I haven’t done a weight loss update in a while, so I thought I’d go ahead and write up a post summarizing everything I’ve learned and my progress to date. As you can see, I’ve lost almost 30 pounds from when I took a good hard look at myself and said enough! I was finally motivated to get healthy, and since I wasn’t really all that great at keeping up on my own, I decided to join Jenny Craig. My husband was leaving for a military deployment, and I knew I was not going to cook for just myself anyway. So rather than eating TV dinners, I ate Jenny Craig meals. But just eating those meals was not enough – no, you had supplement with lots and lots of fruits and vegetables, and other snacks. It was a struggle for me at first, but after about a month I got the hang of it, and the routine became comfortable for me. I know some people can’t stand eating the same type of food all the time, but it really didn’t bother me. I did have my off days (like book clubs and friend dinners and when I traveled) but for the most part I ate my Jenny meals and saw the results. So here is a list of what I learned, and how I can continue to use what I learned in my life now that I’m off the Jenny Craig diet.
Eat 6 small meals a day. It was hard for me at first, especially with the large breakfast I had to eat (a meal, a milk product, and a fruit when I was used to only eating a yogurt for breakfast), but it got my day started off right and kicked off my metabolism. And it makes sense. Babies need to be fed every 3 hours, so why not adults? I used to struggle with what I called “hunger headaches” if it had been too long between meals. Well, that completely went away since I was snacking every 3 hours. So I would eat a good size breakfast, then have a mid-morning snack (usually a milk product, OK, usually string cheese!), then I would eat a lunch (with vegetables), then a mid-afternoon snack (usually fruit), then dinner and dessert. YES I got to eat dessert, and let me tell you the Jenny Craig cheesecakes were quite yummy! The best part about eating more often is you don’t overeat. It really helps with portion control. I think this is the most important item that I learned, since I’m continuing to apply it to my current eating habits.
Fruits and vegetables are your friends. I had to add fruit or vegetables to every meal, and I’ve really gotten into the habit of eating healthier. I’ve become a big fan of zucchini and kale. Now I even bring a salad to work to eat with my sandwich. Clean eating has become a fad nowadays, and I think learning to add fruits and vegetables to my menu is a good step in that direction.
Having someone to talk with really helps. Having to do weekly check ins got *really* annoying after a while, but at the same time, I don’t think I would have been as successful without that. Checking in with someone who won’t judge you but will try to help motivate you really keeps you on track and helps you get through minor setbacks. Staying motivated is not easy, and it is pretty much impossible to make progress without the motivation to keep going. Now I have hubby to help remind me to eat healthy and stay motivated to keep the weight off.
Slow and steady (you know how that saying goes). The safest way to lose weight is slowly, about 1-2 pounds a week. The way to make this happen, and maintain it, is to establish healthy habits that you can keep up with after you go off a specific “diet”. Do what feels right and make small changes in your routine until they work for you. As you look back over time, you’ll see the progress you’ve made.
Move, and keep moving. I’m not big on going to the gym. In fact, I bought a used elliptical machine so I wouldn’t have to go to the gym. But my favorite activities are more social. I love going for a walk and chatting during that time. Before I moved, my neighbor and one of my closest friends would get together on weekends to go for walks around our subdivision. Now that I’ve moved we won’t be able to do that anymore, but I hope to continue going for walks now that hubby is back. I need to get back into an activity routine when we’re a little more settled into the new house.
Those are the main items, though I’m sure there’s more that I’m forgetting at the moment. I’m not saying this diet plan is for everyone. All I’m saying is this program was right for me at that particular time in my life. I continue to be amazed at the differences I see in myself. I have more energy than I did before, I feel healthier and just better overall.