I lost 95 pounds from May of 2012 -April of 2013.
The initial weight loss came from diet changes alone so that is what I am going to try and focus on today.
When I decided to undergo my physical transformation the first 30 lbs came off very quickly. A Thirty pound weight loss on an average person is immediately evident. On my obese frame you could hardly notice a difference. I noticed it because I fit into a different size pair of pants. I had been wearing a size 26. I went down to a 24 in about 3 week time frame. This was motivational for me. It helped me to keep going.
I printed out blank calendars and recorded my weight every day. I still have these papers. They help to remind me of how far I have come. Seeing the numbers drop day after day in print and then tallying up the total weight loss at the end of the month helped me stay focused. If I had an off day I would write in the margins what I had done differently. I once gained 7 lbs in one day. No exaggeration. I knew exactly what had caused it (pizza binge) and so I wrote it down. Any gain I highlighted so that I could visually see that my successes were far outweighing my failures.
I watched weight loss transformation shows and bought any magazine that featured before and after weight loss transformation stories. I started cutting out phrases and pictures of success stories I found to be especially motivating. I found the one year weight loss show to be particularly inspiring. I liked the man (forgetting his name) that helped his clients transform over the space of one year and even though it was a bit of a spectacle I found comfort in it. I stopped watching after the contestants all received skin removal surgery and excessive amounts of $ to continue their health journey. Not because they didn’t deserve it but because I wanted it too. The skin removal surgery anyways. I started to feel bitter and I didn’t want to harbor any negative feelings.
I ate breakfast. That was not easy to do. I had never been one to enjoy food in the morning but I forced myself to have something. I ate a snack around 10:00 AM every day. Something light. Apple slices with sun-butter on a rice cake was a favorite.
I ate a semi large lunch every day around 2:00. This was basically my dinner.
I stopped eating after 5:00 every night.
This was controversial and the most difficult piece but I had to do it. I could have the best day ever food wise but I knew all of the damage typically happened after I was home. Either at dinner or just random robot eating of whatever I could find. Forcing myself not to eat after 5 eliminated that problem. I used this time to get out of the house if possible to exercise and if leaving the house wasn’t an option I hit the treadmill while everyone else was eating. After a while I was able to ease back into normal eating patterns but initially I had to change everything that had become a situation in which food =comfort. I didn’t care what others thought because this wasn’t about anyone else.
I wrote down what foods triggered me to binge and completely cut them out of my diet. I learned how to read labels and only ate foods that were basically healthy. I brushed my teeth a lot, chewed a lot of gum and tried to drink a lot of water. That part has always been tricky.
I learned how to tell people no. So many people wanted me to eat and came up with every reason they could to ensure it would happen. The majority of food enablers in my life gave me the most strenuous opposition. People honestly get offended if you refuse their food. The more weight you lose,the harder people will try to get you to eat.
I forced myself to remember that this wasn’t about them.
When I got too depressed for whatever reason I put on that pair of 26 size pants and wore them around the house.
I had days that I deviated from my new strict way of life. I got into funks and the only way out of it was to eat. A lot. Nothing without cheese or chocolate in some form. I embraced this as part of my learning process, and I forgave myself the next day. I didn’t let it depress me into a downward spiral of hatred. I deliberately chose not to go off the rails beyond that one day.
After I lost the first 95 lbs I started slowly adding exercise.
I will save those tips for the next blog.