Over the Thanksgiving break, my mom planned a family and friends reunion in the town where we grew up, while my siblings and I were all in town. In the past, when I had an upcoming reunion or wedding where I would be seeing a lot of family and friends after a long time, there was a part of me that dreaded it. It took so much energy to think about what I would wear that would flatter me. I was worried about my stomach sticking out, my pants noticeably stretching around my thighs, or my top hugging me too tightly.
When I thought about all of the effort to choose my outfit, probably need to get it altered, and get ready, I was tired already. There were some times when I felt so low about my weight, especially right after I had my daughter, that I considered declining invitations because I knew I wouldnt FEEL good about myself when I went out. I wouldnt feel confident or happy in party clothes — so instead of going out with my family and friends, I preferred to stay home.
Im not saying this is right — but its how I felt.
As you may know about me from my past posts – I had always thought I had a certain body due to my genetics and I wasnt physically able to lose weight past a certain point— I was big boned and that was how I was born. For our family reunion, however, I was in a place where I had lost my unwanted weight. Instead of spending hours thinking about what I could wear that would hide or cover my love handles, I knew in a moment that I had a dress in my closet that was perfect. It was the dress I wanted to wear — and I wasnt afraid or self-conscious about it.
I decided to go for it, be untraditional and different from my past and wear a dress that I used to think would never fit my "body type."
When I put on the dress that morning, something magical happened. As I looked in the mirror, I didn't think about how I looked. I realized how great I felt.
I felt confident, young, and so free, and I was able to wear what I wanted and feel good about it. At the reunion, aunties that used to squeeze my cheeks and ask me why I had gained weight in the past now came up to me told me how great I looked. They asked me what I was doing — and how I could look like this after having 2 kids.
I was excited to be at the reunion, and I felt glamorous and successful. I felt like walking on air, especially as friends from the past and family I hadnt seen for years complimented me. I had accomplished something big — and others recognized and commented on it.
Plus — I had so much energy. I had to pick up my 3-year old daughter wearing heels and walk all around the party with her – and it didn't wind me to do so. I didn't feel exhausted after chasing my 4-year old son around and to make sure he sat down to eat a good lunch.
After years of struggling to get to my goal weight — getting there gave me so many more benefits BEYOND being thin.
Im still basking in the ADDITIONAL effects of weight loss — confidence, energy, and a new feeling that I can do anything! Being able to wear a dress I would have never imagined wearing a few years ago was a symbol of my accomplishment.
(especially if you don't have a lot of time)
With our busy lives, it's hard to stay motivated to be healthy. We want to eat right and exercise, but life is challenging, and we have a lot to balance on our plates – and we often don't have enough time. I have some tips for 2014 that will make it easy to fit being healthy in your full life – and you will truly feel amazing about yourself.
1. Eat Simpler
Eat similar foods for each meal everyday. You will decrease the shopping, decision-making, cooking time and will know what portions keep you full. Most importantly, you will decrease temptation to eat something unhealthy when you dont have something already in mind to eat.
Find a few healthy recipes and meals you love and eat them again and again. My general themes for what I eat regularly are:
- Breakfast: Low-Sugar Protein Smoothie or Veggie Omelet for breakfast
- Lunch: Chopped Salad
- Snack: Handful of Mixed Nuts or Unsalted Almonds
- Dinner: Salmon or other fish with sautéed, spiced vegetables and/or lentils
Ill be sharing some of my specific recipes in upcoming posts, starting with breakfast.
2. Eat Smarter
You will see fast fat loss when you decrease sugar, add protein and reduce or replace bread and rice intake.
- A good replacement for regular bread is sprouted grain or high fiber bread
- A healthy and tasty replacement for rice is quinoa
3. Start Small
No more feeling guilty for not "doing enough.” Take advantage of your motivation right now to eat healthier and lose weight. Make 1 change first — it takes time to make a change that works for you.
For example, find a filling, high-protein, easy breakfast. Or try to make quinoa one evening, or purchase sprouted grain bread. Dont feel that you have to consume your life with losing weight and changing everything you do. Feel great about yourself by making one change – it means you will be on the path to a long-term healthier lifestyle – and your weight will follow.
Leave your comments below to tell me what you struggle with to stay healthy. Is it hard to fit into your schedule, you're tired, or you're not sure what to do? Your comments will help me come up with specific solutions to help you.