Looking for the motivation to get healthy and change your life? Say hello to Gaye Weintraub, everyday warrior and current loser of over 91 pounds and counting. Gaye started FatCowgirl.com to keep herself honest and motivated along her weight loss journey. She brings a real, sincere approach to weight loss and has a contagiously positive outlook on life. When asked for words of encouragement she says:
Don’t give up. Ever. It’s not about how many times you fall, but how many times you pull yourself back up.”
Gaye is the real deal; read on for healthy hacks to your favorite recipes and encouragement from the infectious FatCowgirl on how to get your healthy groove on.
AJ: What keeps you motivated to reach your weight loss goals?
Gaye Weintraub: So many things keep me moving in the right direction, from seeing a new me in the mirror each day; shopping my closet and wearing things I haven’t worn in years; my friends, family and fans; quotes I find; to notes I write to myself. But the number one thing that really keeps me going is knowing in my heart that I can do this.
AJ: What does your diet & exercise plan look like right now?
GW: Ironically the things I have done my entire life – diet, exercise and weighing myself – don’t work for me. I don’t like to diet, I hate exercise, and I always find fault with the scale. In January I changed my outlook. I no longer diet and exercise. I eat, and I train. I stay off the scale. Each day, I commit my food and exercise plan for the next day to one of my best friends.
My food plan includes three meals a day with fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins, and whole grains such as Ezekial bread and brown rice. I do not eat between meals except for sugar-free gum and sugar-free beverages. I avoid flour, sugar and alcohol. Anything I eat that is processed must have sugar as the fifth ingredient or higher.
I enjoy walking and running, swimming, aerobics and dance. I started walking my neighborhood and running the distance between mailboxes at the end of my routine when I first began. (So I’d walk 1.25 miles, then run the distance between the last mailbox to my home, then back it up the next day to two mailboxes from my home, etc.) I now use Map My Walk and C25K along with a Polar heart monitor. I still love Richard Simmons’ Dancing to the Oldies and am trying to get into DDP Yoga.
Instead of weighing myself daily, I weigh once a month. The scale was the hardest vice for me to stop. I never thought I could go without it, but I came to realize I was literally basing my self-worth off the numbers. When the scale was up, I told myself I was a failure and would never reach my goals, and I’d make the excuse it was okay to eat whatever I wanted to at that moment. When the scale was down, it was never down far enough, or it was down just enough to allow me to treat myself. It wasn’t good for my self-esteem or my weight loss goals. I used the scale to self-sabotage. Now it sits in my bathroom – without batteries! – And is used once a month.
AJ: How do you handle slip-ups?
GW: I’ve learned it’s easier to stay on my program than to get back on. I know when a slip-up is coming, so I try to redirect my thoughts as quickly as possible. It’s *never* about the food and always about something bothering me.
I tell myself I’ll eat whatever it is I want tomorrow. Tomorrow I will wake up, eat cake and ice cream for breakfast, pizza for lunch and margaritas for dinner. But today, I’m going to stay on plan. Today I’m going to stick with my food and exercise plan. Tomorrow I can do whatever I want. Usually, tomorrow never comes.
AJ: What would you say to others that are just starting on their weight loss journey?
GW: You can do this. Don’t let anyone – including yourself – ever tell you differently.=
AJ: Do you have any healthy treats you’d recommend that are considered a “hack” to the real thing?
GW: I love fake food! I make “mashed potatoes” from puréed cauliflower. I boil an entire head, then purée it with a little bit of sea salt, coarse-ground pepper, fresh rosemary and a dab of coconut oil. I have never liked cauliflower, yet I can’t get enough of my fake mashed potatoes!
I also make French fries from parsnips. I peel them, cut them into wedges, and shake them in a sealed Ziploc with a teaspoon of olive oil, sea salt, garlic powder and fresh rosemary. I spread them on a baking sheet and bake them at 450 for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. I then sprinkle them with a dash of cumin. I actually like them better than French fries.
Lastly, I don’t like beets, but I love making beet chips. I simply peel the beets, and then slice them into thin chips. I toss them with a teaspoon of olive oil, sea salt, garlic powder and paprika, then bake them at 400 degrees for six minutes or so on each side. Once removed from the oven, I let them cool a bit longer until crisp. They’re really good and have a fraction of the calories and zero fat compared to potato chips.
AJ: What is your favorite workout right now?
GW: I really love walking and running. I started when I was 381.8 pounds, and so I’ve had a lot of injuries, from water on my knee to pulled hip flexor muscles to blood blisters. But I continue to push myself to be better, faster, stronger each day. My distance has increased from barely able to walk 1 mile to walking/running almost 3.5 miles. I ran a 1K on March 31 (which doesn’t seem like much, but it was far better than the 0K I did last year!), and I plan to complete a 5K this summer. I love the fresh air, my neighborhood and clearing my head.
AJ: Any other words of encouragement you’d like to share?
GW: Don’t give up. Ever. It’s not about how many times you fall, but how many times you pull yourself back up. Keep going. What works for one person may not work for you. Keep looking, and you’ll find your groove. It’s YOUR journey. Those around you don’t have to understand or accept it. You can do this!