Have you put on any extra pounds this Summer? Or maybe it was during the long winter and you’re still trying to get rid of them so that you can enjoy the rest of the Summer (before the Fall and next Winter)? Well, I have just the plan for you! This one will NOT fail!
You see, all my life I was a skinny little girl, then a skinny teenager, then a skinny adult. Had 2 babies but they didn’t leave me any extra pounds. Went all my life just eating anything I wanted, whenever I wanted and never put on any extra pounds. Oh, wait, I’m lying. I did put on 20 lbs when I lived in South Carolina at 17 years of age. Then as soon as I got back to my routine in Brazil, I lost them all and continued to be a skinny girl.
Well, I hit 40s and still skinny! Still eating everything I wanted, as much as I wanted, whenever I wanted! Many of my friends “envied” me and my eating habits! Lol! Two big changes happened when I turned 40. Number 1 was that I needed to wear reading glasses. That, in itself, was enough to send me on quite a “feeling like I was turning 80 years old” trip! Then I finally realized that it was part of life and that it was ok, I was ok! Number 2 was the need for a hysterectomy and with it, early menopause. THAT, my friends, was a BIG thing for me! And that was only the beginning (big sigh!)
Then, when I turned 50 (big breath)… a lot more things happened in my body! Things never before expected. Well, for one thing, both of my kids had left the house at 17 (totally caught me by surprise on that one). All the day-to-day struggles of living in Brazil, plus all the stress, working outside of home, building a house and all that good stuff - depression hit me hard because of the kids leaving home. Then, I finally decided to go see my doctor. We decided I should take an anti-depressant and hormones. Little by little I started to feel better. Also…. Little by little I started to put on some weight. So, at 50 – half a century – was when I started to struggle with my weight.
I know, I shouldn’t be complaining – and I’m NOT! My daughter laughs at me when she sees me working on losing weight for the first life in my life! No, I’m not complaining, it’s just that now I do have to watch what I eat, how much I eat and when I eat. Otherwise, I can become wider than my beautiful red front door! Lol!
I also have to add to this beautiful “backdrop” the fact that my husband started on his own health journey. He has gastroperasis (slow guts) and the nutritionist suggested a diet in which he has to eat 6 smaller meals a day, each time he eats shouldn’t be more than a cup. Within a week of this diet he had lost quite a few pounds. Little by little he is working it out, learning what he can and cannot eat. When and how much also so that he doesn’t continue to lose weight.
So, with all that being said, I have come to some conclusions of my own as far as what a healthy diet is for me. I decided to share them with you for two main reasons, 1) because you need to laugh a little with me, 2) this diet could actually save your life!
I will number my ideas as to make things a little easier for you to get the picture:
- I eat 3 bigger meals and 3 smaller snacks between meals. This way I won’t be too hungry for the bigger meals.
- My portions are smaller. For example, at lunch (our customary big meal of the day, per Brazilian culture) I make myself one plate, not too much and not too little. I do not have seconds. It is a well-balanced meal with protein, carbs and salads.
- After lunch (any time between right after lunch to an hour) I enjoy a good cup of coffee, with cream and sugar, and a cookie or a cake of some sort. I have decided that I want to lose weight, yes, but I continue to be happy! To be happy you have to eat what you enjoy eating and eat fun things! So, yes, ladies, I do bake banana breads and cookies regularly at our house. I have made some with applesauce so that my husband can enjoy them, too.
- My morning snacks consist of papaya and bananas cut up. About a cup or so. Papaya is my all-time favorite fruit and it “moves” me quite well – if you know what I mean? Lol!
- My afternoon snack, most of the time is my coffee with cake or cookies. That’s why sometimes I decide to wait an hour after lunch so that it holds me up until supper time.
- Our supper is typically lighter than lunch (again, per Brazilian culture). It can be just a sandwich, or soup and crackers (or bread – I LOVE BREADS!). But, when I’m in the mood for pasta I will make myself good, ol’ Kraft’s Mac & Cheese while my hubby has his cereal with soy milk. Ha!
- My bedtime snack can be either gelatine (that I always have made in the fridge in small portions, to make it easy for anyone to grab), banana bread with tea or simply pretzels with nutella (sometimes I add peanut butter).
- Besides all that (I usually drink a lot of water, anyways) but during my “diet” I try to drink even more. I've also cut the amount of sodas and juices in general.
- I try to walk every day, but sometimes it doesn’t happen and that’s ok. I do plenty of exercise cleaning the house, taking care of my flowers, shopping and I definitely exercise my fingers a lot on my writings and on Facebook. Lol! I do enjoy stretching exercises a lot! I learned many moves from our Wii exercise and from the Jillian exercise program so I just keep doing them.
- Last, but not least, a great counsel from my Mother! In her view, a good warm (or hot) bath is the remedy for pretty much anything in life, from health issues to life stresses, from real life problems to heart breaks and emotional issues. Since I love hot baths, I decided to incorporate them into my diet plan. I take weekly baths (at least twice a week). I enjoy reading a good book while I listen to soft music in my dimmed light bathroom. Did you get the picture? It relaxes and gets me ready for bed. After that I also sit in front of the TV and massage my foot (or have my husband do that for me, which is the best!)
There you have it, ladies! The main thing is: DO NOT stop eating the things that you like! Do not go hungry! Do not be somber and sad. On the contrary, choose to eat what you like, but eat healthy! Always try to have a feeling of being satisfied. And, by all means, BE HAPPY!
With much love, from the woman who lost all the 6 lbs that she put on in 2 weeks, in 1 week! Woooohoooooo!