Tory Johnson enjoyed a highly successful career and happy family life. But there was one area of her life that caused anxiety, frustration, even shame. It was also the one thing that made Johnson, a motivational speaker and contributor to ABC’s “Good Morning America,” feel like a complete failure: her weight.
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Tory Johnson’s book “The Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life” is clicking with women across the nation. Here’s some advice from Johnson and her book:
- Weigh yourself daily. If I’m up, I’m more determined. If I’m down, I’m more motivated.
- Pause before giving in to temptation. Ask yourself, “Preference or priority?” Sure I’d prefer a cupcake, but my preference is to lose weight. By pausing for a few seconds to reflect on that choice, I usually make the right decision.
- Read nutritional labels or check an app. Paying attention to these details enables me to make smart food choices.
- If tempted to binge, grab nail polish. Yup, applying clear top coat has saved me from countless calories. You can’t stick wet nails into a bag of chips.
- Keep safe snacks on hand. Sour pickles. Smoked salmon and cream cheese pinwheels. Celery and a tablespoon of peanut butter. Hail Merry two-pack choco macaroons.
- Put old photos on display. Some people are motivated by looking at supermodels in bikinis. For me, there’s nothing like dozens of pictures of my (former) triple chin to stay the course.
- No “cheat” days. Rewarding a week of healthy eating with cake and cookies is akin to an alcoholic celebrating a month of sobriety with a few beers. It doesn’t work. But if you slip, get back on track instantly. Day One can always be right now.
Are you ready to make the “Shift”?
1. How fed up are you, really?
When the pain and possible penalty of being fat outweighed the likely pain of changing, I knew I was ready to “Shift.”
2. What are you willing to give up?
For the “Shift” to work, nothing can be more important than tackling your goal. It’s an all-or-nothing deal, hard as it sounds. And it is hard, but it becomes easier with time. I gave up various foods, I finally started to exercise and I made lifestyle changes. For example, I regrettably didn’t go to a movie for a year because the thought of being around that buttered popcorn, but not eating it, seemed more torturous than simply staying home.
3. What’s your plan?
There’s no winging it when it comes to making any significant life change. Spell out clear, concise rules to eliminate any ambiguity. For me, cutting carbs was a big one. No cheat days was another.
4. What’s your daily accountability?
It’s easy to slip when no one is looking. Daily weigh-ins and a Nike Fuel Band to monitor my movement still keep me on track. Photos help, too.
5. How will you embrace patience and celebrate victories?
Whenever I tried to lose weight, I’d always give up, because I was too impatient. I wanted instant results. I view the “Shift” not as a diet but as a journey that’s going to take time. My rewards are inedible — lighting a candle, an iTunes song, smaller-size clothing.
Tory Johnson. “The Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life.” 2-4 p.m. Saturday. C. Wonder, Lenox Square, 3393 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-816-3847.