Both of the above pictures are me. The left is prior to losing 100lbs and the right (on the top of the plank pyramid) is after maintaining that weight loss for 6 years,
This by far has been one of my toughest battles of my life and I would be a liar if I told you that weight loss was easy. It is the most un-predicatable, un-mathematical, and un-linear equation I’ve ever seen. Actually, it IS rocket science 😉 Well, maybe just for me it was? Maybe you are reading this and weight just falls off of you, well if that is the case- no need to keep reading because that is definitely not me and this blog won’t help you. BUT- If you are reading this and you struggle with your weight? Then stay here because you are just like ME! I fought for every pound I lost, I struggled, I cried, I cussed, and I straight up was livid some weeks when I got on the scale. Ever seen a 5 foot tall redneck hobbit? Well…now you have because I was furious many times with my body. I just couldn’t get it to always do what I thought it should. I wrote down what I ate, stayed within a certain number, exercised, chose healthy foods, prayed- heck I was doing it all!!! Maybe something was wrong with me, maybe I was meant to just be “fat” forever, maybe I wasnt trying hard enough, maybe I didnt want it bad enough, or maybe I was just not good enough to be pretty.
Maybe I was doing it all according to what worked for someone else and not what worked for Crystal? 😉
So here are my 5 tips for weight loss but remember: do what works for you. Not everything I did will work for you and not everything you do would work for me. You are you and there is no one else like you on Earth. God made you uniquely different, embrace it <3
1. Take it 1 bite at a time. Yikes..why would I say that? Geez people told me, “Crystal take it 1 day at a time.” Seriously? Ever met someone with a binge eating disorder? Haha, do you know what I can do in a day?? So, I thought I could take it one meal at a time, but even that was often too much for me. I started going slow and just accepting that I had a problem. I ate my meals one bite at a time (duh we all do right?? BUT I focused on 1 bite at a time). I didnt worry if I was going to binge on that meal, I only worried about that 1 bite of food on my fork. Was it too much? Was I full? Did I need to say STOP to eating?
2. There are no rules. Yeah, I said it. Shoot me now for saying that. Seriously though- who says you should eat this and not that? Who says you should count this as a bad carb and that as a good carb? Who says you should eat full fat dairy but not fruit? Who says you shouldn’t eat fruit but can eat all the dairy you want? Who says you shouldn’t eat oats but can eat a pound of bacon? Ok, so those are extreme examples and I realize that is absurd, but you get my point. The rules are not always rules but instead what worked for someone ELSE!! There are many people who thrive on Paleo. Does that mean it will work for you? Nope. Some people do exceptionally well counting calories. Does that meant it will work for you? Nope. Some people do well on vegan, vegetarian, nutrisystem, atkins, south beach, etc (the list is long). Does that mean those plans will work for you? Nope. You have to find YOUR plan. For me personally, that meant taking a little of all of them and developing a plan that works for ME. I dont follow Paleo 100% or count calories 100% or Vegan 100%. I just do what I found that works and that means making a healthy choice 80% of the time. Healthy to me means I can eat fruit if I want or I can eat low fat dairy, if I want oats, vegan, or vegetarian choices. I don’t follow any 1 plan to a T because in my mind, if I wasnt 100% right on track, then I was a failure. In the mind of a binge eater, you tell me I failed for the day? Then I had permission to really screw it up and restart tomorrow. On my personal eating plan, there is no food that is off limits now. This way, there is no way to screw up. If I choose healthy foods 8 out of 10 times, then I never need to restart tomorrow.
3. Let go of the Monday Mentality. I used to weigh in on Saturday’s. So every week I was “good” until around Wednesday. By then I was fed up with the stress of weigh in on Saturday so I started thinking, “I’ll restart the first of the week”. For me, the first of the week was Saturday. That derailed my efforts so many times. I had to learn that the next meal was a restart if I got off track. There is no, “I’ll start tomorrow, Monday, next month” option for me. It’s the next meal. Once I realized that messing up didn’t give me a free pass to restart later, I stopped having so many set backs.
4. There is no good or bad food. Food is food. What a tough one. I fought this mentality with a sledge hammer and shield. I struggled to truly believe that food is food and it doesn’t define me. For years if I ate fast food, unhealthy food, or had a binge day then my logic was: I ate bad food, I am bad. I hate to literally retrain my brain. There is no good or bad food. Food doesn’t have a personality or a soul. Food is food. I repeated that to myself so many times. If you are reading this, please hear me: Food doesn’t define you. If you eat an unhealthy food item, it is not a bad food and you are not bad for eating it!!!! You are still YOU!!! That food item didn’t change your heart or your soul. Ugh, I know- you may be reading this and you are struggling just like I was, but please make a conscience effort from this point on to not let your food choices define you as a person.
5. Let go of what you can, accept what you refuse to change. I realize I will probably get blasted for this, but the truth is the truth and it will stand when the world is on fire. I changed what I could – or was willing to change- and I embraced the foods I enjoy. So what does that mean? I don’t like chicken. Like- I HATE it. For years I forced it down the hatch, gagging, and hating every minute until one day I said to myself: is THIS living?!? No it was not. I fell into the thought process of :if I wanted to be lean, I had to eat certain foods. Um, no. Repeat after me: NO YOU DON’T. If you hate a food, geez, don’t eat it. Now that is not your free pass to say you hate all veggies so “Crystal said you don’t have to eat them” 😉 I am saying, if you have tried to eat a food but you know you hate it, don’t force it. You will begin to hate your food plan. I don’t eat chicken but I eat other proteins instead. Just because I hate chicken didn’t mean that I ate french fries in it’s place, I found another protein that I like. KWIM? If you hate green beans? Don’t eat them. Eat another green veggie. Let go of foods you hate or can’t eat and embrace the ones you do.
There ya have it! My top 5 tips for healthy weight loss. Like it? Please share!!