And he’s OK with me saying that.
You see, he lost 222 pounds in 8 months as a contestant on the 2013-2014 season of the TV show The Biggest Loser. Umm…hello? That’s about as stinkin’ incredible as you can get. Words can not express how proud I am of him, the work that he did, and the way he changed our family’s legacy. It’s truly amazing and I continue to be blown away.
Check out his first day on the ranch compared with several weeks into the show:
While David did not win the show, (he did place as the runner-up!), he and our family have won in so many other ways. Since the show’s completion five months ago, people often ask what changes we have made at home in order to continue a healthy lifestyle. Please note: I do not claim to be a nutritionist, nurse or physical trainer. I am simply a wife and mom (who also works outside of the home) and wants my family to be and stay healthy. You may be a lot like me.
Here are a few simple Lessons from a Loser’s Wife:
1.) Increase Healthy Options – I am the main grocery shopper, meal planner and cook in our home. That means that I have a large amount of influence over what comes in our house and onto the table. There are a lot of questions we get, like: Do you eat clean? Paleo? Low carb? South Beach? Organic only? Calorie restrictive? The answer is…sometimes, yes. 🙂 But overall, my rule of thumb is to simply increase healthy options in the home.
As stated, I am not a nutritionist, but I do know some basics that I try to follow, such as making available a variety of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and veggies. I do cook dinner most nights at home so that means we’re not surprised by how something is prepared or what has been added to it. There’s a lot more healthy snack options in our fridge or pantry like fruit, veggies, greek yogurt and whole grain crackers than processed, sugary snacks. So guess what? If that’s what’s on hand or what’s being offered, that’s what we eat. Plain and simple. We are still particular about taste, so experimenting with seasonings and oils has been fun. There are resources right at the end of your computer keyboard or in your circle of friends for whatever meal plan you prefer.
Does it get old? Sometimes, sure it does. But we keep at it. Consistency is key. We do not strive for perfection, but we do strive for progress. While David was at the Biggest Loser ranch for 4 months, I changed the way I was eating at home. I had not yet added consistent work-outs, but I saw a positive difference in my body shape and it was all due to changing eating habits.
2.) Preparation The Boy Scout motto of “Always Be Prepared” comes into play strongly when you want your family to have healthy options. They call it “fast food” for a reason, right? It’s easy to grab some when you don’t have a plan. However, preparation will increase your success with healthy eating. For us that often means preparing food early in the week and then packaging it into portion-size containers for use throughout the week. I work outside of the home, but my husband works from home. It’s important to us both that he have healthy options during the day as well. Because we are an on-the-go family, that means I sometimes pay more for prepackaged items like salads and apple slices if we’re going to have a super busy week. I’m OK with that, largely because salads and fruit do not go bad in our house. And that makes me happy. Other weeks I am able to spend more time on food prep (make our own pre-portioned salads and snacks) and spend less money for convenience. Having grab and go items that are healthy portions and foods has been vital.
3.) Tracking Tracking calories going into your body as well as calories burned through activity is probably the NUMBER ONE thing that David recommends to people. There are a ton of apps and/or devices (Lose It, My Fitness Pal, FitBit, Body Media, etc) to help with this. Some of them are free! It does take a little bit of work on your end to track your intake of calories, but it truly opens your eyes to everything you are putting in your mouth. It will then, generally, track your calories burned through activity. When you are consistently burning more calories than you are taking in, you will be losing weight. It really helps to see it through a tracking system or device.
4.) Stay Hydrated Getting in the recommended 64 ounces of water per day is REALLY important. Carry around a water bottle and refill often. Drop in some zero calorie flavored beverage mix or add fruit to your water if you’d like to give it some flavor.
5.) Accountability Listen, we need accountability to accomplish ANY of our goals, including becoming more healthy. This can look like a lot of different things, such as: a gym partner, running buddy, a personal trainer or a friend you check in with about your goals. You are more likely to work out if you have someone else meeting you there. You are more likely to stay on target with healthy eating if you are meeting with an accountability partner at the end of the week. There is strength in doing this TOGETHER.
6.) Rewards This is the fun part. When you have seen progress, take a minute to reward yourself. Maybe it’s booking a massage after meeting a weight loss goal, buying a new pair of jeans when your old ones are becoming baggy, or just finding something yummy at the health food store on your way home from a work-out. Working hard = results and you should be proud of yourself!
Now it’s YOUR turn…what tips can you share that work for keeping your family healthy?
P.S. Since you read all the way through this post, I’ll tell you a secret: If you sign up for updates at http://davidbrowninspires.com, you receive David’s *secret* shopping list from the Biggest Loser. What are you waiting for? Go do it now!