The biggest concern you have shared with me is, “where do I start?” It is a common question for anyone trying to lose weight. There is an over abundance of information on diet and weight loss and we can quickly become overwhelmed with all the details and different methods.
What do I eat? When do I eat it? How much can I eat? What about exercise? I asked all those questions too, when I first started. Without a clear path forward, most of us throw in the towel and go back to our old habits. I want to help you get over that hurdle with 5 things you can do today to help jump this hurdle.
To be successful on your Trim Healthy Mama journey, you will need to change some of your thinking. One thing you should change is radicalism. Some of the principles in THM are radical, but that does not mean you should take a radical approach in your journey to being trim and healthy. You know, the one where you raid your fridge and pantry and throw out all the ‘forbidden’ foods. Or, if you are like me, eat the forbidden foods because you know you will never let them touch your lips again 😉
We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare – slow and steady wins the race. It is the same with weight loss. We didn’t gain the weight quickly and we shouldn’t expect to lose it quickly. Please don’t expect to change decades of eating habits in one day. If you do attempt this, you will surely burn out and fall back into old ways of eating. Take your time as you slowly start creating sustainable, healthier habits.
So where should I start?
1. At ground level. Focus on laying a great foundation. Take the time to think about where you are and where you want to be. Write down why you want to change the way you are eating. List the health changes you would like to see. Make a note of all the health benefits you will gain by changing your diet. Prioritise a healthier you.
Take stock of where you are now, so that in 2-3 months time, you can look back and see your progress. Get out the scales and weigh yourself. Take measurements of your bust, waist, hips, and both thighs. Write it down and file it away. Take some photos from different angles, maybe from the front and from the side. You could even do this monthly and provide yourself with monthly progress pictures. As you make changes to your diet, your body will transform its shape, not just its weight. I wish I had done this as I know my shape has changed dramatically even though I haven’t had huge changes on the scales.
2. Become intentional in your planning and actions in relation to food. Too often, I find myself mindlessly reaching for chocolate or food just because I am walking through the kitchen. If I have planned all my meals and snacks then the desire to grab a snack is greatly reduced. Try it and see if it helps you too. Print out the weekly meal plans from Aussie Mamas and create a shopping list. Having all your meals preplanned will help you stick to your goals. We all know that shopping without a list is a budget disaster, so too is changing your eating habits without being intentional and having a meal plan ready to go.
3. Grab your calendar and make time for grocery shopping, meal preparation and exercise. For me, if it is not written down on a list or a calendar then it is unlikely to get done. If we want to see changes happen then we need to make them a priority. Get out those to do lists and calendars and write down what you intend to do. Be intentional. If you have a smart phone (these are great for busy Mamas), set up some alarms to remind you of things to do, like soak the beans for tomorrow night’s meal, or make a batch of skinny chocolate. This way you won’t forget any of the small, but important tasks that will help you stay on plan.
4. Start to organise your fridge, cupboards and freezer. I have mentioned before to throw away your sugar pot. Definitely a good start. Take a good look at what you have in your fridge, cupboards and freezer. Start to read the labels. Do these foods fit with your new health goals? Decide which foods you will keep on purchasing and which foods you will bypass next time you are shopping.
5. Take a big breath, step back and relax. Remember my first point about not being radical. If you want to see lasting change, then take baby steps as you change this part of your lifestyle. It is no easy thing to change the way you have been eating for decades, especially when everywhere you turn, there are so many unhealthy choices. Be the tortoise, not the hare.