By now you guys may have heard about the totally awesome, amazing, fabulous Diet Girl! AKA Shauna and her new book. I’ve been reading The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl and let me tell you, even this SLOW reader has a hard time putting it down. You get to follow Shauna on her journey of losing 175 pounds. Yes you read the correctly, 1 7 5! I told you…
Shauna was nice enough to ask me if she could stop by on her book tour and of course I accepted. Although I warned her that she’d have to work for it! I have a habit of doing that. ;~P
Thankfully, Shauna agreed. :)
When I am on this weight loss journey I cannot help but to think…"will I have to do this for the rest of my life?" How do your resign to this fact that this will be your reality and what did you tell yourself?
Dietgirl: It’s sad but true dear Sandra – it never ends. I have to admit that used to depress the hell out of me. But then I realized, hang on… I’m in the drivers seat here! I may have to do this Healthy Stuff for the rest of my life… but I can decide how and what that will involve. I get to decide how and when I exercise, how and what I eat. I can make it fun and enjoyable! It gets easier if you treat it a wee bit like an adventure. It’s taken me a lot of trial and error – gazillions of crappy recipes and abandoned fitness DVDs and failed experiments to figure out the sorts of food and exercise I truly enjoy — what I find enjoyable or at least tolerable, rather than a dreaded chore. Trying taking all the bits you like from diets you’ve tried, blogs you’ve read, and make them your own. If you do what you enjoy, you will find it easier to stick to. So once you reach your goal, you won’t mind carrying on. It will just be the way you live your life, rather than a diet you’re enslaved to.
Roni: What a great question and Shauna’s answer is dead on. I’d only like to add… "do what?" I’m not asking that to be mean and make you feel bad but seriously what I do now is so much better then what I did then. "Then" when I was yo-yo’ing and fighting myself every step of the way I was unhappy. I was uncomfortable with myself, unhealthy and just, well… blech.
"Now" I feel great! I have energy! I’m comfortable in my skin and with who I am. I am healthy an it feels great. So if "doing this" is what it takes to feel the way I feel, I’m totally cool with that.
It’s a lot about mindset and attitude. If it still feels like a chore then you may want to change your approach becuase as Shauna said it should be "the way you live your life, rather than a diet you’re enslaved to."
I am noticing that some weeks when I haven’t gone over points, when I have done everything right, I lose very little weight. Sometimes it is after a big loss the week before, and sometimes it is maybe because of the time of the month or whatever. When you were in losing mode, did you ever experience this and if so, how did you keep your morale up on those weeks? I tend to be bummed if my loss isn’t very much. (For example this week it was .2 pounds.) I know I should be happy with any loss at all, its a little hard when I feel like I should be seeing results faster. Any tips?
Jen (aka SkinnyHabits)
Dietgirl: Hiya Jen, Weekly weigh-ins can be so frustrating since our bodies seem to refuse to work on a 7-day timetable like weigh-in days. How rude! Sometimes your hard work takes longer to make a difference to the numbers. So many times during my weight loss phase I’d been positively ANGELIC then the weigh-in just did not reflect that. It felt like a kick in the guts! But to keep my morale up, I’d look at my progress from a non-weigh-in perspectives, such as:
- averaging my weight loss over a four-week period. I’d lose big some weeks, stay the same or gain others, but most months it would average out pretty evenly. If I could see a downward trend over time, the weekly fluctuations didn’t phase me so much.
- taking regular progress photos, wearing the same clothes in the same place from front, back and side angles. I did this in my underwear and buried it in a dark corner of my computer, for my eyes only! But it helped me see visual proof of my hard work – subtle changes in shape or new muscles emerging… hooray!
- making a list of all the great things I’d done that week – exercise, eating choices, trying something new – and patting myself on the back!
The scale is not the only measure of your progress. Each week you’re building up new habits and skills to help keep you healthy for the rest of your *life*, so don’t let that once-a-week encounter drag you down :)
Roni: Wow Shauna, I LOVE those tips. I’d just like to add (and I know no one ever wants to hear this) slow and steady does win the race. Every little bit counts. I always like to ask people how they think the scale would have looked if they ate off plan. Do you think you would have seen the same number? Or would it have been less weight? Maybe a gain? Own your achievements, every little decision you make, every .2 that comes off is something you worked hard for. I say pat yourself on the back!
Hi Roni! My name is Hollie and I have been reading your blog for a while now and find it to be a wonderful source for motivation. Thanks for all you do! My question has to do with motivation. I know you\’ve talked a lot about this, so I apologize if this seems repetitive. I began my weight loss journey a few weeks ago and have been eating very well according to Weight Watchers, abiding by the points system and exercising by walking and jogging and doing tae bo. My goal is to lose 125 pounds, and I feel confident that I am ready to tackle my weight demons once and for all after doing some major soul searching. However, this is not the first time I have tried Weight Watchers and a journey towards weight loss. During my past attempts to get healthy and fit, I would do the same thing I seem to be doing now. I would go all-out and be completely gung-ho about it for a few weeks, then feel like it\’s not working and therefore begin to lose motivation. I\’ve always been an instant gratification kind of person (hence the weight issue), so it makes sense why I would want to see big results NOW! However, the practical side of me realizes that trying to lose as much weight as I want to lose takes time and patience and that it won\’t happen over night. So finally, the question – what advice can you give to someone who is antsy about seeing results immediately, and how can they stay motivated to continue living a healthy lifestyle?
Dietgirl: Hiya Hollie. I can relate to your wanting to see results immediately being a very impatient person myself! I had 175 pounds to lose and after a few months, I felt like I’d worked so darn hard and made so many changes, so why hadn’t all the pounds vanished already!? But the reality is, it’s going to take awhile. My answer here is a combination of what I said to Jen and Sandra above. It’s easier to stay motivated if you do things you enjoy, and make sure your focus is not all about the scale.
I had to find a variety of ways to indulge the gung-ho part of my personality that needed to see RESULTS. An example: I took up weight training, so 1) I had a new interest to learn about and throw myself into and 2) I could challenge myself to gradually lifting heavier weights as another measure of seeing results.
There are so many ways you can challenge yourself:
- buy a fitness DVD with multiple levels of difficulty and challenge yourself to progress
- train for a 5K race with something like the Couch to 5K program – gives you a great goal that’s not about weight loss
- make a list of healthy recipes (don’t forget Green Lite Bites!) and try two each week
The other thing I found helpful was writing a list of reasons why I wanted to lose weight and exactly what I hoped to achieve. I’d read through that list whenever I needed a positive reminder of what all my efforts were for. It would also cheer me up to see how far I’d come!
Roni: I agree with Shauna, again, of course. :) But seriously, I look at it this way… It took me a long time to gain weight (although I agree it seemed easier and more fun to do so) I didn’t wake up after one meal, look down and realize I needed a bigger size. Same is true sending the scale the other way. What Shauna said is great because all of those things give you healthy distractions. Sad to say but that’s what you need to do, distract yourself. Stay on your plan, have faith in it and find something to do with your mind. Have you ever noticed how times flies when you are really involved in something? Well weight loss is susceptible to that effect. Focus day by day on your plan. Focus on a new activity outlets, taking walks, going to the gym. Have fun in the kitchen, catching up with online friends instead of focusing on the scale, time with pass. All of a sudden it’s weigh in day and… boy! look at that… you lost, again! :)
WOW how awesome was that?! I can’t Thanks Dietgirl enough for sharing her insights and fabulous tips!!
OH! and how cool is THIS! Shauna is going to be on The Early Show on CBS this Friday Jan 16!! Tune in to hear her awesome accent! It will give you a whole new perspective when reading her book and blog. :~P
If you are interested in purchasing The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl click here to order it on Amazon.