People often ask me how I have taken off the weight. This is a difficult question to answer, because, as my blog title suggests, I have had many influences over the years to move me in the right direction. Because I have had so many positive influences, I will be breaking this topic down into a few separate blogs.
Here is Part I: Body by Weight Watchers
My oldest and most consistent diet companion has been Weight Watchers. I really feel that WW is the foundation for all the healthy food choices I currently make. From WW I learned the importance of tracking all the foods you eat everyday, but more importantly, I learned the true nutritional values of those foods. Through the weekly meetings I found creative ways to add fruits and vegetables to each meal so I can feel satisfied and not deprived. I do not love tracking my food, but I find when I am struggling with keeping my eating under control, going back to tracking will often put me on the right track in no time.
Another trick I learned from WW is that if you start your meal with a light soup, like their vegetable soup, or a healthy salad, it will fill you up enough so that you are more likely to eat a reasonable meal portion. Too often I come home starving and will eat my dinner so quickly that I am full before my brain even registers this feeling of fullness. This healthy salad or soup will not only take away the edge on my hunger, but it slows me down enough for my stomach to register that I am not about to die from starvation.
Because WW has been around for so long, they also are the source for many delicious and easy to make recipes. One of my favorite lunch recipes uses leftover brown rice, some canned black beans, light shredded cheese (whatever kind you like), and as much salsa as you want. Combine these together in an airtight container and it is the perfect lunchbox meal: easy to make, only requires a microwave for heating, and provides energy to make it through to dinner. The WW recipes can be very clever---who would have thought you could combine any cake mix and a can of diet soda to make a yummy low calorie cake option. If you have friends on WW, just ask them to share some of their recipes and tips with you.
One of the main resources I continue to use is my Weight Watcher Magazine. I look forward to each new edition because it is filled with amazing recipes, inspirational stories, and tips for just about any obstacle you will face on your journey. I am truly grateful for this resource because it was their walk to run plan that first inspired me to become a runner. I am certain that without this resource, I would not be where I am today…one day away from running half-marathon #6.
So today, instead of beating yourself up about all the “diets” that have not been successful, focus on all that you have learned along the way and use those tools and resources to build the new, healthier you.