Yesterday, I talked about one of my major road blocks to weight loss (eating out). Today I thought I would share some of the things that have helped me to lose weight in the past. My main motivation in doing this is to remind myself that I have been successful before. Some days I really struggle. But, I've done this before... and I know I can do it again! Hopefully, by incorporating these tools back into my daily life... I can find that success once again!
1. Tracking what I eat. This is a main component in the Weight Watchers program. And for good reason... it works!! I think it's a great tool no matter what program you are doing to lose weight. I don't know about y'all, but my short term 'food memory' is kind of fuzzy. I can remember the actual meals... but the little blt's (bites, licks, tastes)... not so much. I have found that when I get crazy about tracking or journaling what I'm eating... I do so much better at the scale.
Weight Watchers has a paper tracker, but they also have a website tool as well as an app (that I LOVE!). There are a bunch of apps out there (I love myfitnesspal.com). I also really like good old paper and pen. I didn't get an iPhone until 2012 (I know)... so I used to keep a little notebook in my purse, and I would just write down everything I ate. Sometimes I would figure out my points later, sometimes I would just keep track.
I like to make a game out of it. I try to get in all my points... without going over. But I also try to get all my healthy checks for the day as well (water, vitamin, activity, etc). When I do this, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. I also tend to lose more weight these weeks. So there's that.
2. Goals. I am a to-do list kind of girl. The real reason is because if I don't write it down... I probably won't do it. I don't know what that is about my personality, but after all these years, I've just come to accept it. I also think it ties back into some sort of competitive, prideful thing? Like if I somehow complete every item on my to-do list, I win! I mean, I'm only ever competing against me... but I don't know... I'm sure a psychologist would have a heyday with me.
Anyway, I make big goal lists, like my 101 in 1001. I also make yearly lists (things like how many books I want to read, or things I want to try and be more aware of). I make monthly goals and weekly goals. I even make daily to-do lists. I know there are some who warn against getting to overzealous with goals or to-do lists. But, as much as I like the thrill of accomplishing things on them, I don't really beat myself up for not getting anything done. I'm what I like to call a laid-back control freak. Ha.
I have gone thru periods where I haven't done any goal setting. These are also periods where my house is a wreck, I'm a mess and we don't have food in the pantry. Basically, goal setting (even daily goals/to-do's) are a mandatory part of my operating system.
And, again... when I'm on top of them? I lose weight! Yay!
3. Rewards. I'm not going to pretend that I don't like to get presents. Because that would be a huge misrepresentation. I celebrate my half-birthday for goodness sake! Yes, a longer, healthier life is great motivation and possibly the best reward. But, any time I have had success with weight loss, there have been some sort of additional reward system in place.
I have a lot of weight to lose, which equals a lot of rewards. I can't be celebrating every 5 pounds with a new pair of boots or a bottle of perfume (though that would be pretty motivating). So, I am currently trying to set some bigger goals that get bigger items. Most of the time they are something I need (new glasses) or have been wanting for a long, long time (Louis purse, Corral boots). However, for the smaller rewards, I'm putting things like fresh flowers, new nail polish, or maybe a magazine. I'll be sharing my reward list later this week. I'm pretty excited about it.
Obviously, weight loss really comes down to just making healthy choice after healthy choice. You don't need anything other than determination and patience (and access to healthy food choices). But, it does help to find ways in which you can make the journey a bit easier (and rewarding!).
What are some things you have found that help you lose weight?
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