Many people ask how I lost 50lbs and kept most of it off for over 9 years. Here is my story and what worked for me.
In 2005 I was approaching my 50th birthday and was 40 lbs overweight. My excuse for being overweight, "I just had a baby," was not working anymore as the baby of the family was now 11 years old. I decided to start jogging and when I did I found something was following me and banging up and down. It was my butt!
When I returned home I stood naked and really looked in the mirror. I looked at the front, back, side and felt my rolls. How had this happened? I was always athletic, tried to eat right and was in the 'normal' weight range. My face and hair were always my best asset and I dressed to hide the the bottom half. I guess I forgot to look down for too many years. I was finally ready to find out why I ate so much and eventually able to figure it out on my own.
I don't know what makes us over eat, but I figured out what was causing me to. The reason you may be overweight may not be the same as what made me overweight (or chubby, as my friend likes to say), but you need to ask yourself what keeps you from being the slim, healthy you that is inside all of us. For me this meant getting out of the kitchen, laying on my bed and asking myself why I wanted to stuff my mouth with what ever I could find. It was actually quite painful to deal with the issues going on inside my head instead of eating them, but it was also liberating to realize I would never "diet" again.
It was a relief to decide there would be no more crash diets. No more expensive weight loss programs. No more cabbage soup diets and starvation! No more believing friends who would tell me I looked fine and to PLEASE eat the cookies, cake, or dessert they had made.
I started by watching the people around me order food and then would sit back and pay attention to their choices. What a surprise to see that the thin people ordered food and then ate slowly and never finished their plates. They were conscious of what they were eating and thoughtful about how much they would eat. If it was something that wasn't good they pushed it around and felt no guilt about not finishing it. The overweight people immediately plunged into their food, chewed very little and left nothing for a doggy bag. It looked like they were trained to finish their meal no matter what it tasted like. It didn't look like they registered more than the first bite and then ate until the plate was empty, as they were probably taught to do so since they were young like me.
Most of us are now adults and can make our own choices on what we want to eat without feeling guilt that if we don't finish our food it will cause others to starve. Regardless of making people happy by eating something we don't want or wasting food by not cleaning our plate, it all ends up in the same place whether it is in the garbage can or the toilet. The difference is that our body becomes the filtration system and we gain weight from finishing food we don't want.
After self analyzing, I did lose the 40 pounds in 6 months and actually a total of 50 pounds, which was taking it too far. It was so empowering to take charge of when I ate, what I ate, and what I wanted to eat that people thought I was sick. Be careful to know your limits.
So, if you decide you want to learn how to eat what you want, when you want, on your terms and not to be a prisoner of food, try my suggestion above and be thoughtful and attentive when around food. Eat whatever you want, but take a few seconds to think about how it tastes, the texture and how fast you are eating it. For those few seconds watch what the thin and overweight person is eating, how they are eating it and at the end see who has food left on their plate.
One more secret is to keep it a secret. Talking about losing weight and what you had for lunch is boring to others and sometimes makes them feel guilty as they may be thinking they should lose weight themselves. Friends can become saboteurs subconsciously.
Each week I will write again to give you another tip about how to take control and stop over eating. These are tips that worked for me. Take what works for you and leave the rest!
INTENTION: EAT TO LIVE, don't live to eat.