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A Lifestyle Change: Stop the Dieting

Intro to a Happy and Healthy YOU article series

The New Year is here. We’ve pledged our resolutions to our family members, friends, and ourselves. We’ve scribbled down our goals and placed them in a spot that’s visible. This piece of paper acts as a daily reminder to stick with them this time. You think to yourself, “This will be the year I get healthy, fit, and love my body! I will stick to my diet and find time to workout!” But as the days and weeks quickly pass, life gets in the way once again. Maybe a wedding, birthday, or bikini season quickly reminds us that we have fallen off track. We try to pick up on diet trends, read up on the newest weight loss supplement pill, or hit the gym and do countless hours of cardio. A cycle we know too well. We do this because we are told these are the methods to losing weight. Undoubtedly, some of these methods work for a week or month if we force ourselves…. then we realize it’s hard to diet forever. We get upset about ourselves thinking we are a failure, that maybe we just can’t lose the weight. That maybe another type of diet will work for our bodies. But that is far from the truth.

Do you ever wonder why diets don’t work? Notice how almost all diets have some sort of restriction? No carbs, no wheat, no sugars, no processed foods etc. No one can ever remove specific food groups or all processed foods forever, nor is it really healthy to do so. We are surrounded in a world full of “don’t eat this, try this rapid weight loss product” and it’s rather depressing. If diets and pills work, why is everyone trying to invent a new diet program or supplement? In the end, it’s a shortcut to nowhere.

I too was tired of the yo-yo dieting, countless hours of cardio, and the binge and guilt that came after. Nothing seemed to work for me and my body. I vowed many times that I would change bad habits. But I wasn’t really ready to change mentally or physically. I had no idea what that even meant. We all know in order to lose weight and get fit we need to eat right and hit the gym. But I didn’t really understand what that meant either. So I decided to make a drastic lifestyle change and entered myself in a bikini fitness competition. Yes, that indeed worked and I did get my fit body back. But I slowly learned that, that too was a quick fix. I had to really learn what it meant to be healthy and fit in a way that was maintainable and realistic for me and those around me.

Within the past 3 years, I have learned through trial and error, I got certified in personal training and nutrition, and I have helped others lose weight. I wanted to help others, because I know what it feels like to be unhappy in a body that no longer feels like my own. I know what it feels like to think I’m doomed to eat only “clean foods” for life, or afraid to miss a workout in fears that I would gain the weight back. I’ve been through all the fears, ups and downs you may have/or having in your journey to get fit and healthy. But where does one really start? With all the content out there how can anyone make sense of it all?

In this upcoming series, we will answer the following questions:

  • How much should I really be eating?
  • What types of food should I eat and what foods should I really remove?
  • How many times should I workout a week, and what should I be focusing on?
  • How many days should I do cardio and what type of cardio?
  • What happens after I lose the weight?
  • How do I stick to my goals if no one supports me?
  • How can I lose weight and have a social life?

These were questions I once asked myself. I wish I could say I knew how to deal with all of it from the beginning but it took a long period of time and a lifestyle adjustment. This in turn, helped me with my clients. I am here to tell you it will be ok because I am going to help you along the way. Teach you what you should really know so that you too can live a happy and healthy life. It won’t be easy but like the saying goes, it will be worth it!!

But before we can move forward, today I want you to make a new pledge. Pledge that you will stop any diets you are currently trying because the secret is there is no such thing as a diet!!! It truly is a lifestyle change and it begins with YOU! As of today, the word “diet” will be removed from your vocabulary, stop doubting yourself and restricting yourself. Stop staring at the scale every day. Stop eating 1,200 calories because someone made up that caloric number for weight loss. Start thinking of all the foods you should eat less of, how many times you drink a week, and what toxics you need to get rid of slowly to improve your lifestyle. Because the secret to losing weight and keeping it off is balance and finding something that is maintainable for you based on your goals!!!

Are you ready to learn the right practices to losing weight for good and getting in the best shape of your life! I hope so! Look out for the next article in which I think is the most vital to understanding weight loss. Nutrition, how to eat for your goals!!

Upcoming: Are you over/under eating – How to calculate your caloric intake for your personal goals

Toni Haaker

NESTA Certified Personal Trainer/ISSA Certified Nutritionist
Founder of Fitbody4me.com
Triathlete, Adventure Junkie, National Bikini Competitor

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