1. There is no good food or bad food, just choices, everything has a place.
2. Water, exercise, whole grains, and fiber are your new best friends and very rarely will let you down.
3. Food journaling and journaling in general are very helpful. It really helps the whole get honest and accountable phase of adjustment. I get it it's annoying but try keeping a journal on your phone. It feels less obvious and it's easy to do on the go. I have been more successful emailing myself then using a traditional journal. It also helps me on the spot make better choices knowing what I have eaten that week.
4. When you get honest and lose being defensive you lose more weight. Amazing how that works. Own your choices, and behavior good and bad, when you give permission you start to see patterns, take ownership and be well more equipped to drive the boat. It's actually pretty darn cool. Scary, but cool. No one likes to write down 3 tablespoons of nutella. I didn't want to but it's not like Marisa judges what I eat she just wants me to write it down and know I am checking in. Your journal is for you no matter who reads it. Marisa my nutritionist reads mine but to say what up with the constant snacking, or the lovely advice of eat more based on how you are exercising. I can not hear enough I need to eat more.
5. In order to maintain a healthy weight you need to devise a support system, and a way to manage every day stress. Food can not be your outlet. This is a hard and scary process. It's always been where you went. I started to recognize there was healthy and unhealthy me and I had to start listening to healthy me more in moments of stress. Junk food will not and never has solved my problems. It just created a new one. My support system has evolved in this process, I have Marisa who is the main source of guidance and support, my trainer who kicks my bum, and I hugely believe in acupuncture. Kymberly Kelly is one of the coolest most talented ladies and she helped boost my weight loss and calm my anxiety. Invaluable. My friends and family are very helpful but it's a tricky area there is only so much I can and will discuss with them. I am not open to advice as weird as that sounds because my place to discuss this is Marisa and the two other ladies listed. I share with some close friends but for the most part I have closed a huge chunk of the conversation because I have finally learned weight is a personal and private issue.
6. Know thy triggers, they are sneaky, ever changing, and insidious. On occasion they are worth it, for me nine times out of ten they are not. Peanut butter Reese's I am talking to you.
7. It's a long road to change your life not a diet so be patient with yourself and the process you can and will get there. I am 6 months out from my goal and that will put me at 2 years worth of work that has flown by and for the most part been really cool and fun. Some very hard dark challenging moments yes, but thanks to the support system manageable.
8. There will be bad days and weeks where you just do not have it. These are not cause for panic. Last week my exercise game was totally off. I did what I could adjusted my eating accordingly and still loss 1.5 pounds which was pretty cool. Not a reason to keep eating ice cream sandwiches this week but a relief to see I can exercise two less days and the world does not end.
9. Start trusting yourself, you can make decisions and reconnect with your body and know what is best for it. It just takes time. There is no better authority or expert on you then you.
10. Resolve never to diet again. It is hard behavior to lose, but the freedom that comes with shucking this line of thinking is indescribable. I highly recommend it. After dieting for 23 years I will have an occasional slip up after learning new behaviors for a year and a half. Pretty good figures really when you think about it. The mind can be reprogrammed and if you want to think about yourself, body and eating habits in a more positive light your brain is happy to do so. Diets make you feel like a failure, do not work, are not sustainable, they do not address any emotional component of weight gain or loss, and are generally crap. They are not based in just good old fashioned nutrition. I eat dark chocolate almost every day or night and have lost a ton of weight most diets would say to chuck the chocolate. Proof right there that it's crazy talk. Life without chocolate is sad.