A Day in My Eating Life: Getting Started

Let me introduce myself to those who don’t know me and don’t know my story. First of all…I do not diet! I don’t like to weigh myself! I can’t stand counting calories! I don’t like exercise and most of all I love comfort foods and I’m a picky eater. This is important for you to know…so you can hopefully relate to some of my struggles and understand my triumphs. My goal in sharing my health journey is to hopefully encourage others to make a change in their life. I believe that small changes will slowly add up into big changes. My small changes have added up. I have gone from a size 20 (getting ready to go to a 22) to a size 16. It took me approximately 2 ½ years but I was able to do it and maintain the weightloss. My goal size is 10 (remember I don’t like to diet or to weigh myself).

Now to explain, I don’t like dieting, weighing myself or counting calories for many reasons. The main one being that I don’t want a quick fix and I feel dieting is just that. I know people who go on a diet at the beginning of each year and by summer they are right back where they were when they started. I am approaching this thing as a lifestyle change. I want to be able to maintain the weight I lose and learn how to have what I enjoy and still live a healthier life. I also don’t like to weigh myself because the last time I weighed, I weighed the exact same amount as I did at a size 22, but I had dropped several clothing sizes. The key is I was changing fat into muscle but they weighed exactly the same. If I just based my success on actual pounds lost I would be discouraged and would stop. I take my measurements into account more than my weight. Ultimately, living a healthier life is possible people.

How should you get started? First, you need to verbalize and visualize your goal(s). If it is a big goal, break it down into attainable chunks. For example, my goal is to get down to a size 10. Well, when I was a size 20+ I didn’t feel that was very attainable, so my first big goal was to get into an 18 and then I set mini goals to work on making that happen. As you achieve one layer of goals you can move to the next layer and before you know it you have achieved more than you ever thought possible. So sit down and honestly evaluate your life. Do you smoke, do you drink too much, do you eat out too much, do you eat too many sweets, do you have diabetes or other disease, does your back hurt, do your knees hurt, do you just sit in front of the tv all night etc. etc. Think of small things you can do to help stop that bad habit or change the trajectory of your life. Look up recipes that help decrease your sugar intake, park further away, stretch or take yoga, take leisurely strolls with your family at night, eat at the table, limit your smoking to only outside (in cold months) or only at certain times of the day.

The next thing I would do is make a doctors appointment to get an annual physical. A lot of companies include this as a benefit for you free of charge, but even if they don’t you should make an effort to get one done so you know exactly where your problem areas are and can start working on them. Don’t wait until it is too late…ignoring the possible problems/issues won’t change them…in fact in many cases it just makes them worse. Think outside the box and you will be amazed at what you can do/accomplish.

My next entry will tell you about my journey to date…what changes I made and in what order. Believe me I am still a work in progress…please feel free to share your thoughts and questions below.

About Dana LaRieal Morales

Dana LaRieal Morales is the Founder of The Happiness Bucket where she coaches individuals and teams on having a better work-life balance. She is a Certified Project Manager, an Alum of the University of Tennessee Knoxville, where she earned her degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice and she is also an Alum of Tennessee State University where she earned her Masters in Public Administration, She uses her vast organization, project management and process improvement experiences to help those around her be their best selves.

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