Those lifestyle changes

Thanks so much for all the nice comments on my maintenance post!  I laughed a bit at the comments on my small waist. Some of that is how I am standing and when you have wider hips, your waist looks smaller 😀  However, strength training can define that much more for you.

Colleen had asked in the comments if I would elaborate on some of the changes that I have made permanently.  You hear a lot about not dieting and making lifestyle changes, but I don’t know as I ever really understood what that meant until the last few years.  When I was younger, I always thought a diet was something you went on and off of.  Dieting was a special way of eating and only temporary.  And you know what? That also means the weight loss was temporary.

These are the things that are different for me now.

Exercise and activity.  I never was really lazy, even at my heaviest, but I did not go out of my way to do a lot of exercise. I always had the WATP videos and the like, but it wasn’t until I really tried sports-type exercises that I found things I looked forward to doing instead of just doing because I was supposed to. (cue rebellion).  Biking and lifting fit that bill very nicely.  While I used to run pre back injury, I never really loved it like I do the others. I bike totally for fun and the health benefits are secondary.

I also try to make a point to be active at times where I will eat more food. Like on Thanksgiving or Christmas. We like to take a walk that day now and not just lay around after eating.  Never used to do that.

Measuring food.  I know some people hate to do this, but it is such a habit with me that it doesn’t bother me.  The scale sits on the kitchen counter (we both use it).  I weigh out pretty much everything except fruits and veggies.  I don’t sweat too much, though, if I get 17 grams of peanut butter instead of 16.  It’s never an exact science.  I have portion distortion and if I try eyeballing things all the time, I will start to lean onto the more generous side of portions.  I also record my food pretty much every day on My Fitness Pal.  Again, I don’t mind recording. I try to record any binges, overeating, extra snacks, etc., as well to the best of my ability.  It keeps me pretty aware of what’s going on.

I choose small sizes of things when eating out.  John and I split entrees or sometimes I will order an appetizer and salad as my dinner.  I don’t really like to take restaurant leftovers home because I don’t want 2 meals. I just want one at the time, you know? Especially if it is a rich meal.  When we go for regular ice cream versus yogurt, I almost always get the kiddie size.  If I get the bigger sizes, I will likely eat all of it.  That’s just the way I am, so better to limit it from the get-go.

Less processed food.  Pretty self-explanatory.

Changing my beverages.  This was one of the first changes I made eons ago.  I used to drink sweet everything. Sugar in my coffee, regular soda, syrups in my lattes. You know that talk about liquid calories?  Well, I had my share.  I read the Sugar Addict’s Recovery book and decided to start eliminating a lot of sugar from my diet.  I have always despised artificial sweeteners, so that pretty much meant cold turkey.  To this day, I don’t put any sugar in my coffee or tea. I have unsweetened lattes (other than a honey or caramel drizzle on the top). I drink seltzer water at home and water in restaurants. Sometimes unsweetened ice tea or seltzer in a restaurant.  I also don’t drink much any more.  I love me a good mixed drink or beer (always hated wine), but it’s pretty rare for me nowadays.

I do not expect perfection.  This is probably the biggest thing.  I definitely used to be an all-or-nothing gal.  Eat a donut for breakfast? Well, better go out for dinner and have dessert, too!  Now I understand that it is all about progress in making changes.  Yes, you backslide sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep going back.  You just move on.


I know there are other things I do different now that I can’t think of off the top of my head.  It’s really all very non-exciting isn’t it? No magic pills or secrets.  Just small changes that stuck over time and each change brought a result.

Be Sociable, Share!

10 thoughts on “Those lifestyle changes

  1. Lisa

    I was most definitely lazy. But active at the same time. I’d spend weekends on the couch watching tv and bingeing, but at the same time, I also went out and did STUFF. Like when I went to Chicago at 25, I was 250 pounds, totally unhealthy, but we walked EVERYWHERE. And I wasn’t tired. My feet hurt, but I kept going!
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Gossip Girls

  2. Sharon

    I like the fact that you still weigh your food and journal your food. Such a terrific engrained habit and good example to the rest of us that just because you’ve got five years of success behind you doesn’t mean you can ease up on the things that got you there. Consistency is vital whether losing or maintaining.
    Sharon´s last blog post ..Finding The Light!

  3. Biz

    I still use my food scale and measuring cups at work – my idea of 2 ounces of something usually ends up being twice that!

    And I love that its not about being perfect – even in maintenance mode, or weight lose mode – we only have this one life and it would be a shame not to enjoy a piece of pie now and again!

    Have a great weekend – we are supposed to get storms over the weekend, hope your weather holds out for biking!
    Biz´s last blog post ..Sunburn …at lunch?

  4. Shelley B

    Great tips – I try and remind myself that I’m satisfied with the “small” no matter what my brain thinks it wants. And I think the fact that you don’t expect perfection, and are able to move forward after an indulgence, is huge in why you’ve done so well with keeping the weight off and not reverting back to your former self. Well done.

  5. colleen

    Thanks for the pointers. I am still an all or nothing girl. I do exactly as you said if I indulge in a goodie brought into work then I will probably have fries with lunch and of course ranch to dip them in and then…well what the heck…already blown it….. cheese laden Mexican for dinner anyone? I KNOW that’s wrong…just tough to change a 53 year old mind set :)Thanks so much for sharing

  6. Jody - Fit at 55

    All such important points Lori!!!! I agree! And like you, I don’t mind the portion control & knowing stats & all that. I know others hate it BUT I am at the point I don’t have to do the exacts of it & I just change & switch from my current program. I DO check all the stats when I add in a new food AND I eliminate something else if I add in something – some people forget that AND they forget to see the comparable stats of the new food. I know people hate this but for me, it has been part of my maintenance AND listening to my bod & making changes when the bod says it is not working – like with peri to menopause! 😉
    Jody – Fit at 55´s last blog post ..Running Shoes, Bathing Suits, GIVEAWAY WINNERS & Link Love

  7. Fran

    Thanks for sharing the tips.

    Somehow I just can’t seem to be consistent in tracking my food. I do it for a couple of days and then I quit. I write stuff down and then enter it. Maybe I should keep my phone on the kitchen counter when I prepare food and enter it immediately. Maybe then I can stick to it longer. Worth to think about it because I sometimes eat/drink more calories than I need.

    Like you I don’t drink sweet beverages either except for a rarely (we’re talking a couple of times a year here) Coca Cola. But that’s the “real stuff” not the one with the sweeteners. I don’t like those. I’d rather have the real stuff and in a smaller portion than all those light products.
    Fran´s last blog post ..Sunday June 23, 2013: Bruce Springsteen

Comments are closed.