It's amazing what kind of power our daily routines and habits have...
Let me start off by saying that until the age of 23 I was overweight. Not super heavy, but I had about 20 extra pounds that were not making me pretty and confident. I always wanted to lose weight, tried different diets and exercise, but nothing seemed to help. Even after a terrible week of eating only buckwheat, I noticed I lost 8 pounds, but gained it back the next week. What a disappointment!
It was winter 2010 when I met my husband and fell in love. Now I wanted to change more than ever. That winter I decided to review my eating habits. I sat down, relaxed, and started to analyze. What do I eat every day? What do I drink? When and how often do I eat? What is a calorie? How many calories do I need? All of these questions had to be answered.
It turned out, that a 20 oz bottle of Coca-Cola has 275 calories and 75 grams of sugar in it (!) and I had one of those almost every day. For breakfast I had a cup of coffee with sugar and milk, some kind of sandwich for lunch, and a big meal for dinner. If I wanted ice cream or chocolate – not a problem! I went out and bought it! Do you think I ever checked how many calories there were?
So I decided that I had to change my eating habits. This is what I did:
- I gave up soda for good and started drinking water instead. It wasn't hard, I just had to continuously remind myself to drink water (there are different kinds of phone apps that do it, such as Daily Water and Waterlogged ) and so I was never thirsty and had no need for soda.
- I started eating using this pattern: always had a nice, big-sized breakfast, medium-sized lunch, and a small dinner. Dinner was usually a salad or baked vegetables. It is a good idea to have salad or some kind of veggies for dinner because it usually digests in about 2 hours, so when I was going to sleep, I felt slightly hungry. That way, when I woke up in the morning, there was no way I would miss that nice, big-sized breakfast!
- I always had a lunch box with home-made food with me at work, so I didn’t have to order food from elsewhere.
- I ate sweets only in the first part of the day, and about ¼ or less of what I used to eat. I snacked with almonds, dates, cashews or raisins.
- I quit smoking. I read Alan Carr's book “Easy Way to Quit Smoking”. BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE!!!!
That's it. I was following these rules all winter and noticed that I dropped about 10 pounds and I also had more energy. So, as spring approached, I decided to go jogging. I still remember the first day I went for a jog. I couldn't run 15 blocks, but I was setting new checkpoints for the next time I go running. So the next time I ran 17 blocks, then 20, then 5 miles... I was running in the evening about 3-4 times a week.
You know, it is interesting that after the first 1.5 months of running my weight didn't change at all. It is hard to stay motivated when you don't see any results. But at this point, running became a habit and a part of me, so I kept running. As I was getting close to 2-month mark my extra weight started to disappear. That’s how I lost another 20 pounds. I went from 145 lbs to 115 in half a year simply by watching what I ate and drank and adopting a healthier lifestyle. I cannot even believe that it took me so long to get the health and the body I wanted. And all that I needed to do was change my daily routines and habits!
As the years passed, I adopted so many other useful habits and adjusted my cooking style accordingly. Hopefully, after reading this you will decide to adopt at least one small change that will have a positive impact on your health. We spend so much time talking on the phone, replying to mail, fixing problems, and having fun and, sadly, we don’t take the time to take good care of our health.