One topic that came up when I did my reader survey was about my weight loss. Some of you had questions or wanted more details about my journey. I first shared some before and after pictures in December which shocked a lot of people. I've gained quite a few new readers since I've lost weight (unrelated, I believe/think/hope) and I don't think, with that post, some people were ready for all that jelly.
But since I've brought it to people's attention, I've had questions (and lots of praise and encouragement which is just the best) so I'm going to share some of the things that worked for me. Not because they will magically all work for you, but maybe one of them will help you on your journey. Or maybe none of them will, but you'll get encouragement or pointed in the right direction. Who knows.
I joined Weight Watchers online June 1st--the first day of summer break. I refuse to go to meetings and don't have time for them even if I was willing to go. I had a Blackberry smartphone at the time and thought I could do it all through my phone which would have been so convenient and perfect. Except that the WW app was only for iPhones and Androids so I did everything via my desktop computer until I got an iPhone in October. (This was actually the only reason I finally got an iPhone. I really loved that Blackberry...)
Any eating out was planned ahead and I knew exactly what I'd be eating and what I'd order before I left the house. It was safer that way for me.
I followed the points plus plan where every food has a value. I could eat most fruits and vegetables for zero points with an emphasis on eating a lot of those (obviously) and less of everything else.
I could say that I just moved more and ate less, but it wasn't just that. I had been going pretty regularly to the gym for eight months before I started WW. I had lost a little weight from working out, but hadn't changed my eating habits so the loss was fast and minimal. Adding my new way of eating with visits to the gym (3-4 times a week for about an hour: always 35 minutes of cardio plus weights, alternating days between upper body and lower body) got my weight loss happening again and kept it going. Even weeks when I didn't work out at all because life got too busy, if I was still following the WW plan, I lost. Averaging 2 pounds a week, sometimes more and sometimes less. A couple times, I lost three or four pounds in one week. Also, there was a couple times I didn't lose anything (I might have lost ounces, but my scale is pretty low-tech and doesn't show ounces so I don't really know). I just kept chugging along, trusting all my hard work would eventually pay off.
The food thing: what worked best for me was eating the same things over and over again. I'm typical type-A personality and, knowing that, I ate the same kinds of foods in a routine (I just love a good plan, schedule, or list and so that helped me be successful). Eating the same things often helped with portions and, for me, too many choices meant I ate too much. This way there wasn't any time spent standing in front of the pantry or refrigerator wondering what to eat. I also stopped buying diet food because I always eat more of it because I think it's better for me (which it's probably not). At the grocery store, I stopped convincing myself that I could buy something I love to eat (and shouldn't, ie Double Stuffed E.L Fudge cookies) and only eat a little bit of it. I don't have the self-control and I just set myself up for failure when I think I can buy that stuff.
So I found things I liked to eat and were low in points, then I just ate them all the time. Exciting? No. Boring? Probably. But I've always eaten like that. I find something I like and I eat it often until I hate it. I go in cycles.
Add Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and sea salt to the above picture and that about sums up what I ate/eat most days. I go through bags of those sandwich thins like water; sandwiches, toast, mini pizzas, folded like a tortilla, etc.. Those things were my secret weapon. Plus, a crap load of fruits and veggies. Like I said, not a lot of variety and choice, but that's what I need to be successful.
As I'm typing this, I wonder if this will actually be helpful to anyone. It seems so silly, but this is how I lost 33 pounds. And it's what I'm currently doing to lose more.
You know what the worst feeling ever is? Telling people how much you weigh.
I currently weigh 171 pounds. I gained three pounds around the holidays (a mix of Christmas, being too busy to exercise, and something I'll explain next week) and have spent the past two weeks getting back on track.
Currently, my goal weight is 160. I am only eleven pounds away from my goal weight and that seems crazy. I was in 8th grade the last time I weighed 160 pounds and, unfortunately, I'm not exaggerating when I write that. I weighed 160 pounds in 8th grade.
I want to be healthy and fit, not skinny and bony (that's my husband's job; he's got dangerous elbows). I have an athletic build and I'm almost six feet tall, I don't want to look sickly and I think that 160 will be good for me. I want to feel confident, make healthy choices, and live a long time (mostly just to annoy my children and husband). So that's what I'm focusing on (living a long time, not annoying my family. That part just comes naturally).
I have good eating days and bad eating days. Before when I had a bad day, I let it carry into the next day and the next day. Now I can make an unwise choice at one meal and not let it negatively effect my next one. That's a major key to my success, learning to forgive myself and move on.
So, what do you think? Any tips and tricks to add? I'm really bad about taking other people's advice (as my friend Christine recently told me) but I'm willing to listen...just this once. :)