One of the most popular questions that I get asked lately is about how I’ve been losing the weight so far.
***I’m absolutely NO expert in weight loss whatsoever, but I figured I’d share with y’all what has been working for me.***
Here’s some before pictures from late 2011. Facebook doesn’t hide the ugly truth. I was quite obese then (still am now, actually), and I tried REALLY hard not to post pictures on Facebook, but these little gems somehow slipped through the cracks.
I cannot do restrictive diets. Diets that tell me exactly what I can and cannot eat just aren’t for me. I will fail at those diets, and I have come to peace with that. I knew the best way to do this would be a gradual way, so I started calorie counting on MyFitnessPal. The great thing about MyFitnessPal is that you can tell it your weekly weight loss goals (0.5 lbs-2 lbs/week), and it will give you your calorie goal based on that. In the beginning, I told it 1 lb/week, which put me at about 1800-1900 calories/day (this sounds high, but I weighed almost 300 lbs. in the beginning). It wasn’t too bad to reach that goal, and somehow (seriously, not sure how this happened) in the first month, I dropped 10 lbs. It was motivating, for sure!
The next month, I decided to drop down to losing 1.5 lbs/week, which made my calorie count around 1700/day. The 100 calorie drop to me just wasn’t a big deal…this seemed very gradual and doable to me. I still have MyFitnessPal set to losing 1.5 lbs/week presently, but now I’m about 1600 calories. The reason for this is every time you drop 10 lbs., MyFitnessPal prompts you to adjust the calories based on your new weight (it calculates this for you, but you have to OK it).
I love calorie counting. It may not work for everyone, but for me, it’s wonderful. I make mostly healthy choices on my own, but I know if I want pizza or chinese take-out for a meal, it’s totally fine. As long as I have the calories for it. I won’t lose control this way, and I don’t feel deprived at all. Now, sometimes there are meals where I just don’t feel like entering everything. I used to have a splurge meal once/week, but now I’m at about every two weeks. I know some people will diet more strictly than I am, but for me, I’m trying to teach myself how to make this into a lifestyle change. I’m not going to say no to a dinner out with a friend at the tex-mex place with my favorite queso, because I only have 500 calories left for the day. I won’t go on an all-out binge either, but I will eat what I want in smaller portions. Small changes…even if I eat a little over my calories, I’ll accept the small gain and move on.
In the summer of last year, things started to slow down weight loss wise for me, so I decided to start running with the C25K program. I was exercising 3x/week with C25K, and the weight started dropping fairly consistently once I incorporated some form of an exercise program. Then, in January (of this year), my husband and I joined a gym near our house, which has allowed me to add strength training to my exercise program. I try to work out 4-5x/week, where I either do 30 minutes of cardio (usually running) or almost an hour of strength training. I will say that since adding strength training to the routine, my weight is dropping a lot faster than before. I’m seeing 2-3 lb drops/week when I was so used to 1-2 lbs/week.
About 13 months later, I’m feeling like a whole different person. I’m just about halfway done with my weight loss journey, though, so there’s still quite a bit of work ahead for me.
I would like to reiterate that I’m no weight loss expert. I just wanted to share with y’all what has been working for me, since quite a few of you are curious.