Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How I'm losing weight without starving myself, and building a healthy relationship with food.

So I’m in a really good place right now. I’m eating balanced, healthy meals that make me feel satisfied but not gross. I’m practicing portion control and eating whole foods that I cook myself (mostly). I’m NOT calorie counting (I know that I usually eat around 1400-1600 calories, some days less, some days more, but I track portions and food groups, not calories). Every day I drink a magical chocolate protein shake that tastes like dessert. It keeps me full for hours, gives me so much energy that I’ve cut down on coffee, and really helps with cravings. Plus, I can use it to make guilt-free peanut butter cups.

[It Happened To Me: I found a way to make healthy peanut butter cups that taste BOMB. And I don’t even feel gross the next day, because they’re healthy, because that’s how it works when you eat healthy food all the time…]

And yes, I’m losing weight, but more importantly I’m losing inches, and I’m doing it the right way.

I started the program a few months ago, when I saw my high school friend Lesley posting about it on facebook. I’ve done almost every fad diet there is, so I’ve seen a lot of hopeful facebook posts and been through my share of clickbait rabbit holes.

No seriously, here is a list of all the diets/eating programs I have tried. In parenthesis is the number of times I’ve tried:

Medifast (5x)
Weight Watchers (1x)
Atkins (2x)
South Beach (lost count)
Keto (1x)
Paleo (1x)
Jenny Craig (1x)
HCG diet (only 500 calories a day) (1x)

I have survived on almost nothing. I have survived on diet pills, diet coke and saltines (WHATUP 2002, don’t miss you at all!). I have exercised too frequently for too long or not at all because I’ve been so starved. I’ve been through years of really stressful teaching positions that led me to put on weight (talk to me about cortisol if you doubt that stress can and will affect you metabolically), and do drastic things to get it off.

So believe me when I say that when I saw Lesley’s posts on facebook, I approached them with a healthy degree of skepticism, because I really didn’t think it was possible to have a healthy relationship with food, exercise and your body. I thought I was doomed to spend a life treating my body as something bad that needs to be controlled and kept in line.

Last spring, when I started seeing Lesley’s posts, I was opening the medicine cabinet right when I got into the bathroom so I didn’t have to look at my reflection when I washed my hands. That’s how bad it was.

Then I found the 21 Day Fix. It’s all about clean eating, portion control, 30-minute at-home workouts, and a daily superfood shake that tastes like goddamned dessert (and can be made into peanut butter cups). The 21 Day Fix has brought so much simplicity to my eating and exercise routines.

I never thought I could workout at home because I craved the community my gym provided. But the 21 Day Fix comes with a different style of community. Instead of going to the gym, I belong to a challenge group on Facebook full of people doing the same program as me. They’re all over the country, which is WILD, but so cool. We have tons in common, and no one cares when I post about how my cat tries to interrupt my workouts by farting on my dumbbells, so I’m happy. I love these groups, and the people in them. I think they are what makes the program work as well as it does. They keep me motivated and on track.  

My home gym 

It takes time. I do a meal plan for the week every weekend, and I stick to it about… 80% if I’m honest, but I still eat so much more healthily and save so much money because PORTION CONTROL.

The most important thing about 21-day fix is the focus on having a healthy and positive mindset. I got to the point where I realized that I’m capable of losing weight. I can eat less and exercise more and take pills and cut out whole food groups. I’m great at that. But until I fix what’s happening in my head… I’m just going to gain the weight back. Until I learn to change how I think about food, and how I think about my body, there’s no point in any of it. And that’s what 21-day fix has helped me to do.

I used to look at a huge Snickers bar and think “BAD. BAD FOOD. I’m bad if I eat this. If I eat this, it’s a bad day, and everything else I eat may as well be bad too because the day is a lost cause and I can go back to eating good food and being a good, healthy person tomorrow.”

Now, I look at a huge Snickers bar and I see it for what it is. It’s going to taste amazing, but it’s going to make my blood sugar rise and then drop, leading to me wanting more sugar, and if I eat more, I’ll want more, and I’ll feel sluggish for the whole next day. Some days, I decide that it’s worth it to splurge, and I do, because this program is a lifestyle, not a diet, and sometimes you have to eat a Snickers bar. But I make a decision based on information rather than emotion, and whatever decision I make, I have a group of people to support me because they’ve been there too, because we’re all in this together.

So I’m about to begin this journey where I co-host a fitness and nutrition challenge group with Lesley in October. I’m nervous, but I’m excited. And I’m looking for 5 people to join me in this challenge group. 

So if you’re ready to... 
  • change the way you look at your body and food
  • feel more comfortable in your own skin
  • lose pounds and inches
  • build a healthy mindset
  • save time and money
  • see lots of pictures of my cat trying to work out with me and eat all the great food I make
GET IN TOUCH! It’s a journey that you don’t have to go on alone. Join our crew. You'll love it.

I also started a facebook group around having a more healthy mindset around fitness and nutrition, so if you want to join that, ask and I’ll add you!

If you just want to chat, I love talking about this stuff, so get in touch!

And Lesley, I appreciate you so much. I was going down a really unhealthy path, and your relentless positivity, your constant support, and the 21 Day Fix saved my butt. Thank you.

Email me
Go to my Coach website (although I haven't really updated it yet)
PS: Yes, I made my Beachbody Coach website URL Leahnopants. 

A sample meal I made that's on-plan... These are fajitas, from before I started eating meat again. Replace the tofu with blackened chicken. 

No comments:

Post a Comment