I had contemplated losing weight for awhile before I started actively trying. My thought process was unless I was truly committed I was not even going to try. I figured for me it was all or nothing. Then I had some major upheavals in my life and I guess I was just ready for big change. Weight loss included. But overall it has been a journey and I have had to start with small things and switch it up when nothing is working anymore.
The first thing I did was get a scale. I also signed up for http://www.calorie-count.com/
I wasn’t using this to count calories but to use the graphing program for my weight itself. Now, I know you hear over and over that you should only weigh yourself once a week but I don’t believe that. I weigh myself every single day at the same time every morning. I get up, use the bathroom, get ready for my shower, and step on the scale. I then add that to my calorie count weight tracker. Doesn’t matter what it is, doesn’t matter if it is bigger or smaller of a number than you want. Just do it. The graph has 2 lines, a blue line for actuals and a green line for over all. I want to see that overall line go down with time. My actuals will fluctuate but the green line goes down regardless. That is what I am looking to have happen and since I am a visual person, this really keeps me motivated. Also, weighing myself every day makes me consciously consider what I am eating during the day.
Now, scale wise, lets talk a bit about “that time of the month” and the week leading up to it. Originally this meant that my weight was going to go up during that time and then drop off afterwards. Now it means that my weight will stay the same, then drop off afterwards. Really, if you use my method, try not to get discouraged during those 2 weeks. Just stay persistent in what is working for you and in a week or 2 it will pay off.
I also cut portion sizes quite a bit. But I did not immediately change my diet. I tried to be a bit more active, but I am a knitter, not a runner! I am a single mother and gym time is not a priority. If I had a membership, I would not use it. I don’t have the time for it, and that is not said as a cop out. Even when I don’t have my daughter I am constantly cleaning the house or getting yard work done. So we have to consider that my exercise. I also moved closer to work so that I could walk while pushing my daughter in the stroller when the weather cooperated. That is a round trip of 3.6 miles and it takes only half an hour there and half an hour back. About the same amount of time it used to take me to commute. (on the other hand, we don’t do it as often as I would like because the weather doesn’t cooperate!) I tried to get out of the house more on the weekends, taking my daughter to the zoo or anything that required more walking than I would normally do.
Next step was a major change in my diet. I cut out the cheese. I am telling you, cheese and potato chips are my biggest downfall. Potato chips were easy because I just completely stopped keeping snacks in the house. But cheese….ah…cheese my favorite….how can I not eat it?!?! It is in everything! I cut out some of the cheese. I decided I didn’t need to eat meat any longer. Please understand this wasn’t a “crunchy” decision. I am not against eating meat. I just wanted to do something to see if it would get me over a plateau. It did. If you really want wonderful, non meat based meals, cook Mediterranean! To replace the cheese I started making my own yogurt out of organic milk. I don’t eat it with fruit and sugar, but I salt it and strain it with cheesecloth and eat it with olive oil and whole wheat flat breads. I switched to whole wheat flour in my cooking and personally I don’t mind it in the least! Banana bread, muffins, it all tastes just as good with whole wheat. Different, but just as good. To keep up on my proteins I eat a lot of beans and nuts. I also, on occasion, eat fish, more often than not, salmon. Eggs on the weekend but I don’t have them that often. I think I ran into an iron issue early on in my attempt to cut out the meats which has lead me to eat oatmeals and whole grain hot cereals on occasion during the week.
After the major diet changes, I started wearing a pedometer. I used my first week as a baseline of how many steps I would take normally and now I try to up it on a regular basis.
Changes since the weight loss and diet change:
I feel fantastic most of the time! I need less sleep at night and feel less tired and run down during the work day. I haven’t been sick and when I do get sick, it doesn’t last long at all. I used to want to learn to run, but when I did, I would just end up with a major asthma attack. So it was never pleasant and I could never do it. 29 pounds lighter, I can run, and do so without an asthma attack, and I can do so without having to work up to it. And it feels good!
My biggest fear:
That this winter will put me back into a rut. I am often feeling needy for comfort foods during the long winter months and so I eat cheese and heavy meals and more and more of it because I just feel cold and tired and hungry all the time. I also fear that this won’t be a long term change, and I want it to be a lifelong commitment.
I think I have pretty much covered it all. I try to buy organic milk products when I can or when they are on sale. They are expensive so often I just don’t buy them at all. I don’t like the thought of hormones and antibiotics in my milk products and this is one case where I do feel that the research has shown that this is not a good thing longterm. Produce, for the most part, you can wash and get rid of any junk on it, but milk and meat isn’t like that. Once again, not a “crunchy” decision, but something I have thought through quite a bit.
As far as my daughter is concerned, I don’t feed her meat at home, but she gets it at school and when she is visiting her father. I feel that is enough and she can learn differently with me.