I frequently get asked “how can you eat that and still lose weight?” Sometimes, the question boggles my mind. The first few times I was asked that, I was honestly, flabbergasted and didn’t quite know what to say because I was taken back.
The word “diet” gets thrown around so much when someone is trying to better their health/lifestyle. I don’t like the word diet because diets are a temporary solution to a permanent problem. You can change your habits, you can be as strict as you want – but in my case I have to ask myself “will I be willing do to this the rest of my life?” and when it comes to diets the answer is no. I could not live off drinking a shake for 2 meals a day. I could not live off eating canned beans and a boiled egg. I could not deal with giving up foods that I enjoy simply because it’s what my diet says I need to do. And I would probably hurt somebody if I had to eat a plain piece of cooked chicken with broccoli for dinner day-in and day-out. Actually, put me on a diet like that for a week and I think everyone who walked in front of me might get the evil eye. I’d be miserable and at the first whiff of whatever “unhealthy” food I smelled, I’d dive in and eat until my stomach was about to explode … or I passed out.
I’ve never considered my weight loss journey with the help of Weight Watchers a diet because it’s not. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a plan I can follow for the rest of my life without feeling deprived. I love Weight Watchers because nothing is off limits. I’ll be completely honest, if the day I walked into my Weight Watchers meeting to sign up and was told “you can never eat cake, chips, or bread again” I’d have froze, looked around the room – said screw this and walked back out. I’m the type of person that if you tell me I can’t do something, the stubbornness in me is going to come out and I’ll do it JUST to show you I can. I love Weight Watchers because it allows me to live in an every day world without feeling as though I don’t “fit in” because I’m not eating the way others are eating.
Everything boils down to moderation, not starvation, or deprivation. I’m a big snacker. Always have been, always will be – it’s a part of my lifestyle and it’s something I enjoy. There are snacks I’ve enjoyed in the past that I simply choose not to have anymore because 1) I can’t control myself with them (known as a trigger food) and 2) they’re just not worth the points associated with them. It doesn’t mean they’re off limits the rest of my life – but they’re foods I don’t keep around, at least until I can feel comfortable with them in the house.
So, back to how do I eat what I eat and still lose weight? Well, these days I know what a portion size is. I hold myself accountable by eating what is recommended as a serving. If I want a little extra, I have a little extra, but I hold myself accountable to those extra points plus values associated with that “extra”. Secondly, I don’t eat out every day. I for the most part cook (or have a pre-packaged meal I weigh-out a serving of) every single meal - breakfast, lunch and dinner. I can have pizza, cupcakes, French fries, steak and cheese sandwiches, and chips when I want them (granted, not all at the same time!), but I track what I eat, I track what I want and I don’t feel guilty about it. One thing to keep in mind is I’m not eating these foods day-in and day-out. Lastly, I don’t even remotely eat like I used to.
I keep myself accountable for whatever I put in my mouth. I eat my cravings – because I’ve quickly learned that if I try to not have something I want, I eat around it when all is said and done, I should have just eaten what I originally wanted. I enjoy my food. I've learned what is and what isn't worth it. I enjoy preparing meals and shaking things up because the possibilities are endless. I get in activity when I can. And I'm not on a diet ... this journey isn't temporary, its a lifestyle. That is why I can eat whatever I want and still lose weight.