Friday, August 26, 2011

How I lost weight and kept it off. Part 1 of 2

Shedding the pounds

As some of you know I lost 50 lbs, or 32% of my body weight.  Losing weight was not easy but keeping it off is a piece of cake!  My highest weight was 155 lbs.  I dont even think I have any pictures from this time in my life.  I got down to 104 lbs at my lowest weight, but I weigh a steady 108lbs , in the morning, after going to the bathroom, of course.  Losing weight is different for everyone and I dont think there is one program or routine that can work for every person.  However, I can share what worked for me in the past and what works for me now.

But first, what does losing weight have to do with my hip?  Imagine carrying around a backpack with 50 lbs of weight in it all the time.  Your body would not like that and you would probably be in a lot of pain and very tired.  My hip cannot support an extra 10 lbs of weight.  It can not even support me now as it is.

I struggled with my weight for a long time.  I am going to be honest, I didnt always use the most healthy means to lose weight. (Clears throat, 2 caffeine loaded lo-carb monsters per day). Now I know how important it is to treat your body like it is a temple.  It is the only one you got.  Let's get started;  I am ready to share my weight loss secrets with the world.

Step 1 Whole Foods
Cut out all foods that contain either high fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated oils These are highly processed ingredients. I wont get into the science of it, but it is interesting if you want to look that up yourself.  If you don't purchase foods with these ingredients you are eliminating a lot of processed foods from your diet and incorporating more whole foods into your diet.  You dont even have to change what you are eating.  For example Breyers makes an all natural ice cream so you should opt for Breyers over Dreyers ice cream.  Don't confuse the two.  Yoplait yogurt adds high fructose corn syrup to their product, while other brands, like brown cow, are made from whole ingredients.  Just read the ingredients.  It is pretty easy and you can still eat whatever you want.

One of my favorite yogurts

My favorite ice cream
Step 2 Portion Control
After a month of eating unprocessed foods now we are going to address portion size.  To this day I still eat out of small bowls and off of small plates.  This is so that you are actually eating a portion size.  Studies show that eating from smaller plates and bowls will reduce the amount of calories you consume.  So for now on, eat from small, child size bowls and small plates.  If you want seconds that is okay, you can always get another bowl.  You can get another eight bowls if you want.  A diet is not about deprivation.  It is a healthy way of living that you will need to maintain for the rest of your life.  This is just to make you aware of what a portion size is and how much you are eating.
about a serving size of soup

Step 3 Exercise
When people think of exercise, they think of going to the gym and running on the treadmill.  Exercise does not have to be that way, unless you enjoy that.  Exercise is just moving your body.  It could be cleaning your house, gardening, volunteering at your local food bank, playing a game of ping pong, going for a walk on the beach, chasing a 3 year old around, playing with your dog, going shopping.  The possibilities are endless.  Just move.  Personally, I am very limited with what kind of activity I can do.  Therefore, I go swimming and do low impact exercises on the floor in front of the television.  I can exercise all day if you put a tv in front of me.  Also, it is important to add resistance to your routine to help build and maintain strong bones.  The bottom line is exercise should be something you enjoy doing. 

Step 4 Incorporating fruits and veggies

You can never have enough fruits and vegetables.  Well, you can, but it is hard to overdose on broccoli.  Whatever your lifestyle is like, you must incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet.  This can be a difficult step because you really have to change your lifestyle to accommodate fruits and vegetables, but still, so far, we are not depriving ourselves of anything.  Gavin and I like to make fruit smoothies in the morning.  For dinner, I steam frozen vegtables that I buy in bulk from Costco.  It takes only a few minutes to steam vegetables and it makes a delicious addition to our main course.  Maybe your lifestyle calls for a fresh strawberry daiquiri every morning, and a fresh tomato cesar in the evening. 

Step 5  Getting rid of the junk

This is for sure the most difficult step for people and that is why we saved it for last.  Now we have to get rid of all the junk we are eating.  You do need to cut calories to lose weight.  But don't worry it is only temporary.  We can incorporate the junk back in after we have lost the weight and have a healthier attitude and lifestyle all around.  By now we are not eating all that much junk because remember in step one, we are only eating whole foods now.  But I know, even soda comes in all natural varieties.  So now lets get rid of the chips, the cookies, cheeseburgers, french fries and candy bars.  This is not about deprivation; don't worry you wont go hungry.  This junk food is going to be replaced with healthier options.  Instead of a cookie when you are craving a sweet carb, you can eat a piece of toast with Nutella on it.  Instead of a McDonalds cheeseburger, you can make your own cheeseburger at home, with a whole wheat bun, and lean ground turkey.  Instead of deep fried french fries, have a baked potato.  Replace junky snacks, like chips, with a healthy snack, like yogurt, or a cup of blueberries.  Make it a snack you like though, don't eat anything you dont enjoy eating, just because it is suppose to be healthy. There are so many healthy food options out there, there is something for everyone.  Every type of lifestyle can maintain a healthy diet.

Oh, I forgot to mention.  Replace ALL fruit juices with water.  Water is your best friend now.  Fruit juices are usually loaded with sugar and lacking a lot of nutrients that a whole fruit has.  The only exception to this is if you are making your own juice from scratch.  If you are willing to go through all that work for a glass of homemade fruit juice, you deserve it. 

Now say you are super hungry and the last and only food item on the planet is a piece of pizza.  You know you are suppose to eliminate the junk but remember that it is better to feed and nourish your body than to starve it.  If pizza is really the last thing on earth, then eat the pizza.   Losing weight is a slow process, and changing your old habits can be difficult. That is why it is important to take it slow and relax.  Have fun with your lifestyle change and enjoy it.  You are doing something great for your body. 

And I will share some before and after pics.  These are not my highest weight.


And I know the only way to get you to read my blog is to have a cute cat picture. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your story Angela! I had no idea you lost so much! You're amazing, very inspiring post indeed!