This article was originally written by Kim Pye
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My Mother put me on my first diet when I was 9 years old. The fad at that time was a high carbohydrate diet. All I can really remember about it was that I ate a lot of crackers and tuna fish and all the pasta I wanted. I was always 10-15 pounds over weight and tried every diet that came out. With each significant weight loss I immediately put the weight back on, and then some. I have concluded that diets are not only making us fat, they are killing us.
I was in my 20’s when I hit my all time high… I stopped weighing myself when I hit 220 lbs. and was wearing a tight size 18. I am 5’11” tall and of course, I could carry it better than someone 5’4” but I was now a BIG girl for sure. I decided to join the local YMCA and take some aerobic classes. It was all high impact back then and I will never forget the way I felt the day after my first class. I thought someone had snuck in to my apartment and beat me with a two by four from head to toe…I’m serious. My next game plan was to join the older women in an aqua aerobics class. I had done some competitive swimming in high school and had always loved the water. That was the best thing I could have ever done. It might sound crazy but, that class and group of women, changed the course of my life.
There are several points that I am trying to make. One, I had found a form of exercise that I truly enjoyed and looked forward to doing. Two, I realized that the career choice I had been pursuing in college was all wrong for me. Three, I discovered my natural talent for motivating others. I lost weight because I was so emotionally satisfied by encouraging others. Just three months later, having changed my diet, and having been consistent with my exercise I had lost 25 pounds. The director approached me wondering if I might want to train for an instructor position. I was thrilled.
You are no doubt wondering what all that has to do with eating well. Everything. I had been dieting for 13 years at that point and what I did differently was I applied common sense and it worked. We all know how to eat healthy but just for the record I’ll go over the basics. Never skip breakfast. It’s considered the most important meal of the day because until you put food into your body, your metabolism is in low, low gear… sleep mode is a fasting mode. Even a small piece of fruit, slice of toast or small yogurt will do it. Also drink a large glass of water. You are dehydrated from having slept 7-9 hours without drinking a drop. Make your mid day meal your largest meal if you can…lean protein (4-6 oz.), 2-4 servings of veggies (salad with steamed or grilled veggies), a small serving of pasta or sweet potato…more water. Dinner can be similar only smaller in size…more water. It’s an excellent plan is to snack at 10am and 3pm by the way. Research has proven that if we ingest a small amount every 2-3 hours, our metabolism stays revved up, and the body realizes that more food is coming on a regular basis.
Once this pattern has been in place for week or so the body begins to let go of stored fat…it knows nutrients are always coming. No white anything…white bread, white rice, white pasta, white potatoes and white sugar. Eat as little processed food as possible and avoid fast food like the plague. Pretty simple. Not always easy.
Do the best you can most of the time and recognize that there will be times that you will eat pizza and hot fudge Sundays. As long as it is ‘once in a while’ not weekly, you will be fine. Personally I can’t have tempting food in my house…if it’s there, I will eat it. When I have to have some sort of treat, I go out and buy one piece…savor every bite and be done with it. Do yourself a favor…give up dieting; It simply does not work long term.