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I’ve struggled with weight, and battled sticking to any sort of food program – in particular a Weight Watchers program. So when I broke my leg, I had a feeling that any pounds I’d lost over the past weeks through hard work, would be quickly gained back.
I was forced to bring my active life to a standstill. As per doctor’s orders, I’ve been home for long stretches of time in bed with my right foot elevated. I haven’t walked in shoes, nor have I driven a car for several months.
Back when the doctor ordered me on bed rest, I envisioned myself reading books, surfing the internet, watching movies, and munching on chips, popcorn and cookies to assuage my pain and anxiety. And yes, the weight would pile on.
But hey, I consoled myself, my priority was to get better. Losing weight can and will wait, right?
Wrong. Losing weight did not have to wait.
I’ve luckily found certain behaviors easier than ever, helping me break into the groove of the program.
My clothes are loose on me, people tell me I look thinner (aren’t they just so kind?), and I just feel great.
Here are some miracles that continue to increase my motivation and self-control during the time that I am still on bed rest.
Disclaimer and warning: Results described below are merely incidental and may not be typical. Please do not attempt to break your own leg after reading this article, in order to desperately lose some weight. Rather, use these miracles that occurred to me as motivational tools for sticking to a program.
- 3 solid meals a day: My meals are brought to me on a tray in my bed, three times per day and no more. In between I’m busy in my
officebed, doing all sorts of tasks (including blogging about my experience!). The thought of asking for food in between the meals miraculously doesn’t occur to me.
Motivational Tool: Try to have 3 solid meals a day with some fruit in between. Some call it 3 meals a day with Life in between. The point is to eat to live and not live to eat. You can even have someone else serve you the food, so you feel special.
- No seconds: Food became something I have in order to absorb the vitamins needed to heal my hurting bones. For some miraculous reason, I rarely feel the need to eat more than my share that is brought to me.
Motivational Tool: Fill your plate up (or have someone fill it up for you) with lots of food, and then have a policy of no seconds.
- Burning calories. Getting comfortable with the cast and splint has not been easy, and often I toss and turn in bed. I suspect I burn a lot of calories that way.
Motivational Tool: Find a way to burn calories in small ways. For me, it was tossing in bed! For you, it may be running up and down the stairs (not possible with a broken leg, so don’t try that!).
- Selective food choices: I’ve taken medicine for pain which was supposed to cause a decrease in appetite. Regretfully, I did not have that side effect! However, I did have some disinterest in certain foods, contrasted by extreme cravings for other foods. So while I sometimes insist on a peanut butter sandwich (hey, it has protein that is good for the bones!) on pumpernickel bread for dinner, I have little appetite for cake and sweets. These new habits amount to less calories than I’ve had before. Now I only like some foods. What a miracle!
Motivational Tool: Pick and choose your food carefully. Don’t eat what you don’t like, just because it’s there. If you’re like I used to be (pre-break), you enjoy all food. If that’s the case, then….perhaps you need to prioritize and decide which foods you like better!
- Less junk around: Since my friends, neighbors and family cooked and brought over food for me, I did not do any of my own shopping for groceries. And when my husband shops now, he uses lists I give him, eliminating any impulsive buying that I normally do at checkout(chocolate bars, sour sticks anyone?).
Motivational Tool: Keeping the excess sugar out of my home is a miracle. Try it in yours.
6. No weighing myself: Since I haven’t been allowed to bear weight on my foot, I can’t stand on a scale and find out what I weigh. In the past, over-weighing myself (up to 2 or more times a day sometimes!) sabotaged any success. For example, if I’d lose weight, I would reward myself with a binge, and if I’d gain a few pounds, I’d get frustrated. No more.
Motivational Tool: During my recovery time, I stay focused on sticking to a program – not on what the scale says. Can you do that too?
- Food not a solution: No longer can I delude myself into thinking that food will solve my problems. Certainly, it is clear to me now – if ever – that a cookie placed on my broken ankle will not fix the ankle. And so, with this sudden “aha” moment, I can move forward and resist the cookies, cake and double portions. I have enough on my plate with my broken ankle and don’t need extra weight (and guilt) to add to my daily struggles.
Motivational Tool: I now think twice before eating something off plan: Is this going to make me feel better or healthier? If the answer is no, I write an article instead.
- Distraction with writi ng: With my computer at my night-table and lots of new material all around me, I have been writing more than usual. Sometimes, when I am tempted to overeat, I redirect myself to something else, such as writing.
Motivational Tool: I try to find hobbies that I enjoy so that food does not become a focus of my day.
How have you broken the cycle of failure and moved into motivation? Share in the comments below!
Tags: broken ankle, motivational tools, sedentary lifestyle, weight loss, weight loss strategies, weight watchers