Sooo…. I just got off my cruise today. Happy to say, I have never eaten so good on a vacation ever, second, a CRUISE. If you have ever been on a cruise, then you know that it is ALL ABOUT THE FOOD, which is amazing…. but dangerous.

Did I eat healthy? Well, no. I had dessert every day, lots of bread at dinner, but for the first time, I wasn’t stuffed every time we left the dining room. I was in control! Well, for the most part. I probably gained a few pounds back, but I was diligent in my fitness, working out every day, and I didn’t go crazy! There are times for feasting and times for fasting. This was time for feasting….

One of the big questions I get is how did I start losing weight? Was it because I started eating more plant based? I think initially, I did lose weight going more plant based, but I hadn’t weighed at the time, so I think it was about 8-10 lbs over a 9 month period. Mostly because we stopped eating fried food and buying processed snacks. So after about 9 months of eating more plant based, I needed a little push. I was desperate to lose the weight.

I joined an accountability group and we all read ‘Push’ by Chalene Johnson. One of the first things she discussed was counting calories. I was bummed. That is one area I was not willing to give up. I was already eating super healthy, DON’T TAKE MY LARGE PORTIONS TOO DANGIT. So, for the first couple of weeks, I gritted my teeth and refused to count calories. Plus, I heard from a few people who were plant based, ‘Just eat healthy, don’t count calories.’ So I banked on it… It honestly was what I wanted to hear, I didn’t want to have to count calories, to watch my portions, but I also wasn’t losing any weight. I wish I could tell you it was something more…. but it wasn’t. It was just counting calories and the weight started to fall off.

I have heard for years, it’s a lifestyle change. Which always made me angry. How the heck does one change their lifestyle? But for me, it was a process, like I have said a million times. It was a baby step process into a lifestyle change. Unlike a crash diet, which expects you to change everything on Monday morning, with what I am pushing, you will look back in a year and go, wow, I have changed my lifestyle. I am finally doing what they are talking about. This isn’t a diet, this is a lifestyle change. I can go on vacation, loosen my belt a little bit, but get home and get right back at it, because you will miss the feeling of eating good, not because of guilt.

So, why did I finally hand over the reigns and start to count calories? I didn’t have anything to be ashamed of…I wasn’t trying to figure out how to eat Chick-fil-A for breakfast, McDonald’s for lunch and Chili’s for dinner for all under 1500 calories. I was already eating great! I just had to tweak a few things. I cut out a little creamer in my coffee, watch my afternoon snacks and measure my portions. Viola! I had already made the hard changes, cut out dairy, eat less meat, quit buying processed foods, find snacks that I love to eat. Enough of this blabbing on…. you can just watch me blab on.

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