Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tips From a Seasoned Trim Healthy Mama

I started my Trim Healthy Mama journey in August 2013, wow, that is 3 years ago!! As I look back on my journey, I can see I've learned a lot along the way. A LOT! I want to share a few of those things with you and maybe make your journey a little easier.

To be very honest, at first I rejected Trim Healthy Mama. I had already learned and applied proper food combining principles and it sounded very similar to me - from what I could read online without actually purchasing the book. I ignored it for months after I'd first heard about it. Then I don't even remember what it was, but something made me buy the book. I joined the Facebook group and started learning what I could while waiting on my book to arrive. Waiting very impatiently, I might add. I'm so thankful I bought the book. I learned so much from that first book and it made SO MUCH sense. Yes, it was similar to proper food combining, but different enough that it really made more sense to me. I never could quite believe the reasoning behind food combining, but this clicked with me. I got it, I understood it and that made me want to follow it. So, my journey began.

Let me stop for a minute and say my journey began alone. My family was not eating THM, they couldn't have cared less about losing weight or eating healthy. They didn't care if I did it, but I knew I was on my own. That is why I'm so thankful for the Facebook group, it was a lifesaver those first few months! I asked questions, I read other's questions and I had support to keep going. Support was vital to me to learn the principles and to keep going. I highly encourage anyone starting out to join one of the Facebook groups or join YouFood and find fellow THM'ers on there. My YouFood family is my main support group right now, but I'm also part of several smaller FB THM groups.
Something else I want to make clear before I continue: I have messed up. I've gone off plan. FOR MONTHS. I don't encourage you to do that, but I'm just letting you know I've done it. It started with a vacation that led to Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Year and before I knew it, I'd gain some of my weight back and I felt awful again. The important thing is that I knew what I needed to do to get back on plan and I did it. Just because I messed up, doesn't mean I gave up. I'm still here, three years later!

So for my TIPS:
  • Buy the book. Go to the Trim Healthy Mama store and buy the book if you haven't. Learning the principles and the WHY is so important to succeeding in this. If you can, I highly recommend the cookbook as well. There are so many amazing recipes in there and not all of them use special ingredients. You do not have to have any special ingredients to get started.
  • Connect with a support group.  See above for my why.
  • Dive in. Don't worry about if you might mess up or not. We all have messed up, it's part of learning something new. Just go for it. You don't have to know everything by heart, just pick a principle and start. Something is better than nothing.
  • Don't give up. No matter how many times you go off plan and no matter how long you are off plan, don't give up. DON'T QUIT! It happens to most of us. It's okay. It happens to me more often than I like to admit. The main thing is just pick yourself up, dust off the chip crumbs and get back on plan!
  • Remember this-- It is a LIFESTYLE change, it is NOT a diet. This is for life, it is not something you can ruin or mess up. It is making better choices each day and just keeping at it. It becomes the way you eat, not something you are doing this month. It is for life.
  • The longer you do it, the easier it gets. The more you practice it, the more you know it. The more it becomes habit and you won't have to think about it. It becomes who you are.
  • Keep yourself motivated. Find pins that motivate you and make them your screensaver or print them and tape them to your mirror. Make very small goals that you can reach each day or each week and celebrate that - in a healthy way. Maybe your goal is to stay on plan a full day, great! Maybe it is to eat breakfast on plan for a week. Whatever you can do, whatever motivates you, do that!
  • Plan ahead. This is so crucial to success. Find a time, MAKE a time, and prep some food ahead of time. For me, it is important to have on plan desserts and snacks made ahead or I'll go off plan pretty quickly. Even if you can just find enough time to make one thing, do it. One thing is better than no thing! Maybe you need to make muffins ahead for breakfast. Whatever it is that usually causes you to go off plan, plan ahead for that. Take snacks in the car with you, etc. You know what your weaknesses are, think ahead and prepare for those times. It doesn't have to be a huge thing, maybe just keep cheese and deli meat on hand for a snack. Or keep nuts to grab on the go.
  • My biggest tip is to make it your own journey. Find what works for you. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing, this is YOUR journey. I make allowances that others won't, because I'm okay with it and it keeps me on plan. YOU have to decide what works for you, what you can do consistently and for the long haul.  Just as an example, I buy store bought condiments without worrying about ingredients, because I know that I won't make my own and I don't use them enough to bother me. I know not everyone can do that. It's okay, you decide. It is all about making this a permanent change that you can do for life, so it has to actually be something you CAN do. Only you know what that is. Sometimes it takes trials and errors to find out what that is.
Some days I can allow a cheat and it doesn't bother me, but if I allow a couple cheat days in a row it derails me terribly. My body starts craving the junk horribly. So, I have to decide if that cheat is worth it or not, but no one can make that choice for me. The important thing in this situation though, is that I'm being honest with myself. I don't mind occasional cheats for special occasions, but not every day is a special occasion. I've learned that it is way to easy for me to allow cheats and I do much better if I can stay 100% on plan. It can be really hard for me to get over the cravings once I've let junk back in my system, but once I get my mind back in the game it helps tremendously. It is a huge mind thing for me. I can make excuses and reason it out with the best of them, but most of the time my bad choices are laziness and giving in to cravings. NOW, this is what I've learned. YOU have to learn what works for you and what you find to be true for yourself.
Wherever you are in your Trim Healthy Mama journey, I applaud you for taking steps to be healthy and I encourage you to keep going. I'd love to connect with you and encourage each other in this journey. Use my links in the sidebar to find me on several social media sites.
I hope I have encouraged you with these tips and I'd love for you to leave me a comment and let me know. Or let me know if there is something else you are struggling with in THM.

*originally posted March 2016 on my former blog

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