by Colleen Hurley for GalTime.com
As a dietitian, there is always the unstated expectation people have of you to be fit and healthy, along with the assumption that you don’t know what it’s like to struggle with losing weight.
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For me, this could not be further from the truth.
I was always chubby growing up, which didn’t faze me much until I started to get teased by my peers for being fat. This continued all the way through high school. In my twenties, I finally reached my own scale tipping point. I was 40 pounds overweight. I was always tired, which ignited a sugar addiction to try to seek "energy". I was in constant physical pain. I was sick all the time. Of course, I was pretty miserable on the inside, too, and very depressed.
I knew I was way too young to feel this way. My lightbulb moment came when I realized that if I didn’t do something, I’d spend the rest of my life like this. That thought terrified me enough I joined a gym. Then I started making small dietary changes, starting with cutting out refined sugars.
I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy. I was often frustrated that change wasn’t happening fast enough for my liking, but I kept focusing on my goal to feel better. And soon enough, I did. This is the main reason I decided to become a dietitian and I have kept the weight off for 15 years (and counting!). Once you get to feeling better, there is no going back -- this saying is actually true for me.
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I can promise you that it does get easier, and healthy food actually can taste good. But you absolutely have to make the decision to change. Here are my 10 personal tips for success that I give my clients.
1. Change behavior. What you’re doing right now is not working.
2. Increase awareness. Listen to your body and pay attention to what, where, when, and how you eat.
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3. Find your pitfalls. Stress eater? Mindlessly snack in front of the TV? We all have something, so identify yours.
4. Know that you DESERVE to feel good. You are doing this to help yourself, not punish yourself.
5. Keep your eye on the prize. The prize is hitting your big goal, and all of the smaller steps that lead up to it.
6. Commit to giving your 100% best effort for just three months. Instead of dragging it out, commit to three months of change. You will see a difference, which will provide the motivation to change your lifestyle for life
7. Change your taste in food. Understand food tastes different with a salt or sugar addiction. Get used to it. Experiment and learn what you like.