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Dietgirl...half the woman she used to be

By: proctor - January 19, 2009
Many of you may have heard about Dietgirl by now...she used to weigh 351 pounds at age 23 but now weighs 175 pounds at age 31 and feels comfortable in her own skin. She has an inspiring, motivational story that she is sharing with the world through her book, "The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl." She posted her Top Twenty Tips to help you to be your healthier self.

Shauna provided the following link for FitLink members so that they can hear the Tips for themselves:

www.dietgirl.org

You can read them at a glance below...

Dietgirl's Top 20 Weight Loss Tips

Shauna notes, "People often ask me for diet and weight loss tips so I've put together my top 20. This is seven years of tricks, tweaks, discoveries and epiphanies all condensed into one handy list. Hopefully you'll find something helpful here for you!"

1. First, start with the big picture. Write down your goals and be specific. What do you want to change? Where do you want to be a year from now?

2. Next, focus on the details. Every day we make dozens of tiny decisions that can spell the difference between whether we lose weight or gain. Do you pick the muesli for breakfast or the chocolate muffin? Do you spend 20 minutes on the couch or 20 minutes on a brisk walk? Small changes can add up to huge results.

3. Start exercising - no matter what your fitness level. At 25 stone (350 pounds) I could only shuffle to the end of the street, but I gradually built up to the whole block. Within a couple of years I was running! Don't compare yourself to others, just work within your limits and take it slow and steady.

4. Eat breakfast. A wholesome breakfast makes me feel smug, satisfied and determined to stay on track all day. My favorite is porridge, livened up with grated apple and cinnamon, or chopped banana and teaspoon of peanut butter.

5. Be kind to yourself and your body. You don’t have to look in the mirror and chant, “I love me! I am beautiful!” but at the same time yelling at your thighs won’t encourage your weight loss efforts.

6. Make your treats miniature. Instead of banning dessert, I choose smaller portions – like an apple crumble baked in a ramekin dish or a small bar of chocolate. I get my sugar hit without dangerous leftovers!

7. Lift weights. It won’t make you bigger – it’ll make you svelte and strong! If you’re worried about loose skin, resistance training is the best thing you can do to tone your body as you lose weight.

8. Planning is crucial. Every Saturday I take 10 minutes to plan our meals for the coming week. I choose from a list of 25 easy, tried-and-true recipes, so it’s quicker to cook than phone for restaurant food.

9. Buy your groceries online. It saves time and you’re not tempted by all the sights and smells of the supermarket. Or tortured by your screaming children.

10. Feel your emotions, don’t feed them. In times of stress it’s tempting to bury your feelings in cake – better to feel bad about binging than tackle the real issue! But try to find non-edible ways of coping – I highly recommend kickboxing classes.

11. Go Greek. If you’re a cream or sour cream fiend, 0% or 2% Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute. It's low in fat, protein-rich and incredibly creamy. Dollop into meringue nests and top with fresh fruit. Splodge onto a bowl of chili. Swirl into butternut squash soup.

12. The best exercise is the one you enjoy. So what if your best friend swears by aerobics at dawn? If you’re a shift worker or just plain grumpy in the morning, this will never suit you. Choose an exercise you like and do it when it’s most convenient for you – this way you’ll stick with it.

13. Stock your office pantry. It's much easier to ignore the vending machine when I’ve got half an orchard sitting on my desk and a drawer full of oatcakes, nuts and seeds.

14. Have a "cuppa." When hunger strikes and it’s not meal time, I make a cup of tea. This gives me time to figure out if I’m really hungry or if I’m just bored or cranky or upset. Herbal tea is great – experiment until you find one that doesn’t taste like grass clippings!

15. Have a moan. Losing weight isn’t easy, but you don’t have to feel alone in the struggle. Start your own blog, sign up for a message board, or join in the conversation here on the Diet.com boards and forums. Remember, we’re all in this lardy boat together!

16. Put the scales in perspective. Don’t fret over small fluctuations – focus on all the healthy things you’ve been doing for your body. Get out the tape measure or have a pair of “measurement jeans” so you’re not dependent on the scales for feedback.

17. Be adaptable. Make your weight loss plans fit around your life, not the other way around. Sometimes circumstances will change – a new job, a family crisis, moving house – and suddenly your usual routine doesn’t work. The trick is to be flexible and know when it’s time to tweak your methods.

18. Set a non-scale goal. Why not train for a charity 5k race or challenge yourself to do 10 push-ups? Focusing on fitness means I don’t fret about the numbers so much. And all those endorphins make me feel less inclined to go on a chocolate bender.

19. Accept that sometimes it’s going to suck. Despite your best intentions, there will be days when you fall into a bag of chips. But long-term success is about persistence, not perfection. It’s picking yourself up when you fall, over and over again.

20. Don’t wait to be “skinny” to start living your life. If you have dreams of traveling or writing a book or learning to scuba dive, don’t think you need a smaller bottom before you deserve them. Your life is happening right now – so forget about your wobbly bits and jump right in.

Thanks again for sharing your story with the world, Shauna!

About the Submitter

proctor

I have been an ACE certified personal trainer since 2000 who has trained over 3000 hours. I specialize in pre- and post-natal fitness, stretching, running, and weight loss. Yoga is also a passion for me and a way of life. I received my Yoga Alliance Teacher Certification in India and love to share the calmness, strength, and openness that yoga offers to people of all ages and abilities.



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