Saturday, May 17, 2014

How I finally found the willpower to fit into my skinny jeans

First off, let me just say, I hate the word "diet". It's a miserable word. I mean, the first three letters of the word diet are DIE. And let's face it, most of the time when you are on a "diet" you feel like you might die without just ONE little oreo. But trust me, you can DO THIS and learn how to eat healthy but still enjoy food for the rest of your life. 
My journey in dieting has not been a short one. There is no magic pill or quick fix that will get you "bikini ready" in 3 weeks. What it boils down to is hard work, healthy diet, regular exercise, and finding the willpower to pass up fresh donuts. Trust me, that day is burned into my memory, but I did it. To accomplish this, the most important thing is FINDING WHAT WORKS for YOU. That is probably different than your best friend, your sister, your neighbor, or that celebrity who just dropped 50 lbs like it was nothing. What I found that FINALLY worked for me and became a lifestyle change was the Dukan Diet
Let me just say, this "diet" isn't for everyone. In fact, I have had several friends who tried it after seeing my success and could not stick with it. That's where the willpower comes in. It comes down to how motivated you really are deep down, and no one really knows that but YOU. When I first heard about the Dukan diet, I was a little skeptical. Allegedly Kate Middleton and Jennifer Lopez have followed the Dukan diet and I think they're both great examples of being lean and healthy... But they also have personal chefs and personal trainers and personal shoppers that buy them clothes to make them look thinner, etc, etc. I just have me, myself, and I, and I really don't have a ton of money to spend on even organic produce. I know I am not alone in this. 
This diet is pretty simple once you get the hang of the Do's and Don'ts and Cans and Cannot haves. I read the book cover to cover, and while it admittedly was a bit redundant, I really wanted to know what to expect and what I could eat. I won't go into the nitty-gritty details too much but the basis of the diet is low-sugar, low-carb, and low-fat. What you DO get to have is lean protein, vegetables, fat free dairy, and oat bran. Doesn't sound like much but trust me, there are tons of possibilities. You HAVE to get creative with the oat bran. That's the key and what will take care of those bread cravings. I've made muffins, waffles, pancakes, french toast, crackers, and hamburger buns all out of oat bran. And you can also get creative with all of the sugar free substitutions out there. My sugar free chocolate shake is one of my favorites. Easy and delicious. This would also be a great diet for anyone living with diabetes, just FYI. 
It's honestly just an all around healthy way to live. Once you get to your goal and get further into the phases you add in fruit, whole grain bread, and a serving of real cheese every day. You even get to have a free meal once a week. Dr. Dukan calls them celebration meals instead of cheat meals because really you are celebrating the fact that you have reached your goals and now can enjoy a glass of wine or pizza or ice cream or ALL OF THE ABOVE! You can have the things you have been missing without the guilt because you are now comfortable in your skin. For me, the temporary deprivation of the first two phases was COMPLETELY worth it when I just HAD to go shopping for new SMALLER clothes. Nothing beats that feeling! I think that was the thing that kept me going and helped me turn down all the temptations. You have to say no right now, but not forever. You don't have to swear off french fries for the rest of your life. You just need to learn how to indulge in MODERATION. How many times have you heard "Moderation is Key"? But this actually TEACHES you how to live in moderation. You slowly add in "regular" food so that your system can adjust to it and so you learn when to take it easy on the guacamole. 
I'm trying to find a "before" picture to show but there aren't many around. I think we have all gone through the "I don't want my picture to be taken because I feel fat" stage. But I can show you my favorite "after" picture! 
That's me on the right in the gold dress. And yes that is a Drag Queen in the middle. On the left is just Leonor, just another day for that girl. This was taken right after I had lost 40 lbs in 4 months! I felt incredible! I had so much confidence! Felt better about myself than I knew was possible! 
And then.... I started slacking on the maintenance part of the weight loss.... I tried pushing my own boundaries to see what else I could eat without gaining anything back. Wine, bread, candy, and basically anything fried became my BFF. I thought I could somehow "get away with it" but I was very, very wrong. It was a recipe for disaster. Before I knew it I had gained about 20 lbs back of that 40. Still a lot better than where I started 2 years ago, but completely disappointed in myself and just plain uncomfortable. I was still wearing my newer, smaller clothes, but they really didn't fit me well. Stacy and Clinton would not have approved. (Am I the only one who misses What Not To Wear?)
I reached a point where I needed to find that motivation and that willpower again. And not for anyone else but me. I remember what it felt like to be that girl in the gold dress and I am determined to get back to that. About 6 weeks ago I started back up with the Dukan diet and am proud to say that I have knocked about 10 lbs off so far! I now know that I need to be mindful for the rest of my life about what I put into my body. 
But I also know that I can make good choices and enjoy food without it taking over my life. I have learned so many lessons and learned so much about myself throughout this Dukan journey and I know it will continue from here. 
Weight loss is just as much of a MENTAL struggle as it is a PHYSICAL one. 
What do you hold onto for your motivation? How do you find the willpower when you need it most? 

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