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Keeping a journal and taking photos are two brilliant ways to document your pain to gain. And that’s not ‘gain’ as in weight gain, that’s health and happiness gain! That’s right…the road to success is long, but once you’ve achieved your goal you will appreciate that you took the time to track it all. Looking back and seeing your ups, downs, stumbles, falls, rising ups and the ability to press on, is priceless. I’m talking about losing weight. It’s a struggle, and there’s no easy way around it. But change only happens with change.

The major steps in losing weight are exercise and eating healthy. I once had a trainer tell me that if you are only motivated because of other people then you’re setting yourself up for failure. You know…perhaps there’s this guy you met and you want to look better for him hoping that he’ll be interested in you, or there’s a woman you keep running into at the grocery store and you want to lose that belly to get up the nerve to ask her out. His point was that this is false motivation. If you can’t lose the weight to look and feel better for YOURSELF, then doing it for others will not last. People can (and will) come and go from your life so then what? What happens when they leave, do you put the weight back on?

Keeping a journal and taking photos along the way is crucial. When we are experiencing excruciating pain we cannot think past the pain. We cannot imagine the next day – we are living in the very second and not a minute beyond. It’s the same with dieting and losing weight, it’s not enjoyable. We just want to get over it and never look back. But, pain warps our thinking; it causes us to be unrealistic and resort to things we wish we hadn’t. In the case of losing weight, we may just devour a dozen donuts due to unbearable pain and emotions we are experiencing. We ‘think’ we are hungry; we feel sorry for ourselves – poor me, I’m an adult and I can’t even eat what I want; we are depressed because we are miserable in many ways due to the extra weight, and dieting is just making it all worse; and sometimes we even get angry because of all the changes our mind and body are going through from dieting. I certainly experienced all of these emotions when I decided to change my lifestyle and become ME-gan. I didn’t ease into it; I dove into it from one day to the next; I did it first by removing gluten, then became a full vegan. Easing into it only prolongs something you really haven’t put your heart into anyway. If you are ready, trust me, you will just DO IT! No ifs, buts, or maybes.

I used to wonder why people don’t get addicted to healthy foods like apples, avocados, mushrooms, etc.? But the key word there is ‘addicted.’ We get addicted to junk food because of chemicals. Chemicals are addicting; take narcotics for instance. It’s very easy to get addicted to pain medication. But health food is all natural. Mother Nature put it on this earth to savor, to enjoy, to thrive off of, not to be ADDICTED to. Food is not supposed to be addictive! We are to eat to live, not live to eat. It’s that simple.  

I’ve heard it said that the great past time for Americans is eating out. Truthfully, I think it’s a global affair. Try making plans for once that do not include FOOD – just try it.  Ask your partner what you’re going to do tonight and see if their first reaction isn’t to go to your favorite restaurant to start off the long weekend by chowing down and over indulging in all the wrong foods, and then top the evening off with some adult beverages. Am I right? I don’t think a night spent at home playing backgammon and sharing a fruit & nut platter is on most people’s agenda, do you? It’s actually on mine though – :). Lee and I love the outdoors (well, summers in AZ are tough, but if we can get away to cooler ground we do!) and we also love our time together reading, playing board games and hanging out in our back yard enjoying the pool.

As much as we both love to cook, it’s not the leading priority. But, we do have to eat to survive, and as an added bonus we LOVE the food we eat. Getting our fruit in the morning is very important to us. A wide variety diet is best and will please you, your taste buds, your tummy and your body will reward you by returning to its desired state. Last night Lee and I had a very easy, but delicious dinner: Baked potato, grilled BBQ onions, broccoli and pea soup. It was simply dee-lish, we were happy and satisfied!

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Health, happiness and weight loss are the rewards of healthy eating. Don’t look at it as dieting, look at it as you are changing your way of thinking and from now on you are going to respect yourself more – as it should be. The weight will fall off, and one day soon you can look at your ‘before’ pictures and read through your journal. You will laugh and cry, but most of all you’ll be proud of yourself!

Here’s to a thinner you! YOU CAN DO IT!

Inspirational ME-gan love to you,

Mary

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