Heart-Healthy Weight Loss

I’m very pleased to share​ my weight loss progress with you. I have lost 20.5 pounds since mid-January, mostly through changing what I eat, and exercising a bit.

I’ve switched to a heart-healthy lifestyle, and it’s really the best thing I could have done for myself right now. My boyfriend broke up with me about a month ago, and that was a huge disappointment. However, I didn’t go out and buy ice cream and pizza to comfort myself… I’d already started eating healthy, and I stuck to it. I’m very glad that I did. Eating to ease pain doesn’t really solve anything for me… It just makes me feel worse and be more unhappy with my life.

So, I still have a lot of weight to lose, but I’m making visible progress. My stomach is flatter (still not flat, mind you). I feel great, and it’s actually pretty easy to eat heart-healthy once you commit to it. I avoid bad fats, and try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. I no longer eat butter, mayonnaise, Ranch salad dressing, cheese, or McDonald’s. I occasionally have dark chocolate, but it’s a rare treat.
I do eat salmon, tuna, tilapia, and chicken (usually baked in a small amount of olive oil, and then spiced with whatever I like. Fresh ground black pepper is a new favorite). I eat salad with red wine vinaigrette dressing and black pepper, carrots with hummus, or asparagus. I use olive oil on my baked potato instead of butter, and plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. (I like the Chobani brand for this.) I’ll have clementines in my lunch, or grapes. If I’m craving something sweet, I’ll occasionally have plain Greek yogurt sweetened with a bit of honey. (I prefer to buy it plain so I can control the sugar content.) Sometimes I’ll have avocado in a salad or on a sandwich… It makes a good mayonnaise substitute, even though it doesn’t taste the same. I drink a lot of water, trying to get a bare minimum of 48 ounces per day, though that’s lower than what you’re supposed to have.

I try to exercise more. I’m not a gym person, so I go on walks, aiming for three times per week for about 30 minutes each time. I also do crunches and stretches most mornings, increasing the number when I feel it’s getting too easy.

The biggest part, though, is learning to control what I eat. It’s partially portion control. I don’t overeat anymore, and I’m not starving myself. I don’t feel hungry. Food just isn’t my focus anymore. But the other part is the choices I make throughout the day. Do I want that brownie now, or do I want to be the best version of myself that I can be?  Which do I want more?  (Hint: The brownie no longer wins.)

Bottom pictures: Me one month ago. Top pictures: Me today. A slight, yet visible difference.

If you are trying to lose weight, hang in there. You can do it. You’ll feel sometimes like it’s impossible and you will want to give up. Some days, the brownie wins. But don’t hate yourself for it. Just don’t let the brownie win day after day. Little by little, you’ll get there! You’re worth getting in shape for, so take care of yourself.

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