My Weight Loss Journey Kids watch everything their parents do; so, for a mom, dieting and weight loss is tricky. We want to show our children good diet and exercise habits, but unfortunately, in our culture, thin = beautiful = self worth.
When I was growing up in the 70's, my mom was always dieting. She could never quite lose that last 10 lbs of the weight that she had gained from giving birth to 7 babies. Her exercise consisted of endless housework, gardening and nightly walks. She was not an extreme dieter and even when she was trying her hardest, her diet always included a handful of potato chips and a light beer while watching Primetime TV. But she talked about it constantly and so at a very young age, maybe 9?, I began to diet.
My dieting was crazy - I ate so little that I became light headed and faint. One scrambled egg for breakfast, a bun-less, boiled, hot dog for lunch, and a handful of grapes for snack. (My cooking skills were primitive.) I never drank any water - I was used to the hi-c we had in constant stock in the fridge. Water was just too plain by comparison. By dinner time, I was starving and dehydrated. We had a large family of 8 people and so portions were always small and there were rarely seconds. I took great pleasure in being svelte and when my friends and I would try on each other's pants to see who was the thinnest, I was usually in the top 2. (Yes, we actually did this as a fun party game. Kids are weird.)
Through my teens, twenties and thirties, I maintained a healthy weight that didn't fluctuate much until I became pregnant at age 33. I am petite (just over 5' tall); I put on 35 lbs, which was a lot for my frame. I would close my eyes when stepping on the scale at my OB-GYNs' and ask the nurse not to tell me my weight. If she slipped up and revealed my weight, I would cry. My OB-GYN was a sweet, unhealthy, overweight man in his early 70's who obviously smoked. (I know this because he would always be delayed examining me - a smoking break I presumed. When he finally bustled into the room, I could smell the cold winter air and cigarette smoke on his white doctor's jacket.) He was a sweetheart though and despite my weight gain, he always remarked at how wonderful I looked and how great I was doing on the weight gain front.
I breastfed and exercised and before long, I was back to or near my pre-baby weight. I kept it off until I was 47 when I put on 30 lbs. I was in a new and happy relationship with a person who is 12" taller than me and able to consume at least double the amount of calories. When he suggested going out for a meal and drinks, with appetizers and dessert, I was all for it. Actually, we both put on weight - I started to tell myself the story, that it was okay, that we were happy and fat together. That maybe I was not fat, but voluptuous, and that was OK.
But it wasn't okay. I hated my reflection in the mirror and my fat face in pictures. My normal resting stance became me with my arms crossed just below my breasts, using the ledge of my stomach as an armrest. My clothes no longer fit and I went up a size (or two).
I am going to really vulnerable here and share with you this video to show you just how "voluptuous" I was. This was a video of our Bunk Head Team in 2013 performing our version of the Bella's finale from Pitch Perfect. If I need to point myself out, I am the one making the dreadful mistake of wearing white jeans. The only thing that makes this video ok are the appreciative cheers from the audience of 200 campers and the fact that I had the guts to get up on stage and do it despite my lack of dancing and singing ability. Do not judge!
Everything changed one Sunday morning (unbelievably months after I saw this video I might add!) when I woke up early, poured myself a cup of coffee and turned on the TV. One of my guilty pleasures is starting the day watching the Today Show or Good Morning America - whichever one has the better guests. This particular morning, the guest on the Today Show was a nutritionist. What she said about weight loss made complete common sense, but up until that particular moment, I was not ready to hear it. Simply said, the only way to really lose weight and keep it off was to keep track of calories in and calories out (what you eat and how much you exercise). And most importantly she recommended a phone app to help keep track of your calories - "Lose It". I immediately downloaded this app, added my current weight, my goal weight and my weight loss target date. "Lose It" gave me a daily calorie limit and an organized way to keep track of caloric intake and activity. That February morning was the first day of my weight loss journey.
By October of that year, I had lost 32 lbs and weighed less than I had even on my wedding day which had been my previous low. I was exercising more, eating better and feeling much more healthy. If you haven't tried "Lose It", you should.
About two months ago, I realized that I had gained back 10 of the 30 lbs I had lost. I had stopped using "Lose It" and I was purposefully increasing my protein intake to build muscle while training for a 10 mile race. My clothes still fit but just barely; weight gain is a slippery slope - it was time to go on another diet. Unfortunately, I am 5 years older and my metabolism is slower. (Actually, I am going to stop myself here. It is convenient to blame the inability to lose weight on a slowing metabolism. I think we have trouble losing weight as we age because of bad eating habits that are hard to shake and because of sedentary lifestyles.) For whatever the reason, losing weight was not as easy this time around.
I was already taking Plexus's Triplex to regulate my blood sugar and balance my gut health and "96" to build muscle with great results. I felt stronger, I had more energy, I was running 10 miles, my digestion was improved and most importantly, I felt happier. I knew some people who had lost weight drinking Slim Hunger Control so I decided to try it. I also added a Lean meal replacement shake every day. And I started logging my calories religiously on Lose It.
Within 4 weeks of drinking Slim HC and Lean, I lost 5 lbs. By week 7, I had lost 7 lbs. I drink Slim HC around 4 or 5 o'clock everyday when I am about to head home from work. This is the time of day that I usually start getting hungry and when snacking seems like the answer. Slim HC tides me over until dinner. It is all natural, non-GMO, vegan, and tastes delicious. It contains polydextrose which plumps up your stomach lining, making you feel less hungry. I drink Lean for breakfast (also all natural, non-GMO and vegan). I blend it in a portable shaker bottle and drink it on my 1 1/2 commute to work.
In addition to these products, I cannot recommend the Lose It app enough! Recording my calories daily holds me accountable. I absolutely dread exceeding my calorie intake for the day. When I meet it or come in below, I celebrate this achievement on a daily basis.
Losing weight is hard. Especially at first when you are building new eating habits and eating way below your normal caloric intake. You are hungry literally all time! Lean and Slim HC help me cheat the system. They are both low calorie alternatives to snacks and meals and they taste just sweet enough to satisfy my cravings for sugar.
Losing weight does get easier, especially when you start to see results.
Here are my weight loss tips:
DO NOT WEIGH YOURSELF EVERYDAY. Once a week at the most, every two weeks is preferable - just enough to stay on track and not too much to discourage.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. Water is good for you. It is filling and it keeps you hydrated which makes you feel better.
KEEP TRACK OF CALORIES IN AND CALORIES OUT. Use the Lose It app!
GET A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP. When you are well-rested, you will be less likely to stress overeat.
HAVE LOTS OF SEX. 15 minutes of moderate sex burns 25 calories. That's not a lot, but besides being fun, it does cover my daily calorie count for one regular Slim and one Slim HC.
EXERCISE EVERYDAY. If you don't have time for a regular workout, take a walk. Buy a Fitbit. Keep it charged. Use it.
BUY A MICROWAVE EGG COOKER FROM PAMPERED CHEF. For less than $20, you can have hot, cooked eggs every day in a minute and 20 seconds. Large eggs have 70 calories each and they are packed with protein and are good for your mental health. (Eggs contain fatty acids which are essential for the health of neurotransmitters and hormones in the brain.)
DO NOT DRINK YOUR CALORIES. I love a cocktail but alcoholic beverages tend to be very high in calories. Try a club soda and vodka with a lime/lemon. At 65 calories a drink, you won't murder your diet (though you may want to murder your bartender until you get used to this not-too-tasty drink!) Keep in mind that after the first few sips, when your senses begin to dull, it will taste much better.
SET GOALS FOR YOURSELF AND WRITE THEM DOWN. Long-term but mostly short-term. Realistic and lofty. Meeting realistic daily goals eventually leads to achieving lofty long-term goals. Buy a Daily Planner to record your daily achievements and use it.