Carmen Staicer is the Chief Mom at DietsInReview.com, sharing her insights on keeping yourself and your family eating and living as healthy as possible. She’s a bit of a weight loss success story herself, having lost 80 pounds over the course of 18 months. Learn more from Carmen about how you can take those first steps toward a healthier diet at DietsInReview.com.
“I’m going to watch you eat, and I’m going to eat whatever you eat! Then I’ll know the secret, and I can be skinny just like Carmen you!” exclaimed the overeager lady, hovering by my elbow at the party. I just looked at her and sighed. I hear it all the time and no matter how often I tell people, there’s no secret. Weight loss is hard work.
I was a typical mom of many, sacrificing my health and well-being for the sake of taking care of my kids. I ate too much, never exercised and hid behind the gaggle of kids. Then one day I wised up and over the course of eighteen months, I lost eighty pounds. It was HARD – probably the most difficult thing I ever did. I learned many things along the way – that I am stronger than I ever thought, that I could learn to really like and crave salad and that I have a deep love for martial arts. I also learned that no food is ever off limits and even the “bad” stuff has a place in my diet. Occasionally. Once in a while. Not all that often.
I do have a few “party secrets” that I try to keep in mind. Actions and decisions that help me stay on track and don’t undo all the hard work that I’ve done. If I know that I’m going to a party – especially a party at which I’ll be tempted to overeat – I try to eat a little less during the day. I also bump up the exercise a bit – not enormously, but an extra walk never hurt anyone, yes?
Once I’m at the party, I try to make smart choices – fresh veggies and fruits, protein choices, a small amount of cheese. I might have one alcoholic drink and then switch to water, taking care to always keep a glass in my hand to avoid that “let’s dive face first into the taco dip!” scenario that I have been known for in the past. Sparkling water with lemon and lime is yummy and looks like it might be a fancy drink, especially with a fancy umbrella. Above all, allow yourself a treat. If you love cake more than is wise, don’t tell yourself that you are going to attend a wedding and skip the cake – it just won’t happen. Be realistic and have a small piece, enjoy it to the utmost and then move away from the table. Seek out a friend, chat up a stranger, make your way to the karaoke stage. Dance like a fool – that’s extra aerobics right there! Above all, enjoy yourself and don’t make food the center of the party. Tomorrow is another day and you still have shorts to fit into.
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