Recently I was talking to my sister on the phone about my frustration at gaining back all the weight I had lost two years ago. She, who has always been slender and athletic, said to me, “All you have to do is…” and then launched into a lecture about portion sizes, 30 minutes per day of exercise, and “choose this, not that.” As I listened to her, I grew more and more resentful. I know she was trying to help, but what she doesn’t understand is that often times obese people know just as much about fitness and nutrition as those who don’t struggle with weight issues.
I mean, at this point in history is there anybody who doesn’t know you should eat a carrot instead of racing out to get one of the new and improved Twinkies? Is there anybody who doesn’t know that you should park farther away from the door, take the stairs and not the elevator, and walk as much as you can? I need some outside the box help here, Sis. I went searching for it, and here is what I found: ten wacky weight loss ideas that just might work.
1. Brush your teeth. One of the habits that holds me back is grazing on leftovers while I clean up after meals. Brushing my teeth immediately after meals with mint-flavored toothpaste will help my brain mark the end of the meal, help me resist the desire to eat more, and give me a great checkup next time I go to the dentist.
Image: Bookis via Flickr
2. Make it nasty. It took me some time, but I have gotten to the point where I can recognize when I am satisfied but not too full. Last week I took the kiddos out for ice cream and realized about halfway through that I was finished. The kids started begging for my leftovers, but they had their own so I grabbed a bottle of mustard off the table next to us and squirted it all over the dish of ice cream. My oldest daughter made the horrific mistake of thinking she could just sneak a bite from the side and it would be ok. Trust me. Mustard flavored ice cream is NOT delicious. The video of her taking that bite is one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life. Click on the link and see for yourself. I can’t wait till she grows up and I can blackmail her with it.
3. Try negative reinforcement. Buy the fattiest cut of beef you can find and place it front and center in your fridge, where it can remind you of what you do not want on your body. Put a picture of yourself at your heaviest on your fridge to remind yourself why you are watching your calories. Tell yourself that if you don’t stick to it you’re going to have to go on a reality show and get on a scale in front of the world in a sports bra and bicycle shorts. Just don’t take this one too far please. You are beautiful, just as you are! We just want to feel better, right? Right.
4. Eat brownies. We’ve all heard about substitutions, right? Use applesauce instead of oil, whole- wheat flour instead of white, egg whites instead of whole eggs, and so on. Those are all well and good but sometimes you are just craving some gooey chocolate decadence, right? Take a can of black beans and puree it in your food processor. Add a package of brownie mix and stir to combine. Then bake according to the package directions. Trust me. It is delish! You and your family will never know the difference and you can be thrilled about all the extra nutrients you are packing into your dessert.
5. Laugh. Laughing contracts your abdominals, increases blood circulation, and prevents hardening of your arteries, according to University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers. Plus, researchers say happy people make healthier diet and lifestyle choices. What could be better? I strongly suggest you start by looking up Jim Gaffigan’s Hot Pockets video on You-Tube. Trust me.
6. Put some ants in your pants. My five-year-old son is never, ever still; is it any wonder he is at his ideal body weight? The researchers at Mayo Clinic recently did an experiment where they placed motion sensors on groups of normal-weight and obese adults to monitor their movements. They wanted to see if the amount of calories fidgety people burn each day account for their ability to stay slim. No one was really surprised when they discovered that the obese group spent an average of two more hours sitting still than the ideal weight people, who burned an average of 350 extra calories per day per person.
7. Let your dishes help you. Last year for my birthday, my two best friends took me to a pottery-painting studio. Together, we painted four 9-inch plates and covered them with words like Love, Joy, Hope, and Peace. Now, whenever I use these special plates, it becomes an occasion, making me more mindful of what I am putting into my body. When I am mindful, I really taste my food, rather than just shoveling it in as fast as I can to get it over with while I watch my favorite episode of Bones. Another part of mindfulness is realizing that the fourth bite never, ever, ever tastes as good as the first one. If I no longer feel hungry, I can stop. No matter how many more bites I take, none will give me the pleasure of the first one, so I might as well quit while I am ahead.
8. Be a cheapskate. My kids have learned to never ask me for soda in a restaurant. That’s not to say we never have soda (shhhh… don’t tell the doctor). It just means that I refuse to pay $2.49 for a glass of root beer when I can get a two-liter of the stuff at the grocery store for a dollar. Consequently, when we eat out we drink water, which is good for my wallet and our bodies.
9. Remember, you are as important as your car. Remind yourself, if you don’t take care of your car what happens? I bet, because you are still reading this, you are the kind of person who always changes the oil, gets the brakes checked, and rotates the tires. I bet you don’t buy the cheapest tires on the lot either. You know that you get out of your car what you put into it. Why are you any different? Go ahead, put the very best into your body, you are worth it!
10. Watch TV. Do you love Bones as much as I do? For once don’t just fast forward through those commercials when you watch it on the DVR, use them! Punch out some sit-ups, push-ups, yoga moves, or jump rope. By the time the hour is over you will have gotten 25 minutes of exercise, and will feel great!
There you go; all ten of my wacky ideas. Now it’s your turn, what’s the wackiest weight loss idea you ever tried? Did it work? Tell me in the comments, let’s help each other!
Join Patience in all her wackiness at www.fairydustandfruitsalad.com.
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