Since July, I’ve lost 106 pounds. I’m asked several times a week how I’m doing it.

First and foremost, to start this journey I had to have a HUGE MIND-BLOWING experience that everything  I thought I knew about dieting was just plain WRONG. Every other time that I have dieted (unsuccessfully), I did what most people do…I counted calories and fat.  Low fat and low calorie = skinny person right?

WRONG…oh so wrong.

I started off my journey by watching the documentary Fed Up on Netflix.  If you have some free time watch this movie! It will change what you thought you knew. You’ll finish it thinking “Well, THAT is why all my other diets have failed”.

So the short answer to how I’m losing weight is I stopped counting calories and fat and instead I now count  sugar and carbs.  I try to limit my carbs and sugar and that coupled with a new love of working out has lead to amazing results.

Number one question that I am asked is what “plan”  I am following to lose weight.  “Oh you are low carb, you must follow Atkins, THM, Paleo, Keto, etc”.

Nope. Although each of those mentioned diets above give me inspiration and education, I don’t follow them.  Let me put it this way, I “date” them but don’t commit.

Rather, I’m following my own plan.

Following your own plan definitely has some benefits. First of all, you set the rules. You are the best resource to understand what you need to do to survive a healthy lifestyle. Second, there is less failures on your own plan because you set the rules. Forming your own plan is really the best way to stick to it because you know what is possible and what is not in your world.

But following your own plan is also hard because you don’t have set guidelines or rules. You have to make your own.

So even though I’m flying by the seat of my much-skinnier pants on this journey, I do follow a few simple rules:

(1) Count Carbs, not Calories.  My goal each day is to keep my carb and sugar intake low, and not worry one bit about how much fat or calories are in food.  So this means that I eat food that most of you would think is clearly not diet food.  I cook with REAL butter, I eat a ton of cheese, the fat content in my food is usually pretty high. But I’m keeping the net carbs and sugar low. And it is working for me. If you haven’t tried a low carb lifestyle…you need to get on the bandwagon. I can assure you that I have single handedly tried every diet out there. This is the only one that has worked.

  (2)  This isn’t a “Diet” it’s a LIFEstyle.  First and foremost, I detest the word “diet”.  So many people ask me… “Do you have cheat days?” “Isn’t it hard to be  on a diet?”.  Well, truth be told I don’t have cheat days, because I’m not on a diet. Rather I’m making lifestyle choices, so there is no perfect formula to it. Part of the word Lifestyle is LIFE…Life happens…there are birthday parties with cake, late nights with no time to meal plan, cookie dough cravings!! Diets don’t allow these things, but Lifestyles do. So, don’t look at it as a diet. Realize that this is something you want to do permanently, so give yourself some flexibility.  Somedays I’m eating broccoli and chicken and other days I’m in the drive-thru. You can’t cheat on a lifestyle – you cheat on a diet. So, change your perspective and don’t look at it as a diet.

(3) Working Out is a daily thing.  A big reason why I’m losing weight fast is that I work out… A LOT.  I try to work out every single day.  Yes, 7 days a week. Now remember this is the Mandi-Plan so that means there isn’t a set rule about this. So some days I can work out, and other days life steps in and I have no time. But in order for this to work, I had to make  a priority and work out. I wish I could tell you that you can drop 106 pounds without working out…but alas you can’t.  But finding my new love of working out has done more for me than low carb.  Working out is my therapy. Since I started, I have had a remission of my anxiety and stomach problems, and besides a few sore days I feel fantastic!

  (4) Monthly Weigh-ins, not daily.   I do not under any circumstances believe in weighing yourself everyday. Do not do this to yourself! Weight is going to fluctuate based on a ton of different things, so do not be a slave to your scale. I prefer to weigh myself monthly. It gives me bigger feeling of satisfaction, and I don’t have to worry if one day the scale reads a pound heavier. I choose to mark progress in different ways. Pant sizes going down? That’s amazing! Feeling less tired? Another great move!

(5) Research/Research/Research: I used to spend my nights reading gossip magazines, now I’m researching all things healthy.  The internet is an amazing tool, so use it!! Start researching Low carb diets. Watch Fed Up! On Netflix. Read health magazines.  The one thing I’m learning on this journey is that I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing, so I look for advice everywhere I can get it. Every night you will find me on Pinterest researching recipes and tips.  Keep reading, keep learning.

(6) 10,000 steps a day.  This is a rule I set for myself right from the start. My goal each day is to hit 10,000 steps a day. My Apple Watch keeps me honest, and I love hitting this goal.

So that my friends is the journey I am on. Keeping my carbs low and my activity up!

R.C.

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