The above question, tweeted by Ramit Sethi, requires more than a simple answer of "willpower" or "eat less and move more." While having willpower and eating less while moving more are helpful, these things alone cannot make the weight permanently disappear.
While I have no idea why Oprah has been unable to lose weight and keep it off (though I suspect it relates to losing focus on why she is doing it), I do know exactly what I need to do to lose weight and get healthy. I am not an expert in weight-loss for the masses, but I am an expert on what works for me:
1. I track everything I eat with the app myfitnesspal. Some of you may feel tracking calories is too burdensome, but it is the same concept as when you decide to get your finances under control - you have to name every dollar. In the case of weight-loss, I have to name every calorie.
2. I also use myfitnesspal to track my daily(ish) exercise. This app has been very instrumental to getting me on track and keeping me there. It tracks the number of calories consumed and the number of calories burned.
3. In December I registered for a 5K race for the first Saturday of March. This gives me a goal to work toward and a reason to get out and run. I know I will have to walk part of this 5K, but I am working toward the goal and will be registering for another 5K for April or May.
4. In my seeking to make better and healthier food choices, I find I am actually spending less money on food than I was previously! This is due to the fact that we are eating out less frequently, we are eating less meat and we are eating much smaller (read "normal") portions.
5. I have nearly completely removed sugar from my diet. Since both of my parents were diabetic, I felt this to be a prudent decision. Also, for me, sugar is like a drug - once I allow myself a small bite I end up craving more and more of it. That being the case, it is just easier for me to forego sugar all together.
6. I constantly remind myself of the long-term goal: living a full and active life. When I am tempted by a piece of German Chocolate cake I ask myself, "will this piece of cake bring you happiness? Will it help you lead a full and active life?" Sometimes, if I just cannot say no, I will eat only the last bite. That way, even if I want more, there is no more for me to eat.
7. Implementing these changes in my life has also led to my husband and me getting our finances in order by giving, saving, and paying off debt. This could (and may be in the future) be a whole other blog posting.
Have you tried to lose weight in the past? Were you successful? What have you found that works for you? Leave a message in the comments and/or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for dropping by!