I have officially fallen of the wagon of eating well. Ever since spring break I have eaten terribly and every night I go to bed and think, I'll do better tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes and I do well until mid afternoon, when I start to crave cookies, cake, chocolate, ice cream, really anything sweet. I've been giving in to that temptation, overindulging and it's time to STOP!
Someone once told me that how you look is defined by 70% of what you eat, 20% exercise and 10% hereditary. Now I realize that I've been blessed with good genes and I know I've got the exercising mastered, but the biggest portion of that is what I need to work on. I know I can do it, I've done it before.
For almost 3 weeks I successfully gave up sweets and I experienced what "great" felt like. I wasn't cranky from sugar crashes, my thighs were definitely thinner and my stomach flatter. I'm determined to get back to that point. So I'm making a contract with myself. And if I stick with it I'm rewarding myself with a new swimming suit or maybe a new summer outfit!
BINDING CONTRACT WITH ME, MYSELF, and I
1. Don't self sabotage. You know how you go to the store and your kids talk you in to buying those Oreos, and you're the one that eats them all? Yea, I do that ALL the time! I'm not allowing it anymore because I know my will power sucks, so I can't have it in the house. In fact, I usually let my kids have 2 sugars (or desserts) a day. I'm cutting theirs out too (or at least decreasing what they get) - I'm sure they'll be thrilled, ha!
2. Plan your meals. If I take the time to plan out what we're eating for dinner all week and specifically what I'll eat each day, then I don't have to think about it the rest of the week! And if I know that we're going out to eat 2 days, then I can plan for that and eat well the rest of the week.
3. Save the sweets for a special occasion. It's ok to have a treat here and there, just not an entire box of cookies or tub of ice cream. And a special occasion does not mean, "it's Monday and the cupcakes are on sale," or "the suns out, lets get ice cream". When I give up the sugary sweets and then I eat one, I usually get a terrible stomach ache - a CLEAR sign, that my body shouldn't have it!
4. Eat because you're hungry. When I get a craving for something sweet, I need to take a drink of water, walk out of the kitchen and decide if I'm actually hungry or if I'm just wanting to eat to procrastinate. I tend to emotionally eat, especially if I'm stressed or have a lot going on. So, I need to address this and remove myself from the kitchen! It's mindless eating and that really packs on the calories!
5. Find your inspiration! I'm tearing out a page from Athleta and putting it on the fridge! I'm also going to put a sign that says, "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."
(Now I know I'm not over weight and I don't really NEED to lose weight, but after losing the sugar puffiness and enjoying my thinner thighs, I want that back! I don't want to be "skinny" I want to be athletic, lean and healthy).
6. Keep a food journal. This is a great way to keep myself accountable for the calories I'm eating. I use an app on my phone called "MyFitness Pal". It's awesome and has almost every thing you'd eat already listed in there.
7. Exercise 5 hours a week. This will get much easier as it starts to warm up and I can take the boys on bike rides, walks around the block, playing soccer in the back yard, etc.
8. Acknowledge failure but don't dwell on it. I know I'm not perfect and I know I'll give in to temptation, but I'm not going to dwell on it. I'm also not going to allow it to take over for weeks on end like it has. I'll get right back on track the next day.
9. Get someone to do it with you. It's always easier to do these things with others. I know I have a couple friends I can call to talk me out of eating something I'll just regret later. And knowing that I'll have to check in with someone every week on how my eating went, will also keep me on track. I'm also going to get my husband involved, he'll smack those cookies right out of my hand - his will power is a lot better than mine!!
10. Life isn't about food, it's about having fun and making memories! Don't let family and friend gatherings revolve around food. This will also get easier as it gets warmer. Go outside and play with the kids, go for a walk, DO something instead of just EATING something. No more standing in the kitchen around the food and snacking before dinner is even served!
This contract may not be suitable for everyone, but I hope it will at least inspire you to make your own contract with yourself and stick to it. Let me know what helps make you successful in this never ending battle of saying no to processed foods!
Melissa Ash - mom of 2 energetic boys, wife, and business woman. Just trying to "do it all".