I thought I would write a blog following my weight loss journey since I have had so many people ask me what I am doing to get rid of this weight. First and foremost I want to emphasize that I am not a weight loss expert nor am I a doctor, so what may be working for me, may not work for you. Also I am still learning how to finagle this insane new way of life, so there are very well some things that I could be doing wrong. That being said, the purpose of this blog is simply to share with you my experience and what I have done to begin my life as a healthier person who is not afraid to step on the scales.
The biggest reason I found that I never wanted to really truly attempt to lose weight is because I didnt know where to start. I found out, as I will explain later, that this is the poorest excuse of all. However, it is more encouraging to talk to real people that you really know to find out how real their weight loss has been and what real life can be like if you decide to take a step in that direction. That's the main reason I am writing this blog. It helped me to know that there are people out there that struggle the same way I do, live the same lifestyle I did and have as tough of a time finding the motivation to do something about it. It gave me just enough hope to want to do at least try to change my life.
First I had to find a purpose.
I have several. I want to be smaller--obviously, but I also come from a line of diabetics. This is something I dont want to see in my future. I couldnt wear any of my clothes anymore except for the clothes that I hate and I refuse to buy more to fit my ever-expanding waistline. I want to be healthier for my family because I feel like they deserve that. Mostly I just want to feel better about myself. I am a pessimist by nature (the glass really is half empty) and I struggle with pretty deep depression. Alot of that, I realized, stems around my weight. So I literally woke up one day and said "Im sick of being fat. Im done with this BS." and making up my mind (which people who are close to me know that is a BIG challenge for me) was the first step. So I focused on a reason. A realistic reason.
Short term goals.
"because I want to look good in a bikini in June" is not a short term-goal. Plus it isnt realistic. I used an excuse like that before and it is easier to give up on. I find it is better for me to make short term goals that are easy to obtain than making a ridiculous goal like that when I feel awkward in a full piece bathing suit right now as it is--with a cover-up on over that even. Long term goals are harder to reach and I end up throwing in the towel before I ever have the chance to get started. I have learned alot about goals at my job. If I reach a certain goal at my job every month, then I get a gift card. So I have more motivation to want to achieve that goal. If my boss only gave me a gift card every 3 months if I obtained a goal, I wouldnt strive as hard to reach the goal because it is that much more difficult for me to reach. Make sense? So I started out with a week goal...I want to lose at least 3 pounds this week. I obtained it. So then I made a month goal....I want to lose 15 pounds this month....I did it. I tried to make it a challenge within reason. If I would have set a 25 pound loss the first month and didnt obtain it, I would have just gotten pissed off and quit. So I keep it real.
I have a new short term goal already set in my mind, and after I reach it, I will post my starting weight along with my then current weight, so it will put more things into perspective for those truly wanting to see actual results from what I have lost.
People around me have been my biggest motivators. Facebook. Family. Friends. With them simply pointing out they were proud of me, or they could tell I have lost some weight, or offering their stories and helpful hints I became more motivated. I think some people dont realize how important that is. If your closest friends dont at least mention your hard work once in a while when they know you are busting your butt, then they may be jerks. I also go to the doctor once a month for a weigh in because for some odd reason I cannot let these complete strangers down! If I didnt lose a pound Eric may not care, but the doctor is going to be like "well.....you just havent lost anything have you?" I feel kinda judged, and I guess I require that abuse. Also their scale is like the end-all be all to weight loss. I started the journey there and I'll end it there because I know their scale is going to be right on. A friend of mine said that she would weigh every day and write down the weight and show it to her husband so he could help her keep track and motivate her. Sometimes losing one pound is just enough to help you make it through the day and realize what you are doing is actually working. I also keep a "fat pic" on my mirror that I look at every morning when I brush my teeth. I just dont want to be that girl anymore. I am also writing this blog as motivation, so I can look at it when I want to and have everyone else hold me accountable...its a story basically so it needs to have a good ending right? Which leads me to my next topic...
I woke up and said I wanted to change and then I headed to the doc ASAP. The way I began all of this was with Adipex that I was prescribed. I hate to admit that, but after its all said and done I realize that the drug really hasnt done alot for me like I thought it would. The first week I could tell a little bit of a difference. I didnt want to eat as much and I had a few episodes where I woke up in around 2:00 am and wouldnt go back to sleep. But then I began to realize that it wasnt doing that much for me on the second week. I still felt like I was starving and I swore up and down the pharmacy had given me placebos. I continued to take it faithfully for another week hoping something would change and it really didnt. So I began tapering off of it. I still have them so if I feel the need to take one I can, but as confirmed by my doctor at my last appointment, the weight I have lost isnt really from the Adipex, because it is uncommon to lose this much in one month. My weight loss is stemmed around me busting my ass for a month. So while drugs can help some people, ultimately if I dont keep up in other ways, I am just gonna gain it all back eventually as I cant be on Adipex forever.
Humans are total creatures of habit. I think about what my daily routine used to be...get up, eat, go to work, eat, go home, eat, work on my house a little, eat, hang out with my family, eat. Think about your habits....how often do you eat? It was a way of life for me and it wasnt because I was starving--obviously--but because I didnt want to break that habit. So if I had to point out the most difficult part of all of this it would be HABIT. They are hard to break. If you look on my facebook, you will see how I kept complaining about how hungry I was. I look back on that now and I am not sure if it was because I was really that hungry or just because I thought I was that hungry. I wanted to give up. Not to say that I wouldnt still punch someone in the face for 20 oz Mt. Dew, but it has just become less of a habit because I have taken that out of my daily habit for over a month now. And for those of you saying "I can't give up my Mt. Dew a day", then you dont really want to lose weight. At least you havent gotten to the point where I was at where I was willing to do anything...and still am.I still fell hungry sometimes, but instead of eating a bowl of leftover lasagna, I try to eat some veggies or an apple or banana, which usually curbs the cravings and is just enough to get me to my next meal. Mostly I have replaced my old habits with new habits....when I get off work I got to the gym for 30 minutes, I drink unsweet tea instead of sweet tea and I drink a 7.5 Dr. Pepper in the morning instead of a 12 oz. If I get a drink of soda during the day, I take a "shot" (like a tablespoon or a small gulp) instead of drinking a whole glass. I take the stairs instead of the elevator when I can at work. I try to stay busy instead of sitting down. This is the longest I have sat down all day...typing this blog.
When I told Eric that I was joining the gym he immediately asked if I was going to throw money away. Truthfully, I questioned that myself. So I joined a gym that didnt require a contract and didnt cost a ton of money I dont have every month. I also chose something close to my house so I can go when I want and that is 24-hour. I also have to drive right by it every day so it reminds me that I need to go, and if I dont go I feel incredibly guilty. It has HGTV right in front of me to help me not focus on the work I am doing and I get to watch 30-45 minutes of tv that I wouldnt get to watch at home (because our tv centers around Maddox and Eric). I get to listen to my playlist as LOUD as I want to. That helps. So basically its "me time". I take Maddox sometimes because they have a dvd player and crayons there and she loves going, but I try to go on my own. Why do I go the gym and not stay at home? Who has money for that? Well I kept telling myself it was too expensive. But then I got to thinking about the money I spend on lunches and I came out cheaper on the gym. Also, I would tell myself I was going to walk or do Dance Revolution at home, but then when I got here I would find other things to do or Maddox would be right up my rear so I couldnt do anything. Trying to take her walking or riding a bike is so exhausting from her complaining that I never get any exercise out of it, just frustration. When I go to the gym, I go for one reason only and I stick to it.I was going 45 minutes a day and I realized that for me, it was overdoing it. Sometimes I can do that, but really I dedicate 30 minutes a day. I have stuff I need to do and I don't have time to spend my whole day there. So if I can do at least 30 minutes, I feel like I accomplished something. If I cant go to the gym for some reason, I make sure I do something at home, walk, wii, something. I just find it easier to go to a gym. And yes, I am the biggest person there so far, and yes I hate when the LHHS football team comes in and I feel out of place, but the more often I go, the less conscious I have become of it.
Put your mind to it....
I hate it when people tell me this. I put my mind to alot of stuff but I change my mind as often as the weather changes--actually more. So I chose to say mind over matter. I ask myself "is it worth it" all the time. Is it worth it to eat that candy bar knowing that is the biggest part of my calorie intake? Does it really matter that much to me? Used to I would say yeah who cares and I would tear that candy bar up...but now, I feel so much guilt its overwhelming and I just put it back. I have really changed my way of thinking. In fact, for the first couple of weeks I was so obsessed with my calorie intake, that I was hardly eating anything because I was afraid I would go overboard and gain a pound. Not the healthiest way of thinking really. But being constantly conscious has helped. My in laws like to go out to eat once a week. Once a week "cheat meals" wont kill me ( though I still find it difficult to eat something with alot of fat--again guilt). I ate more in Branson this past month because it is harder to eat low calorie food on vacation. So I ate a little more than normal. But I made sure to steer clear of Golden Corral, which I literally drooled over when we drove by, because I knew it would be harder to control what I ate and keep track of my calorie intake.
One of the biggest challenges I have ran into was choosing the right diet path. There are so many. At first I was trying low calories, low fat, low carbs, etc....well good lord what was there left to eat?!? nothing! Water! I was STARVING. So I decided to go with calorie counting first and knew I could change my mind later if I wanted. I downloaded an app on my phone that I use faithfully. Since I am on my phone all the time anyway, it is the best way to keep track of what I am eating. Its called My Fitness Pal, and it is loaded with all different types of food. I enter everything I eat and drink. EVERYTHING. If I try to cheat the app I am only cheating myself because I am not sticking to my calorie goal that it sets for me. I am always under my calorie goal. The more exercise I do, the app adds those calories back to my goal calories for the day, so I have more calories to eat....does that make sense? So if I have a goal of 1300 calories (based on my height and weight), and I have eaten 300 calories, but then I run the treadmill and burn 200, then 1 have 1100 calories left for meals. Ill be posting some of the things I am actually eating later. Alot of people have asked me about that too. Its easier when you can see it in perspective to get an idea. I always eat a good breakfast because I end up burning off most of those calories during the day. Now I dont eat a breakfast buffet, but I dont worry so much about my calorie intake on that meal. FOr lunch and dinner, I eat alot of Turkey based meat instead of red meat, stay away from alot of sugar and starches, and eat wheat instead. Progresso light soups have saved me. If you want something quick SmartOnes are good dinners, but they can get expensive and sometimes there isnt enough to eat. I replaced 2% milk with 1% (didnt like skim), and I limit sodas since I am not a fan of diet drinks, though I have gotten more used to a few. Its more expensive than what I would like, but I have found stuff my family will eat too and that is helping get everyone healthy.
My doctor recently mentioned a diabetic diet, which is essentially "nothing white", no sugar, no starches, no milk, no ranch dressing, etc...which allows you to eat more meat, but limits your carb intake to like 60 grams. I havent tried that yet because I havent gotten desperate enough when I know my counting calories app is working as well as it has. But eventually I may want a change up. Its just picking what is best for me.
I was excited to find out that I had lost 17 pounds in a month, but I was also devastated it wasnt more. Why? Because I have literally turned my life upside down trying to achieve this goal. I have stopped eating the things I love, stopped going out to eat like I loved to do, had to start exercising everyday and have learned how to say no to things that I felt like made my life worth living. But what makes a life worth living when you are miserable when you are not stuffing your face? I have worked my ass off and I only lost 17 pounds!?!? Well as it turns out, according to my doc, thats actually quite a bit. And yes, as you get older it is harder to get these pounds off. Used to I could go a day without food and lose 5 pounds. So being patient has been a new addition to my life as well. I am not entirely there yet, but I am learning.
For losing that amount of weight, you would think I have lost more inches than I have. To be honest with you I, along with other people that havent seen me in a month, cant tell that I have lost that much physically which is pretty disappointing. I dont know why this is happening, but I have been told that it will get better as I continue to lose. We will see. But yes, that in itself is almost enough to give this all up. Once my clothes start fitting better, I know I will go into overdrive with the motivation, but when is that going to happen?
The holidays isnt the best time to start a weight loss program, but then again when is? I either wanted to do it then or wait for that unexpected drive to pass me by. So I eat smaller portions of the food I normally eat at holiday functions, and I try to take a low calorie dish so that I can be ensured to have something I can eat alot more of. I have been eating a few homemade Christmas candies here and there, but they go into the app.
Fast food is THE WORST to try to manage. When I go through a drive through I find that almost everything puts me close if not over my calorie goal, so I have just avoided them all together. I will look up calories for a chain restaurant before I go so I know what I am getting into. I have no real solution for this. I just do my best to avoid it. And yes I miss burger king and pizza very very much. But I try to keep in mind, that if I can get to my final goal weight, I can eat this stuff again, but in moderation.
And yes, sometimes I am still starving, which is frustrating, and I want a giant frito chili pie, but I have to regroup. I have to pass on the rolls at Coltons, I have to eat 13 chips at salsas instead of the whole basket. This is a pretty tough obstacle but so far so good....
The biggest thing I have learned here is how to eat. I didnt know how to do that before. Even if I didnt count calories, I have learned that replacing things in your diet can make a world of difference. I dont plan to eat like this forever, but even after I reach my final goal (which is 150 by the way--and anything less than that is a bonus I will gladly accept), I am going to be conscious of what I am eating. I DO NOT want to get back to where I was. Even now, only losing--well at this point 19 pounds--I am still refusing to go back to my starting weight. This is what I say, but who knows, I may hit a spot and give up completely. I hope not. It happens all the time to people who lose weight. Thats one reason I want to maintain this blog though, so that I can keep myself accountable for the journey I have started. So I can not forget the reasons, the struggles and the goals I have set to make my life better and lead me to be a better, less bitchy, person for myself and my friends and family. Also so that other people struggling can hopefully identify and find their motivation, and so that others that are losing weight can share their stories and help me out as well as others.
I hope this has helped so far. Ive tried to cover every angle to at least inspire one person. Remember, I have started off losing weight but I still have a long way left to go. That in perspective, if I lost the same amount of weight every month, I would reach my goal in about 4 months or so, which helps the thought process. I am still a big girl. Im not ever going to be a little girl, and really I dont want to be. I like having curves, just not so many. I have a reward set for when I obtain my final goal, which makes it that more easy to want to get there. I really hope I can do it. I like how I have a tiny bit more confidence than I had a month ago. I like that I wake up every day knowing I have a plan. I like that Eric is so proud of me for trying my hardest, because regardless of what he thinks, it is important to me. I like that I, for the first time in a long time, have started something that I am determined to finish.
Keep a lookout for more updates, and for anyone interested, I will be posting my daily food log....here's this week to gt you started...:
My goal is 1330 calories a day
Breakfast: 2 egg cheese omelet : 144 (calories)
7.5 oz dr. pepper: 90
turkey bacon, 3 slices: 75
light chicken dumpling progresso soup: 160
Swiss cheese - 1 slice : 80
quick add calories of 200 (so it was something homemade that wasnt in the app)
TOTAL: 749 ( I should have eaten more)
Burned: 200 calories from cardio, so 549 calories (I REALLY should have eaten more)
Honey nut cheerios: 3/4 cp. 110
1% milk, 1/3 cp 28
Baked lays 1 package: 130
horseradish (on my sandwich): 7
Turkey with swiss on rye with tomatos: 314
Fettucine alfredo with chicken 2 tbsp- 95
fat free italian dressing- 5
dinner house salad- 150
grilled chicken breast- 38
Snack- chocolate covered pretzel stick (homemade): 80
Elliptical 15 minutes: 99 burned
treadmill 20 minutes: 168 burned
TOTAL: 690...could have eaten 640 more....not eating enough
2 egg cheese omelet: 144
sausage patty: 100
8 oz dr. pepper: 90
Cheerios with 1% milk: 145
turkey jalapeno hot dog with turkey chili on wheat bun: 250
100 calorie mini brownie: 100
Elliptical: 12 minutes: 45
Treadmill 20 minutes: 170
TOTAL: 614...had 716 left over (not eating enough)
So, I am really not eating enough calories. I could probably lose more if I could convince myself to eat more. If you dont net enough calories your body can go into starvation mode and store more fat. I am trying to work on this, but much like money, I am frugal with calories. :( Its a work in process, but you get the idea. My Fitness Pal Online