In November of 2017 I had a little heart-to-heart with myself; “Girl nobody is going to lose the weight for you. Nobody else is going to go to the gym with you, count calories, or go to a meeting. It’s time to take responsibility.”
I joined a gym, committed to walking two days a week, and started meal planning and meal prepping. I redesigned my life from the ground up, one small habit at a time.
Here are 10 of the lessons I learned from losing 100 pounds:
1. You can’t outsource your weight loss.
The diet industry is constantly giving us the next best pill, shake, meal plan, or elimination diet. Designing my own meal plan with food I genuinely love made the journey to lose the weight far more enjoyable and ultimately much more sustainable.
2. The journey will change you.
The many changes I made had nothing to do with weight loss. I am more energetic and intentional; I’m more fun, more at ease, and more confident. The funny thing is I started feeling all of those things when I’d only lost a fraction of my weight. Who you become on the journey is more important than the number on the scale.
3. Taking care of yourself is imperative.
I redefined self-care. Instead of thinking of planning, walking, or food prepping as dreadful chores, I started to reframe them as self-care. Now I look forward to them because they set me up for success in meeting my goals of losing the weight and living a healthier life.
4. You can’t restrict your way to a healthy relationship with food.
I love good food, so going on an elimination diet was never going to be sustainable. I plan what I will eat in advance, including margaritas with my girlfriends. Nothing is off the table as long as I like the reason I’m eating it.
5. You don’t have to do it alone.
I take full ownership of losing the weight, but good accountability partners are worth their weight in gold. They challenge me, hold me accountable, and call me out when necessary. Having someone else believe in me when I don’t is priceless.
6. It’s all about the thought work.
Our thoughts drive our actions which drive our results. Take responsibility for changing your thoughts and actions, and the results will follow.
7. You have to lose it how you will live it.
When I made a commitment to try anything new, I gave it thirty days then asked myself, “Am I willing to do this for life?” If the answer was “No, I am just doing it to lose the weight,” I took a step back and recalibrated.
8. There is no one-size-fits-all solution or meal plan.
We are all unique with our own likes and desires. Instead of worrying about what everyone else was doing, I focused on what I enjoyed and what would fit our lifestyle.
9. Cook once; eat all week.
Meal prep was the game changer in my journey, hands down. It frees up my lunch hour to be able to take a walk in the middle of the workday, and it’s infinitely easier to make healthy choices when the choice has already been made.
10. I am worth it.
My weight was the “one thing” I had been putting off…for YEARS. I always felt like I didn’t have the time, resolve, or commitment. What I figured out was life was never going to get easier and nobody was going to lose the weight but me. I had to take responsibility for myself.
Brandee “The Bee” Sheldrake is a wife, mom to a preschooler and a kindergartener, rheumatoid arthritis warrior, and full-time commercial interior designer living in Camas, Washington. Meal planning and meal prep were the game changers which led to her 100-pound weight loss and freed up time so she could do more of what she wanted; enjoying the outdoors and playing with her kids. Follow her meal planning, meal prep, and weight loss journey at BusyAsTheBee.com.