I moved again at the end of 2008. I didn’t just move a little, I moved cross-country. Job relocation. I knew that this would be a good time to make other changes in my life. I made sure I rented a house close to work so I’d have a short commute (5 minutes) and I joined a gym.
I am at a completely different place in my life than I was 10 years ago. I have a secure, good-paying job that I really like. I have a very supportive boyfriend who loved me fat and loves me medium and will hopefully love me thin. He loves the gym and has been a great motivator for me. This time I decided to do it right. No drastic under-eating. Focus on losing this weight permanently, not quickly. Be consistent. And that is what I have done.
It has been a fascinating experience, especially because I’ve done this all before and I know what happens next. It is somewhat like being able to see into the future. The healthy diet is working great. Slow and steady wins the race, right? Many people want to know how I did it and they seem disappointed to find out that there is No pill, No Diet with a Name, No workout DVD, No book. No easy answer. Nobody wants to hear the truth. I’m sure I will get into this in more detail, but this is it. I made it up based on what I know about nutrition and myself.
This Is My Diet Plan:
1. Eat less, but not too much less. Eat the right amount. The right amount depends on your current weight. At 287 pounds I ate 2000 calories a day. At 222 pounds I am eating around 1300.
2. Eat the right things. Do not eat empty calories. Everything you eat should have nutrition.
3. Do not drink caloric beverages except as a treat. This includes alcohol. Water, club soda, tea and coffee are ideal. No artificial sweeteners.
4. Never drink more than two alcoholic beverages. One is best. Alcohol could lead to bad eating decisions late at night. Alcohol makes me say “Fuck it!” and eat cookies.
5. Exercise with intensity. You should sweat. I always see people at the gym who don’t sweat. If you aren’t out of breath and sweating, you are doing it wrong.
6. You must do strength training and build your muscle.
7. Make small changes, but make them permanently.
8. One step at a time.
9. Do not focus on your daily weight. Weight fluctuates because of water retention and other physiological processes. I only record my lowest weights. The rest is just water! This is the mind game I play.
***These are the most important***
10. Measure and write down everything you eat. The only way to get a handle on the correct portion sizes and your true caloric intake. I use http://www.fatsecret.com to record my calories and weight.
11. Don’t do it all at once. 1-9 are your goals, but just make small steps toward those goals. For example: Give up soda and join a gym. Then give up eating after 9 pm and exercise more. Keep going until you are eating only healthy foods in healthy portions.
12. Love yourself no matter what. You are more than a number on a scale.
I am 66 pounds lighter in one year. I have never eaten less than 1200 calories a day. I go to the gym 4-5 days a week for an hour. I feel great.
My goal is 180 pounds. I have come to realize that 165 was not a healthy weight for me, though I struggle with it. 180 is “Overweight” on the charts. How can this be? When I see a picture of myself at 180, I look good. When I see 165 I’m starting to look scary thin. I don’t really get it and a nagging voice in my head says, “How can I be thin at 165? I am 5’8″ tall.” I do not listen to it.
I just want to be a healthy weight. People tell me to just go by how I feel. Ha! That’s a recipe for disaster. I know myself. I cannot be trusted. I’ve seen so many different bodies in the mirror I no longer know who I see. One thing I know, I will never be thin enough in that mirror. I know this beyond a shadow of a doubt. I could never reach a weight that would satisfy me and it is not a good idea to try. I chose 180 because it is obviously attainable and maintainable.
I know I will always have to pay attention if I don’t want the weight to come back. I will always have to watch myself. I will always have to exercise and watch what I eat. I am trying to develop habits I can permanently keep.