“How did you do it?” Her eyes pierced my soul. Her shoulders almost touched mine as she leaned so far over the table just waiting for my response.
My mind went completely blank.
“I don’t know,” I stuttered.
Who was I to help her? What had I done that will work for her and not give her false hope?
“With God’s help.” I stammered and the words kept coming, “I changed my eating and now I drink water.”
The amazing part is that I’ve lost 71 pounds while coming out of an unhealthy marriage. With the physical stress and emotional battle, it shouldn’t be possible.
“I was in a bad place in the beginning.” I said. Once I began talking the words kept coming. “I signed up for nutritional accountability. I needed someone who wouldn’t let me make excuses.”
She nodded and sat back. But I don’t think I gave her enough help. I’ve heard this question a lot lately, so, I’m inviting you on this journey with me. I’ll be honest with you. It’s been a rough road and a lot of hard work. I am so grateful to be where I am. But I haven’t arrived yet!
I gained 110 pounds in the destructive marriage. I’ve got 39 more pounds to lose. I’m going all the way depending on muscle mass and inches. It isn’t about the number on the scale for me anymore as exciting as it is to see that number get smaller every month. Now, it’s about my body image catching up to how great I feel on the inside! To continue being confident in who I am while being the unique person God made me to be.
However, to answer the burning question…here is a general guideline of what I eat everyday. I try to have my food groups match with 3 lean proteins, 3 carbs, 3 fruits and 3-5 vegetables. I try not to eat after 8 p.m. and I only exercise 1-3 times a week. I lost over 30 pounds before I did any exercise at all.
First thing in the morning, I drink water and eat protein (egg with egg whites), a cooked vegetable and buttered toast.
2 hours later I eat a fruit (orange) as a snack.
An hour or 2 after snack I eat lunch. This is usually about 3 hours after breakfast because I’m hungry by then and it fits into my teaching schedule. My lunch is typically a lean protein (chicken), a fresh vegetable (lots a spinach) and a carb (tortilla).
Think water, water, water! By early afternoon I’ve already consumed 3 bottles of water.
Midafternoon I love my juicy fruit (apple) and often I have more protein (cottage cheese) with it. And I drink more water!
My dinner which usually looks a lot like my lunch is a lean protein (chicken or fish), a cooked or fresh vegetable (broccoli or romaine lettuce) and a carb (bread, crackers, potato etc.).
If I indulge in a treat it’s usually a couple hours after dinner with a glass of water. My favorite desert right now is natural almonds with some dark chocolate pieces sprinkled in. I keep these in a snack baggie in my purse for emergencies. I’ll indulge 2-3 times a week.
It’s important to include healthy fats and natural salt with the daily intake of food. I strive for 6 16.9 bottles of water a day. That’s 101.4 ounces. When I’m in hard core weight loss mode I try to keep cheese and dessert to every other day. To be completely honest with you, it’s tough!
Please, please do not use my food schedule and assume you’ll lose weight. It might work and it might not. All of our bodies are different. You need to find what works for you! I’ve taken a little of this and a little of that from multiple “diets” and nutrition plans. I advise you to always consult your physician before starting a new diet.
If you do try out my basic eating for a day, please let me know how it works for you after 4 days. I’d be excited to hear and see any before and after pictures. If it didn’t work, how did you make adjustments? What works for you?
Keep in mind, this is a journey. It will be a process and you will have a learning curve!
I had to educate myself on what food my body needed and learn when my body needed me to consume that fuel. Then I began the frustrating process of fitting it into my life and remembering to eat and drink throughout the day. I joke that my life runs on timers. But, it’s true. I have an alarm in my phone to remind me to eat because I’ll get distracted and stop listening to my body. Then, I’ll give into emotional cravings later.
Give yourself some grace as you start. Not sure what fuel your body needs? Here is the next step in your journey. I challenge you to track what you eat and drink for one week. Yes every bite! Write it into a small notebook tucked inside your purse. Type it into an email to yourself. Whatever works for you. Do this for the first half of the week. Don’t change what you’d normally eat. Be honest with yourself.
Halfway through your week I want you to take another step. Write down why along with what you ate.
In a week, let’s see how it went!