Lifestyle

Weight Off My Mind

woman scale weight health

I have fought the battle of the bulge my entire life. I was never satisfied with the size or shape of my body, and even when I was at a reasonable weight, I still didn’t believe I looked good. Of course, it doesn’t help when we are bombarded with images of the thin and the beautiful.

Once I had kids, as so often happens, I put on weight that I just couldn’t take off. Along with the stresses of motherhood came the handfuls of mindless eating. I’d be really good during the day. I’d eat lots of salads or low-calorie sandwiches, but then in the evening when the kids kicked into gear, so did my eating. I munched on everything in sight -- except of course for fruits and vegetables. But because I had kept my mealtime eating in check, I denied that my out-of-control snacking was largely responsible for my weight gain.

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Finally, I realized that I was the only one to blame. And the only way to get myself out of the vicious cycle was to make myself accountable for what went in my mouth. It wasn’t good enough to keep it all in my head. I needed to write it down. A big problem I had was that I really didn’t know what was good for me and what wasn’t. I had the basics down, but I didn’t know about saturated fats and sodium and that it wasn’t just candy that had sugar in it!

I started reading everything I could get my hands on that had to do with nutrition, and when I was looking on the Internet, I stumbled across the Facts Up Front website. There are so many awesome tools and resources that I literally spent hours exploring the site and learning about nutrition. What I did first was log in to the Nutrition Calculator. I entered data about myself, like height, weight, and how active I was, and with a click of the mouse, it told me how many calories and daily nutrients I should be getting. I had no idea about some of the vitamins I should be adding to my diet, and it actually told me which foods provided which nutrients.

I then wrote down everything that I ate. And I mean everything. I counted chips just like I counted grapes. Once I shifted my thinking from trying to get thin to trying to eat nutritiously and started walking several mornings a week with my neighbor, the weight started coming off. And perhaps the biggest bonus of all is that I have instilled good eating habits in my kids without making a big deal of it.

I’m not skinny, and I never will be. But I now pay attention to what I eat. And because I know I’m eating a nutritious diet, I don’t beat myself up anymore. I’m happy with who I am and what I look like and I feel good too!

What are your best swaps for adding nutritious ingredients to your snacks and meals?


Image ©iStock.com/esolla

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