Skip to main content

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. 


Popular posts from this blog

Mental Health: Think Before You Blame

Two words are getting tossed around like confetti right now, and I’d like to stop the “celebration.”

Mental health 
Two words I’ve used plenty of times. I’ve been quite open and honest about my mental health in recent years. After overcoming a lot of self-doubt, stigma and fear, and I finally sought treatment. First, for anxiety. Then for postpartum depression (and still anxiety).

I’ve been open about my mental health because I want to help erase the stigma of asking for help. Of just admitting you need help. I want people to know that it’s perfectly normal, and perfectly OK, if you’re not OK. Everyone has their struggles. To be imperfect is to be human. And we’re all in this together. I want to open doors of acceptance and help people understand they are not alone.

But lately, the conversations around mental health seem to be shutting doors and only adding to the stigma. “Mental health” is what a lot of people are blaming for violence. Online, people are saying our nation’s terribl…

It's Time to Do SOMETHING

Listen, I'm going to get political for a minute. If you don't like it, now's your time to run. Actually, now's your time to buck up and read this because you can't keep running from our country's problems just because you don't like conflict.

This week, after watching the horrific news of yet another mass shooting in our country, I was FED UP. I was no longer shocked by the news, I was just appalled - I couldn't believe we had let this happen again. Yes, WE. You and me. We did this.

Because by standing back and doing nothing about gun violence in America, we definitely aren't solving the problem. By ignoring the tough conversations with our family, friends and government officials, we are contributing to the deaths of more and more innocent people.

Personally, I'm DONE.

I don't know what the answer is, but I do know I'm tired of watching the news and thinking I can't do anything about it. I have a voice. And I am choosing to use it …

Paying for Pixie Dust: 7 Ways You Can Save Money if You Plan Ahead for Disney World

Here’s the thing: Disney World is NOT cheap. I will say that up front. There’s a reason my family can’t afford to go every single year (even though I want to!), and it’s not just the fact that we live a long, long way from Florida. 
There seems to be this misconception that you can find secret Disney “deals.” Not really. Disney does offer discount packages throughout the year, but the discounts just aren’t as good as they used to be. The U.S. economy is good and park attendance is up - they don’t need to entice travelers with deals!
If you’re interested in snagging a package, you need to understand that prices vary by what time of year you’re going to visit. For example, if you’re going at Christmas, you’re going to pay more than if you go in the middle of September. Even with a discount! If you still want to book a package, here’s a handy page of historical discounts and when they’ve been offered. Remember, Disney can change its promotions every year! But it’s a good reference poi…