How to Keep Healthy Habits After Weight Loss
Losing 40 pounds was one thing—but Lizz Porter's biggest challenge is sticking to her new diet and lifestyle changes
A few years ago, I realized I'd been unhappy with my body for a while. I'd simply given in to my expanding waistline and made regular stops at Old Navy and Target to buy larger pants. I weighed nearly 230 pounds. I'm six feet tall, so it doesn't look as dramatic on me as it may on someone with less height, but the day I realized that size 16 pants were a better fit than my 14s, I knew I had to do something.
On a whim, I applied for the Shaklee corporation's blogger program, and was thrilled when I was invited to join. I signed on to do their 6-month "Turnaround" program, and was excited at the prospect. I figured I'd lose some weight, and because there were motivational prizes along the way, I might get some goodies out of it as well. (Looking for your own weight-loss motivation? Read The Most Inspiring Weight Loss Success Stories of 2014.)
Shaklee worked great for me; in six months, I dropped 44 pounds and went on to win a grand prize of cash and a trip to a fancy spa with my husband. But, critically, during those six months, it wasn't just about drinking the shakes and counting the calories-I built new habits for our whole family. We ate out less, because I only got to eat one meal a day and I wanted it to be great. I didn't want to use up calories on anything less than delicious food. We joined a gym and went several times a week: I'd hit the bike or treadmill, my husband the elliptical, and our son loved the play place at the gym.
For six months, we were into it, and the pounds dropped off.
And then the program ended.
I quickly lost the great habits I had worked so hard to develop. I always joke about "winter weight," because cold weather makes me hungry and lazy. For me, eating a salad when it's 40 degrees outside is simply impossible. I want mac 'n' cheese and lasagna and brownies. I want warm, gooey, terrible dietary choices. (Here are 9 Things No One Ever Warned You About Losing Weight.)
Since finishing the Shaklee program, I've gained back about 15 of the 44 pounds I lost. I'm not thrilled about it, but I also know that it's possible for me to lose it again, as long as I put my mind to it.
Oh, look! It's a new year! Time to make resolutions and drop all the weight! I'm going to stop drinking so much coffee, and run 5 times a week, and never eat fast food and do laundry every day and…!!!
I got lazy. It's as simple as that. Weight-loss changes can't be new-year events, or six-month plans. They need to be daily choices I make-and if I stop paying attention, it's just too easy to slide off track.
When I was asked to write this, I mentioned that it might be just what I need to get back on track. I know I can do it, I know I feel better when I weigh less.
This is something that's in my control, I just have to be mindful of it. Getting back on track is something that needs to happen daily, not just when the ball drops in Times Square.
Check out Lizz's blog at amiafunnygirl.com.