Hi, I'm Diana. Several years ago I lost a bunch of weight by completely changing my attitude toward food and exercise. Since then I've learned a few things about keeping it off and I'm still learning. Even if I'm constantly fighting off a few pounds, I can't imagine where my weight would be now if I hadn't made such a drastic life change. I'm a health coach for the Prevent program by Omada Health, and previously I was a Weight Watchers leader. Hopefully my silliness will help make your journey to health a little more fun. More about me here.

Photo by Karl Ko

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A food addict at the grocery store: lies I tell myself

As I'm walking through the isles of the grocery store with no list in hand (mistake number one), there are all these dangerous thoughts that I entertain in my mind. My personality around food is definitely split. I want to never eat sugar again and simultaneously eat all the sugar at once. And if that's not confusing enough, I somehow convince myself it's okay to eat these things but I really, really don't want anyone else around while I do it. How's that for mental gymnastics? Unfortunately, I can't hide it forever, since what I eat in secret I wear in public!

Here's a list of silly ridiculous rationalizations that I use to allow myself to buy things that make me gain fat:

Comforting lie: That one time back in 2012 I bought some ice cream and didn't immediately eat all of it, so I'll just get some and it should be fine.

Reality check: The past 10 times in a row that I bought ice cream I ate the whole thing in one day.

Conclusion: Ice cream shall henceforth only be purchased in a single serving size and enjoyed along with some good company. Any attempt to convince myself otherwise is a fast track to flab.


Comforting lie: I need to have some kind of food treat around the house. If I'm craving sweets but I don't have any, I will end up overeating some other random thing that I whip up that doesn't even taste good.

Reality check: I use food to deal with stress. Therefore, having a house devoid of sweets can make me feel exposed and vulnerable. I need to practice more non-food ways of managing my stress.

Conclusion: Having junk food around doesn't help anything. Try out and practice new coping mechanisms.


Comforting lie: I'm on a roll with eating healthily lately, I can take a few extra treats home and enjoy them in moderation.

Reality check: I'm feeling good now, but if I resist buying something that will tempt me, then I won't have to resist it when I'm tired, angry, stressed, grumpy, or just bored. Even if I don’t eat it all at once, having it around will increase my stress because I’ll have to constantly be deciding not to eat it.

Conclusion: Make a dang grocery list. Not buying something is a lot easier than not eating it once it's in front of me.


Comforting lie: Nuts and nut butters are healthy!

Reality check: Not for me they're not. They are crazy calorie dense and I eat way, way too much of them. Peanut butter and regular butter have almost the same calories.

Conclusion: Do. Not. Buy. Seriously, don’t do it.


Comforting lie: I'm just going to look at the beautiful selection of foods down this yummy isle and see if I can find something that's not-so-bad.

Reality check: Looking at food that I don't intend to buy makes me feel like a freak that can't have "normal food," and I'll probably end up buying something. "Normal food" is what made 2/3 of our country overweight, and I don't want to end up there again.

Conclusion: Stay focused. Know what foods I need, get them and get out. The longer I'm in a grocery store, the more likely I am to regret my choices.


It's much easier to bask in the glow of comforting lies and blame my gains on a slow metabolism, genetics, and whatever other ridiculous nonsense makes me feel better. But the bottom line is that I eat too much food, and I need to figure it out. I need to be honest with myself about what works and what doesn't and make choices based on that input. What is actually going to make me feel good is not carrying excess fat around on my body, not the temporary comfort of chocolate. And while I'll always love my chocolate, I think a few squares in combination with good company is more satisfying than giving in only while no one is watching!


Be your own hero

Ladies! Are you your own hero? Do you lift panda bears? Do you kindly ask people to step away from your barbell? Do you kill your own spiders? Do you find yourself at a loss for words when people tell you you're, "pretty strong...for a girl"? 

Well, this shirt is for you. I finally made my t-shirt design into a reality. I'm pretty sure every woman I know needs one. Self-Rescuing Princess! Wonder Woman AKA Princess Diana of Themyscira.


Equality is not a concept....It's a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition.

Why do I write strong female characters? Because you're still asking me that question.

-Joss Whedon


Weekend Warrior

So today is Friday which means it's time to plan for the weekend! Weekends can be tough, our schedules are messed up and more social events often mean more temptation. Beware, failing to plan may lead to things not going as well as you hoped.

In preparation for the weekend, I like to plan my meals and stock my fridge. Friday night is my standard grocery shopping time. (As you can tell, I have a magnificent social life. ;)

This is a routine that works for me, but yours might be different. Any method of increasing your awareness in preparation for the weekend is good. A few ideas:
-Plan your meals
-Stock your fridge
-Plan when and where you'll be active. See out fun activities and combine movement with other things you enjoy like tv time or socializing.
-Keep a regular sleep and meal schedule. (Eating and sleeping at the same time every day regulates our hormones and brain chemicals and helps us avoid unexpected food cravings.)
-If you're heading to a social event that's pot luck friendly, plan to take something with you to eat that will keep you happy and healthy.

And finally, take some time to breathe, take care of yourself, and enjoy your time off!

Success does not require perfection

Would you characterize yourself as a perfectionist? Do you sabotage yourself when things don’t go as planned? Ever had one of those days where you say, “Forget it, today is ruined, gimme the cheesecake!”

All-or-nothing thinking can cause us to have a constant negative dialogue in our minds, and to shut ourselves off from the support of other people so that we don’t have to feel judged or vulnerable.

Good enough means that two steps forward and one step back is still moving in the right direction. It means that we can learn from our own mistakes and do better next time. Good enough means that we can admit to our challenges and allow other people to help us problem solve. Even though we may want to change things about our lives, we can't treat ourselves well unless we love ourselves for the people that we are right now, with all our imperfections.


Warning, science ahead!

Have you ever had one bad day that sent your scale through the roof? Here’s why: Our bodies have a few ways of storing extra calories. One of them is fat, and we also have short term carbohydrate storage called glycogen, which is in our liver and muscles. You know how athletes like to “carb load” the night before a big race? When they do this they are filling up their glycogen storage. But glycogen works like a sponge, it holds energy plus up to three times that weight in water, and water is heavy.

So if I eat a large amont of carbohydrates in one day I may have a calorie surpluss, but the weight I gain on the scale will be disproportionately large due to the extra water weight. If the food also has lots of sodium, I'll see my weight go up even more. That’s because our blood likes to be at a certain percentage of salt, so if we eat a lot of sodium our bodies bring extra water into the blood to dilute the salt, making us gain weight and increasing our blood pressure. You also need to add in water retention from inflammation caused by excessive blood sugar.

So I might gain 3-8 pounds on the scale overnight even if I've only taken in a calorie surpluss equivalent to half a pound of fat. But as soon as I get back to my healthy habits, drink a bunch of water, and return to earning a calorie deficit each day, the weight will drop off, usually in about 2-3 days. To sum up: mishaps are a part of life but the scale lies! Don’t let it have power over your emotions. You can do this one day at a time. =)