Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Weight Loss Journey

Losing weight is never an easy thing, and I had failed enough times that another attempt was frightening to me.
But after seeing a picture of myself, taken from a view I could never fully see in a mirror, I was convinced I had to be serious this time.
The view I couldn't see in a mirror.

I didn’t like the way I felt in my body.
I felt like a sausage link that had been stuffed with too much pork. My bent arms and legs ached with the pressure, and I envisioned how a bent sausage link might split under that pressure. I also cringed knowing that my flesh would surrender and stretch to accommodate for my increasing size. I decided I had to do something about my increasing weight.

Getting started.
My weight loss journey officially began on the 27th of December 2012 when I took what would eventually be my "before" pictures. I had reached a weight beyond what I had promised myself I would ever allow, and I was embarrassed, ashamed, and uncomfortable. I had to get the weight off before it caused health issues that might not be easily reversed.

Dec. 27, 2012 - Before

Dec. 27, 2012 - Before
I didn’t just want to drop the extra pounds, I wanted life changing and sustainable results. 
I wanted to learn how to maintain my lower weight on a long-term bases. To maintain my weight meant creating "a new normal" with my eating habits. I knew this creation of "a new normal" couldn’t take place if abnormal undertakings were used and that’s why I didn’t prescribe to many of today’s popular methods for weight loss. I didn’t want to buy another book... take a pill... drink a powdered mix... eat appetite suppressants... join a group... have surgery... restrict myself to certain types or kinds of foods... see a psychiatrist... try hypnoses... or invest my money in any other sort of gimmick, gadget, or program.

I knew I had to patiently wait for results.
Creating "a new normal" wasn’t going to be easy and I had learned that any quick fix plan was the equation for delayed failure. How ones takes off their weight seems to be equivalent to how it returns... "easy go, easy come back on" was my observation, and I couldn’t have that happen again. Taking the weight off in spite of the wait was my new goal.

I had to settled my food issues.
I didn’t even know I had food issues! But here’s the thing, eating is not optional... it’s the what, when, where and how we eat that is optional. Since the what, when, where and how were putting too much weight on me, then I had food issues to settle.
30 lbs. less - July 2013 

30 lbs. less - July 2013

Counting calories worked for me.

When I calculated how many calories I was eating, it shocked me to discover that I was taking in between 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day! That was great... if I ran 10 miles a day, but I didn’t and I had to reduce my calorie intake.

I learned that it takes the reduction of 3,500 calories to lose one pound. I also learned that it’s very important not to go below 1,200 calories per day. When your daily calorie intake is that low, you could be putting your body into a starvation mode. A starvation mode lowers your metabolism and makes weight loss more difficult, not to mention that it’s difficult to receive adequate nutrition when your calorie intake is too low.

I didn’t want to be restricted in any of my food choices.

I gave myself permission to eat anything I wanted. Learning the calorie content of the foods I ate helped me to balance my meals. If I wanted a piece of cake, that was fine; but I would need to plan low calorie meals, for the entire day, to enjoy the calorie blasting sweet treat.

The greatest adjustment I faced was reducing the quantity (amount) of food I enjoyed eating. After eating a meal, have you ever felt unsatisfied by the meal... like you just needed a little more to top-it-off? I realized it had little to do with what I ate, but a lot to do with how much I ate... it was a volume issue, not a food issue. I also knew it was possible for my stomach to naturally shrink in its capacity, and that became my goal, to slowly reduce the volume of food it took for me to feel satisfied.
After taking off 40 lbs. - Sept. 2013

After taking off 40 lbs. - Sept. 2013
The best way for me to battle this volume issue was by drinking water.
Eight glasses of 8 ounces of water... 64 oz. a day was my minimal goal. The best start to accomplishing this minimal goal was for me to stop drinking so much of everything else.

I love hot tea, and I could drink as much as 6 cups a day... that actually added up to more than 60 ounces of tea a day. I also liked drinking a soda or two a day, and that added another 12 to 24 liquid ounces to my day. So, I was already taking in more than enough liquid ounces, I just needed to change what type of liquid I was drinking.

Adjusting to the taste of water is just like adjusting to the taste of anything... give it time and you can adjust. I had adjusted to the flavors of diet sodas and artificial sweeteners, and they really had a horrible taste. I had adjusted to those horrible flavors hoping that it would help me to shed pounds, but the artificial sweeteners were giving me artificial results, and I stopped them years ago. Water has so many health benefits that it’s a shame I didn’t appreciate it much sooner in my life.

I started keeping a daily food journal. 
If you won’t commit to keeping a daily food journal, then it’s doubtful you will be successful at your weight loss.

Yes... I wrote down everything I ate and drank and calculated the calories. It drove me crazy!!! Then my niece told me about My Fitness Pal ( which really made it simple and fun. I was now able to keep my food journal with just a few clicks and all the information was posted in my private profile. I do like this particular program, but there are many free food journals to choose from. The important thing is that you keep a daily food journal even to the point of "forecasting" your meals. Forecasting your meals means that you calculate the calories before you eat.

Aug. 14, 1978

I weighed myself every morning.

Most weight loss programs will tell you not to weigh yourself everyday, but this worked for me. I weighed myself every morning and kept a written weight record in my Bible journal. This was my accountability routine, and I reaped many benefits with this method of accountability.

Success! I reached my goals!

December 27, 2012 - I began my weight loss journey. February 2, 2013 - I had lost a total of 10 lbs.
April 22, 2013 - I had lost a total of 20 lbs.
July 6, 2013 - I had lost a total of 30 lbs.
September 21, 2013 - I had lost a total of 40 lbs.
November 16, 2013 - I reached my wedding weight and had lost a total of 45 lbs.
February 8, 2014 - I had lost a total of 50 lbs.
April 28, 2014 - I had reached my goal of taking off 55 lbs.
September 2, 2014 - I had lost a total of 58.6 lbs.

...and my journey continues, not to lose more weight, but to keep off what I have lost.

If I have made weight loss seem easy, then I must apologize.
There is absolutely nothing easy about losing weight. But it is possible, and I do hope this post has given you something helpful to use in your weight loss journey.

God bless,
Jane Coley
(October 2014)

Questions and comments are welcome. ~ Thank you for reading my post.

58.6 lbs. less and standing by a 50 lbs. bag of rice.

I took off more weight then I can lift!

Before taking off 58.6 lbs.

1 comment:

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