The new year is here and you know what that means — prime picking season for all of the weight loss programs and health clubs. But this is one woman who they won’t attract. I have lost more than 20 lbs in the three months leading up to the new year — and 7 of those pounds I lost during the holidays. I don’t subscribe to a weight loss program — no diet plans, pills, shakes or wraps for this girl! I also don’t do any crazy workouts and don’t have a gym membership. In fact, not only did I NOT spend a dime losing this weight (and I am still losing), but I actually MADE money losing weight.

People keep asking me how I’ve done it, so I am writing this blog post about my experience. I want to state from the beginning that this is what worked FOR ME. This is what continues to work, FOR ME. You may be different, but I am betting if you do the same thing I did, you’ll lose weight, too. I won’t go into the sorted details of how I got to the point of losing weight (maybe that’ll be another blog post later); I’ll just get right to the point of why you’re here.

My 8 commandments that led me to weight loss:


#1 All diet/exercise changes had to be lifelong

I’m not interested in temporary solutions. This is the very reason why all diets fail — and why we blame ourselves for their failure. Diets are set up to be temporary, people! Who do you know drank two shakes a day for more than months at a time? There’s a reason why you don’t see insert-your-diet-here in retirement homes! They are all fundamentally designed to be temporary. The good ones will coach you through the post weight loss portion, but those programs fail too! I know of not one person in my life who subscribed to a weight loss plan and kept the weight off permanently.

So, I figured I was no different than everyone else. I’m pretty sure the odds are against me to choose a diet I didn’t like and permanently keep the weight off — just like I am pretty sure the odds are against me to win the lottery. Same odds. I decided I wasn’t going to give up coffee or wine, and if I wanted a cupcake, I would have a cupcake. Period.

Likewise with exercise, I wanted to choose an activity I loved and could see myself doing today, tomorrow, next year and well into my senior years. For me, this is yoga. I love it and practice daily. Even if I can only fit in 10 minutes, I do it — more for the mental aspect of it than the physical. In fact, my daily yoga and meditation practice has brought a lot of creativity to me — check out my yoga pants and my tops!

#2 No Hunger. No Full.

I am not the type of person that is kind while being hungry. So, no hunger allowed. But, I don’t like the feeling of being full, either. Along with my daily yoga, I had been meditating daily, and figured I could apply my new mindfulness skills to my eating habits. So I determined I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, but I would need to be mindful while I ate. This means noticing if I was truly hungry, or if I wanted to stuff my face due to stress or emotions. It also means noticing how a certain food was making me feel. Was I tired after eating? Was I energized? Did my brain feel fuzzy? Did I feel bloated?

In hindsight, this practice of mindful eating helped me naturally weed out foods I was noticing was having negative effects on me — sugar, gluten and dairy.

And no full? That means I put the fork down as soon as I feel satisfied, or hear the little voice in my head that says, “hmmm, I think I am approaching full.” Not “Oh my goodness, I think I’m gonna be sick I ate so much.”

Another side effect of this term — intermittent fasting. On almost all days, I will eat my first meal around 1pm (not including coffee, of course), and a second meal no later than 7pm. This isn’t to say I am timing my meals. Because I don’t eat until I feel physical hunger, I find that I’m just not hungry in the morning. I’ve decided, for me, breakfast isn’t that big of a deal, so I guess you can say I skip breakfast. But I just don’t see it — or feel it — that way. I’m not going to eat when I’m not hungry.

#3 You can’t change what you don’t monitor.

I keep track of everything I eat, how long I do yoga, how much water I drink, how much I walk, and how long I meditate. For me, this keeps me on the straight and narrow, and also helps me make a quick and easy change when the scale isn’t cooperating. I use MyFitnessPal, which gives me a daily caloric goal of 1200 calories a day. But in all honesty, I find it difficult to eat that much on most days, due to #2 above.

#4 I need accountability/motivation.

There are many ways you can obtain accountability. For me, I decided to back it up with money. I signed up for a DietBet and plopped $30 down on a Kickstarter — I had to lose 4% body weight in 4 weeks in order to meet my DietBet goal and win my $30 back plus a portion of the winner’s pool. I don’t like the feeling of wasting money. At all. So this was a great incentive for me to lose the weight. The link here is the game I am currently playing.

#5 I need to constantly remind myself I am doing this for my health.

Food and health documentaries are a powerful thing when you watch them 3-4 times a week. Watching documentaries and reading health books not only gave me more knowledge as to why sugar, gluten and dairy were making me feel bad, they also encouraged me to eat as healthfully as possible.

#6 Water

For some reason, I never feel thirsty, so getting even 16 ounces of water in me is a challenge. I love water, but it never occurs to me to drink some. I’ve been making a concerted effort to drink more water, and find that on days I meet that elusive 8 cups goal, I feel much less bloated and the scale thanks me for it. I think it’s true — the more water you drink, the more fluid your body will release.

#7 Sleep

The more I read, the more I am convinced that we all need 7-9 hours of sleep in order for our bodies to reset and release unneeded calories.

#8 I’m not feeding an industry that I don’t believe ever supported me

I don’t think I need to say any more here. Instead, I took portions of the “health at every size” movement that really spoke to me, like eliminating all negative self talk.

The results

I’ve lost 22 lbs — almost 12% of my body weight — in about 3 1/2 months. But what flabbergasts me the most is the inches I’ve lost. I’ve been at this weight before — but looking back I was “thicker” even at this weight. I am convinced that dropping as much sugar, gluten/carbs and dairy as I can (without feeling restricted) has resulted in significantly-reduced inflammation in my gut. Pants that were tight on me — at my current weight — are now lose around me waist. Same weight. Same pants.

I’ve also spent $90 on DietBets and have won $148, for a net profit of $58! Did you just connect the dots here? I lost weight and not only paid NO ONE to do it, but I was PAID to do it! Term #8 accomplished.

Although I still don’t have an ultimate goal weight in mind, I feel like I might be about 10-15 pounds away from where my body will equilibrate its weight. We will see. My boyfriend recently suggested I should celebrate when I finally get to the point of not losing weight anymore — as in celebrating when I have found my body’s ideal weight based on the above 8 commandments. I think that’s an excellent idea!

So, there you have it! My 8 commandments to losing weight. It’s continuing to work for me! Let me know if you try these, and how you did!



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