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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

If you think you'll never be able to lose weight, read this:

I was talking with a younger friend of mine, and she was talking in terms of "I can never" about changing her eating habits, eating healthier, etc. It inspired me to list some things that it honestly really shocks me that I have succeeded in changing! Even if I haven't lost TONS of weight (hey 12+ pounds!!, but I've got a ways to go), I'm sure I'll see the benefit of all these changes in the long run.

  • When I was in middle school & high school, I would say, "I DON'T run or jog for exercise." Just I "Don't" do that. In college I was convinced to just run for 15 minutes. Then it became 5Ks, 10Ks, and interval training. I haven't been able to run for a while because of a severe knee injury and feet injuries, but I can sincerely say now that I "do!" run for exercise. It's a form of exercise that I'll be most glad about resuming when my foot injuries heal.
  • I used to eat sugar cereal EVERY morning. Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Fruity Pebbles were some of my favorites. Now I can say that for the past couple of years, I eat oatmeal most of the time, but high fiber & protein all of the time. Egg substitute, raisin bran, fruit & other whole grains are frequent recurrences.
  • This is still in transition, but I'm getting a lot better with healthy snacking. I realized that most of my life I thought that a "snack" was a cookie or other sweet. Now I'm eating yogurt, apples with peanut butter, string cheese, whole wheat crackers, almonds, for example. A lot of the credit I have to give to the Body Clutter Menu Mailer from SavingDinner.com. It gives you breakfast ideas, snacks, lunches & dinners & gives the calories & weight watcher points. (I subscribe to that menu for daytime, then the Heart Healthy menu for dinners b/c I like less meat.)
  • I've changed my dinner habit a lot in terms of just cooking at home instead of frequently eating out. Moving to this area 4 years ago helped cure me of that, because nearby there were no restaurants until recently. Only McDonalds & Burger King, which I used to enjoy, but now they both make me gag.
  • Just being extra aware of High Fructose Corn Syrup and Hydrogenated Fats. I never knew those existed, now I avoid them pretty well- especially for my kids. After watching Dr. Oz on TV, it has convinced me that eating them is like eating poison.
  • We hardly ever eat chips. Pretzels once in a while, but I'm realizing that with a sandwich, mostly crunchy fruit or carrots will do the trick.
  • I've cut down juice drinking dramatically. I've always thought juice was something healthy to consume because you're downing some vitamins. Now I just drink water, water, water. Juice once a day for my kids & maybe for me as a treat once in a while on the weekends.
  • No sugar substitutes. I used to be ok with it. But just do a google search on aspartame (Equal), sucralose (Splenda) or saccharine (Sweet N Low), and you'll never touch them again. ESPECIALLY NEVER give them to your kids. It has to do with stunting brain growth. Also they taste pretty gross, most of the time! I now use herbal Stevia once in a while if I need something to be a little sweeter & don't want to just use sugar & count the points.
  • We try to buy glass containers instead of plastic because of chemicals leaching into your foods. (Avoid #7 plastics, especially- I've noticed that apple sauce & single servings of peaches & mixed fruit, etc. come in #7 plastics.) Little by little lessening the chemicals we don't want in our bodies. Hopefully after a while, I'll be able to say I've also switched to organic fruits & vegetables. (It's hard right now, because I can't get my husband to buy them & he's our grocery shopper.)
  • The discovery of "Superfoods". Another thing you can google if you're interested. Here's an article you could check out to start with. Again, not to be a commercial for SavingDinner.com, but thanks to following her meal suggestions, all the super foods are included in every single meal & snack we eat.
  • Whole grain everything. We eat brown rice, whole grain bread, whole wheat bagels, whole wheat english muffins, whole wheat tortillas, everything. I used to be a white bread girl. Now we've successfully made the switch & it's been probably about a year! I'm shocked we made it happen. Yay!