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10 Things I Have Done Differently This Week For Weight Loss

This is the 5th day for my weight loss challenge and I feel great. I can button up my jeans without wanting to kill myself, which is a good step in the right direction. So, what did I do differently this week??
1. Cut out cokes/sweet tea and drank more water. I hate drinking water, like, literally hate it. Because mostly, when I have to drink water, it's to lose weight and it feels like I am just drinking it to get to "8 glasses." I add a squirt of Crystal Light flavoring, and voila, I can drink two very large bottles in a day without even blinking an eye. I don't care if it's not the best thing. It's better than coke and I am still drinking the water I need. So here's a tip - don't start a rule about something for weight loss if you are going to literally hate doing it. Ignore comments about "what's best" and do what's best for you!!
2. I stopped eating complex carbs, limited my carb intake daily, and switched to multi-grain. I had to limit my carb intake because I was eating snacks like one or two tortillas a day, pizza, pasta, and sandwiches pretty much every meal. I started eating multi-grain bread, sandwich thins, and substituting pasta for things like veggies (instead of spaghetti, I would do stuffed zucchini - and it's good!) and cut out stuff like pizza altogether because cauliflower crust just sounds weird (thanks for the suggestion anyway, Kate).
3. I stuffed my pantry and fridge with good food that I didn't mind eating. Stuff like yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts, applesauce, etc. I made sure I had plenty of things to snack on that were good for me. On the same note, there are now 5 things I always make sure to have on hand: rolled oats, wheat germ, honey (or your favorite natural sweetener like maple syrup or agave nectar), rice krispies and peanut butter. You can literally make hundreds of things with these ingredients from protein bars to sweet snacks to satisfy your sweet craving. And eating better doesn't have to mean it costs more. I have shopped twice now for this challenge and my grocery budget isn't any larger than before.
4. I stopped eating sweets. Just for this challenge. I could go through a bag of candy like nobody's business. I have to stop doing that for a little while, but not forever.
5. I eat when I am hungry. I don't follow the rule anymore of only eating at certain times and allowing myself to feel hungry. If I'm hungry, I eat. I just eat small snacks that are good for me. One thing I've loved that can really help me get rid of hunger is a 100 calorie pack of nuts, usually almonds. They give me crunch and they get to me to my next meal.
6. I don't cook one meal for myself and another for my family. I cook one meal that is good for everyone. Kids need variety and so do husbands. If they don't like it, they can find something else. But I am not going to make a healthy meal for me and a non-healthy one for them anymore.
7. I don't follow anymore weight loss exercise plans, I do the exercising that I like. For me, it's kickboxing. I stopped feeling like I have to do pushups and stuff, at least in the beginning. I just do what I LIKE and what I WILL DO. And you know what? It's better than what I was doing, which is nothing. Don't start an exercise regimen you don't like, it's pointless because you will quit. Just do something you like, whether it's walking, or running, cardio, or weights. Who cares? Just do it enough to get your heart pumping for at least 25 minutes. And you know what? If you start out doing just two days a week, then it's just two days a week. It's two more days a week than you were exercising before, right?
8. I stopped wearing elastic waist pants every day. We all know why, I have already explained it.
9. I shop for something new to wear every week. I literally bought a new shirt from Target the other day, on sale, for $7. First of all, it makes me feel better to wear something new. And when I feel better, I try harder. Second of all, I am the size I am. I never bought new clothes because I hated spending money on clothes, mainly because I hated the size I am and because I felt like "as soon as I lose weight, it will be a waste of money!" Yeah, that's just a way of excusing needing to look good and feel good about yourself. I am an extra large and my goal is to be in a large by the end of this challenge. And how cool will that week be when I can suddenly fit into a whole new size of clothes??? Very cool. But that doesn't mean that I have to look like you-know-what in the meantime.
10. I allow myself a cheat meal a week. Bonus: it's a meal I can eat out. I am saving money on eating out weekly and it will be one that counts!! 
I think I've just gotten rid of rules or expectations on myself and just started doing things that worked for me, where I didn't feel like I was giving up everything I liked just to lose weight. And you know what? It's working. I haven't lost a single pound, but I fit into my jeans!!


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