5 Tiny Steps to Huge, Healthy Changes #14daystoslim


This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Slimfast, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

I’ve been pretty open in the past with how difficult the jump from civilian to military life was for me after John and I married. So many changes happened all at once– I left my job, moved further away from home and away from the town I’d called home for five years. A month after we got married, both of our cars died within a week of each other.  We made the financially prudent decision to become a one car family. Even though it was a joint decision and the best one for us, between the car and my loss of income, it felt like I had lost all of my independence. I became very depressed. Honestly, I think this happens to a lot of military spouses (and newlyweds). John was amazing. He put up with me, to begin with. He took me out for dinner, he bought me flowers, he told me how much he appreciated me.

Because I was working from home and didn’t have a car, I didn’t really go out much during the day. Instead, when he got home from C-School, John and I would end up going out for dinner or happy hour pretty frequently. When we PCSed to our next location, we found out that this town had even more amazing restaurants– and of course, we wanted to try them all! My eating habits changed. I wasn’t exercising. I wasn’t even moving that much– I didn’t realize how much I had moved around as a teacher! It mattered a whole lot.
I’ve never been crazy skinny. I’d categorized myself as having an athletic build. I can’t really tell people I want to lose weight or that I’m dieting because they scoff and say, “You have nothing to lose!” Still, I gained about 6 pounds since our wedding day. I just feel gross. My goal isn’t to look better for other people– I want to feel better for myself.
Enter the Slimfast 14 Days to Slim challenge. It’s all about making small changes that impact your weight. By switching out two meals with convenient and tasty Slimfast shakes (like the Pina Colada one pictured), eating three healthy snacks a day, and eating a balanced meal under 500 calories, you can lose up to six pounds in the first two weeks. If you’re like me, it really helps to get motivated when your efforts actually pay off early. It keeps me going so that I make sustained progress.
And it got me thinking: as I work to shed these few pounds, I need to get back to the habits I had a year ago:

Find fresh, awesome produce.

Now that we’re in the spring and summer months, John and I are making the most of our local farmer’s market. For a small town, the selection of produce is impressive, even this early in the season. And the strawberries– they’re just simply delicious. I love dessert, but I love strawberries, pineapple, and grapes just as much. If I have them in our kitchen, I will eat them instead.

Prepare everything the minute it gets into your kitchen.

Once I bring my haul in from the farmer’s market or grocery store, I make every effort to slice, dice, and chop whatever I can to make sure that our healthy stuff is just as easy to get to as the cookies. This Saturday, I even bought kale for kale chips. (Keep your eyes out for a recipe soon!) I made them right away– otherwise, I knew the fresh kale would end up at the back of my fridge, wilting, and getting grosser by the day.

Remember how fantastic a good workout feels.

I’m really bad at this one, but I’m trying to get better. I hate sweating– that’s the truth. I didn’t like it when I was a kid, and I don’t like it now. However, I do love the feeling of accomplishment after a good workout. So that’s what I have to latch onto.

Find ways to cut out calories without feeling deprived.

There are some foods that I just can’t live without. And there are some things that I can. For example, I have no problem foregoing mayo or switching to the extra light stuff on sandwiches.  I try to only drink juice, milk or water– I can’t tell you the last time I drank a sugary drink like lemonade, iced tea, or real soda (I’m still a Diet Pepsi junkie, unfortunately).

Just be you.

When it comes to dieting and weight loss, there’s way, way too much pressure to conform. I hate running. I hate it. I’ve tried to like it for a long time– especially since everyone and their mom seems to be a long distance runner now. But I actually like walking half-marathons. And I like biking a lot. I love swimming. I like Zumba (as long as there’s no mirror so I can’t see my own awkward dancing). I love ballroom dancing. Find something you like to do that gets you moving.
Along with Slimfast, these are my ways I’m getting back to feeling better. You can get started too! And the first step is super easy– enter the 14 Days to Slim Challenge Sweepstakes here for the chance to be one of two winners who will each win a $5,000 gift card! But hurry– the contest only lasts until May 27! You can also follow Slimfast through their Facebook and Pinterest.
What do you guys do to stay healthy? What did I miss in my list?

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