How many of you don’t know my story? I took down my before & after page a long time ago, and I just realized that a lot of you never saw it because you are new! I guess it is time to share.
In case you missed the link in my last post, I have put up an Ask Me Anything! tab on FormSpring so you can anonymously ask me anything you want to know. I will slowly be answering as many of your questions as I feel comfortable answering!
The question I have gotten the most in the last 24 hours is some version of “Have you lost weight?” “What did you eat to lose weight?” “How long did it take?”… so here is my story.
Many of you know that I lost someone close to me a few years ago. I was a freshman in college, and was devastated. Without realizing it I started to gain weight. Looking back on it I think it was a combination of eating whatever was put in front of me- blindly (because I couldn’t even taste anything for months)- and probably some form of emotional eating. By the time I started senior year of college, I tipped the scale around 165 lbs. That was fall of 2004.
By summer of 2007 I had lost 10 lbs and was hovering around 155 lbs. It was a slow loss that happened by eating normal meals. Somehow by eating more (and better) and eating regularly I had lost weight. I have always loved exercise and was always active, so for me the key component was what I ate. I met PhillyBoy in June of 2007 and we started dating. My trip to Greece was only a few weeks after we met, and I remember being unhappy in my clothes.
In the fall of 2007 I was 152 lbs and didn’t know what to do to lose more weight. I knew that my body was still not where it wanted to be and I wasn’t sure how to get there.
I googled around and ended up joining calorieking.com in February 2008. Calorie King is a great online tool for tracking calories (it is not free though). From February to May I worked hard to lose weight. I ate net 1200 calories a day (net means that if I burned 300 calories through exercise I would eat 300 more, equaling 1500 calories of food that day), and lost weight. For me it meant I averaged 1600-1800 calories a day, and while I wasn’t constantly hungry, sometimes I thought I was (it was just thirst- I used Kath’s trick of drinking a glass of water first to see if it was hunger or not).
In May 2008, on the day of our engagement, I weighed in at 140 lbs. I had lost 12 lbs in 3 months, for an average of about 1 lb/week. I didn’t think I could continue to lose weight without wanting to overeat a lot etc, so I decided to just try to maintain my weight for 6 months before losing more. Now and then I tried to lose a few lbs but it didn’t really work. I enjoyed eating whatever I wanted, but by August of that year I had lost 2 more lbs and was around 138 lbs.
From the fall of 2008 until our wedding day on July 25, 2009 I maintained my weight within a 4 lb range easily. I exercised and ate well, but enjoyed treats and didn’t care if I missed a workout. My range was 138-142 lbs, and I was very comfortable with my body. I am 5′ 7″, and I felt strong and lean.
Before and after:
Our honeymoon, August 2009:
Then I got married.
(Photo courtesy of LifeFusion Photography)
I never believed my friends when they told me to be careful of gaining weight after our wedding. I should have believed them, because I did. I had been used to eating skimpy dinners (I love big breakfasts and lunches) but all of a sudden I was cooking nice meals for PB, and then eating them too! Even though they were healthy dishes, I just ate too much. Also, I started to work from home. The lack of social interaction led me to sneak into the kitchen a little too much for a bite of chocolate or just a little piece of bread. As of two weeks ago, I had gained real weight. I was PISSED. So for two weeks I have been working on adjusting my diet so that I eat a little less during the day and can enjoy dinner with PhillyBoy at night. The recipes I post here are taken directly from the meals we eat, and I focus on making a healthy dinner every night that PhillyBoy will still enjoy so that we are both satisfied, while not spending too much time in the kitchen. I am back in my comfortable weight range, but I am no longer satisfied.
To me weight is always just a number, and it doesn’t really matter. I am not emotionally affected by what the scale reads, but I know that my weight is a good indicator of change for me. While I am back in my comfort zone, I know that I can be leaner and stronger, which will make me a faster runner & be more comfortable in my clothes.
My weight loss story is not over, but I know I have come so far from who I was 5 years ago. I eat a mostly real food diet. That means old fashioned oats, fresh vegetables, lean protein, seasonal fruits, whole grains, and more. I don’t feel my day is complete without some form of exercise. I always have a lot of energy and a smile on my face, which I contribute to my diet and consistent exercise. I don’t freak out if I eat a delicious, full fat sweet.
I am happy every day.
Thank you for taking the journey into the past with me, and as always, thank you for reading.
Have a happy & healthy day,