Well, it certainly has been a while since I’ve been on here! I must say, I’m glad to be back. Because of my busy, busy schedule, I’ve been dedicating quite a bit of time to my other blog via the J-School, but today I’ve had health on my mind.
After I made the decision to lose weight over two years ago, I had two choices. The first was to load up on diet pills and starve myself, while exercising to the point of exhaustion each and every day. The second was to slowly ease myself into a fitness routine and cut out greasy foods and soft drinks. I had seen enough from the ladies in Hollywood to know that the first would give me results much faster than the latter. However, my conscience told me I would regret damaging my body later in life and would have a much harder time adjusting post diet catastrophe. Well here I am two years later and a few sizes smaller and I must say the slow way was the best choice for a few reasons.
1. Crash diets don’t work. Weight Watchers does. No, but really. The easiest way to lose weight is to gradually change your daily fitness and nutrition routines. One of the main reason why Weight Watchers does so well is because they allow normal foods just in smaller portions. According to an article on Shape.com, the best way to do so is to resist the urge to deprive yourself of all things yummy.
“You’re much more likely to stick with a diet if your food looks, tastes and smells delicious. Feeling deprived will only backfire. Make a plan you can live with by livening up healthy foods with herbs and spices like basil, cilantro, curry and ginger; aromatic veggies like garlic and onions; and condiments like mustard, hot pepper sauce or salsa. Experiment with new nutritious foods: Tantalize your taste buds with two new fruits or vegetables at each meal. Try different cold/hot cereals and breads. Don’t declare high-fat favorites ‘off limits’; savor them in small amounts to maintain a balanced healthy diet.”
2. Exercise must become a normal staple of your daily routine. Another big reason why crash diets and unrealistic exercise routines fail is because they are just that. Unrealistic. Is it really plausible that you will get up every day at 5:00 a.m. and exercise for an hour and a half? Probably not. Maybe some days you’ll feel like squeezing in a good workout before you start your day, but chances are, if you have a normal life, you’ll have mornings where you hit the snooze. This will make it just a little easier to find an excuse not to do your workout. The same applies for evening workouts. Most of us are too exhausted after going to work, hitting the grocery store and cooking dinner to sneak in a workout. A tip I read in a magazine said to plan for at least 10 minutes of working out on days you know you’ll be exhausted. That way you won’t set the bar too high for yourself and you won’t be thinking “I just want to stretch out on the couch and vegetate all evening. Workout, schmorkout.” Then after you do your 10 minutes, see how you feel. If you feel like that was enough, stop and relax. If you feel like it gave you just the boost you needed, carry on my friend.
3. Becoming a health food nut is HARD. This isn’t something to be taken lightly. I’ve struggled with food for two years now and I’ve just started to figure out how to kick my bad craving habits. Back to rule 1, if you are thinking of drastically changing your diet, reconsider. You’ll just be setting yourself up for a lot of stress and probably will fall off the wagon more than once. I know I did. When I made the choice to give up meat, it was really a sneaky way of cutting my fast food habit. I knew if I couldn’t eat hamburgers, I wouldn’t go to Burger King. I knew that if chicken wasn’t an option, spicy chicken sandwiches from Wendy’s would be out. So when I did it this way, I tricked myself into avoiding my troubled areas. It wasn’t becoming a vegetarian that helped me shave off the last few pounds, it was cutting out the crap. Also, a year ago I gave up soda cold turkey. Haven’t touched a drop in over a year. I must also say this was HARD. Some people make the switch to diet in an attempt to cut calories, but in my opinion, just cut it out. If you really need the stuff, make it a treat. Only allow yourself one a day or even one a week if you’re feeling crazy. Either way, easing in to the whole process will not only make your life a lot easier, but it will also guarantee lasting results.
Well I hope these tips will help many of you realize that crash dieting and starving yourself isn’t the way to go. Not only does it do irreversible damage to your body, but it also just flat-out doesn’t work. You’ll definitely see quick results…a rib here, hip bone there…but for long-term success, gradually changing your lifestyle is the way to go. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you did things the hard way and succeeded. Nothing is better than that!
I leave you with this gem. I was 17 years old in this photo and I will be going back to the beach for the first time since this was taken. Let’s just say thanks to motivation and a lot of support from a certain blond fellow, I do not look like this anymore.