Friday, June 12, 2009

My Weight Loss Story...

A bunch of people have been asking me how I have lost the weight that I have lost. Here is some history and my success story:

History:

I have pretty much always been a normal weight (except for a year in high school, but that was because I was transferred to a new school my junior year and was in charge of cooking dinner every night and let’s just say I gained some weight. Thankfully I returned to normal the next year). I remember when I was young girls would come up to me and say “how do you stay so skinny? I’m so jealous.” I had no idea what they were talking about as I had never even thought about weight at that time. I didn’t start “worrying” about it until about the middle of high school.

I say “worry” because again, I never had a weight problem, or anything close to that. But my mind played tricks on me. I always thought I was fat. The summer after my sophomore year in high school? I didn’t eat for 2 months! I’m not kidding…but it was weird…it’s not that I was trying to not eat, I had just convinced myself that eating one salad a day was all I needed and I wasn’t hungry anymore.

In college I felt the pressure even more…all these girls that were so cute and tiny…so John and I worked out all the time. I was healthy…I ate (and drank :) ) whenever I wanted and whatever I wanted, we just worked out a lot (we often reminisce about those days…we miss going to the gym all the time!). I shared my size 0 and size 2 clothes with one of my friends who I thought was so tiny and cute!

I still didn’t feel tiny. I remember going on vacation and thinking I looked so fat in a bathing suit, and now I look back and the pictures and I can’t believe how small I was! I just can’t get over how our minds play tricks on us….

Fast forward lots of years and I get pregnant with Kylie. I weighed 123 lbs. when I have my first doctor’s appointment – I was 6 weeks pregnant and had probably already gained a couple pounds because all I could do was eat! I ended up gaining about 60 lbs. during the pregnancy. Now granted, a lot of that was water because I swelled so very badly, but still, a lot of weight was put on. Thankfully I had an amazing doctor who never said a word about my weight gain. Not one single word!

After I have her I lose most of the weight. Not sure what I got down to, but I know that I was not back in the clothes I wore before pregnant with her. I get pregnant with Josh and I gain 35 – 40 lbs. My doctor actually asked me at one appointment early on when I didn’t gain any weight if I was feeling OK and if I had an appetite…God bless that woman! After I have Joshie I lose most of the weight, and am back into the clothes I was wearing before I was pregnant with him (still not the ones I wore before Kylie).

When I get pregnant with Ryan, I again gain about 40 lbs. I just eat too much :) After I have him I see the initial weight coming off really quickly – I think running around after two other kids definitely contributed to that! I start work back up in January of this year and we’re at our busy time, so my eating is not so healthy. And then at the end of January it hits me…in two months we will be going to Florida and I will be wearing a bathing suit. So I go home and tell John we’re going to the gym! And we do…three times a week. It felt so good!

But the most drastic thing I did was my diet. Now I love food. I’ve always been one who would prefer working out to eating right. But something clicked with me and I decided it was time to change!

What I Did:

Now let me preface this by saying I definitely had an advantage because I have been nursing and my body is automatically burning an extra 500 calories per day. So this definitely happened faster for me than it might for someone not burning those calories. I also want to say that I can’t stand to be hungry. That’s why I always prefer to work out instead of going on a diet…diets don’t work if you’re hungry!

I started what I call “the modified Slim Fast diet.” Basically, for the first time in my life, I was making sure that the calories I put into my body were less than the number I used during the day. I went to a couple of websites and used some calculators to figure that out. What my averages came back saying was that I needed to eat 2,000 calories or less per day to lose weight. I know this seems like a lot, but remember, I am nursing, and I have three active kids, so according to the calculators, I needed 2,500 calories to maintain my weight.

I would have a shake for breakfast (Chocolate Royale…it’s the only flavor I like). 180 calories. I would try to drink this as late in the morning as possible (getting to 10:00 AM was my goal) because then I was less likely to need a snack. The shake really filled me up and offers so many vitamins!

Then I would eat lunch. You know what my lunch was? Soup. Progresso and Campbell’s make a fantastic line of low calorie soups. I would try my best to stay around 100 calories per serving (a can of soup has 2 servings and a lot of the ones I like only have 70 or 80 calories per serving). Let me tell you…a can of soup stuffs me! I felt so full every day, yet I knew that I had at most only had 300 calories for lunch! I would also rotate in some Lean Cuisines, but those had 300+ calories and I was hungry an hour later. But for variety they were great!

So I’m up to 400 – 500 calories so far. I found all the 100 calorie snacks to be my best friends. I could still have Oreos, and chips, and ice cream bars (thank you Skinny Cow!) and I was on a “diet!” My goal each day was to go home to dinner having only consumed a max of 700 calories.

Then it was time for dinner. You know what I ate for dinner? Anything I wanted! That’s right…since I had reserved so many calories during the day, I could go home and cook whatever I wanted to eat. I could go out to eat. I could even *gulp* go to fast food (although you really have to watch those places!). But the thing I noticed was that I was making more health-conscious decisions. I was using ½ and ½ instead of heavy cream. I was using fat free sour cream and 1/3 fat cream cheese – these are all things I had never dreamed of using until now! But my mindset was changing. And the weekends were diet-free. I ate whatever I wanted all weekend (but again, I wasn’t pigging out…I had my goal in mind…I just didn’t count calories…just made smarter eating decisions).

And like I said, we went to the gym religiously for two months. And before I went to Florida I weight myself and I weighed less than I did when I went in for that first appointment with Kylie. In two months I had lost about 20 lbs. I was wearing clothes that I had worn before I had Kylie! I have never felt so good!

Since then we have stopped going to the gym. Right now it’s because it’s summer and we would rather play baseball with Joshie or jump on the trampoline with Kylie. But I have continued with my diet. I have to be careful…people have told me I need to stop losing weight, and 98% of me agrees with them. The other 2% is my warped brain thinking I still need to lose some weight. Thankfully my husband keeps reminding me how good I look, and I can honestly talk to him…my mind is still playing the same tricks on me it did 10 years ago. When I look in the mirror I still see fat, but when I look at a picture of myself I know I look great!

So now I’m working on how much I can eat and maintain. I still have a shake for breakfast most mornings, but sometimes I alternate that with a bowl of cereal. I still try to have soup every day for lunch, but I’m much more open about going out to lunch with friends or running and grabbing something (I was so strict on my soup for those two months). At night I come home and snack a lot more than I used to, and I still cook what I want for dinner. I also find myself running more…not exercises running, but if I am in the backyard and need to get something in the front yard, I run. I don’t hesitate to run upstairs to put stuff away or grab something. At work, I’ve been known to run up and down the 5 flights of stairs in our building to get places.

This isn’t a break-through diet by any means. But like I said, I can’t be hungry, and I finally found a diet that keeps me full! Never once did I think “Oh, I’m hungry, but I can’t eat anything because of my diet.” My brother-in-law did a calorie watching diet for the past few months and lost 30 lbs. He did it same way in that he really watched what he ate during the day, and then came home and was able to eat what he wanted.

I hope this was helpful to some of you. I’m thankful I found something that worked so well for me and that it has become a lifestyle instead of a fad diet. I know that some people have told me that I have an advantage because I work and that when they are at home they eat more…I’m the opposite. When I’m home on the weekends or a day off, I often have to remind myself to eat. But when I’m sitting at a desk all day, I want to eat…all the time!

If any of you have any questions or need some tips, please feel free to ask me…I would love to share my knowledge and help people feel as good as I feel!

I don’t have any good pictures to show how I look. But this picture below is one I looked at and it really hit me that I may need to stop the weight-loss regimen (I'm in the blue).

4 comments:

Sherry said...

Wow you are thin so I have to agree, don't lose any more weight!!
your eating habits are great and you seem to have slipped into that with little effort and it's working, so happy for you but agan, enough weight loss young lady!!!!!!!
Me I eat what I want when I want but am faithful to a 38 minute work out each day w/ the wii fit. It has worked, in a year I have gone from size 14 down to size 4. So for an "old" lady I will take that.
You are so great to share your diet plan and exercise plan and I know it will help tons of people.

Kellie said...

You are thin, my friend!! But, you look amazing!

Thank you for sharing this. My issue is snacking. I KNOW I'm not hungry, but I can't seem to stop stuffing my face. I'm up 15 pounds from October and HATE it. HATE that I gave all my cute summer clothes to my friend; HATE that I have very little to wear; HATE what I see when I look in the mirror.

:)

Amy W said...

I have an issue with my body image as well. I think I am still overweight, yet I am the smallest I have ever been...not something I can blog about, my family would freak.

I think you look great!

Christy said...

Seriously again the same thing with me! I would rather work out than diet, and if I just workout I don't really lose weight. There was a point a few years ago where I really wanted to loose some weight and the only way I was able to do it was to count my calories.

I am getting to the point right now where I am going to have to start counting again. My baby weight has stopped coming off and I have quite a few pounds to go :( It isn't really a bag thing, I just have to stay away from the sweets I seem to crave so much.