A Moment On The Lips, Much Later On The Hips

Happy Monday! I’m here to help take away a little bit of the mystery this week. There’s one really unfortunate little mind game we don’t mean to play on ourselves that will forever keep us in our fat pants. Luckily I’ve been to the other side and back again (a couple times now) so I am speaking from experience and can help you to not make the same mistakes!

This week’s Uncomfortable Truth:

A Moment On The Lips, Much Later On The Hips

If only this happened as soon as we ate the chocolate...

If only this happened as soon as we ate the chocolate…

Saying no to delicious food is hard. I know, I’ve been there. I didn’t gain 70 pounds while I was pregnant because of some junk food gnome who force fed me cake while I was sleeping. I gained 70 pounds while pregnant because saying no to the Caramilk bar that second was so much more painful than the inevitable weight gain.

No, wait, that’s not even a little bit true.

All that weight gain hurt oh so much more.

But at the moment the Caramilk bar was in front of me? Saying no hurt more.

Why?

Because as soon as I put that sweet, delicious (and EVIL!!!) Caramilk bar to my lips I didn’t instantly gain 5 pounds. But I did have chocolate. The weight gain was some abstract notion of something that might happen in the future. But that chocolate? That was happening that second.

My nemesis.

My nemesis.

Studies have actually been done on this. It’s instant gratification versus future reward. Some people are better than others at weighing the pros and cons. But most of us, especially when it comes to food, will take delicious food this second over an athletic body in the future. It’s instant gratification. Here’s a link to an article in The New Yorker on The Marshmallow Experiment:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/18/090518fa_fact_lehrer?currentPage=all

I will sum it up here for you: Children were brought into a room one at a time. There was a plate of marshmallows in front of them. They were told that they could have one marshmallow now. Or! If they waited a couple minutes while the man left the room, when he returned they could have two marshmallows. As with most social experiments, some subjects were able to sit patiently and wait (delayed gratification) others needed their marshmallow right away (instant gratification) and others after a few minutes realized they were alone with candy and started stuffing their face with all of it (evil master minded geniuses of the future)

Ah yes, I know that feeling all too well.

Ah yes, I know that feeling all too well.

Delayed gratification is what we really have a problem with. We aren’t oracles, we can’t see into the future, we can’t say for certain whether or not saying no to this delicious treat in front of us now will result in a beach-ready body by summer, so we opt for instant gratification.

And that is where we fail.

Willpower has received a bad rep as of late. We’re told we’re denying ourselves, we’re making ourselves miserable, we’re torturing ourselves, yadda yadda yadda. But do you know who’s saying that? Other fat people trying to make themselves feel better for also caving in to instant gratification.

Oh yeah, she looks really deprived... Deprived of a miserable life maybe.

Oh yeah, she looks really deprived… Deprived of a miserable life maybe.

Delayed gratification is the best feeling you will ever have. Even on junk food days I still put this into effect. Yeah sure I could devour that cookie before I’m even out of the Tim’s drive through. Or, I can take my time. Enjoy having it in my presence. Enjoy knowing that I could eat that cookie at any second, but I am choosing not to. I’m not letting the cookie dictate my actions. I am the one in control.

Control is good. Control is the difference between gaining 5 pounds or losing 30 by the end of the year. It’s easy to practice small bursts of self control, but it’s constant vigilance that will make you come out on top.

Stop thinking of it as depriving yourself. That’s letting the cookie rule you. You rule the cookie. You tell that cookie when and where you’ll eat it, not the other way around. I don’t know about you, but as a child I always had boxes of Oreos and Fudgee-os and bags upon bags of chips in the cupboards. But I wouldn’t sit around all day thinking “Don’t eat the cookies. Don’t eat the cookies. Don’t eat the cookies.” Somewhere along the line, the control went from me to the food. In the last few years, if I knew there were cookies in the house, I was eating them until they were gone. No questions asked.

My other nemesis.

My other nemesis.

I still have trouble with it. That’s why I need to keep that food out of the house. I’m not depriving myself. I’m taking my power back. And you can too. Just remember:

 You rule the cookie. The cookie does not rule you.

Your turn! What are some ways you’re taking your power back and enjoying that sense of delayed gratification? Sound off below!

You can find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lasttwetypounds and on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/last20pounds and on Twitter as @Last20Pounds. See you next week!

Abs Are Made In The Kitchen

Happy (almost) Monday, everyone! I’m a day behind, whoops! This week I thought I’d share with you a sort of dirty little secret I’ve stumbled across in my years of trying to achieve a body I could be proud of. I can’t say I tried it all; I was ridiculously clueless when it came to a healthy diet. I didn’t try crash diets, or juice cleanses. I briefly tried Weight Watchers but writing it all down and assigning points when I was already in school just seemed like way too much extra homework.

No. More. Homework.

No. More. Homework.

I pretty much gave up on dieting. About 6 years ago I moved into the city and started walking everywhere. That was a major game changer. Nothing like being broke with your job a half hour walk away and no mode of transportation available other than your feet to make you really start dropping the pounds.

The "Broke Girl" Workout

The “Broke Girl” Workout

But no matter what I did; if I worked out really hard, if I stopped working out entirely, if I walked a half hour every day, if I drove one block to get the mail, if I did an hour of yoga every morning, if I thought about doing yoga one minute every two weeks; There was only one major factor that really decided whether or not I was losing weight that week:

The food that went into my stomach.

This week’s Uncomfortable Truth:

Abs Are Made In The Kitchen

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the age old cop out: “I can’t wait to get on the treadmill again so I can eat whatever I want!” “As soon as I get that gym membership, look out candy aisle! I’m coming for you!” “No, it’s cool, I can totally have this third slice of cheesecake, I went to the gym today!”

And what’s funny is that these are always the same women complaining about how they can’t lose any weight.

facepalm-seriously-660x440

It doesn’t matter how hard you work out. Because here’s a side order Uncomfortable Truth for you…

Unless You’re Already In Ridonkulous Shape You Will Never Work Out Hard Enough To Cancel Out A Cheesecake

Our bodies are designed pretty stupidly. It’s very easy to gain weight, and insanely difficult to take it off again. But what makes it even harder is when we set up all these road blocks for ourselves. Road blocks in the shape of brownies.

Sweet delicious road blocks.

Sweet delicious road blocks.

If you really want to lose weight, you need to focus on what you’re putting into your body. Food is fuel. That’s not just a catchy slogan, it’s a fact. Our bodies need food to keep going. If we fill ourselves with junk, our bodies will work like junky old cars that should have been on the scrap heap decades ago.

This is your body on pop.

This is your body on junk.

You can work out until you’re blue in the face, but if you’re not focusing on a proper diet it’s all in vain. Yeah sure, you might stop yourself from gaining even more weight, but you’re not going to lose weight. And if losing weight is your goal, you need to allow yourself to be a little bit uncomfortable.

So stop telling yourself that comfortable lie that working out negates all of the bad food. It’s far from true, and I think deep down you know that. You know that because at the end of the year you’ve gained weight, even if it’s 5 pounds or less, you’ve still gained weight. The working out didn’t help. Because you didn’t help yourself.

So start helping yourself! Don’t eat empty calories and really fattening foods all the time. Assign yourself specific days to eat bad foods, or goals (after I lose 10 pounds I’ll have a junk food day!) or holidays, and stick with them. And by all means, go to the gym, do workouts at home, get active! It’s one of the best things you can do for your body. It’s just not the best thing.

Nature's liposuction.

Nature’s liposuction.

So there you have it! If you’re ready to really start seeing results, put the cheeseburgers and pop down, and pick the celery up. I know healthy food looks scary at first, but once you get in the swing of it… It’s tastes so much better than you could ever imagine. For our junk food day this week we opted for cheeseburgers. I had always been anti-veg but recently got on the mushrooms and onions train… Oh. My. Burger. Sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions are the best thing to happen to a cheeseburger since the invention of the cheeseburger. So don’t be scared! Experiment with new healthy foods, cook them in a variety of different methods and dishes until you find a way that works for you. Your inner skinny-girl will thank you!

Your turn! What are some of your favourite healthy foods? What did you used to hate and learned to embrace? Sound off below!

You can find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lasttwentypounds on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/last20pounds and on Twitter as @Last20Pounds. See you next week!