Choose to Lose

Choices. It's all about choices.

Every time you eat, which is probably at least 3 times per day, you make choices. Every time you have a drink, you make a choice. All of these choices involve calories, nutrients, and the likelihood of either gaining or losing weight.

In addition, every time you visit the grocery store, you make choices about which foods and drinks to bring into your home. If you wish to lose weight, maybe you should reconsider putting that box of donuts into your cart. If it's not inside your house, there is less chance of you eating it. (Although Dunkin' Donuts stores have appeared on just about every street corner I pass, every time I drive anywhere! I think it's a conspiracy...)

Lately I've been trying-- and perhaps succeeding, although I still haven't stepped on the scale-- to lose weight. I'm tracking all my food and drink choices using My Fitness Pal, as well as logging all my exercise activities. I should weigh about 12 pounds by now, but that's not how it works when one is peri-menopausal. The fat comes off, but it takes it's sweet time. Like it's got all day. Or all year.

I've been thinking about how to keep the weight off, once I manage to lose it. This is a really tough question for me. And maybe for all of us. If a diet is a short-term prospect, like 30 days, then a little deprivation is totally doable. For example, I'm not drinking any alcohol this month. Not even a sip of wine. I don't feel desperately deprived at the moment, but I do enjoy a glass of red wine on occasion. So it is not realistic to expect that I will NEVER have any. How can I reinstate my glass of wine and its 100 or more calories without putting the pounds back on?

Answer: CHOICES. I will have to pick and choose. If I want a glass of wine, I will have to delete something else from my diet that day. Something carbolicious, since the wine calories are pure carbs. Maybe I will skip bread that day. And this means I will need to plan ahead. I might choose to have a bowl of soup for lunch instead of a sandwich. If I cut back on at least 100 carb calories during my day, I will have enough left over for a glass of wine in the evening.

And this is the crux of the matter: you will never need to give up any specific food or treat, as long as you keep the big picture in mind. Look at your entire day's worth of calories, then make choices. I happen to love chocolate. I am nowhere near as addicted as I once was--I used to eat an entire bar on a daily basis!!!--but I still enjoy some dark chocolate at certain times of the month. I haven't completely cut this out of my current diet. I like the option of having just a little when I need it. I can still lose weight as long as I keep the portion small and keep counting the calories.

Remember: you are in control. You make the choices. No one else is putting food into your mouth besides you. (I assume!) Be mindful of the choices you are making. Don't bring foods into your home that are bound to derail your goals. Don't select that restaurant with the desserts you cannot resist. Don't drive past that Starbucks (or Dunkin' Donuts!) that calls your name. But don't deprive yourself of everything you love until you feel so hangry you just say SCREW IT! Make a plan you can live with. And stick to it. You will definitely see results.

If you need a helping hand, I'm available for weight loss coaching and one-on-one personal training. Leave me a message in the comment section below!