Sunday, June 28, 2015

What I Learned When I Lost

Since March, I've been working on a special project which I'm now ready to reveal in greater detail.

I lost 30 pounds in two months, and am still losing.

No, I am not selling anything, nor do I have a special pill, formula, recipe, or bean. If it turns you off that I don't have a magical answer, then please move on, this post is not for you. I simply want to share a bit about my no-nonsense weight loss journey in hopes that it will inspire others to take control and find a nutrition plan that works for them.

I think diets need to be individually designed so that they are effective, affordable, and sustainable for long term weight loss and management. While I have seen many a friend gravitate from the tired-hungry mama plan over to weight loss drink du jour, what I've witnessed is a lot of initial optimism in the face of a one-size-must-fit-all plan that cannot work for everybody. It doesn't work that way. We're all different. I think that is why it's so hard to lose weight. We try to fit ourselves into a sharply defined box. One size fitting all is a myth in the world of dieting as much as it is in anything else.

Here are three things I did that moved me toward a successful diet:

1) I had blood work done to make sure I was in good, working order. Without going into great detail about my health, my doctor was very supportive of me starting a diet. He's a direct man who doesn't care which diet I did, "Just do something," he said. He also suggested a FitBit, but being someone who is already on their feet for 14 hours a day, I couldn't see where the extra steps were going to come from and I wasn't excited about spending a hundred dollars on something that told me that I take the same amount of steps every day. As it turned out, my instincts were right and it didn't matter. Most importantly, once I was able to see my blood work and check that my thyroid is working correctly, I had no excuses. If I failed, it would be my fault.

2) I created a calorie deficit. I already knew that 3,500 calories = one pound. I also knew that if you multiplied the number you want to see on the scale by ten, and you eat that many calories, that is the number you will weigh. For instance, If you want to weigh 150 pounds, you need to more or less, eat 1,500 calories per day. I used these two formulas in creating a daily meal schedule that fit my lifestyle without feeling like a tremendous sacrifice. For myself, I found that eating a lower calorie breakfast and lunch allowed me to have a normal supper featuring our usual favorites with my family. That has worked well.

3)  I gave myself one day a week to eat whatever I want, and this was important. There's always one day out of the week where it's a party and someone is handing you a cupcake, or you really really REALLY want pizza. So, I put aside one day where that is okay. It's not always the same day, and believe it or not, sometimes I skip it and forget about it! Not to mention, I can't eat nearly as much as I could thirty pounds ago, so that one day is a day of freedom, but not a free for all. 

The last picture I could find of myself pre-diet was from last Thanksgiving. Not a full length shot, but you can see I'm carrying some upper body weight, and my face looks fuller.


 





Here I am today. Excuse the blur, I never take selfies and my hand shakes. Plus, I'm having fit issues with all of my clothing. No surprise there. My old stuff will be coming to a ReUzit shop near you.  

 I'm celebrating summer in my usual way, with my favorite quick and easy Tomato Bruschetta topping. It's been posted before with an inferior picture that doesn't do it justice.

Chop:
 2 cups of tomatoes (cherry tomatoes 
cut into quarters work best!)
1/2 of a medium red onion
2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 T Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
chopped fresh basil
Season with slat, pepper and 
tarragon. 
Don't skip the seasoning!

We eat this as a dip for bread, pita chips, and even as a topping 
on hamburgers. It's very versatile 
and healthy. 
 

24 comments:

  1. So happy for you! Are you going to continue to try to lose weight. I love your combination of dropping excuses and having a sensible diet that works for you.
    Gina

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    1. Hi Gina, thanks! Yes, do I have more weight to lose in order to reach a healthy size. It's coming off more slowly now, and I've had to incorporate some exercise but I feel great and would love to meet my next goal.

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  2. I am with you on a diet that works.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I think things work differently for everyone.

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  3. You look beautiful, Monica!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you Randi, that's so sweet.

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  4. Oh, my gosh!! What a woman! You are my idol! I can't believe how much difference losing the 30 pounds has made in your face! I had never heard this formula for calculating weight-loss calories - very interesting. Way to go!

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    1. I wish it would make a difference in my stomach area. That's next! Thanks!

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  5. Beautiful! Congratulations and keep up the good work!

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    1. Wow Jay, it means so much to get encouragement from you. I know you lost weight, too. Thanks!

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  6. You look lovely. I learned I am diabetic so trying hard to be good and lose weight. I have enough health issues. My diabetes was brought on by a medicine I took some time ago most likely.

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. I'm very sympathetic as I also gained a lot of weight in a short amount of time about ten years ago, and no doctors were even sure why. It's not easy but I hope you can make some small changes that help with your health. I'll cheer you on.

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  7. I don't think you looked over weight before, but you do look great .
    Thanks for sharing your tips.
    Linda

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    1. Linda, if I could have found a fatter picture I would have used it!

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  8. Congratulations! Good for you (and for those who shop at Reuzit!) Sadly, once I hit menopause, the pounds stayed on...However, I've been eating smaller portions (hence fewer calories) and it is working to a degree... but nothing picture worthy! I did manage to go on vacation and after being home for 2 days, found myself weighing less than when I left ... so that is a WIN for me!

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    Replies
    1. Peggy, yes, I have heard that menopause makes a big difference in being able to control your weight. Since I'm not close to that yet, I hope to be getting a head start. Tell your husband you need to go on vacation again...for a month. :)

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  9. Sounds good. I would like to be able to do the same! Keep up the good work! Yes, it's work!!

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    1. I think you did it before, and did even more than what I have accomplished. You could do it!

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  10. You have always been beautiful, but I know the feeling of feeling more fit. Congratulations on your weight loss Monica, great job. God bless ♡

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    1. You too, Shelley, I'm really excited for your success as well!

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  11. That is exciting! Wow! I'd love to lose even half that much. Would you want to share some of your favorite or often-made meals? (if you have some of those..:)) And how did you figure out how many calories are in the food?? Way to go there!:)
    P.s. I tried to comment earlier but had a time with the 'are you a robot or not' thingy! :(

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tina, yes, if there is some interest then perhaps I'll do a follow up post on some of my favorite foods and strategies. Honestly, I kind of tracked the calories by reading nutrition labels, but other things I had to guess. I did stick to something like 200 calories for breakfast (usually yogurt and coffee), 300 for lunch (salad or sandwich), and then whatever I would normally eat for dinner. I'll give more details in a follow up post.

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