Monday, July 27, 2009

The not as much of an elephant in the room

I am a chronic oversharer. Obviously. This blog is a place I can talk about most anything on my mind, but certain topics have been off-limits because, well, you're not the boss of me. So there. I have avoided talking about my weight because seriously? It makes me uncomfortable. However, a lot of people ask me how I have lost the weight, and I am no stranger to discomfort.

First, the stats (which face it, is really all you want to know anyway): I have lost 85lbs in about a year and a half. My goal was to lose 50lbs, so I guess that makes me an overachiever.

I had two kids in less than two years. I got fat. I wanted to punch every doctor, author and other persons who breathed air, directly in the face when they told me that breastfeeding would help me to lose weight. Do you want to know why? IT DIDN'T HELP ME LOSE WEIGHT! In fact, I gained weight while breastfeeding. From the moment I gave birth until the moment I stopped breastfeeding, I was starving. Ravenous. And lets face it, brownies taste good. The experience was horrifying. Looking terrible was the least of my worries. I couldn't do the stuff I wanted to do. I couldn't keep my children out of harms way. Everything was hard. It was no way to live.

I don't have any shocking weight loss secrets, and I certainly don't have all the answers. There wasn't any one thing that has helped, rather, it has been a million tiny things that have added up to great results. Don't get too excited, you can find any of these tips in every women's magazine ever written.

How I did it:

  • The mental component: I stopped hating myself. I stopped feeling guilty about overeating. I realized that just because I ate too much on vacation last week doesn't mean that I should overeat every day for the next two weeks. Somewhere I read something that likened this logic to "just because I didn't brush my teeth before bed last night, should I give up and not brush them in the morning?" Yeah, it makes no sense to me either.
  • The task of losing weight was so overwhelming and I didn't know where to start. I approached it like I would any other skill wanted to learn and I researched it. Not so much by reading books, but by watching people who were not fat. What did they do? I found that thin people didn't approach food with emotion or guilt. "I ate too much yesterday. I won't eat so much today." Duh.
  • I stopped drinking soda several times a day. I drink one or two a week.
  • I eat food that I cook myself. I eat whole foods. Virtually no fast food. We stopped eating out all the time. I don't buy many packaged foods. For example: instead of canned chili, I make my own.
  • I try to eliminate high fructose corn syrup, msg, hydrogenated oils, enriched flours and most processed food. They make me hungry. Instead of cheerios, I eat oatmeal. I know what's in it.
  • I try to watch what I eat 85% of the time and then I can eat what I want the rest of the time.
  • I don't drink unless I am going out with friends or at a party.
  • Do you know what it feels like to be full? to be hungry? I had no idea. I learned some about Intuitive Eating. The idea is to eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full. Eat what you want or you will end up overeating. Deprivation leads to binging. This is hard, really hard. But very effective.
  • I eat on small plates, measure food and share with others. Instead of ordering one meal for myself and one for the girls and eat mine plus their leftovers, I order one for the three of us and am surprised that we often still have leftovers.
  • I eat slow. I put down the fork, chew and swallow every bite before loading up the fork again. It used to be that I would shovel it in as fast as I could so that I wouldn't get full before I ate all I wanted to. I was also a crazy person.
  • I don't finish my plate if I'm full. I throw it away.
  • I was satisfied to lose even 1/4 of a lb per week, I didn't want to obsess and try to get it off quick. I learned patience.
  • Notice how I haven't mentioned exercise? Because I can't seem to stick with regimented exercise. Instead of giving up completely, I just do a tiny bit more than I would normally. I park far away from the store. I make extra trips up and down the stairs. I run around with my kids.
See what I mean? boring boring boring. But it has worked. And I am glad. I know how easy it is to gain back and am just trying to take it one day at a time. Wish me luck.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, thats incredible. Good for you.


4:41 PM  
Blogger D. Vaughn said...

Huge congratulations. I echo all you've said (minus the breastfeading bit, as I haven't done that yet). I've lost 35 pounds this year using pretty much the same stuff. How come no one ever taught us that? BIG accomplishment--be very proud of yourself!
Deb, who is a big fan of fiber and puts canned pumpkin in everything

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

I'm so inspired by your weight loss. "Patience" has always been a problem of mine. Congrats!

7:20 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Well that's just really cool! Congratulations! (and the soda tip is a good one, I totally live on soda and it's starting to show)

5:17 PM  
Blogger Scout's Honor said...

Thanks for the tips. I need to start doing this for me and my family. Hating myself is top on the list and really hit home. I've actually said vicious things to myself as I binge eat at night when the kids and husband are in bed. I guess I need to work on that first.

7:00 PM  
Blogger Comfort In The Shade said...

You inspire me Kird. My goal is 70 lbs...starting now. Well done!


3:58 PM  

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