Firstly let me tell you that I haven't reached my goal yet, so if I've inspired you to lose some weight too then I'm happy for you to come along for the last bit of my ride with me. Most importantly I want to make something very clear. What I'm doing is NOT a diet. It doesn't involve attending a gym, it doesn't involve a financial outlay or appointments with weight loss consultants and it definitely does NOT involve drinking a shake instead of good, wholesome food! It's just about changing your bad habits and creating new good habits when it comes to the food you eat and the kind of life you lead. Anyone can do this and the results speak for themselves.
There's a few simple things that I have found that work for me. They may not work for everyone but I'm betting they'll work for most.
Eating small, regular meals - Some people think eating only a couple of meals a day is better than snacking all day long. I find however if I go too long without eating I get so hungry I'm willing to eat anything and everything in sight. The idea of taking my time to whip up a nice healthy meal completely goes out the window when I'm totally and utterly starving. Have a piece of fruit, a muesli bar, a handful of nuts in between meals. It will keep your tummy that little bit full and give you enough time and energy to organise a healthy lunch or dinner as opposed to the first drive thru or packet of chips you come across.
Plan ahead - If you're leaving home for the day and you know you're going to get peckish whilst you're out plan ahead of time and pack some healthy snacks into a lunchbox or handbag. Sure it might be easy to drive thru Maccas or stop at the servo for a chocolate bar but the reality is if you had an apple or muesli bar tucked into your bag you're far less likely to make those unhealthy last minute choices. I find this trick also works really well in saving money. If I stop at the servo to get myself and the kids all a drink and snack I can easily spend over $20 for something that is only really keeping us happy for an hour or two.
Eat fresh food in abundance - We spend at least $50 a week at our local greengrocer. I find that snacking on fresh fruit often gives me the sweet hit I'm looking for with the added advantage of keeping me feeling fit and healthy. I allow the kids to grab fruit straight from the fruit bowl as they like which means it can cost me a fortune but at least I know they're filling up on good healthy snacks. I also make my own juices which I sometimes use in place of afternoon tea to fill me enough til dinner time. My favourite apple juice is made from green apples, a sliver or ginger and 1 stick of rhubarb. My carrot juice is made from carrots, a little ginger with a few green apples to slightly sweeten.
Keep active - Friends keep asking me if I'm going to a Gym to lose the weight. I have done the Gym thing in the past but for me it never seemed to give any real noticeable long lasting results. I find that keeping an active lifestyle, running after 4 boys all day is enough to keep me feeling fit. I don't spend much time at home, even on the weekends. We are often out at a park, doing plenty of walking and in the warmer months enjoy going for a swim. I also enjoy going out dancing with friends on occasion. We have never felt the need to get Foxtel and rarely sit home watching movies or playing the PS or Wii.
Drink less alcohol - Here's where things get tough for some people. I've found since having my boys my need for a drink has lessened over the years and I just can't be bothered trying to deal with a hangover when there is 4 boys relying on me. Drinking alcohol regularly can seriously increase your calorie intake for the week without really noticing it. Switching to a glass of wine or low joule beer just a few times a week you'll soon notice the benefits not just on your body but also your wallet!
Changing the mindset - What I believe is the biggest factor in me losing almost 20kgs in the last 9 months is my motivation to leave the old behind and forge ahead feeling fit and healthy. It wasn't just about the numbers on the scale. It was about the gain in energy, clearer skin and about my long term health. I had a Hysterectomy and repairs last year (required due to a traumatic delivery of my first son) and more recently surgery for Hernias I incurred during my last pregnancy. If there's one thing I've learnt about surgery is that you wouldn't wish the post surgery pain and recovery time on your worst enemy. There's no way I'm going back to hospital for something that I can prevent. For this reason I don't smoke, rarely drink and I'm determined to keep myself in optimal health, long term. By losing another 4 kgs I'll officially be in the Healthy weight range. This is something I've been aiming for since back at Christmas last year.
Ideally I'd like to lose another 7 kgs which will put me back at the weight I was 9 years ago when I married my husband, right before we started a family. I'd love to hear from some of you who are going to join me on my weight loss journey. Stay tuned for more updates ;)
Photo 1: Me at Size 18 in red dress.
Photo 2: Me at Size 14 one year later.