thoughts so far

As of this morning, I’ve lost 15.8 pounds.

I’m still pretty stunned that I’m actually doing this successfully.  A few people have asked what I’ve been doing so for anyone curious, this is basically what it is:

1) Tracking everything I eat on the LoseIt application on my iPod touch.

2) Going for a long walk and/or exercise at the gym every day.

3) Weighing myself every morning.

4) Mostly eating food I bring from home.

That’s basically it.  The program has me eating around net 1500 calories/day.  It counts net calories as calories eaten minus calories burned during exercise (not including the resting metabolic rate).  I usually find it more than enough calories but occasionally (on about 5 days so far) I’ve gone into the “Red Zone” which means having too many calories.  On those days I’ve had to decide whether to stay out of the Red Zone or go ahead and eat something else.  I actively go ahead and chose to eat what I wanted figuring that going 100 calories over on a couple of days is completely worth feeling non-deprived about this “diet.”

I think one of the reasons it’s been easy for me to stay within my calories is that I decided early on to stop buying food on campus–now about 95% of what I eat is food I bring from home.  I go grocery shopping on the weekends, and as soon as I get home, I chop up all of my vegetables so they’re easy to grab.  Then for the whole week, I bring all of my food with me to school.  So as long as I have the willpower to buy healthy food on the weekend, I can pretty much turn my brain off the rest of the week and just grab food from the fridge.  I spend a lot of time on campus so having all those meals in my backpack is really important for me.  I think it’d be WAY harder if I had to have enough willpower to make a healthy choice every time I go to buy a meal.

I’m kind of surprised to discover how much I’m enjoying exercising!  I thought I was going to have to force myself to go to the gym but I find myself actually really looking forward to it!  Or if I can’t make it to the gym or I can’t afford to be very sweaty in the middle of the day I go for a nice long walk.  Very nice.  I think partly it’s because my right knee started hurting a couple of weeks ago which hurt like hell and made it harder for me to be as active as I wanted, so now that it’s doing quite a bit better I feel lucky to be able to move more freely.

I’m also a bit worried that I’m losing the weight too quickly.  I’ve lost almost five pounds each week, which is a lot more than my goal of 1.5 pounds a week.  The worry is, if I lose it too quickly, will I gain it back quickly?  I think in most cases, when people lose weight quickly it’s because they are depriving themselves and so then they can’t (and shouldn’t) maintain those eating and exercise habits long-term, so they gain the weight back.  But I honestly am not having trouble eating around 1500 calories per day and doing some exercise most days.  I think since it’s still a reasonable amount this is sustainable.

I’ve had quite a few people tell me that I look thinner.  Sometimes I don’t see it when I look in the mirror, but I usually do.  I feel like I have more confidence already.  It’s not necessarily that being a bit slimmer makes me more confident; I think it’s that following through on a goal about how I want my body to change makes me feel mentally and physically confident.

Well those are my thoughts so far.  My first goal was to lose 24.6 pounds.  Of that, I’ve lost 15.8.  I have 8.8 pounds to go.  At first my plan was to take a break after I reach my first goal, but there are two problems with that 1) maintaining my weight for a while means upping my calories, but that would feel weird because I feel like I’m eating the perfect amount right now and 2) I am a person who tends to lose motivation if I take a break from something.  So I’m not sure yet.  Soon though I’ll decide what to do, but I’m leaning towards diving right into a new goal of losing more.

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time for some honesty

I’m losing weight. Okay, I said it. On numerous occasions, I’ve tried to lose weight, but always kept it to myself (or at least, never told people except family members). I guess I’ve always been embarrassed by it. I’m not anymore. One of the predictors of successful weight loss and maintenance is social support, so I’m reaching out to my friends and keeping you all in the loop.

Specific goals:

1. In terms of actual weight loss, a few weeks ago I decided to first lose 20 pounds, maintain it for a bit, and then lose more after. I don’t have a specific amount in mind yet but I believe 40 pounds is a good amount. At that point, I’ll decide how I feel and whether I need to lose more (most likely yes).

2. I’m going to be a bridesmaid in a wedding in about 1.5 years. The dress the bridesmaids will be wearing is a dress we all wore several years ago in another wedding, when I weighed less. So I intend to get to a weight where I can fit into it again. (Over Spring Break when I’m back home I’ll try it on to estimate how much that will require.)

3. Not get winded walking upstairs and on hills. Or at least not a disproportionate amount of out-of-breathness.

Things that will make this possible:

1. For the first time in my life, I feel highly motivated to lose weight. This (like many other things) is something you really can’t force someone to do, so it’s important that I finally feel like this is important to me.

2. It’s the beginning of the semester. It’s very hard to schedule exercise and preparing meals into a schedule that’s already set, but since it’s the beginning of the semester, I can make them habits that are just part of my daily/weekly life.

3. A very nice person gave me his old iPod Touch, which gave me access to a handy application called LoseIt application, which keeps track of food and exercise. You can also have it post updates on Facebook or Twitter, which helps for motivation. I’m actually finding tracking all of this stuff fun!

4. I’m losing weight for health, not because I’m unhappy with what I see in the mirror. In the last couple of years, I’ve become very comfortable with myself. I think it’s partly because I’ve been around a lot of body-acceptance discussion, and that really helps! It’s empowering to be comfortable and proud of my body, because that means I know it is strong enough to exercise and get me healthy!

5. I really enjoy healthy food, including vegetables.

6. My parents are supportive and able and willing to pay for healthy food and exercise equipment.

7. I’m not thinking of this as a diet program that I have to do for a certain amount of time and can quit once I lose the weight. I’m just thinking of this as a fundamental life change; I am working on becoming a person who eats right and exercises as part of a daily routine. That helps because this isn’t just something I feel I have to get through; it is just becoming part of who I am.

So that’s the deal. There are obstacles too (the one I’m most afraid of is losing motivation) but I’m not going to focus on that right now.

And on a happy note, as of this morning, I’ve lost 10.2 pounds. And it required no deprivation, hunger, or painful exercise. Just eating reasonable amounts and doing exercises that I quite like anyway. 🙂