Easy, Three-Step Diet Plan: Week One. Yes, I lost weight!
Review of the Three-Step Weight Loss Plan
Last week I embarked on my own weight loss plan. It involved three steps:
1.) Get Rid of the Scale
2). Be Aware
Here are the specifics: I promised myself that I would only get on the scale once a week. After each meal I would repeat to myself, "This is breakfast. This is lunch. This is dinner. Now you're done." I'd also try to be more aware of my eating. That is, I would eat when I was hungry, stop when I was full, try to make healthy choices, and take notice when I wanted to eat for reasons other than hunger. I also vowed to exercise every day, for at least thirty minutes. This plan didn't involve any strict food guidelines and was a much gentler and more positive approach than other "diet plans" that I tried.
Here is My First Hub on The Easy, 3-Step Diet Plan
- Easy Three-Step Dieting Plan
Diets usually mean strict food restrictions, rules and guidelines. What if there could be a much gentler, yet effective approach? See how easing up on yourself may just be the answer to weigh-loss success.
WEEK ONE RESULTS
Today was weigh-in day and I was very happy with the results. 1.6 pounds lost! Although this is not a huge number, it is a healthy loss, and it is a loss! Plus, I have followed much stricter weight loss programs in the past where I felt anxious and restricted all the time--yet lost about the same amount of weight as this program which hardly felt like any effort at all. And now I'm headed in the right direction, with the numbers going down!
For me, it was quite a challenge to avoid the scale for an entire week. I admit I usually weigh myself every single day, sometime two or three times a day. I know that is not a healthy habit so I am glad to be breaking it! That said, it was important for me to see the results after one week and to verify whether or not this new weight-loss approach is working, which it is!
I also admit that not all of my food choices were healthy ones. Sometimes I would grab some potato chips or even chocolate chips. I had ice cream, and beer, too. But this is where my awareness came in ---I was aware of what I was doing and used positive thoughts to stop the overeating in its tracks rather than turning it into a full-on food bonanza like I would have in the past. I let myself know that a handful of chips or two beers was not the end of the world, nor was it an excuse to pig out until a "re-start" the next day. By easing up on myself when I overate slightly, I was able to turn the situation around rather than ruin all the positive progress I'd made.
Negative thinking still reared its ugly head. There were times when I didn't like what I saw in the mirror. Times when I compared myself to other women and thought they were prettier, sexier, younger, more in style, or more in shape. There were times when I just felt "fat" in my clothes. During those times, I wanted to turn to food for comfort. But I am aware of those thoughts and the actions they lead toward. And I'm working on it.
I went one week without getting on the scale. In doing so, I realized that so much of my self-esteem came from the number I'd see when I weighed myself. If the number was down, I would feel up. If the number was up, I'd be down. Without the scale as a barometer for my mood, I really had to do some self-examination. I learned I could be happy without knowing my weight and likewise that I can be unhappy without the number, too. By not weighing myself, it helped connect me with my feelings and my thoughts, a key component to breaking the over-eating cycle.
I felt calm and positive about this plan, rather than anxious about being perfect like I would normally feel on other plans. I actually found myself leaving food on my plate and going about my day without obsessing about food. It felt natural and normal and pressure-free. This was a wonderful thing.
I used positive thinking when I needed it most. My thoughts encouraged me to go to exercise rather than sleep in, even when I did feel "fat". I told myself it was OK to say no to dessert or other treats when I wasn't feeling hungry for them. I reminded myself that I could have something "tomorrow" instead of obsessing about it today. In general, I felt a lot more relaxed--something I don't usually feel about food or dieting. Usually, I am either restricting or pigging out--and both extremes made me miserable. This week was a whole new balanced and relaxed mindset.
By following this plan, I was more tuned into my body's natural rhythm, rather than the false guidelines of a food plan. I ate what I wanted, and stopped when I was full. Instead of mindless snacking, I held myself off until mealtimes, not because a food plan said to, but because it felt right to do so. I didn't restrict myself from any foods, yet for the most part, made healthy choices anyway. I actually ordered an egg-white sandwich at a donut shop because that is what I truly wanted! It tasted great and completely satisfied me! Throughout the week, I let my hunger and my body choose what I'd eat, rather than a meal plan or my emotions.
I LOST 1.6 pounds! To me, this is a great victory because it felt effortless. I never felt starving or stressed. I felt energized and excited about this approach.
THOUGHTS FOR WEEK TWO
As I look ahead to Week Two, I am looking for improvement. I hope to continue to be aware of my emotional eating and hope to have fewer episodes of it. I also hope to see where I can cut back on food portions where possible. For breakfast, for example, I know I can be just as satisfied with half a bagel with a side of cantaloupe rather than a whole bagel just because it's been my habit. I also want to increase my water intake. I could definitely use some improvement in that area.
I am really excited about Week Two! Thank you, readers for being part of this journey. Knowing you are out there, reading about my promises and progress, helps to keep me on track. I hope some of you will join me with this easy, positive thinking approach to weight loss.
I will continue to update you weekly, and also plan to write more about each step of this approach--the subject of the scale, awareness, and exercise. I hope you will follow my progress and wish you luck with yours!