Jeannie had been overweight for most of her life. Even as a teenager, she struggled with her weight. Her girlfriends were tiny compared to her extra large size. She hated going shopping with them, because she could not wear the same styles as the rest of the girls.
This was painful for Jeannie. She wasn’t very tall, but she had an appetite like a giant. Or at least it seemed that way. No matter how many times she tried to diet, she never felt satisfied with low calories foods.
Now as an adult, Jeannie was finding that losing weight was near to impossible. She would try one day to cut back but found herself feeling deprived and then the following day, would want to eat everything in sight. Instead of losing weight, she found each year of her adult life that she was gradually gaining weight a little each year.
Jeannie worked a job that required her to sit behind a computer for most of the day. She occasionally had meetings to attend, but most of the day was spent sedentary with her mind doing all the work and her body sitting suspended in her chair.
At lunchtime, Jeannie and her buddy, a coworker who also struggled with her weight, would head off for a bite to eat. This is where the trouble really lay. A couple of times a week, they ate at fast food restaurants because these places were generally cheaper. However cheap food does not mean nutritious.
Other days, they would splurge and go to a better restaurant. The problem there was that because the food was more expensive, the servings were oversized too. Once paid for, neither ladies wanted to leave any food on the plate, it was too expensive. So they would shovel the food in until they were beyond full.
Returning to work, she would find herself so sleepy, with her stomach distended and no way to walk it off. She needed to make some changes but nothing seemed to work. It wasn’t until her buddy began to change her eating habits that Jeannie could see the light at the end of the diet tunnel.
One Monday morning, her friend came into the office and told Jeannie about a new diet she was starting. No more fast food, her friend had brought in a nice salad for the two of them. After they ate their salad, they did some nice stretches behind their office building and vowed the next day to bring appropriate clothes and shoes for walking.
And that’s how it started for Jeannie, a couple of little changes and she broke that chains that bound her to an unhealthy lifestyle. It didn’t mean that she had to give up anything, especially her lunches with her buddy. They still laughed and talked just as much as they did before their diet endeavor, but now they both felt happier and confident that they were on the right track.
After a couple of months, others in the office began to notice the changes in both girls. Coworkers were asking what the secret pill was that these girls had gotten a hold of. Both ladies felt great about their accomplishment.
As the seasons changed and the girls were still committed to their program, they added a shopping trip to their lunchtime schedule each week. They might not purchase anything but it was nice to try on smaller clothes and go for styles that in the past had just not worked for their figures.
But it wasn’t just the aesthetics of weight loss that Jeannie was after. Prior to joining her friend on this diet trend, she had been warned by her doctor of her rising blood pressure and the danger of carrying around excess weight. These warnings just added more stress to Jeannie’s already stressful life. She knew she needed to lose weight, she didn’t enjoy being overweight, it just seemed so difficult before.
Now, with her lunch buddy turned fitness buddy, she had a planned activity and meal plan every day. When she returned from lunch, she didn’t feel all sluggish and sleepy and could actually remain awake and productive during afternoon meetings.
Everything seemed to be going well, until her friend turned in her notice at work. She had just found out that they were going to be transferred to a new town, so she was going to go ahead and quit. Jeannie was heartbroken that her friend was leaving, but deep down she was frightened. She felt afraid that without the encouragement and reinforcement that her friend provided that she would fall back into the same old eating patterns.
It was going to require a whole lot of willpower to keep her from falling back into the same old bad habits. But she was set on keeping to her diet plans and goals. She had also started investing money in new clothes to fit her newly slim figure, so she certainly didn’t want to gain all that weight back again and not be able to wear those outfits.
“Been there, done that,” she said to herself. I refuse to have beautiful clothes in my closet that I cannot wear because I made bad choices. I can control my weight and I cannot depend on others to keep me on task.
What Jeannie needed was a new plan. Her old plan, wasn’t going to work as well, not that her fitness buddy was moving away. She had to come up with some new things to do, to keep her from falling back into old habits of grabbing any old thing to eat, skipping meals, binging and all of those unhealthy ways of eating.
These sort of challenges have to be met head on. Without a plan of how you will continue to eat foods that provide nutrition without added fats and sugar, you might be tempted to fall into old ways. That’s because most of the easy accessible foods out there are high in fats and sugar with low nutritional value.
However, bringing in her lunch and eating alone, wasn’t something she was looking forward to either. Eating alone everyday made it hard to feel satisfied, the conversation was as important as the food she was eating.
Jeannie made some proactive choices. She asked another coworker if she would like to join her every Wednesday for a healthy lunch. She made plans to go to the gym twice a week, trading some lunch hour time for the benefit of gym time. The other two days she took a shorter lunch break, bringing in healthy foods from home, like salads and small portions of leftovers.
If life is getting in the way of your fitness plan, you might have to amend your plans for success. The important thing is that you make weight loss and fitness a priority in your life and this will help to keep you on track.
Share your weight loss plans with us and our readers by leaving a comment.
~ Karen Ficarelli
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