Allison N., late-30s, busy mom of a young child
I am an almost 40-year-old with a demanding career and a very demanding 4-year-old. I am, what I consider to be, moderately over weight. I have always enjoyed being active and playing sports but find it hard to schedule these things into my daily life. I was finding this especially hard because of an afternoon energy slump that was incredibly demotivating. More days than not, I’d have massive sugar cravings that went along with my afternoon energy slump. These cravings were appeased with junk food from the office canteen and handfuls of chocolate chips consumed while preparing dinner. In fact, my eating patterns consisted of a lot of “toddler scraps,” “a bite of this” and a “handful of that", as I tried to satisfy food cravings.
When I first started TOVI, the team of experts helped with my said problem by reviewing my food log. When I got the feedback from my food log, the first things that were presented were the positives. Seems like a little thing, but it set the tone of being a positive experience (as opposed to Weight Watchers and MyFitnessPal where I felt like I was always doing everything wrong). Then the experts helped me to set my first goal. I chose to decrease my sugar intake by limiting myself to a "sugary treat" once a week. My thought process in choosing this goal is that it would probably help with my late afternoon energy slump, which would in turn help me make better food choices.
The first week was hard, and to be honest, I used chips to wean myself off the sugar. However, the articles on TOVI gave me ideas for proactive things to do to improve my health. When faced with the opportunity to have sweets (like donuts at a meeting), I had two strategies to deal with it. The first was that I kept low-sugar, high protein energy bars in my desk, so I had an “alternative treat”. The other was to think about what my end-of-the week treat was going to be. It felt like a choice between a stale donut and a Haagen-Dazs. This is a very easy choice to make. Mentally, there is a big difference between the goals of “I am NOT going to eat sugar” and “I am going to have an AMAZING perfect yummy treat once a week”.
As I got used to lower sugar intake levels, my afternoon food cravings went away. I also found that I enjoyed lower sugar versions of things more. Without the sugar crashes, it became easy to make good food choices and I was improving other aspects of my diet without even trying. Eventually I didn’t have to use the ‘end of the week’ sweet bribe to make good food choices. I now know that it is easier to make better food choices when I avoid sugar, and that is now my motivation.
"I lost 10 lbs."
I feel good about myself since joining TOVI. It is a kind and supportive approach to helping me be healthier and feel better. I've lost about 10 lbs. I have more energy. I'm getting more exercise. Life is good!
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