When Chelsey Conlon realized she was eating for emotional and stress reasons, she could see a window into her problem, but it didn’t help her solve it. Not right away, anyway. As a child she knew she was eating nachos, burgers, and many other unhealthy foods, but she couldn’t seem to stop. By the time she was 16, she weighed 186 pounds, she was miserable, and she knew she needed an extreme weight loss to live the life she desired.
She knew she had to do something. She was constantly reminded of the threat of diabetes when she visited the doctor, and she had very high cholesterol levels. But an extreme weight loss seemed too overwhelming of a challenge for her to tackle. In high school while she hung out with her friends and was around fast foods and other unhealthy foods, she tried making her portions smaller and even denying herself the foods she really liked. But these tactics didn’t work, and she couldn’t stick with them. Her family ate out frequently as a family activity, and she was constantly tempted to order unhealthy foods. There were problems.
On top of her weight problem, and contributing to it, she got no physical exercise. Occasionally, she would walk with her mother but other than that, there was nothing. One day, while driving past a gym, she took notice and learned it was very inexpensive to join. So join she did. Soon she was walking, even running on the treadmill and working out on the elliptical for a half an hour three times a week. Her routine stuck, and she began to see that she could use exercise as an outlet for her stress and no longer resort to emotional eating.
She changed her eating habits, too. Fruit and 100 calorie snack packs helped curb her sugar cravings and snacking habits. When she was with family and friends, she ate healthy enjoying smaller portions choosing not to stuff herself.
The good news? In six months, she lost ten pounds, and began feeling better about her body, enjoying lots more energy. She continued her good habits in college and didn’t gain the freshman pounds because she lived with her family. She packed a lunch for school and when she got hungry, went home for a healthy meal.
Now, after four years of gradual changes and hard work, she’s down 51 pounds and couldn’t be happier about it. She is the one her friends turn to now for weight loss and fitness advice, and she is only too happy to give it, never dreaming she’d be the one.
Although she says she would have loved it if the weight had come off sooner, she also thinks, “by taking it slow I’ve been able to keep the weight off for good because I truly changed my life – I didn’t just do a crash diet.”
If slow and steady worked for her, it could work for you. Here are some of her tips:
- Don’t get discouraged – The weight didn’t get there overnight, and it might not come off as quickly as you’d like, but don’t relinquish your new healthy habits. So don’t give up.
- Don’t diet just to be thin – Change your motive to becoming healthy and fit. Learn moderation to win.
- Treat yourself – No need to deny yourself the foods you love the most. Just indulge in moderation. It is all about moderation.