Sunday, June 14, 2009


I wanted to follow up here on my progress, mostly because I think we all do this: When someone starts to lose (or has just lost) weight -- be it from pregnancy or whatever else -- the thought runs through your mind (or leaves your mouth), "How did you DO it?" Obviously if you have ever struggled with weight loss, you just assume that it isn't possible for you and want to know how everyone else does it. You don't just want to hear "diet and exercise" -- you want SPECIFICS. DETAILS. You're expecting to hear, "I stopped eating sugar altogether" or "I work out at the gym for two hours a day" or "I stopped eating carbs and focus on lean proteins at every meal." And your ever-ready reaction is, "Well, I can't do THAT -- I guess I'll just have to be fat, cuz I'd rather not lose weight than give up sweets -- and I don't have two hours a day to go to the gym -- and I LOVE my carbs and don't even think that cutting them out is healthy." We've all been there -- myself included.

So - since I have full confidence that THIS time, I AM GOING TO SUCCEED (whatever that success might look like by my babies' first birthday or the end of the year) -- I am going to tell you step-by-step what I am "doing" to have success. I hope that this will give you encouragement and teach you that YOU CAN DO IT as well.

So I am just finishing week three of my quest. I'm a little behind because it has been a little discouraging at times and I found myself wondering if I really WAS going to succeed.

Week 1: Weight Loss -- Zero pounds, Zero ounces.
That's right, folks. You can imagine how heart-broken I was. I mean, the first few weeks are supposed to be the easiest and when you lose the most weight. Not me! I guess I already had some healthy practices in place or something because my body didn't change one bit.
What I did:
1) I cut back to the number of calories I found using the Basal Metabolic Rate calculations I posted in an earlier post. I noted EVERY bite I put in my mouth on my little calorie tracking calendar that I wrote about before. If I didn't know the nutrition information, I didn't eat it. PERIOD.
2) I made a rule that I would NOT eat out. The only exception to this is special occasions -- and besides my babies' first birthday, I only have my birthday, July 4, and my sister-in-laws wedding coming up between now and then. So -- special occasions will happen just three times. And I can plan on them and be ready. Other than that, NO eating out. I actually carry a high energy protein bar with me for just those times when I might be out on the run and didn't have time to pack a meal/healthy snacks or might be with my family and didn't have time to pack a meal. Then they can eat out, and I can stick to my goals.
3) I gave myself a free day -- SUNDAY. This is great because not only are my Sunday's really crazy with church and meetings and things but Sunday is a day that I hold sacred. I don't shop on Sunday. So I still have to plan -- to a certain extent -- my splurges. This is PERFECT for me. On the special occasions noted above, I'll just make those days my free day and calorie count on Sunday. This is also really great because it helps me have something to look forward to -- the day that I can eat a large slice of cheese or pizza or lasagna or a large spoonful or two of cookie dough -- WITHOUT the guilt I have felt before when I have set resolutions and FAILED. What happens on Sunday STAYS in Sunday. No guilt trips if I go WAY over the edge.
4) I drank at least 16 ounces of water before I ate ANYTHING. That helped me feel full even when I was struggling those first days of calorie cutting.

Week #2: Total Wight Loss -- 2.6 lbs.
What I did:
1) REJOICED that the scale had MOVED DOWN!!!!
2) After my lack of success the first week, I was filled with so many thoughts about what went wrong, worrying that my body was still so messed up from my pregnancy and dealing with hormone shifts and things that I would NEVER recover, wondering if I was still retaining a lot of water, etc. SO I TURNED MY THOUGHTS AROUND. I reminded myself that weight loss is simple: Calories in has to be less than calories out. I CUT 50 CALORIES A DAY from what I had eaten the previous week.
3) I got 8 hours of sleep TWO DAYS this week -- a new beginning for me in the sleep arena.
4) I exercised THREE DAYS this week. I took my niece on a "jog" around the city park and raced her on one side of the block for the four laps we did around it. I also tried a workout video my sister has and went on a bike ride with my kids behind me in a stroller.

Week #3: Total Weight Loss - 1.4 pounds, 4 pounds since I began
1) I rejoiced again! This weight loss changed the second digit in my weight, which is a number I haven't seen for a while. SO I WAS PRETTY EXCITED!!!!
2) I had sick babies and only got to exercise one day this week. So I need to do better in that arena.
3) I got 8 hours of sleep four days this week. That's pretty good.
4) I ate more veggies -- adding color to everything (tomatoes, green beans, frozen peas, spinach, carrots, whatever). I try to have at least TWO colors in every meal or snack besides breakfast. This also counts with fruit. And I splurged and bought some fresh fruit that I knew I would love, cutting it up and storing it in serving-size ziploc bags in the fridge to encourage me to STAY ON TRACK.

And that brings me to today. So I am going to enjoy this Sunday and making heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies with my niece. I enjoyed the piece of cheesy bread I ate with my daughter earlier (with extra cheese). I am going to enjoy whatever it is we decide to make for dinner WITHOUT worrying about eating JUST ONE PORTION. And I'm going to be more successful next week than I was this week.

The amazing thing is that, even though I write about making cookies and eating cheesey bread and eating a larger portion at dinner, I actually found myself NOT craving sweets, fatty foods, processed foods, etc. this week. I REALLY NOTICED A DIFFERENCE. That's not to say I WON'T eat the chocolate chip cookie dough before we make those heart-shaped cookies for our neighbors. But I am not craving it. And I'd really be okay if we didn't do it. That's a FIRST for me EVER. Not even kidding. And I'm actually STARTING to crave vegetables like you wouldn't believe.

My two-fold focus for week 4: 8 hours of sleep and exercise. Wish me luck!


Darren and Stephanie

Glad things are going well.

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