How I Lost 75 Lbs
My Weightloss Story
In 2007, I was 190 pounds and fed up. At just over 5'2", weighing almost 200 Lbs meant I was a big girl. I had always struggled with my weight, but this was by far the largest I'd ever been, and I couldn't stand it any longer. In a little over a year, I dropped 75 pounds, went from a size 14 to a size 5 and learned a lot of lessons along the way -- all without going on any crazy fad diets. I hope these simple tips help you on your path to a leaner, healthier body!
Walking To Work
My weight-loss journey actually began as an exercise in frugality. I'm not a driver, which means I take the bus a lot of the time. When I moved from Vancouver Island to the coast, I got a job at an art gallery a couple of kilometers from my apartment. I bought a pack of bus tickets, and was shocked to find out it cost almost double what it had on the island! I wasn't making any more money than I had been on the island, my rent was now more, and I was going to pay double for transit? I did it for the first month, but eventually got fed up with paying so much for a five minute trip. So, on one of my days off, I walked up to the gallery, just to see how long it took me. Half an hour. From that day on, I walked to work. After a month, I had lost 10 pounds without changing anything else.
Impressed by this, I started timing myself, trying to shave a minute or two off the previous day's time. Eventually, I was doing it in 13 minutes, less than half my original time, and the weight kept coming off!
Replacing Pop With Water
I'll admit it -- I used to be a soda-junkie. I drank a lot of coffee in the morning (still do; some habits never die!) and Pepsi or Dr. Pepper all afternoon. A couple of 2 liters were always on my grocery shopping list, just as much a necessity as bread or milk.
As I started seeing some weight come off, though, I had to ask myself how to keep improving myself without making any major sacrifices (deprive yourself too much and you will fail -- that's why crash diets never work). I knew I wouldn't give up my coffee and I wasn't ready to break off my love affair with chocolate just yet. Pop had to go. I first replaced it with juice so that I would still get the sweetness but also get vitamins and natural sugars, rather than empty calories. After I got used to not having any pop, I began replacing a lot of the juice with water. Now, I can't even drink a soda -- it's so sweet I feel like my teeth are rotting as I drink it! I still drink a lot of juice and coffee, but my main beverage is water, and I feel so much healthier for it.
Tracking My Foods
As I began taking my weight loss a little more seriously, I decided to start a food journal. At first, I was just going to use it to record what I ate and what my moods were at the time to see if I could find a pattern to my binging. I found I had a hard time maintaining it, though -- I would forget it at home or forget to write in it and ended up with a lot of blank pages. I started looking for online food journals and discovered FitDay. FitDay allows you to enter your food intake, exercise and daily activities and will then calculate how many calories you've eaten versus how many you've burned. It also breaks down your estimated carbs, fat grams, protein, fiber and more, let's you know what you need more/less of and helps you set and meet goals. There is a diary section as well, so you can add your feelings about your journey and how your moods affect your diet. I fell in love with the site, and, once interested, had no trouble maintaining it everyday for over 3 years!
The best part of food tracking is what you learn. Everyone knows that chocolate bar is going to count against you, but I was quite surprised to learn that my biggest detriments were the cream I put in my coffee and the little bit of mayo I liked on my sandwich. Little things we take for granted add up quick, and with a few minor adjustments, we can greatly improve our chances of success.
Listening To My Body
The biggest piece of advice I can give anyone is to listen to your body. You'll notice I didn't offer any numbers on amount of calories you should eat, how many glasses of water you should drink or how long you should exercise. Everyone is different, and we are all at different stages in our healthier lifestyles. Your body knows what it needs, and if you just listen, you'll know what to do. Of course, there are basic rules that apply to us all -- don't eat as much junk, cut out sweets, exercise and eat more fruit and veggies. But, really, I lost 75 pounds because I listened to what my body was telling me. I stop eating when I'm full. I drink water when I'm thirsty. I go for walks and get fresh air. I get enough sleep. It sounds like common sense, and it is. No fad, low-carb, low-calorie, high-protein, right for your blood type diet can compare to listening to your own body and giving it what it needs.
- FitDay - Free Weight Loss and Diet Journal
Track and analyze your nutrition, weight loss, diet and fitness over the web. Its free and private!