So I’ve been debating over what to post next. There are so many aspects involved in the weight loss effort-Diet, Exercise, Mental and Emotional- that I’m hard pressed to make a decision. And I don’t want to lose your interest in something so important.

Diet or Exercise- I was recently asked which I thought was more important. The two really do go together. Focusing on one is better than not doing anything, but that approach can be discouraging and lead to frustration. Results are the ultimate motivator, and there’s no faster way to lose weight than to get on board entirely with your efforts, by exercising and eating healthy.

I’m more conscious of making good food choices if I’ve exercised. I’m more into my workout if I don’t feel like I’m simply erasing past diet transgressions. That all-or-nothing thinking again, to a degree. Letting go of that is hard, but that’s where the patience comes in.

It can be a vicious cycle either way you work it. Balancing willpower versus guilt (or paying your dues) can be an exhausting effort.

Food Issues- Controlling my environment, triggers, and potential excuses makes it infinitely easier. For example…
Make a grocery list and stick to it! No junk or snack food should be on this list. If it isn’t in the house, you won’t have to muster the willpower to resist when defenses are down. Go for lean meat, veggies, fruit, and whole grains as you shop. Less processed equals better.

Go to the store on a full stomach. If you happen to go when you’re hungry, drink a water bottle and have a protein bar as you shop. They can ring up the wrapper, no biggie (unless you cave to impulse buys, then you’ll be the biggie ;) )

When free day rolls around, you are FREE to go grab whatever you waited for all week long. Single serving sizes of chocolate and chips from the gas station are what I normally get on Sunday. You can get a variety of goodies at a low cost and without leftovers.

Water Intake- Drinking plenty of water is difficult for me, and it’s so important. I have reusable water bottles, cups, plastic bottles, I’ve tried them all. The product of the week for me has been the mini plastic water bottles. Easier to carry jogging, faster to refill, and not as much of a commitment. ;) 10 ounce bottles with a goal of 8 per day…I’m a Diet Coke junkie, so this is a change I’m shooting for, even now.

The need for water can be mistaken for hunger. By the time I feel hungry, I want food, not water. I’ve been trying to drink first and save some calories along the way. It takes mindful effort to remember. Change is hard. Grrr ;)

These are tricks that you can probably find all over the internet if you’re looking for them. The sheer volume of information can be overwhelming. It’s hard to put into practice and remember all of these things. Changing one or 2 habits at a time makes the effort more manageable for me…and these are the baby steps I’ve taken along the way. Common sense from one point of view, but actually put into practice, it makes a world of difference!

So there are a few starting points, as far as diet goes. Exercise is next on my mind, but I’m really interested in what YOU would like to hear about and discuss. We all have our challenges, and sometimes it amazes me how similar they can be. :)