Snack Girl absolutely loves Jennifer Hudson. BUT, she is not inspired by Jennifer's weight loss story.
She has been splashed on the pages of People in her new size 6 self (and she looks great). But, she really is a special case. She is an actress getting ready for a role (Winnie Mandela) and she is getting paid as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers.
Don't worry! We can find inspiration right here with a reader of Snack Girl, Erin. Erin has lost weight (65 pounds!) and she is a regular person. She sent me these photos and interview and I hope her story is helpful.
Snack Girl: What would you say is the biggest factor in your weight loss success?
Erin: Substitution. Prior to really getting on the band wagon I always thought of "dieting" as forgoing everything I love to eat. But that hasn't been the case at all.
I've learned how to substitute what I love for healthier (or not as bad for you) versions. It keeps me on track with my calorie intake, which allows me to be happy while continuing to lose weight.
Snack Girl: When you didn't lose weight for a few weeks - how did you keep motivated?
Erin: I'm actually dealing with this again right now. It's really easy to give up and unfortunately my personality borders on the all or nothing mentality, so I can very easily give up without much guilt (at that moment).
But, then I think of a photo I have of myself right before I started on the weight loss journey:
I can actually feel the tightness of the skin in my face and remember how hard it was to find clothes that fit. I've not hit my ultimate goal just yet, but thinking of that time and not wanting to get to that size keeps me chugging along. If I'm really down in the dumps about it, I also remember that the scale may not be moving, but I'm still getting healthier.
Snack Girl: What foods and habits were the most difficult for you to give up and change?
Erin: Eating out was a big change that I made. We still eat out, but I pay more attention to what I should have vs. what I want. I'll still indulge, but rather than eat the entire sandwich I'll eat half. It's really hard because I watch others eat this and that, while I'm trying not to.
My at home food vice that is difficult to control myself over is potatoes. I still eat them, but definitely not as often or in as large a quantity. This is very difficult because I adore potatoes. The only thing that makes it a teeny bit easier is that neither my husband nor kiddo like/eat them. They definitely fall into the "out of sight, out of mind" category.
Snack Girl: What advice would you give to your "65 pound heavier" self?
Erin: Just do it. You're getting nowhere by doing nothing.
I'm not saying losing weight is easy, but I should have started sooner. I just felt that I couldn't, that it's too hard. But in the first two months - by bringing my caloric intake down and walking 5-6 days a week for 30 minutes - I lost 25 pounds. I really want to kick myself in the butt. It wasn't as hard as I made it seem to be.
Snack Girl: What is your favorite snack?
Erin: Oh boy, this is a tough question. I've learned through the past few years that I can still enjoy decadent snacks in a "sneaky" sort of way. I try to keep all my snacks in the 100 calorie range, never, ever going over 200 (and 200 is more of a dessert range).
Aside from sugar free jell-o and fat free cool whip, my current favorite is a Deep & Velvety Chocolate VitaBrownie w/walnuts and some DOLE Dark Sweet Cherries. That's my curled-up-on-the-couch-watching-tv snack, and for this chocolate lover, it can't get any better.
Thanks for inspiring us, Erin!!
Please share your weight loss challenges and solutions.