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Practice What You Preach
Taking Healthy Steps

Taking small healthy steps is the best way to make your life style changes permanent. DietGirl Shauna Reid talks us through how she is taking healthy steps to get back on her feet and build and maintain a healthy mind and body.

Practice What You Preach

By Shauna Reid, aka Dietgirl

If you're 32 years old and you put on a bit of weight, people tend to jump to conclusions.

"How are you doing, Shauna?" asked a colleague this week, "Anything new with you?"

Was I paranoid or were her eyes straying to my stomach?

"I'm not pregnant!" I wanted to say, "I may have been eating for two lately, but not for the usual reasons."

Coincidentally, the other night I dreamed I had a child. She had red hair and brown eyes just like me and was a complete brat! She wouldn't listen to a word I said.

"If you don't behave," I yelled at my dream toddler, "I'll put you in the Naughty Cupboard!"

A sure sign that I'm not ready for motherhood. But this tubby belly I've developed? A sure sign that I need to tackle the stone-and-a-half I gained in 2009.

Small Healthy Steps

It's been a month since I sought treatment for my depression. I took a slovenly week off at Christmas, in which I managed not to eat my body weight in roast potatoes and discovered that snowball fights make for fantastic cardio. I've been sleeping better and haven't had any more anxiety attacks or tearful outbursts.

I went back to the doctor to check in.

"It feels like the fog is starting to clear," I said. "Now I just need to get my eating under control and do more exercise and --"

"Now you just need to take things slowly," interrupted the doctor, "And think about how and why you ended up in such a bad place. Consider seeing a counsellor. See if you need to make some small life style changes."

Small changes? Oh yeah. That's what I always say to other people. Countless times I've answered emails from anxious blog readers: Don't be overwhelmed by the task ahead. Just change one thing at a time! Pick something this week, like a daily walk. Do that for one little week, then add another change the next. Small changes can add up to big results.

I didn't want to take my own advice. I wanted everything to be fixed right away! One of the worst things about depression is that when you start to emerge from its grasp, you notice how your life has become a shambles. The chocolate wrappers in the bin, the piles of clutter, the greasy hair and the tight jeans. Your heart sinks... What have I done? How did I let this happen?

Maintain a Healthy Body and Mind

But the doctor was right. I need to take things slowly and not go from one extreme to the other. As I said in my last column, my depression and weight issues are inextricably linked. I have to accept that they're a part of me and manage them together. I can't panic like I've done in the past and think, "How can I blast this blubber ASAP?". I need to change my mindset to, "How can I build a healthy mind and body and maintain them both for life?"

It's time to get back to practicing what I've preached. I started by re-reading the weight loss tips I wrote for Weight Loss Resources two years ago. Things like:

  • Be kind to yourself and your body.
  • Make your treats miniature.
  • Enjoy your exercise.
  • Feel your emotions, don't feed them.

At first I read them and thought, Who is this smug git who thinks she's got all the answers? But I know those tips were the blueprint for how I lost the weight in the first place. They didn't give fast or dramatic results but they worked!

Life Style Change

This week I focused on just one tip: Eat breakfast. For months I've either skipped it or just scoffed down a banana as I raced out the door. So on Monday I got up earlier and made a bowl of porridge. I took my time to savour it, adding my favourite topping of tinned pears and a spoonful of almond butter. I went to work with the comforting feeling of oats curled up in my belly. It was just one tiny healthy step, but after months of wilderness it felt hugely empowering.

I was inspired to drag my butt back to kickboxing that night and on Wednesday I did 45 minutes on the spinning bike. Not because I was thinking about blasting blubber, but because I felt the urge to move and knew I'd feel great afterwards.

I won't lie - I'm cranky that I've got to lose this stone and a half again. But I'm glad I'm not in denial about the weight or the depression anymore. I know if I let this positive momentum build, I'll feel stronger every day. I don't know how long it will take to get back to my goal - I might get a few more people throwing a questioning look at my midsection - but every bowl of porridge is another step in the right direction.

Shauna used the tools on WLR to achieve her life style change and weight loss success - you can do this too by using WLR and making healthy steps towards a new you. Try it free for 24 hours.

Start a Free Trial Today

With the tools on WLR, you too can learn how small healthy steps can get you on the right track to a life style change. Try it free for 24 hours.

Take our FREE trial »

To read more from Shauna, take a look at her other blogs:

After The After Photo

Coping with Christmas

How to Dress

Mind Maintenance  


Start a Free Trial Today

With the tools on WLR, you too can learn how small healthy steps can get you on the right track to a life style change. Try it free for 24 hours.

Take our FREE trial »

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