Losing weight has never been easy for me.
I’m not saying it’s a walk in the park for everyone else, but I know there is a group of people who seem to be able to stay focused and determined once they decide to lose weight. They buckle down, do what they need to and keep their eye on the prize. I know a few of them, and I’m always so impressed that they look SO GOOD just a few weeks after having a baby.
I’m in the other camp watching in frustrated awe… eating a McCain Deep and Delicious cake, wondering why I’m not losing weight.
My problem is this: I have no patience. In my recesses of my brain, I know that losing weight takes time. I know this. And yet, this is still how my brain works:
My brain: “I ate a super healthy breakfast AND I didn’t eat six cookies this morning. I am soooo skinny.” Steps on scale before lunch.
Scale: No change.
My brain: “What? That can’t be possible. I ate healthy for like 6 hours! Where’s the results?! What’s the point?!” Steps on scale again.
Scale: One pound gain.
My brain: “I hate life.” Eats six cookies.
The struggle is real, friends.
In the early days of this cycle to get healthy, I always get really frustrated. I’ll start making the changes, do things properly, but nothing changes. My silly, silly brain wants results now, and doesn’t like it when those results take a little longer to show.
But a couple of times, I’ve been able to silence my brain and work through that early frustration and achieve some real results. And I’m not just talking about lower numbers on the scale (although seeing that is so, so lovely), I’m talking about having clothes that fit and feeling awesome when I look in the mirror.
I’m about 10 days into my weight loss challenge, and I’ve been working non-stop at trying to change this unhealthy and unrealistic way of thinking. I’m digging deep and reminding myself that real change takes time, and the results I want will not happen over night. They just won’t.
My sister recommended a Netflix documentary to me, and I carved out some time to watch it the other afternoon while Prince Will slept on my lap. It’s called Fed Up, and something about it really spoke to me. Now I know that many of these documentaries are biased and have an agenda and blah blah blah, but of all the good that I found in this film, one phrase hit home and has been ringing in my brain ever since:
A calorie is not a calorie.
Not all calories are equal. Wait, what? Again, I think this is something that I’ve always known deep down, but the way the film lays it out was very eye opening. What my body does with 1000 calories of junk food is not the same as what it does with 1000 calories of fruits and vegetables. BOOM. Exercising and watching how many calories I intake each day is only part of the battle. What I really need to change is the kinds of calories I’m ingesting. I can exercise until the cows come home, but until I change what I’m fueling my body with, I won’t lose weight.
So I’ve really been trying to focus on removing excess sugar, refined flours and processed foods from my diet… and I’m doing it in small steps. I want the changes I’m making to be sustainable. I want to silence my silly, silly brain and show off some real, lasting results. SO. Let’s talk change.
First, I’ve stopped eating at night. Let’s be honest… what kind of food do you usually reach for after dinner? Junk. I can count the number of times I reached into my fridge for a head of raw broccoli to munch on at night on no hands. 7pm is usually my cut off, and I’ll go up and brush my teeth to make it official.
Second, I’m trying to clean up what I eat for breakfast, and I don’t eat any sweets in the morning. I’m eating eggs, smoothies, Greek yogurt, granola and other healthy alternatives for breakfast, and I am trying to only snack on fruit right now. (It helps with the sugar cravings.)
Third, I’m planning healthy dinners. I’m really trying to simplify what I’m making to a protein with some veggies. That’s it. I’m cutting way, way back on pastas and starches to make room for more brightly colored veggies. Eat the rainbow, friends! (and I’m not talking about Skittles.)
Fourth, I’m really trying to cut back on my baking. This is a hard one for me. I love baking. It’s very therapeutic for me. There’s something very calming about following a set of directions and having something turn out beautifully. If I bake now, I’m trying to make sure it’s a healthier version–black bean brownies or chick pea blondies, with honey as a sweetener instead of sugar.
I’m really trying to reduce the processed foods we eat by making things from scratch. Yes, it’s more time consuming but I’m already seeing results. Yesterday I noticed that the shirt I put on looked a little better than usual. I stepped on the scale today and since the beginning of this challenge last week, I’ve lost 4.5lbs.
My silly, silly brain did a happy dance and it was just the push I needed to stay determined through this long weekend.
A calorie is not a calorie. Who knew?!