Growing up, I never thought too much about weight, exercise, or nutrition. Thinking back to my body’s past, I was on the heavier side most of my life. I was never extremely overweight, but never skinny. I remember the occasional times of filling my mind with negative thoughts related to body image, but I never considered it to be a serious problem. I remember the times of being frustrated in a fitting room or embarrassed looking at a picture of me with several of my skinny friends. I remember really wanting to look different and form healthy habits, but in the end, I never had enough motivation to make a change.
"When you're stressed out or tired, it's very easy to forget when your hand goes into the cookie jar," says Marisa Sherry, RD, a registered dietitian in private practice in New York City. "Are you being honest with yourself about taking just one handful here and there? When you have a cup, are you really having one cup? Most drinking glasses hold about three cups. By the end of the day, it all adds up."
Soon after the ski trip, I left my desk job to pursue graduate school and took a part-time job working at the front desk of an upscale health club. One of the perks was a free membership, which was the motivation I needed to take control of my weight. I started exercising at the health club most mornings, taking Body Pump and spinning classes on a regular basis. Finding workout buddies helped too. I made some new friends who were avid runners and I began training for and participating in road races with them.
Fast forward several years later, I had another baby (Winter) and came out of that pregnancy about 40-50 lbs over my end goal weight. I had always had this dream to finally hit the big “100” in weight loss. By 2013 I had begun to take some classes at the gym and count calories a little more but I in NO WAY did anything extreme. And I honestly believe that is the key to weight loss and to keeping it off. It was NO quick journey to that final number but by July 2013, I hit 120 lbs and had officially lost 100 lbs…
Good news – I lost that 1 kilo again. Yeah! Without buying anything other than a library ticket go and look for info on food combining and natural hygiene. Also a 1980s book that is a way of life that worked for many is also extremely informative about what food groups are and what a food group actually is eg what proteins actually are and where to find them; how our body works in assimilating and getting rid of waste. I’ve pulled out my old copy of the book again and am having a go at the suggestion for dividing the day into 3 cycles : noon – 8 pm to eat; 8- 4 am for body to assimilate; 4-noon to get rid of waste. It depends on what you combine to eat together ie not carbs and proteins in same meal but you can have as much veg or salad with either. Not fruit – that’s for the morning and as much as you want till noon.
Several months in, I finally found the energy to start moving. I call it moving because it was hardly intense exercise. Addison was an extremely difficult baby from 0-15 months and I got very little sleep for as long as I can remember. She literally cried all night and all day. It was all I could do to get out the door and make myself move. But I did. I walked the 1.2 mile super hilly loop around our neighborhood pushing Addie in a stroller at least 4 days a week. I eventually graduated to two and then three continuous loops around the neighborhood but that was about the extent of my workout routine. Although it was super difficult at times, I stuck to this routine of eating good and walking the hood (hehe that rhymes) and in approximately eight months I had lost close to 80lbs.
The South Beach Diet was developed by clinical cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston and puts some signature spin on a classic low-glycemic index diet. Developed for patients with heart health in mind, the diet seeks to eliminate spikes in blood sugar levels by removing most carbohydrates from your diet (refined flours, pasta, etc.). Once the body has eliminated spikes in blood sugar, complex carbohydrates are slowly reintroduced into your diet and you stay in this phase until you reach your target weight. By the end of the diet, you’re allowed to eat all foods in moderation—even sweets! Though this third phase of the diet recommends some precautions, they aren’t very intrusive on your everyday life.

The best way to lower your cortisol levels is by decreasing stress. While it’s easier said than done, weight loss tips like this one involve you simply taking the time to put yourself and your health first. Practicing saying “no” to events and things you know will cause you stress, carve out time to exercise, set aside some time daily — even just 5 minutes — to meditate or practice gratitude and learn to recognize when you’re feeling extra worn out and need a time out.
Monica Olivas is a holistic health coach and certified running coach. And as the blog name implies, she loves to run and eat! Running helped her shed 20 pounds, and she’s since competed in 50 half-marathons and 30 marathons. Run Eat Repeat has giveaways for runners, tips for improving distance, and all kinds of healthy, delicious recipe ideas to fuel your next run. Visit the blog.
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