I’m back on the wagon again. Between April and July this year I lost sixteen pounds. It’s amazing what kind of focus the idea of having to not only find but fit into a posh frock for an awards ceremony will do for you! Alas, due to the abundance of food at the RWA conference, I came home a couple of pounds heavier, but at least I’m still in the negative! My current book will be off to the editor in the morning and I will have no more excuses not to get to the gym and eat well. Here's some of my own advice I will be attempting to take:
1. Wait until you are actually hungry before you eat.
And I don’t just mean a tiny pang that might mean you are not completely stuffed – I mean, feeling a bit rumbly in the actual stomach area. That lip-smacking I’ve-got-the-munchies feeling doesn’t count! Neither does the I am bored/angry/sad/happy feeling. God gave us a hunger signal for a reason, but we often forget what it’s there for.
2. When you do eat, eat until you are just satisfied.
This does not mean stuffed full. Aim for the feeling of just not being hungry any more rather than a feeling of fullness. Try thinking about your stomach and its level of fullness in terms of a gauge. At zero your tummy is rumbly empty. At ten it is stuffed full and at five it is neither empty nor full, but you are comfortably satisfied. Wait until you reach zero before you eat and stop when you get to five. I found both the waiting and stopping bits hard, but I got there in the end. (Shouldn’t I clear my plate? What about all the starving children round the world my mother told me about?) Giving myself permission not to eat was a hard lesson to learn!
I found that when I started to pay attention to when I actually got hungry I noticed my body had natural rhythms. I’m an early bird and I always need to eat first thing in the morning. I get hungry mid-morning and so I will allow myself a snack then. I’m often hungry again by 11.30am so I eat lunch then.(Oh, horror of horrors, I can’t do that, can I? It’s not noon yet! Doesn’t that break some kind of rule?)
I’ve discovered that if I go with my natural hunger pattern and eat lunch early not only do I not pick and snack (and then give in and eat lunch anyway), but I then last until late afternoon before I need to eat again.
Take some time to listen to your body and find out when it is asking for fuel. We often fill it up much more often than it really needs!
I know we all groan at this one, but it really works. I joined my local gym this year and I’m sure that’s why the weight loss has gone well. Exercise DVDs don’t work for me. I own plenty, it’s just that when I get the urge to put them on the urge to sit down with a cup of coffee and watch ‘Judge Judy’ always seems stronger.
Find something you enjoy and can keep up with and just do it! And don’t let your lazy self talk you out of it before you start. You know what I mean. If I have a thought maybe I should go to the gym, I pick up my bag and run to the car before I can decide that I’m too tired or I need to put my feet up and eat cookies instead. (I might even be tempted to do a bit of space-hopping if that guy in the picture came as part of the deal...)
Okay, I’m not talking about five times a day, obviously. But have that bit of chocolate cake. Enjoy it. Savour it instead of wolfing it down. Then go back to eating sensibly (whatever plan/diet/method works for you). Don’t consider it cheating/failing. I don’t know about you, but as soon as I get into that mindset it’s bad news - as in, I might as well eat the rest of the cake now…
Fiona’s latest release “Break Up to Make Up” is out this month in North America and the
To find out more and read an excerpt visit Fiona’s website.