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My not-so-secret lessons in nutrition

Here's the secret of my weight loss: There is no secret!

Everyone seems to think there is some sort of magic pill, workout or food that helped me lose 100+ pounds. But I swear on my life, all I did was eat well and move more. No one really wants to hear that, however, because it's hard to listen to the advice we've heard from medical professionals over and over again.

And, it's just HARD.

It's HARD to stay active and it's HARD eat right - especially when everything in our society is focused on making life easy.

As promised, I'm going to start sharing more about eating well part of my success. But before I start posting recipes and meal ideas, I think it's necessary to tell you the lessons I've learned about nutrition so far.

  • I'm not on a diet. The D-word makes me cringe. It implies that the change is temporary, and restrictive. I truly committed to a LIFESTYLE CHANGE instead. It happened slowly, with small changes made over time, and I believe I'm on track to keep those changes intact for the long haul. Hence the reason I'm pursuing Lifetime status with Weight Watchers. It focuses on maintenance after weight loss, which is so important to me. 
  • I eat whatever I want. My favorite part of Weight Watchers is that you can literally eat ANYTHING you want - as long as you track it! The old theory of "everything in moderation" really works when you focus on eating more good foods than bad. Yes, I still eat pizza, ice cream, nachos and cheeseburgers. I just eat them a whole lot less, and I plan ahead so they fit in my allotted points for the week. Someone recently told me they follow the 80/20 rule - 80 percent good food and 20 percent not-so-good food - and I think that probably describes my approach as well.
  • I load up on fruits and vegetables. When Weight Watchers changed to the PointsPlus system, the best part, in my opinion, was that most fruits and vegetables became zero points. I admit it's totally just a mind game, but once I could eat all the fruits and veggies I wanted for "free" I started adding them to everything. They provide filling and flavor for almost any dish we create. 
  • I don't have a clue about calories. Many people think the idea of Weight Watchers points is a sham, but I think they're great. Points are calculated based on fat, carbs, fiber and protein. Over time, I learned the value in those nutritional measures. More protein means I'll stay satisfied longer, more carbs mean more energy, etc. Calories don't mean a whole lot, in my opinion. Think about it: 100 calories of ice cream doesn't compare to 100 calories of carrots. 
  • I'm not perfect. As I said before, I don't restrict myself from any foods. And while I try to plan ahead, sometimes I just can't avoid temptation. Yes, I have gone several days without tracking because I've been ashamed of what I've eaten. Yes, I have gained and lost the same 5 or 10 pounds over and over because of holidays, birthdays and emotional baggage. But that doesn't mean I threw in the towel and gave up healthy eating forever. I'm still learning, I'm still changing. So I accept the fact I'm not perfect, and I'm NEVER going to be. But as long as I strive for progress - more good days than bad - then I'm going to be OK. 

DISCLAIMER: These lessons have been formed primarily from my membership with Weight Watchers, but also from other resources and my own experiences. Please remember that I am not a medical professional or certified specialist of any kind. This is what worked for me and my body, and it may not be what works for you. Simply put: talk to your doctor, not a blogger, about what you should be eating. 


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