Make 2006 count: break off your Taco Bell love affair

Amanda Stanley

Let’s welcome in the year 2006. It is a chance for new opportunities, change and growth.

You’ve probably made a resolution or two: study more, party less or be nicer to your roommate. But if you’re like many other Americans, then you’ve probably made the resolution to eat better and lose weight. But if you’re also like many other Americans, you won’t stick to it.

Sure, maybe for a few weeks you’ll eat a few more salads or walk to class rather than take the bus. But let’s face it, you won’t stick to your New Year’s resolution. It’s just too hard.

Wrong. I am here to help you change all that. Just like you, I made a resolution to exercise more and eat less, but I never really put my resolution into action until this past year. Since last May, I have lost 45 pounds, and I have never felt better about myself.

Sure, breaking off my love affairs of chocolate and 3 a.m. Taco Bell runs was difficult at first. But, now I realize it was all worth it.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 64 percent of adults age 20 and older are overweight. Now, I’m here to tell you there is no quick fix or magic pill to help you drop those pounds, but I will offer my advice from my own personal experience. I’m not claiming to be a weight-loss expert, but rather share a few tips that worked for me.

First and foremost, pay attention to what you’re putting into your body. Sure, once that glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut hits your lips it’s hard to resist. But is it really worth it? Rather than eat the entire thing try just eating half. This way you are not depriving yourself, but you’re still not overindulging.

Second, get off the couch. An integral part of losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is exercise. Start off slow. Perhaps a 20-minute walk around campus three times a week. No need to go off and be a marathon runner your first day out of the gate.

Third, ignore the scale. This is probably one of the most difficult things to do. It shouldn’t matter what the scale reads. Sure, everyone wants to be at their ideal weight, but it is more important how you feel physically and mentally than what the numbers on the scale read.

Fourth, find a buddy to help you along the way. Find someone who will work out with you, motivate you and drag you off the couch when you’re just not feeling up to it. You may absolutely hate him or her at that moment, but relax. You can do the same to them when they’re feeling just as lazy.

Finally, ignore everything I just said. I learned in my own weight-loss struggle that there was no magic pre-set rules that would help me accomplish my goal. For me, it was about finding out what worked and what didn’t. What worked for someone else, didn’t necessarily work for me and vice-versa.

Just put down that bag of chips and get out there.

Amanda Stanley is a junior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].