Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cheaters Lose

Everyday I watch the news and read articles about health and fitness to try to find something interesting to talk to you about as well as researching what kind of things will work  for me. I'm new at trying to have this new train of thought so I'm interested in personal stories. This of course doesn't suprise me. I'm a journalist and my favorite stories to write have always been feature stories. They may not be the hard hitting news that wins people awards, but to me to get to write someone's story and give them recognition on any kind of level is amazing. As an undergrad I wrote several feature stories, not just on students and professors, but everyone. I wrote feature stories on people from the president of the university all the way to one of the janators at the university (and her story and interview really was more Seeings how these are my favorite kind of story the write it only makes sense that I also enjoy reading them as well.

Today I was looking up stories online and I came across Linda's personal account of how it was that she lost a little over 100 pounds in about a year in a half. She has kept this weight off for over a year. Like most dieters Linda had tried all different kinds of diets (like Weight Watchers and the Nutrisystem plan) in the past and would be successful with them, but as soon as she would  stop the diet she would gain all of the weight right back. Linda said that she would sometimes lose up to 70 or 80 pounds, only to see it come right back.

Linda before
At 222 pounds Linda had reached a breaking point. She was driving in a car with her husband who told her that he wanted to lose some weight because his pants were getting kind of tight. Linda's husband was not overweight, but she thought that if he was going to do this she needed to do something too. So Linda told her husband she would do it with him.

Linda decided that she was going to do this different than she had before because things in the past hadn't worked. She figured she didn't have to pay anyone to put the weight on so she wasn't going to pay anyone to help her take it off. This time she was doing it with no diet pills and no specific weight loss plan. Linda also realized that she was going to have to consider this a lifestyle change and not a diet (doesn't this sound like what I've been saying the whole time?).

So Linda took it old school and just started watching what she ate. Linda cut her calories back to 1,000 a day Monday-Saturday and on Sundays she would allow herself to have a "cheat day" where she could eat whatever she wanted. Linda believes this cheat day was the key to her success. Sure it may have taken her longer to drop the pounds by having it, but it also helped her stay on track and keep her sanity. By allowing for this one day she would not cheat throughout the week because she kept telling herself that she could wait until Sunday and she could have whatever it was that she was craving.

Linda now

Linda now weights 116 pounds. That's right she went from 222 to 116. That's amazing! The point in me posting this specific story is because of the holiday and all of the food that we will be faced with tomorrow. It's OK to mess up a little and dieting shouldn't ruin your life. If yu spend teh whold day stressing about what you're eating tehn it's just going to be a bad day. And as I've said a million times before sterss is bad on teh body. If I mess up and eat a little bit more tomorrow than I have been I'm not going to consider myself a failure, I'm just going to have to be more thoughtful about my intake the rest of the week. I also remind myself of the wonderful feeling I feel when stepping on the scale and seeing that the number has gone down. Normally that is enough to supress my cravings.

"It took me a year and a half to lose over a hundred pounds, and I have had the weight off for one year," said Linda. "I truly believe that the reward days were the secret to my success. In the past, whenever I dieted, I never, ever cheated, but as soon as I reached my goal, I ate like a nut because I had deprived myself for so long. Now that I have reached my goal, I still follow the same plan, except that I can have 1,300 to 1,400 calories a day with the reward day on Sunday. It has become a lifestyle for me now, but I know that I can never let my guard down on my weight or I will be right back where I started. How funny that after so many years of following diets strictly, my success all hinged on my 'cheat day' each week!"

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and hopefully you will get to spend it with your friends and family. Remember don't beat yourself up over your intake and think of Linda. Maybe this Thursday can be your cheat day. If you want to know more you can read Linda's story.

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