Sunday, March 14, 2010

It’s not the weight once lifted and it’s done, but the length…

And I’m not referring to the length of this post (but I could be!) My dad used to say that ALL the time when I was growing up, but in this case it’s perfect for today’s topic. So get ready. This is it! The one and only time I am going to talk about my weight on my blog.

I haven’t talked about it for a few reasons, first of all, losing weight can become so all consuming it might be the ONLY thing I talked about if I let myself, and #2, I am not funny or clever when I talk about it! Kate makes me laugh so hard I CRY when I read her diet posts. Mine would just make you cry. And #3…. well, I was sort of ashamed, or embarrassed maybe. Losing 50 pounds is great, don’t get me wrong, but when you are counting down from high heights, well, it wasn’t something I really wanted to talk about :)

Yeah, 50, FIFTY, fifty, FIVE-ZERO, FIFTY POUNDS!!! Excuse me while I throw myself a little party; “WOOOOOO-HOOOOOOOO!!!!”

I have never lost weight before. Not anything significant anyway, and for the last ten years I’ve been inching my way up the scale, or sitting steady, and I’ve gone to the gym, or gone on a diet for a week here or there, but never in my life have I really given this part of my life any true attention, even after Russell, but suddenly that all had to change. Are you ready for some numbers?

<deep breath… remember… one and only time I have to talk about this>

After selling our home and a tricky move to a temporary condo I was at my highest weight when I got pregnant with Alice, and then found myself at 200 pounds when I was only 7 months along! I wasn’t sad, I was TERRIFIED. Like a wild caged animal, I could not believe I was trapped and about to enter the stage of my pregnancy when you really start to put on the weight! And then a month after that we had to move 1000 miles away from everyone and everything I’ve ever know, under less than desirable circumstances, and I will not lie, it was the hardest, darkest, most important thing that has ever happened to me.

Then I had that baby, and when they put her perfect pink face with slow blinking eyes and scrumptious ruby lips on my chest, it was the moment that made the past turn into just history and the days ahead bearable. I was 220 pounds on that day.

Blur, blur, blur, hours, days, weeks, months, then February 2009 I was able to take my Pink Baby to Utah for her Mothers Blessing surrounded by the women who made me the mother I am, and it was amazing… until I got the pictures back…

…and that was my moment. The moment I guess I had never had all those years I was putting on a little weight. I absolutely did not recognize myself. So I got serious, and I went seriously looking. The first thing I knew for sure was that I had no desire to lose weight quickly. Sure, I wanted to be back in my skinny jeans asap, but more importantly, I vowed I would never ever reach this weight again, and I didn’t want to start anything that I couldn’t do in one form or another for the rest of my life, or that would take weight off so fast that it would be easy for it to all come back. I was watching the Nightly News when they did a 30 second story about how scientist say after years of dieting fads the only thing that consistently helps you lose weight and keep it off is eating less calories. Not when you eat them or what they are made of. And the slower you lose, the more permanent the loss is. That was the gist and I’m sure people would debate it, but it was simple and clear and I liked it.

The next thing I did was pick up the Flat Belly Diet book. It’s FANTASTIC. It’s a diet that is all about eating!! I may have mentioned I have ADD, so I needed to make a change, but I wanted to start the change before I had to learn all about it and this book let me do that. It has something called a four day jump start, it comes with a menu for each day and a grocery list for those four days, so without thinking, I ran to the store, bought everything on the list, and the next day started at the top of the menus. The next four days went right down the list. Except for the dried prunes. Really? Really?! Does ANYBODY like those? Agh…

Those four days are tricky, and they are NOT a detox or a flush, you eat 1200 calories a day, you eat good stuff, but you are definitely on a diet and it is definitely all about breaking bad habits… and then I did the four day jump start one more time. So I did 8 days of jumpstart with the book by my side. And your belly does feel, if not flatter, better right away because this yummy diet avoids anything that can make you feel, well, bloated. I just realized I hate that word, but it sure fits!

This is going to sound dumb, but I had never really paid attention before. I honestly didn’t know a lot about food, calories, good fats and bad fats, good carbs and bad carbs, calories and empty calories. These are all things I had heard of, but over those 8 days (since I was sort of obsessed with food) I got educated. And this book reinforced my own goal of losing weight slowly, changing the way our whole family views food, eating a handful of a monounsaturated fat with EVERY meal (i.e. seeds, nuts, dark chocolate, avacado), and getting my heart rate up everyday.

I did not stick with the flat belly diet after that, because honestly it was too organized for me, and some weeks I would lose 4 pounds and then gain 2, or lose just one, but as long as the charted progress was headed toward the bottom of the mountain then I was happy being the 4th grader with my ski’s in a giant pizza shape all the way down.

Here is what I was doing. And am still doing as a matter of fact:

I can eat anything I want. Anything. And sometimes I do! No forbidden fruit to tempt me. My only hard and fast rule that I have is that when my weight starts to inch up, or I’m stopped for too long, I have to write every calorie on a small whiteboard on the front of my fridge. That’s it, that’s my only rule. Being accountable educated me more than any other thing.

Other things I try and do, Jon went on google maps and helped me trace a walking/hiking path around our area that is exactly 2.5 miles, and when I need a boost I run/walk it everyday until I forget one day and don’t do it again for three weeks :)

On days when I don’t exercise at all it’s nice if I stay under 900 calories. On days that I walk, I try to think about the number 1200.

Some calories leave me feeling more satisfied than others, and certain meals are more important to me than others. Knowing what I am going to have for my late lunch is key for me, it’s the most calories I ever eat in a sitting and I won’t eat it if it’s not something I don’t crave! I can put off the snacking after breakfast (always with whole grain and protein) if I know I am ‘saving’ my calories for something I love for lunch. A couple warm open face turkey sandwiches on sourdough with a handful of dark chocolate almonds and a glass of milk…. MMMM-mmmm! And I always ‘save’ myself 200 calories for after 8pm. I share Jon’s popcorn, or have more dark chocolate treats from Trader Joes. If I don’t do that, 9pm hits and I totally derail and have to write 3000 calories on my whiteboard!

We’ve also picked up some tips from Dr. Oz along the way. We only eat things that are real food. It's wonderful! We et things with butter, sugar, olive oil, 100% fruit juice, no hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, or overly packed with preservatives. Recently we figured out how much money we were spending on meat every week, and using that same amount of money we now buy free range vegetarian fed meat that has never been treated with antibiotics. So we aren’t spending more, we just eat less meat.

Everyday I eat something delicious, I don’t have any empty calorie crap in my house anymore, if I am going to have a treat, I have a TREAT. I do not believe in 100 calorie packs because if you eat the whole box it’s not really going to help you :) Yes, I have done that, and those boxes aren’t cheap!

Not everyday is like all that. As I said, I only do the whiteboard thing when I’m stuck, but I’ve become conscious, and there are days when I kick it up and on the other days I’m just trying to be present when I eat, chose nourishing foods, drink more water and get where I’m going slowly but surely.

And when Jon takes me out, I eat whatever I want! And get dessert. And it feels like more of a celebration, more of an event. I am as excited to eat as be out on a date! We take our time, we chose a good place, and it is special because we don’t do it all the time. The money we have saved since we stopped eating out is great!

When I am out and I do find I need to get something quick to eat I always ask for the nutrition information before ordering. It’s amazing how changing one thing in your order can save you 300-500 calories.

So, last April I was 198lbs and today I am 142lbs. I was wearing size 16 pants on my visit to Utah, and now my 10’s are falling off of me. I don’t even own any 8’s!

I have been losing weight as slowly as I can, and now when I go out and have that meal with Jon, my scale doesn’t even register it, my body is happy and hydrated and nourished, it doesn’t hang on to every calorie for dear life. I would like to lose 15 more pounds, but as I have felt this whole time, my body will do what it needs to do if I give it what it needs.

And if you made it to the end of the extremely long rant, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my girlfriends who let me give them monotonous details about all this crap, my mom for giving me the flat belly diet book, Alice for changing my body when I was pregnant so I haven’t had a kidney stone since she got here, Russell for getting my heart rate up everyday, and JON for telling me that the muffin top is the best part of the muffin, and for only being mildly interested in my weight loss because, as he says, “you always look good to me.”

p.s. eating an entire box of girl scout cookies with Jon doesn’t count, because for every box we eat, we sent two to the troops (hey, getting fat on girl scout cookies is a freedom worth fighting for!)


And if the reading part was just asking too much, may I present my very own Weight Loss Success Pictures (with help from one Russell J, King). Oh, and I don’t really have very many before pictures I'm willing to put here, but you can look up old blog posts if you really want to see the goods. I'll make up for it with a ridiculous amount of after pictures.


0516091026[2]Alissa's_Pink_Party-124 (Large)[3]

and AFTER!!

3 4

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Deanna said...

You look absolutely amazing!! And that adorable little man looks so proud of his mom. Miss you girl.

Aimee said...

Now that is one hot mamma!! Well done, Sis! I need to do some serious work to catch up with you!

Aimee said...

Oh--and I want your boots!

Stefanie said...

You look fantastic!

The Farrell Family said...

Way to go! You look hot! Love the outfit, by the way. :)

Tanya said...

Girl you look FREAKIN HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!! IM SO SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am on my way down too!! next time we come to disneland we will both be lookin hot!!! :) I am down 19 pounds and I started 17 days ago!!!! You go hottie patottie with the naughty body!!!!! :)

Logan & Margaret said...

You are one hot mamma! You look fantastic!

Erin said...

You know, I agree with Jon; You've always looked good. The difference right now is that you are just so RADIANT. That's the change I love! You can totally tell that you feel amazing too. Yay for you!!!

Andrea said...

You look beautiful at any weight, but now you look healthy and energized and young!! I am so proud of all of the hard work you've done, you are an inspiration. And I don't know where another 15 pounds would be able to come off of, you want to keep a few curves!