The First 50

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So how did I let myself gain 90lbs?

The short story is that for most of my life I wasn’t overweight but still used food for comfort. 

I gained the first 20lbs simply from being lazy about how I was eating after having my kids.

The next 70 came after I had my second daughter. I struggled with mild postpartum depression and didn’t seek help for 2 years. During that time food became my drug of choice. I’d feel crappy about everything and try to drown it in a big junk food binge and then feel even worse.

As the weight piled on, I’d feel even more crappy about myself and eat more to try and feel better. Pathetic, yes, but a fairly common scenario.

I tried and failed multiple times to make the changes necessary to lose the weight. I hired a personal trainer. I went to see a nutritionist. I read books. Tried programs. Signed up for weight loss websites. I rarely lasted more than a day.

Now here’s the rub: I know a TON about healthy eating and exercise. I even used to be a certified fitness instructor. Even at my most overweight I was still reading all I could about healthy eating and exercise. But I couldn’t manage to take the leap from information to action.

I believed I was doomed to stay fat forever.

So what has made all the difference this time? Here’s my not-so-short list:

1. I was ready. I fully believe that all my failed attempts up until that point weren’t useless. Each one taught me something and all those somethings eventually added up until I had success.

2. I had people in my life who were successfully losing weight. You know who you are. Even if I haven’t said anything to you, know that you have inspired me.

3. I had a whole different mindset going into it this time. I went into this for life. No diets. No hardcore exercise plans. I used basic common sense nutrition and exercise. The only changes I made were ones I thought I could live with for life.

4. I focused on the immediate, positive results of what I was doing. I used to eat for emotional gratification, now I focused on how good I felt after a healthy meal and how gross I felt after eating junk. I focused on how good I felt after a workout.

5. I rewarded myself for healthy eating/exercise behaviors. The way I figured it, if I did the right things, weight loss would follow. For the first month I promised myself that I’d get a cute pair of new workout pants if I worked out 6 days per week for a month without missing a workout. I bought myself a game I wanted at the end of the second month and on it went.

6. I had an amazing partner who was 100% on board with my goals. Even though my husband was in no way overweight, he recognized a need to get in shape. I couldn’t lay in bed while he went downstairs to work out and vice versa. We kept each other motivated.

7. I refused to cook seperate meals for myself just because I was counting calories.  This was going to be a lifestyle change. I made it my mission to find healthy, super-yummy recipes that we’d all enjoy.

All right, that’s enough for now. Next post I share some of the specific strategies that have worked for me.
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