After putting myself thru the Perricone MD Metabolic Makeover Diet in early and losing only 1.8lbs in 10 days of eating liquid egg whites and salmon I had an epiphany:
January and February are for hibernating and nothing else.
As much as I fancy myself an optimistic go getter, the hard reality is that January and February are only good for are cuddling, slow cooking and getting chemical peel/laser treatments.
At least this is how I justified playing fast and loose with the carbs, dark chocolate and prosecco I’ve enjoyed over the past few weeks.
And I’m paying the price. I went back to Weight Watchers last week to get real about why my jeans were suspiciously tight, and learned I’m tipping the scale at 131 lbs which is way out of my 5’2” comfort zone. And 1 pound heavier than I was after the holidays.
I usually hover around 125 because I like to enjoy life a little, but look my best between 115 and 120. I’m foxiest at 110, but haven’t seen that number since pre-baby 2002.
So before a nice spring day sneaks up on me and screams “legs”, I’m giving myself a 6 week deadline to lose 11 lbs. I know exactly what to do to get there.
The biggest problem I’m up against is motivation.
Motivation is never there when you need it, slipping conveniently out the back door when you pick the skin off that rotisserie chicken you’re cutting up for dinner. Or it turns a blind eye to that fishbowl sized glass of wine and allows you to write off that pizza as a vegetable because there’s a mushroom on it.
But boy is motivation obnoxious when you’re begging your low self-esteem for mercy. Whether you’re having trouble breathing in low rise jeans, feeling invisible in a crowd of thinner, younger women or cursing yourself for not being ready when the spot light unexpectedly shines on you, motivation is right there to slap you in the face like an abusive parent responding to a bad report card.
The good news is, you can outsmart it.
Enter the Beck Diet Solution, a plan for cognitive behavior change that rewires your mind and body into healthier habits. In fact, before you even begin dieting Dr. Beck suggests just making the behavior changes for two weeks and you should see some weight loss. The book is worth the time and money, but here are the 7 key takeaways that work like a charm to keep my focused on my larger weight loss goal:
1. Create an “Advantages Response” card, which captures the long-term reasons you want to lose weight.
Read this every morning, before every meal or when you’re tempted. I keep the hard copies at home by my computer, in my napkin holder on my table and an electronic version in Evernote. Here’s the trick; you will convince yourself you’ve got it memorized, but don’t be fooled, you must read this in order for it to be effective.
2. Create a Food Craving Barrier Buster card. It’s a reminder that the act of eating is tied to a lot of other things other than food. Here are few that keep me on the straight and narrow.
3. Create an Exercise Barrier Buster card. We’ve all heard that sitting can kill you, right? The good news is, you don’t need to have these big sweaty gym sessions. Even a 30 minute walk a day helps. Still, I like the smug satisfaction I get once I’ve checked the box after 40 minutes on the treadmill.
4. Write down everything you eat, everyday. It’s a proven fact that by writing down everything you put in your mouth you will lose weight because it retrains your brain to be mindful. The trick however, is to be brutally honest with yourself and count everything, including those little “licks, bites and tastes” you think don’t matter. So get out the food scale and measuring cups so you can be sure you didn’t accidentally just eat 3 cups of oatmeal and call it a serving. I use Weight Watchers e-tools, but these days there are a ton that .
5. Get a diet coach. This can be anything of your choosing, but it’s recommended you opt for one that doesn’t cut out massive food groups like the low carb diets because they’re harder to stick to (I use Weight Watchers). Whatever you do, don’t skip a weigh-in. I guarantee you that even if you aren’t happy with the number on the scale, you’ll be thinner the following week than if you didn’t weigh in. And remember, it’s just a number that exists whether you know about it or not.
6. Slap your hand and say something silly every time you eat away from the table. My something is “shozbot” (remember “Mork and Mindy”?). Looking like you have Tourette’s is a great way to stop the nibbling and become mindful about what you’re eating.
7. Set a realistic goal and stick to it. My goal is to lose 11 lbs by April 1st over the next 6 weeks which should be completely achievable if I stay focused.
I’ll share my progress along with the way because there’s nothing like a little public declaration to keep one honest. And if I don’t meet my weight loss goal on 4/1, I’ll get pregnant so we can change the subject.