system really does work! Like I said before, I would have given up had I not had Lexy and Cyndi and our blog at FireLitesFire to help keep me motivated. It is a lifesaver!
5. Own your weigh ins! This is hard – but it is all about keeping it real and facing the facts of your journey. When you have a great week then take ownership of that and be happy and proud of your accomplishment no matter how big or small!! If you have a bad week – its OK because everyone has set backs - but getting on that scale and owning it means you are accepting the fact that you are not perfect, and you are gonna let it be a guide and motivator to resolve to do better the next week. Also, when you attend the WW meetings, you get tons of motivation and ideas!!!!
6. Don’t compare yourself to others!!!!! This one really is easier said than done for sure. When I find myself going there and comparing myself to others, I now immediately think of a quote I heard that said ”When we compare ourselves to others, we are comparing their strengths to our weaknesses”. That always helps me put things back into perspective and go back to comparing and competeting with MYSELF. My goal is to be my BEST SELF I can be. So I will look at old pictures, body measurements, clothing sizes, or past scale weights to see how I am progressing . Only when I do it that way am I being fair and nice to ME.
7. Make a list of your favorite foods and meals! This REALLY comes in handy for me all the time. Some days I don’t feel like fixing anything but can be motivated when I look at my list of trusted foods. Also after trying new things some times we forget about things we liked in the beginning – so its nice to have an ongoing list to keep adding to for ideas.
8. Keep your pantry and fridge stocked with healthy and your favorite choices! I always have to remind myself that ‘I can’t eat it if I don’t buy it-or make it’ (in my case cause I love to bake and cook!) I love that I discovered the ZonePerfect bars almost a year ago that have lots of protein and taste awesome (only 5pts+ so a perfect snack)!! I have not gotten tired of them YET and still eat one everyday as a snack. There are lots of ways to replace the things you love with healthier choices.
9. Read healthy living blogs and recipe blogs for inspiration and ideas!!! Reading others success stories and journey’s motivates me and reminds me that I can do anything I set my mind to! Some motivating peeps I follow are Keeping Up With Katie, Peanut Butter Fingers, Peanut Butter Runner, Roni’s Weigh, SkinnyRunner, just to name a few ladies that are just awesome! I also love reading recipe blogs because I am always on the lookout for healthy new recipes and meal ideas to try for my family. I have come across several ones I love like Hungry Girl, SkinnyTaste, GreenLiteBites, Danica’s Daily, and Dashing Dish. Its all about helping each other, motivating, and sharing ideas!!!
10. Just Keep On Keeping On!! In the beginning when I was ready to give up because I didn’t see results right away, I decided this would be my mantra. That no.matter.what- I would just keep on keeping on and eventually something good would happen – and guess what!! It did!!! I had LOTS of ups and downs on this journey but I always came out on top in the end because I just kept sticking with it and putting one foot in front of the other. It still gets me through the rough times even today.
I hope these tips help you with your journey!!!!! If I can do it – ANYONE can do this!!!