Monday, October 24, 2011

DIY Body Makeover (aka Lifestyle Changes)

A long time ago, in high school and even all the way throughout college I weighed, well, not very much. I was a size 2, and I wasn't even trying (yes, I was that girl). In college I didn't have a lot of money for food. Oh, I got enough to eat, but I weighed my options carefully at the grocery store (imagine a girl standing in the produce department trying to decide if she should have potatoes or carrots this get it). I was also pretty active in college. I hated team sports, but I loved walking, hiking, and biking.

Now, four years out of college, this is me...about 25 pounds heavier. The truth is, I'm still not huge, just at the very upper end of my healthy weight limit. But I don't like being there.
When I started gaining weight, I commented to someone that maybe I should lose some. The reply was "Losing weight is too hard, just buy new clothes." I believed that person...losing weight did feel too hard. I gained more weight. Finally, at the beginning of the summer I started exercising; I lost a little, but wasn't willing to change my eating habits. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I decided that if I was going to lose weight, I had to make some (gasp!) lifestyle changes. Truthfully it is hard. Really hard. Changing my eating has been way harder than adding exercise. It helps that Maggie has to go for walks every. single. day or she'll go nuts, and in turn drive husband and I nuts. She's my faithful little exercise buddy; we walk and jog for anywhere from a half an hour to an hour per day. It's good for both of us!
Although I've changed my eating habits (fewer simple carbs, less refined sugar, no eating after 8:00pm, better portion moderation), I'm not counting calories. I refuse. It's just too much brain damage for a lifestyle change. Sometimes I look to see how many calories something has in order to decide whether or not it's worth putting in my mouth. But I don't intend to count calories for the rest of my life. So this might be the slow way of doing things, but it's the right way for me...I think.

Some (most?) days I'm still surprised when my pants don't fit quite like I'd like them too. I have to remind myself that I'm not trying to be a size 2 again. I'm trying to lose about 10 more pounds (I've already lost 4 in about 9 weeks). So, I'm going to start sharing some of my weight loss/ lifestyle changes here. Hope you don't mind.

I've started setting goals for each week. Last week they were "Don't eat after 8pm," and "walk at least 4 1/2hrs." I didn't quite do the first (I did do 5 out of 7 nights, though), but I did walk about 5 1/2 hours.

This weeks goals are, "Play chase in the yard with the dog for at least 10 minutes a day (in addition to walking/jogging)," and jog for good portions of three of this week's exercise sessions.

Oh, I'm also only weighing myself once a week. I'm so much less stressed about my weight if I only see the numbers on the scale once a week, just enough to know how I've progressed.

What about you? Any weight loss, lifestyle change tips for me?


Sommer said...

I've done many many programs over the years. I battle weight issues because I was likely supposed to be about 5'6 but I had cancer as a child and in turn radiation and chemo which left me at an astounding 5'2 lol.

The best thing I have found, it's the simplest to live by and by far the best for your body is to eat CLEAN foods. That means only shop the perimiter of your grocery store. Here I eat when I'm hungry, even if it's 11pm. I eat as much as I want until I'm full. But I 85-90% of the time my diet consists of lean meats, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. I include limited dairy if any at all and absolutely no grains and no refined sugars. The only sugar I get in my diet is honey or fruits. Sometimes agave. I usely mostly coconut products in place of my dairy, cocnut milk, cocnut flower, coconut oil etc...
I cannot tell you how long it's been since I had heart burn, digestional upset of any sort, blood sugar crashes during the day etc... Hope that helps!

Rilla said...

I'm so proud of all the changes you've made. Seriously! The key is to lose the weight slowly, and that's what you've been doing. The studies show that exercise is the best thing for mantaining a healthy weight, so the fact that you are doing that as a central part of your "lifestyle" change is huge. I agree also with the previous comment. Calorie counting doesn't really get you that far, unless you're eating is really off, and then it is a good eye opener. But generally speaking the key is to eat as-close-to-natural foods, and make sure you have a good carb, a protein and a good fat with every meal. Keep up the good work, you've inspired me! I'm trying to improve the quality of the food I eat, and slowly but surely trying to leave dairy :(. Oh, and trying to be better about exercising. Ahh!!! It's one day at time for me..

Mandy said...

Good for you! Slow is best, and lifestyle changes are the way to go. I have experience losing weight because I've lost the same 20 pounds 3 times - ok, well, I'm still finishing the third time. The first time was shortly after I got married. Second time was the last 20 pounds (of 50 I gained!) when I had my first baby. And now the third time is after my second baby. It's not always easy. I don't fight hunger well and sometimes my body tells me I'm hungry when I don't actually need to eat. If I need something sweet, I have a cup of hot chocolate or 1/2 C of frozen yogurt. If I am hungry and don't think I really need food, I munch on a few unsalted almonds. Drinking 8 cups of water/day is really important, and something I don't always manage.

I don't do well exercising any more because 1) 2.5 yr old wants to walk, which does me no aerobic benefit, 2) double stroller is a truck that makes my shoulders ache to try to keep on the gravel road where we live, 3) other double stroller is too big for baby, and 4) haven't attempted biking with 2.5 yr old in trailer and baby on back (they can't ride together in the bike trailer yet cuz she's too little). So I just try to control my food intake for now. And it's slow going - and sometimes I lose ground. :-)

Decor To Adore said...

I too am rowing the same boat. I'm not large by any means but my pants aren't buttoning.

The holidays are a hard time to cutback but I am trying.

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