After nine months on this weight loss journey, I figured out why I'm fat. The shampoo I use in the shower that runs down my body says "for extra volume and body.” I'm going to start using "Dawn" dish soap. It says "dissolves fat that is otherwise difficult to remove."
Humor. That is one of many things that has made this weight loss journey possible. I found that above quote about shampoo on my friend Patty’s Facebook status.
I am down another six pounds this month. And for the first time, I am seeing numbers on a scale I haven’t seen since before I was pregnant with my last baby, who of course is now a second grader.
A few more pounds and I will have lost 50 pounds, which is still hard to believe when I think of what that has entailed.
As I watched Jennifer Hudson on Oprah the other day—talking about her weight loss success—Oprah asked how many pounds she had lost.
Hudson first responded that she wasn’t focused on the scale but how she felt. She then looked at her “team leader” who was sitting in the audience and tilted her head a bit, then you could read her lips when she mouthed, “can I say?”
Oprah looked puzzled as she looked back and forth as if watching a tennis match. She looked at the team leader and said, "How many pounds?"
The leader eloquently talked about the importance of not getting stuck on numbers but to focus on health, etc.
Oprah wasn’t buying it. Neither was I.
“Oh, come on,” she said. “How many pounds?”
Hudson jumped a little out of her seat, “Can I tell?” It was obvious she wanted to share and was excited about what she had accomplished.
Finally, she admitted she lost 80 pounds since she started Weight Watchers.
The team leader wanted us viewers to be cognizant of the real need for weight loss— to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Oprah, always open and honest about her weight loss, a journey she has been on more times than she cares to count, knew we wanted to know as a measure of success. More importantly, Oprah mentioned that Hudson, by sharing her weight loss, makes it seem an achievable goal for others, as well.
Looking that good isn’t going to come easy, of course—it takes determination and hard work. Hudson is a role model to show those of us who struggle that it is possible to get healthier and lose weight.
I have been on many, many diets for the past two decades and in the past nine months I have learned a lot about how to succeed on this journey.
Aside from humor, here are my top nine strategies that have worked in the past nine months:
1. It’s a day to day thing. I try to make the best choices on any given day. If I make a less than best choice, it’s a new day. I try to think of the 80-10-10 rule I learned from my friend and colleague, Pamela, when going through the 28-day cleanse. Eat “clean” 80 percent of the time, moderate 10 percent of the time and enjoy without worry 10 percent of the time.
2. Write in a gratitude journal. It helps me focus on what’s working in my life, people I love and am grateful to have in my life, and helps me focus not only on healthier choices but everything else that has nothing to do with eating.
3. Start off the day with a good breakfast, for me, a protein shake. The shake is usually chocolate almond milk, a half banana, a handful of spinach (I swear you don’t taste it and the iron is great for you), a scoop of protein powder, a scoop of fiber, a spoonful of almond butter with roasted flaxseeds from Trader Joe’s, a handful of blueberries and a couple of ice cubes. Sometimes, I put in a little coconut water or just more water.
4. Walk every day. Even if only for 20 minutes. Recently, I tried to walk almost an hour a day and have added other activities, such as spinning and yoga, in an effort to try to kick it up a notch. (Okay, except for the past four days when I have felt as if I'm coughing up my lungs. I'm fighting bronchitis, and I have also lost a few extra pounds while sick, which most likely I won't be able to keep off).
5. Drink water, A LOT. I was never a big water drinker and I now also drink two cups of herbal tea a day (Good Earth Original no caffeine is my favorite. It's spicy and flavorful with no need to add sweetener)
6. Surround yourself with support. For the first time, I have told people about my weight loss plans and am always pleasantly surprised by how supportive everyone is. I still track Weight Watchers points online and look forward to rejoining a group this summer. (Support also includes writing this monthly column and hearing from all of you!)
7. Give it time. During the last nine months, unlike my other weight-loss attempts, I did not mark up my calendar with how many pounds I would lose and by when. I am just doing my best day to day and allowing the hard work to pay off in time.
8. Avoid eating in the wee hours. If I am really craving something, I will try the tea first. If that doesn’t do it, I will eat an apple with some almond butter on it.
9. Learn to love a few favorites and stick with what you love, allowing variety when you go out. Who knew I’d love veggies so much? And going out? I will often order something from the appetizer menu and savor it (for example, I discovered a plate of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and capers at that is to die for!)