For those of you who have known me growing up know that I was not a big kid or teenager. In fact I was skinny. I was always able to eat what I wanted, when I wanted and I didn't gain weight. Most of that is probably because I was so active. I don't know when that changed really. I would say that probably over the last 5 years is when I really started to lose track of my weight. Eating fast food became a bad habit, I learned I loved beer and I just stopped exercising. That is just not a good combo. Fast forward to January 2007 and I was like WHOA, as I weighed myself and realized I was at the highest weight I had ever been. The next morning I woke up and said "enough is enough, I don't want to be fat anymore."
I knew right away I was not going to do any crazy diets because if you ask me I think they are all a load of crap. Even Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig was a turn off for me because I knew if I was determined enough I would lose the weight so why pay them to tell me the things I already know. I also have a very supportive husband who I knew would support me whichever way I decided to go with my weight loss. And so I told him my goals, he helped me set up a food journal on our computer through Excel so I would be able to keep track of all I was eating plus the calories. I just simply started making better choices. I limited my calorie intake to 1200-1500 per day and I lost 9 pounds the first week. And now just over 4 months later I have lost almost 40 pounds. I don't think I look like I have really lost weight but I definitely feel it. Obviously my clothes are fitting a little baggier these days. When I exercise I can go for longer and not get as tired as I used to. Everything is getting easier as each day passes and I feel good.
I guess I am "dieting" on some level. I just don't think of it as a diet. I still eat cake if I want to, or treat myself to a donut or whatever. The only difference now is that I make room for it in my calories each day if I want those things. I don't count fat calories or any of that. I simple count the calories in each serving of what I eat and that's that. I drink a lot of water and I drink diet pop. We have gotten in the habit of buying lots of snacks that I won't feel guilty about eating. Those 100 calorie packs are awesome and they come in all different kinds now. Chips a hoy, Oreo, Cheese Nips, Ritz mix, Chex Mix, Cheetos, Doritos and the list goes on. There are all sorts of low calorie or fat free ice cream bars. Jello.....I LOVE JELLO! A sugar free jello cup is only 10 calories. My new favorite thing to have in the evenings is 2 or 3 of them with a couple tablespoons of low fat cool whip (which was Chris's brilliant idea). YUMMY! Less than 100 calories, I love it. The minute I start denying myself the foods I love I know I will fall right off the wagon. So I make it work for me this way and I am happy with it and I am happy with my weight loss. At the end of each week I send my food journal to my mother in law Linda. It helps knowing someone is reading it. It keeps me accountable and she doesn't hesitate to throw encouragement my way or maybe a little reminder that I fell off the wagon a little on a certain day.
The crazy thing for me was learning how much I use to consume calorie wise without even knowing it. I have never been one to sit down and pig out but man those calories can still add up and you don't even realize. Juice was a killer for me, I used to drink so much apple juice everyday without realizing I was probably consuming 6 or 7 hundred calories in a day from it alone. I still drink it, I just buy the light stuff and I don't drink it the way I used to. The other killer for me was seconds. I got into the habit of if something was good I always had seconds even if I didn't really need it. Now I don't take seconds unless I am truly still hungry which usually I'm not. Having a big bowl of salad with every meal definitely helps that.
As far as exercise goes all the walking I do with dogs is a huge plus for me. I am basically getting paid to exercise. He he! Aside from that I do tae-bo at home, and let me tell you I am so not coordinated enough for it. But I do it anyways and I enjoy it.
There you have it, all my secrets. Which were never secrets, and if they were they certainly aren't now. All this talk of food has my tummy reminding me that its time for lunch.