Sunday, September 29, 2013

So, how did I lose 130 lbs in 14 months?

Well, as I said in my last post, it wasn't by magic, pills, powders or any other trick.  There was no weird grapefruit, tuna, cottage cheese, kale chips, or drink all your food diet plan.  There also wasn't an enormous amount of exercising, though there certainly was some. 

We'll start with how I changed my eating.  When I started, it was just by watching my quantities, drinking a large glass of water with every meal and trying to cut down on "easy" carbs - white potatoes, white bread, pasta, and rice.  That is all I did for the first two weeks.  Then I started looking into calorie content, hidden calories, and which foods offered up the best nutrition for the calories I was eating.  Thankfully, I don't count calories anymore, though I did do a bit of that in the beginning.  I'll get into what I do now, and have done since last Dec. later, but I did want to be honest about the process.

When it looked like all the food changes wasn't going to kill me, and in fact, I felt like I was doing pretty well, I decided to add in a bit of exercise - and I do mean a bit.  I literally spent about 5 minutes doing any move that wasn't something I would ordinarily do.  Nothing much; raising up on my tip-toes 10 times, 10 knee lifts, alternating knees, 10 arm raises, also alternating arms for about 5 minutes.  That's all it took when I first started, but, I didn't stop there.  I gradually increased the time, occasionally adding in an additional moves, like a Charleston type move, until I was consistently doing some kind of additional movement for 20 minutes every day.  I took about a month to get to 20 minutes a day of exercise.  While I was working on that I also purposed to increase my incidental moving during the course of each day.  I would go get something myself instead of asking a kid. I would go get the mail or find reasons to go upstairs.  I also starting parking further away from stores or other businesses.  I found ways to make myself get up and move often throughout the day.  Believe it or not, these incidental movements are very important to overall health.  Lots of little bouts of moving throughout the day can be just as important as a regular workout in keeping your metabolism up.

All of the preceding changes took place over a 6 week period from mid-July to the end of August, 2012.  Up to that point, I had not bothered stepping on a scale, mostly because I didn't want to discourage myself if my weight loss was slow.  I had gotten on a scale shortly before Ri's wedding, so I knew about what I weighed, and I had measured my hips when I was making my dress for her wedding, so I also had at least that measurement to go off of.  By the first Monday in Sept, 2012 I felt I was doing well enough to start keeping track of my weight loss.  I had so much weight to lose I had already decided to break the total amount up into smaller, mini-goals so that I wouldn't be overwhelmed by how much I had to lose altogether.  As I stepped on the scale I was telling myself that my first goal would be to reach 330 lbs., because I had not been that weight consistently since T. had been born.  I was ecstatic when I looked down and the scale already read 330 lbs.  I was instantly motivated to up the ante with regard to my exercise routine and eating habits.  I was less inclined to "cheat" since I was already doing so well, and I began strictly limiting the easy carbs and anything with sugar.

I lost weight pretty quickly for awhile, but part of that was because I was so overweight that I was literally burning calories at twice the rate of a "normal" size person for every single thing I did.  It was faster than Dr's. suggest, but I was eating well, and not strenuously exercising so I wasn't really worried.  It seemed logical that I would lose quickly at that point.  I did track my food intake and exercise for a little while with My Fitness Pal, but thankfully, that's not what I'm doing now.

Although I was happy with with the weight I was losing, I felt that there had to be more to it all, and there had to be an explanation for why I would sometimes see a good amount of weight loss when I felt as though I had not been eating as well, and there would be no weight loss at times that I felt I was being "good" with my eating.   So I started reading more and more about health, and how our bodies utilize nutrients.  About that time one of the ladies at church brought in a copy of the book, Trim Healthy Mama, by Serene Allison, and Pearl Barrett.  After browsing through it, I decided to purchase my own copy.   I got it in November, 2012, and by December, 2012, I was ready to start implementing the Trim Healthy Mama style of eating.  In addition, I also got a copy of the book, Why We Get Fat, and What to Do About It, by Gary Taubes.  While I don't completely agree with his "diet", I found the information in it helpful in further explaining how our bodies process foods and in my opinion, it went along well with the Trim Healthy Mama eating style.

I had lost 50 lbs. from mid-July to November of 2012, and have lost more than 80 lbs. since starting Trim Healthy Mama in December, 2012.  I'll go a bit more into Trim Healthy Mama, and the tweaks I've personally made in my next post.
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