Editor’s note: Cathrine Shinn lost 110 pounds using Diet-to-Go, and has managed to maintain that weight loss for a year.* This year, we’ll regularly catch up with Cathrine to learn her tips and tricks for weight loss, healthy living and more!
Current weight: 223
Time Since Losing 110 pounds: One year, 4 months
Recovering from a major surgery is no easy feat.
Maintaining your weight loss when you’re not able to keep to your usual routines? Even tougher.
But that’s exactly what Cathrine has been able to do following her recent surgery, maintaining her weight loss rather than using the downtime as an excuse to let old habits creep back in.
And she made it through the recovery process by eating right with Diet-to-Go’s delicious, portion-controlled meals.
“I’m so grateful to not have to come home at the end of the day and cook a meal,” Cathrine said. “I used to come home, and I’d be starving. I’d snack while I prepared, eat what I prepared while I prepared it and snack after. It’s so nice to just come home and have that ready to go.”
Today, she’s back at the gym, back riding her bicycle and back sharing with us how she keeps from getting bored with her healthy diet and fitness routines, something that could have easily happened during the healing process.
1) I go for customization.
I’m not bored with Diet-to-Go, and that’s because I can change my menu every week. Even on weeks the menus repeat, I can build up meals I like and save them.
One of my favorites, for example, is the broccoli pie. On the week it comes up, I order it every day so I can stock my freezer and save it for other weeks.
When I pick my meals, I pick the highest protein, lowest carb meals that have the most consistent calories. I also try to keep my calories between breakfast, lunch and dinner pretty close.
2) I understand the dangers of the whole “food for entertainment” thing.
Food’s not supposed to be entertainment, but it is for people. … Or it’s what you do when you are bored. Or you are lonely. Or sad. There’s a lot of emotional stuff associated with food. When I’ve gotten bored with food, I found myself looking to reward myself with bad food, and that’s when I started making bad choices.
It just makes it so much easier to say, “Well I’ve been eating this way for so long, so I’m going to buy this chocolate cake.” And that definitely was a pattern I got myself into in the past.
3) I have fun with my daytime snacks.
I portion them out to have less than 100 calories using these fabulous little containers that have two different sections in them.
For example, I’ll take hummus and sliced cucumbers and get those prepped and eat them throughout the week. Two tablespoons of hummus are 80 calories and cucumbers are 15.
I also buy cream cheese and put olives in it. I like different flavors of yogurt too.
4) I get creative with my late-night sweet tooth.
I am definitely a nighttime eater. I often have a snack before I go to bed.
Lately my go-to has been a rice cake with powdered peanut butter that I mix into Ricotta cheese, and then I slice strawberries or apples or blackberries and put them on it. That gives me that salty-sweet I need to be content to go to bed. But it’s only about 90-100 calories.
5) I break up the things I struggle with at the gym.
First of all, I’m grateful to go to the gym. My routine involves 35-45 minutes of cardio and then weights. (On a day I’m lifting more, I do 35 mins of cardio.)
Sometimes I chunk it up: 20 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of weight lifting, 20 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of weights. If that hour of cardio is looming over my head, I can dread it. … So breaking it up makes it not as daunting.
6) I exercise with a buddy.
I met a friend who’s starting to get back in a routine of exercise. …Because she’s just getting started, we do an hour. We do cardio, then lift, and I’ve even gotten her to do more cardio.
Going with a friend, it’s so motivating to be with somebody who’s at a different stage, whether they’re more fit and you think, ‘I could get there,’ or you’re more fit and you feel like you’re an inspiration.
7) I accept I need structure — and I embrace it.
I need the structure with eating and the gym. If I wake up in the morning and think, ‘I don’t feel like going to the gym,’ it’s a thought that I can put aside now. … If I don’t exercise, I know what’s in store for me: heart disease, potentially diabetes.
8) I create new challenges for myself.
That’s where my bike comes in: I challenge myself with my bike.
My goal last summer was to make it up a monstrous hill in this park near my house. At first I avoided the hill…then I tried it and stopped a couple times. Then, at the beginning of October, I made it all the way up. It felt so good to reach that goal. I was so proud of myself. That was a really important moment.
I wasn’t challenging myself just to live anymore…I was challenging myself with fitness, to reach that goal.
9) When it comes to logging calories, I embrace the boring.
Yes, logging calories can get boring. But I know it’s something I have to do because it’s too easy to forget things like cream you poor in your coffee or an extra two tablespoons of Parmesan cheese on something, etc. Those calories can creep in so quickly.
I need to know what’s coming in and going out. That’s how to maintain the weight I have lost. If I don’t do it, I know there will be negative results … If I’m not keeping track of it…I know little by little, I start to make choices that lead to weight gain.
10) I leverage my friendships to stay on track.
One of my girlfirends and I went to this wood-burning oven pizza place (it’s a famous chef who opened the restaurant). Because we were going and indulging, we decided to walk there and walk back. Food has always had a lot of guilt associated with it for me. When I have a friend who’s willing to do that with me, it changes my mindset. I know I’ve made a commitment to being active. I’m balancing that with my friendship.
11) I make a mental note every day of the things I can do now that I wasn’t able to do before.
This is a fun way to keep from getting bored because I have something new to celebrate each day.
For example, I went home for Mother’s Day and my sisters and I took a photo. I used to hide behind everyone, only showing my face, and even then didn’t want it to be shown publicly. I remembered all the things I missed, not wanting to be a part of memories.
I rejoice how different my life is now.
How do you combat diet boredom? Share in the comments below!
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.