Each week I am going to add a few new tenets to my program. The newest ones will be in bold and the oldest ones will follow. The Tenets are separated by 3 asterisks (***). I am doing this to develop a system to lose the additional 50+ lbs I need to lose after having lost approx 40 lbs and to keep the weight off that I lose. Goodbye pregnancy weight!!
This week I don’t have anything new to add but here is a reminder of The Program I am creating for myself:
***Every time I Think A Negative Thought About A Body Part I MUST Immediately Counter It With A Positive Thought
I want The Program to be one of physical AND mental health. I know that I am a product of my culture and I know that culture has taught me that super thin is best and that if you are fat you are a lazy loser. I can internalize this stuff like crazy even though I consider myself to be a pretty level-headed lady! It is doing me no good, in my quest for health, to be thinking negative thoughts about my body parts. This body spent nine months creating a HUMAN LIFE for goodness sake. It has created a miracle and I am so grateful for my daughter (especially since there were quite a few health scares throughout the pregnancy and delivery.) My body deserves my gratitude and respect, not shame and hatred. So… the newest tenet is that every time I think a negative thought about a part of me, I have to come up with a positive one immediately. For instance if I think, “oh my stomach is so flabby and has ugly stomach rolls” then I need to immediately say to myself “Wow this stomach housed what I hold most dear in life for nine months and I don’t have many stretch marks – Thank you wonderful stomach.” I think this Tenet may sound a little cheesy but actually be incredibly powerful and maybe even transforming.
***Weighing Once a Month on the First:
I remember that the weight loss program I did before when I lost 100lbs had this rule (or at least I think that is the weight loss program I got that nugget from… there have been so many they all run together…) My intention for weighing myself monthly is prevent the emotional roller coasters I would experience (and have been) if I weighed weekly and daily. Hopefully this too will encourage me to rely more on how I feel and look to gauge the success of The Program rather than on a number. I will weigh myself on the first of every month.
***Weighing and Measuring my food: I was hoping to avoid weighing and measuring my food everyday but frankly, it actually makes things simpler knowing that I am eating the right portion sizes. This way I can tweak my menus if I am still not getting the results I hope for. I use a Martha Stewart food scale, put the dish upon it, turn it on an wait until it zeroes itself out and then weigh my food. Or, in some cases I use measuring cups. Here are the portion standards I’ll use for each meal:
1oz dry oatmeal or 1 cup wet oatmeal
60z or 1 piece fruit
1c. rice or grain
4oz protein (if cheese 2oz if cottage cheese or tofu 6oz)
6oz cooked veggies
1 cup Oatmeal
4oz protein (if cheese 2oz if cottage cheese or tofu 6oz)
6oz cooked veggies
***Journaling Twice Daily: I know this sounds extreme but it has really worked for me in the past when going through tough times. Buy a small notebook (I don’t know the exact measurements of mine – maybe 3″x5″.) Commit to writing one page in the morning and one in the evening. It takes less than 2 minutes usually per sitting! The reason I am going back to the habit and intuitively know that it needs to be a Tenet of My Program is because I am an emotional eater. I like to eat when happy, sad, confused, bored, frustrated, angry, excited, nervous, etc, etc. I eat to comfort myself (I think that is why I gained so much weight during pregnancy – I was truly uncomfortable most of the time.) So why journaling if I know this already? When I eat over an emotion, whether it is positive or negative, it mutes the emotion making the emotion less intense. I have long had the pattern of being scared of my extreme emotions because then I would have to make decisions and/or take action around those emotions and I have been really scared of change most of my life. I like to cling to a more muted, luke-warm, steady existence where I am almost hiding behind the food and the fat to not get hurt…. Clearly this isn’t how life works and I end up missing both the highs and the lows. I also can’t quite always determine how I feel because my emotions have been muted and all jumbled up for so long. Journaling helps! I find that I am more confident and a better decision maker when I have been actively journaling. Being more confident, making better decisions, knowing what is going on with myself internally all are key parts of healthy living and healthy weight loss!
*** Vitamins: It is best to get as much of the vitamins and minerals you need from the food that you eat. However, your diet can’t 100% everyday provide 100% of everything the body needs. A complete vitamin is perfect for filling in the gaps. Because I am still nursing I am supposed to remain on the prenatal vitamins. When I am done nursing I probably will go back on taking some additional vitamins like extra vitamin D and coq10 for wrinkles but for now the prenatal suffices.
*** Water: I’m sure you know the rule: 8 glasses a day. Water keeps your body working properly, gives you energy and makes you feel satiated. For a “treat” I’ll mix in a glass of bubbly water into the line-up.
*** Hierarchy of Priorities that lead to Weight Loss and a fabulous life:
1. Baby Daughter – she is 100% dependent on me right now and she must always come first. If that means I skip a snack or miss a mealtime because she needs me I need to remember that she is the highest priority and to NOT beat-up myself that I can’t be a 100% perfect dieter.
2. Sleep – it is well-documented that lack of sleep leads to the body holding onto fat and weight gain. As the mother of a newborn sleep isn’t always easy to get.
3. Food – This means the pre-planning of meals, the purchasing of the food and finally the cooking and preparation of the food.
4. Everything Else
*** Wednesdays are Weekly Weigh-Ins: If I weigh myself on a daily basis I will drive myself nuts! Wednesdays are not the traditional “I’ll start by diet on ____day” so I think that works for my Program (since it isn’t a diet!) Plus, I’ve already been weighing on Wednesdays since the baby was born. Note, it is important to record the amount lost for the week as well as the amount lost overall.
*** Planning and Recording the Day’s Food the Night Before: This habit was part of the extreme program I did before and frankly, it really is genius. If you know exactly what you are eating the next day it alleviates a lot of impulsive, I-am-so-hungry-I-will-eat-anything behavior. And, it makes sure you know exactly what food you have in the house and whether or not you need to run to the store before you get overwhelmingly hungry.
*** Focus on the Food but get 20 Minutes of Exercise in a Day: I have run a marathon while technically being morbidly obese. I have trained on tennis courts for eight hours a day hoping to be thin. I have done crazy extreme exercise programs that yes, made me lose some weight, but frankly were probably very unhealthy and taxing on an obese body. My problem is emotionally over-eating, not with being uncommitted to exercise. 20 minutes of walking a day with a seven week old baby is ambitious enough!
*** Never Get Too Hungry: If I am genuinely hungry, the kind of hunger where my stomach is turning and it is not the middle of the night, then I need to eat no matter what is on my food plan for the day. I am a nursing Mom who is taking steps to live a healthy, thin, fit life – not to torture herself!
Thanks for reading this and I wish you much luck on your own healthy journey!