I am so thrilled to blog for PEOPLE.com about my weight loss!
A few years ago, this is the very place I spent 12 weeks blogging and trying to lose weight for a swimsuit photo! My favorite blog post then was "Calling In Fat."
In the end, I spent 12 weeks NOT losing weight in front of all the readers and NEVER doing a photo shoot!
That’s what make this time so much more rewarding. Here’s the deal: when I was writing that blog years ago I was trying to lose weight TO WEAR A BATHING SUIT IN A PHOTO. You may think that would be a great reason, but let me tell you: at 10 p.m. when you want chips, a silly blog will not stop you in your tracks. You have to lose weight for yourself, not for a man, not for a job and definitely not for a blog!
This time, my motivation was simple: I did it for heath. I had a doctor's appointment in April, and my cholesterol was high (220). My doctor mentioned I should lose some weight. He actually said, "Do you need help? Do you know how to lose weight?" I laughed out loud.
I was a 39-year-old woman – of course I knew how to lose weight. I have done it a thousand times. Every year there is a new diet that all the celebs or housewives are trying. We all want the perfect diet or the perfect pill. If we surveyed a million woman and they could choose to learn the truth about God or the foolproof diet, I guarantee more women would pick the miracle diet over the miracle of life.
I would! I would choose skinnier and healthy in this life and wait to find out the rest in due time.
Courtesy Marissa Jaret Winokur
GETTING STARTEDTruly, the hardest part of dieting is getting started. We all say "My diet starts Monday" or "next week," and the most common right now is "after the holidays!"
Getting started for me was slow. To be honest, the first thing I did was download a free app that counted my calories, and for one week, I literally counted my calories without really changing my diet.
You will be so shocked how many calories you MINDLESSLY eat! I would down at least 400 calories in Goldfish easily. My reality check: I OVEREAT!
I became very strict about sticking to a 1,200 calorie diet. Mostly veggies and protein, but when I stuck my hand in a bag of Goldfish I would count out 49 to have a "serving size." The truth is if you can eat just a serving size, you can eat anything. But we all know how those harmless treats can call out your name all night long, and rationalizing in the middle of the night is very easy.
So I cleaned out my fridge AGAIN, and filled it with veggies and protein. If I was gonna cheat, I would have only good choices to make!
I set very small goals – goals that I could achieve: two pounds a week. DO NOT LOOK AT BIG NUMBERS. It seems so silly to say, but it really is slow and steady wins the race.
Most important advice I can give: be prepared. I always have hard-boiled eggs with me to eat egg whites for protein. Even when I travel I bring eggs with me so I don't eat the plane food. Yes, I'm the person you do not want to sit next to with hard-boiled eggs. Haha.
It took me the last 20 years to really "get started," but this time I took getting started seriously. I had a plan: I am going to eat 1,200 calories and I am going to work out every other day.
I started with food, and got that under control first. I am eight months in on my journey. Yes, I am a little scared I will gain it back and in the same sentence I am scared I will never eat a full piece of birthday cake again.
Today, the trade-off for me is not a bathing suit photo shoot. But I turn 40 in February, and I want to live the next 40 years as a healthy person. I want my son to never know the mommy who would rather watch him play basketball than play with him.
I loved my life before, but am much more excited about my future now.