If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me this question in the last year, I could probably pay off a decent amount of my debt!
Well, here's the short answer - there isn't a trick. Everything I have done and continue to do are extremely deliberate choices that are not temporary fixes.
I've lost weight before. About 8 years ago I lost about 70 lbs. I think I started around 240 pounds that time. I exercised and cut back on my food. But I never changed what went in my body. And as I slowly went back to eating the way I always did, the pounds slowly crept back on. As the years went on, I would yo yo diet and lose 10 or 20 pounds here and there but I would always put it back on (plus some). Now, some of this is because of depression and using food as comfort. However, the majority of it is because of what I was eating. Yeah, I was cutting calories. But, once I started to lose weight, I slowly started to "forget" to track little things that I had eaten. And I wondered why I was gaining weight... duh! But, obviously I wasn't completely ready to make a change.
In talking with my sister-in-law this weekend, it was interesting to me when she said how many people talk to her about me and want to know what I'm doing. She tells them, she's just doing it right. She's eating what she's supposed to eat, when she's supposed to eat it. Kristin said many of them say, 'I wish I could do that'. Trust me, I used to be one of those people. I used to think I knew what I had to do to lose weight. Cutting back. Simple, right? Well, turns out there is a whole lot more to it than that. I've learned about nutrients, why eating certain foods is important, why eating at certain times of the day is important and so much other stuff I couldn't possibly list it all. And I'm still learning. The funny thing is that it's actually interesting to me now. Eight years ago, I can't say it would have been. 18 months ago it wouldn't have been. It has to be the right time to make a change. No one can do it for you. They can just be there to support you and push you when you need it.
For some people, while they still need to make a lifestyle change, it may not need to be as drastic as mine. Just depends on who you are, what your goals are and what resources and information you have available to you. I have a lot of things that work against me with weight loss. I have always had a very slow metabolism, I have PCOS (of which one of the side effects is weight gain) and I have hypothyroidism (of which a major side effect is weight gain). So, if I really wanted to lose weight (and I did and still do), my changes were going to be permanent and drastic. But, it's worked. And it hasn't been as difficult to get used to as I thought it would. I still enjoy myself at parties. Just this past weekend I had pizza for dinner while at my brother's house. The difference now is that I don't take leftovers home, I ate salad with it, and I went right back to eating the way I eat every day the following day. And it wasn't hard.
Trust me, there are moments when I want to say, 'oh screw it, I'm getting a milkshake'. But, then I look back at pictures. I reread some of these blog entries about how I felt a year ago. I look in the mirror and see the happiness shining through my eyes and my smile. I realize it's not worth it. Food might make me feel better for about 5 minutes. But, in the end, it just makes me feel worse in so many areas of my life. Instead, I turn on a funny show, or, when it's warm out, I go for a walk. Amazing how much healthier those choices are and how they change my demeanor almost immediately.
I've made a complete lifestyle change. If there is a trick, I guess that would be it. And trust me - It's completely worth it in more ways than I could ever describe.