Recently my husband and I decided to embark on a healthy weight loss journey. Honestly, neither of us was very excited to begin this journey, but we both agreed that it needed to be done. And not for vanity sake either, we both hadn’t felt well in a very long time and we knew that our diet was contributing to the problem. (Okay, in the spirit of full disclosure, this decision may have had an element of vanity attached.)
In the past I have often called my husband my own personal “diet killer”. We would start a diet in the morning, and he would bake brownies, buy cookies, and take me out for a special ice cream that night. He has a gift.
This time though we decided to change our eating habits a bit differently. We looked at what was making us feel bad physically and we eliminated those things. Here are some tips that made our first month successful.
- Meal Planning:
Every week my husband and I sit down and we find meals that fit our new plan. We have decided that for us counting calories and worrying about proportions just won’t work. Since we are trying to make a permanent change, we needed something that we could do anywhere easily. We would plan healthy meals that consisted of mostly meat and veggies. In a nutshell, we decided to give up bread, pasta, and sugar. This plan isn’t for everyone, we prayed about what would be best for us and decided that this was something that we could maintain long term. My husband eliminated oatmeal from his diet as well. When he eats oatmeal his sugar spikes, I on the other hand have no trouble with it what so ever and so I eat it sparingly, usually when he isn’t around.
- Goal setting:
We set some short and long-term goals all while allowing us some rewards and fun in the process. For example- on Valentine’s day a friend invited us to come along for a date night at a local venue. For one fee, we could enjoy an appetizer of cheese fondue, a meal of steak, chicken and veggies, along with chocolate fondue for dessert. In between enjoying the food, the men would create flower arrangements for us, while we got to put together a nice bottle of massage oil for them. Oooo laa laa. Together my husband and I decided that since this special date night was about a month and a half into our new lifestyle we would plan for this to be a night of reward. IF, we stuck to our new plan we would allow ourselves to celebrate. We decided not to call it a cheat night. I hate that word and it isn’t cheating, it’s celebrating how well we had done. We also decided that IF we failed to stick to the plan, we would cancel the night. Listen, for us we needed both the incentive and the consequence.
What we didn’t do was put a weekly weight loss amount on our plan. If we were hungry, we chose foods like fruit, veggies, nuts, anything on the plan would work.
My husband does not view the scale like I do. To him the number on the scale is just that. A number. For me the number sometimes means that I have failed, that I have not made good choices and that I am ugly. Like I said earlier, full disclosure. This leads me to the next tip.
- Change our (my) thoughts:
I needed success to be measured by each day doing something healthy for my body. I needed to change my thoughts, change my heart and start telling myself each day that I was who God said I was and not be defined by the scale. I needed to re-see those numbers and realize that they may be an indication that I need to make some healthier choices, but they are not any indication of my worth. To do this I knew that I needed to study God’s word in this area. I needed to see what He had to say about me so that I could unravel years of wrong thinking. It’s unbelievable how much we grow up learning to agree with the world instead of God. So, I found scriptures about my worth, my beauty, and how much I am loved. The world says I need to fit a standard to have value, God says I have more value than the world can count.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again- progress over perfection is where I’m at. I am making progress in this area, but there is so much more work to be done. I easily slip back into my old habits and thoughts. I recently did some research on how long it takes to break a habit and create a new one. What I found was very revealing. The facts showed that it takes anywhere from 21 days to a year to truly create a new habit. Not so shocking is that the number of days it took was very personal. Each of us is an individual and our bodies and minds are individual too.
Month 1 results: (Yes, I did say that I have issues with the scale- I didn’t say I wouldn’t be getting on it. Although I need to see the big picture in all this, I do need to visit this little piece from time to time.)
I’m very happy to report that the best result is this- We both feel so much better. We have more energy and have found that we are really enjoying our new meals. We look for recipes that appeal to us and have added some new favorites to our menu.
Moreover, yes, we have both lost weight. I have lost 8 pounds, my husband 9. Our jeans are already fitting better and to be completely honest I haven’t felt like it’s a diet. Instead, I find myself excited to see what’s next. We have had some days that were hard and we will talk about those in the upcoming weeks, but all in all this process has been a really, really, positive one.