I stepped on the scale today and was pleased as punch to see that I’ve kept of another pound and a half since my last weigh in. Total pounds kept off: 22. Pounds to go: 18 (at least). I’d like to get down to my pre-nursing school/pre-first baby pregnancy weight, which would require a total of 28 more pounds off, but I’ll be very happy to loose the extra 18 I don’t need to be carrying around. I took a break from actively trying to loose weight last October (life was busy and then the holidays rolled around), but I haphazardly kept an eye on what I ate, exercised some and thankfully didn’t gain anything back. Now that the new year is here, and I’m training for my mini, I’m in the right mindset to loose the rest of the weight. I’m not trying to loose it super quickly. I’m trying to loose it in such a way that I’m most likely to keep it off. The plan is for the rest of the weight to be gone by the end of April. That’s when I run/jog/walk/crawl across the Derby city mini finish line. I know I can loose 18 lbs by April 27th. I’d really like to loose 28lbs by April 27th. We’ll see.
So. For those curious souls out there, here’s how I’ve lost over 20 pounds and kept it off.
1. MyFitnessPal. I added this free app to my iPhone at the end of last May. This was probably the single most important tool in helping me to loose weight. Why? Because prior to using MyFitnessPal, I was a little bit ignorant about calories and what an important roll they played in dieting. I’d been trying to already (sorta) and wasn’t having a bit of luck. I was at the heaviest non pregnant weight I’d ever been at. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t like how my clothes looked. I didn’t feel good about myself. I went shopping and tried an adorable little summer dress on and was nearly brought to tears at how bad I looked in it. That’s when I got serious about loosing weight. Enter in MyFitnessPal. You enter your current weight, how many pounds you want to loose all together, and how many pounds per week you want to loose (1/2, 1, 1 1/2 or 2). You also enter how many times per week you will exercise (if you exercise at all) and what type of life style you have (desk job, a job that requires you to be on your feet some, or a job that has you up moving around a lot). Based on all the above info, it calculates how many calories you should have per day. Obviously, when you exercise, you burn calories so you get to eat a little more per day. Your net total needs to be no more than what the app gives you in order for you to loose your weight.
This is how the app worked for me. I was oblivious to how my calories were in various foods. I’d always dieted by doing a low fat diet, and had been successful in the past. I was also exercising 4-5 times a week during that successful period. I didn’t drink sodas at that time. I drink them now for the caffeine. I never once thought about how many calories where in a large McDonald’s Dr. Pepper (my drink of choice when it’s 2 am and I’m already dead tired at work). There are many foods that are low fat but sure as hell aren’t low calorie. So, installed the app and started logging. I was shocked at how quickly calories added up. It didn’t take long for me to start making better choices about what I ate and drank. After two weeks of just counting my calories and staying relatively close to my allotted number, I was down seven pounds. It takes probably 10 minutes total MAXIMUM to log everything. And that’s if you’re not tech savvy.
And here’s what’s really great about just counting calories. I can still have a Gigi’s cupcake (about 800 calories for the whole thing) if I want. I just have to balance that cupcake out by eating lower calorie foods for the rest of the day. I didn’t have to exercise, and I was still dropping unwanted weight. I gained a lot of knowledge about how to eat correctly. Like I said earlier, it’s been several months since I’ve actively dieted. I haven’t counted calories on a daily basis for months. I didn’t feel deprived at all through the holidays and enjoyed many tasty treats. And I didn’t gain a single pound. I know how to choose foods to keep off weight, and I don’t think about it. Again, I DON”T FEEL DEPRIVED. At all. And it hasn’t just worked for me. I found out about the app via coworkers who were successful at loosing weight just because of a free app.
2. Walking and running. I decided last May I was going to start running and was going to start training for the 2012 Derby City Marathon. I had several friends and coworkers who ran last years, and I thought if they could do it, I could. Eventually. I’d never ran more than a mile at this point. So, I started walking 10-15 minutes 3-4 times per week. Then I started run/walking. That then led to my very slow running. To date, I still haven’t gone more than 2.5 miles without stopping to walk because of being sick, having sick kids, working overtime at work, and just being flat out exhausted over the holiday period. I have a long ways to go over the next three months, but I’ll do it.
But you don’t have to run to loose weight. Walk. I was slowish and didn’t walk very far initially. But by the end of the summer, I was pushing two kids in a jogging stroller and logging anywhere between 2-4 miles per day. Then I started running. More pounds came off.
3. Water. Every weight loss reference on the internet talks about the importance of drink H2O. Think about it. Calorie free stuff that helps fill your belly up so you don’t keep eating. Let’s not forget the importance of keeping hydrated either. I increased my water intake and noticed I didn’t have the munchies as often. More weight off.
4. True Lemon. Honestly, all that water got a little dullsville. I’m not a fan of Crystal Lite (too many weird chemicals in there and it always leaves a funky after taste in my mouth). Well, right next to the Crystal Lite is True Lemon. It’s a 100% natural product made from lemons, limes and oranges. Some are zero calories, others, like the lemonade and raspberry lemonade, have a whopping 5 calories. They’re sweetened with stevia, a 100% all natural, zero calorie sweetener (http://www.steviaintheraw.com/). I love the raspberry lemonade. So yummy. And what’s even better, True Lemon is a little cheaper than Crystal Lite (at least at my Kroger). Check it out at http://www.truelemon.com.
5. Having an adequate support system. We all have our off days. Our down in the dump days. I like to eat when for comfort. It helps to have someone to encourage you to make the right choices about food and exercise. I work with an amazing crew of women who noticed and complemented as I shed my weight and went to a smaller size of scrubs. My husband, mom, sister and all of my in laws told me what a great job I was doing. My husband relayed how people he knew had noticed “what and awesome job” I was doing. It makes you feel good to be noticed in a positive way and helps to inspire you to continue to strive towards your goal.
And that’s five things that helped me loose weight and will hopefully continue to help me get down to my 140 lb goal.