After experiencing a divorce, a remarriage, failed business, and
a major job change, I found myself weighing 20 pounds too much!
In fact, I was considered obese according to the current method
of determining obesity which only takes in to consideration height
and weight to determine body mass. I think that method is insane!
It is important to also consider body shape, muscle mass, and where
on the body fat is being stored before coming to a conclusion someone
is obese! With today's standard, Marilyn Monroe would be considered

When I got to the point that I was mentally ready to lose 20 pounds, I
tried several things. I tried the Nutrisystem diet, the cabbage
soup diet, the miracle diet, the Hollywood diet, and the mental
determination diet. All of them resulted something, but none of them
provided lasting results.

After a year of failing, I finally found the answer. If you have a few
extra pounds to shed (5 - 20 pounds) here are some tips that I have found
to be effective.

1. Visualize yourself thin. This is at number one because it is by far
the most important step. You simply cannot lose weight and keep it off
if you are constantly talking or thinking about how fat you are. If you are negative it will lead you into eating more and exercising less. But if you remain positive it gives you a healthier outlook and you feel better about yourself. You will even find you are excited about your new weight loss and healthy lifestyle.

2. Eat sensibly. I know it sounds like common sense, but if you will
follow the food pyramid and make sure you are eating a balanced diet,
your body WILL have the necessary tools to do the rest. You would be surprised how easy it is to substitute a banana or apple for a bag of chips at lunch. Try a serving of flavored oatmeal instead of a sausage biscuit. Instead of mashed potatoes at dinner how about rice. And don’t forget that side salad. Go ahead and add tomatoes, cucumbers, beats (yes some people like them), and a little cheese from time to time. Just watch how much salad dressing you use.

3. Stop eating when you are full. This was one of the hardest steps for
me. As a nation, we tend to over indulge in everything, especially eating. Remember, although food is enjoyable it is merely a tool for your body to run. Use that tool properly and your body will stay tuned and run better.

4. Limit all food splurges to the weekend only. This means candy, cake,
ice cream, or any comfort food that you crave. What you will notice is that
during the week you will make so much progress that you will not want
to ruin the effects by over indulging and eating a whole cake. Use reason.
The point is to allow yourself a treat without being stupid about it.

5. Start moving. This is particularly true if you have a desk job. What I found
is you do not have to have a gym membership or spend countless hours in
the evening working out. Simply getting up from your desk and doing simple
exercises that do not require any special equipment is enough to do the trick.
Try doing 50 squats, 30 wall-push ups, and 30 leg lifts (while sitting in your
chair). If you do this on a regular basis, which only takes a few minutes each
day, the weight will fall off. And if you do this several times a day you will find that over the entire day you have exercised 15-30 minutes. It all adds up.

6. Only drink water during the work week. You can have your morning coffee, but I recommend no more than 1 -2 cups a day. You may enjoy sodas or tea on the
weekend, in moderation, of course.

The last advice I have is to be patient. Experts agree that losing 1 or 2 pounds
per week is the best practice. And expect to have a week or two along the way where
you maintain rather than lose. This is important if you want to learn how to
maintain your ideal weight rather than bouncing back to being overweight or obese! Once you reach your desired goal, weigh yourself everyday. If you find yourself gaining two or three pounds in a week, start making adjustments by moving more and eating smaller portions or healthier portions. Our weight naturally fluctuates, but don't let it go up more than three pounds before you make changes to stop it. And celebrate your victories. If you want to lose 30 pounds and after 3 months you’ve only lost 15, look at it in a positive way. Don’t think “I can’t lose anymore weight so why try, think instead, I lost 15 pounds.” Find something that weighs 15 pounds. Like a 10 pound and 5 pound bag of potatoes. Realize you no longer carry that around.

Remember; look at this as a lifestyle change and not just a quick fix diet. Chances are if you just diet alone without the mentality of changing bad habits and starting new good habits than you will gain back the weight. Have you noticed that diet pills even say, usually in fine print, that you will lose weight with their product along with exercise and a sensible diet? Makes you think what you can do with just exercise and a sensible diet without putting potentially harmful chemicals into your body.

Above all, stay positive. See yourself thin and healthy!

Author's Bio: 

Angela Sullivan, MA
Professional Counseling and Certified Life Coach
Author of Cinderella's Secret: How you can find your happily ever after