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Weight Loss Journey
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Two years ago, I made a decision to change my life. I had grown up in a home where weight loss was a prevalent struggle. I had always sworn I’d never need to diet. But fast-forward through three pregnancies and things had changed. I had become overweight and decided it was time to do something about it.

I joined a weight loss group and slowly but surely lost fifty pounds over the course of the next year. However, I will have to admit that losing was not as difficult as maintaining the loss. Since that first year, I have realized this journey has as much to do with my mind as my mouth. I’ve learned much about my own habits and the food culture in my home.

I’ll share my three biggest Ah-ha moments with you:

Ah-ha Moments

1. Portion control. I have always considered myself to be a healthy eater. There was never any white bread in my house and fruit and veggies were prevalent. But what I did is eat a LOT of that healthy food. In the first week of my weight loss journey, I learned that evidently I was cleaning everyone’s plate… into my mouth! After the kids finished eating, Brent and I would get a few moments alone to actually talk to each other and during those conversations, I would calmly, and without realizing it, reach for each kid’s plate in turn to finish off their remains. Choosing to serve myself a plate of food and not go for seconds or eat anyone else’s food has made a huge difference in my weight maintenance.

2. Food culture and rewards. My biggest struggle time for making good food choices is post-kid’s-bedtime. I have survived the day. No one is dead. And I deserve a treat. That’s when I find myself standing in the pantry pawing through the options to reward myself.

But the kids got in the car after school the other day and Quinn said, “Mom, we only have two more days of school! Can we have a treat?” It hit me like a ton of bricks. Where did he learn to ask for a food treat as reward for surviving his school year? Why didn’t he ask to get to go to the park or get a new toy to celebrate? He asked for food. And he learned that from me. Everything from a broken arm, to a successful kid-attended grocery store trip, to cleaning the house, to surviving another week of school earns my kids some kind of dessert. I have taught them to reward themselves with food. Changing that is a huge brain workout – but I’m actively struggling with it.

3. Activity. I never won the hundred-yard dash, but I was reasonably athletic while at school. I was a swimmer and played on the volleyball team. But in my own home, activity got moved out of our scheduled plans. I’m trying very hard to change that. As we planned for our summer, I purposefully sought out activities that were physically active. Geocaching, bouncy house centers, ice/roller skating, pool trips, and after-dinner family dog walks are on the schedule. I want my kids to think that a fun day out is a physically active one rather than an electronics oriented one.

Weight loss is hard. Weight loss maintenance is hard, too. Both mean taking a long look at the habits and food culture you have created and choose to live with. In order to responsibly maintain this temple of God, we must do some heart and head work as well as dealing with what goes in our mouths.

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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines

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