Guest Post

Finding My Way

Finding My Way

Guest Post By: Marie

I had pretty much been heavy most of my life. There was a period of time in my life after high school when I dropped 100 lbs and was at a low of 178 lbs, which I sort of hovered around for around five years or so but then was in a car accident and   lost my car and some mobility and it took me out of the gym and then all my old habits came back.  Not only did I gain back the weight, but I gained another 100, which I kept on for over 20 years.

Arthritis and herniated discs had nearly left me crippled, where I was getting epidurals on a regular basis and couldn’t stand for more than 2 minutes at a time, nor walk any great lengths.  My husband didn’t have those ailments, yet his weight was climbing and so was his blood pressure and cholesterol.  It was a deadly combination for a happily married couple.  We laughed everyday, except when we thought of our future together… which seemed to be getting shorter and shorter.


mariebefore

marieafter

We had been on the lookout for a diet that we felt would fit us.  My husband is British and a bit meat and potato kind of eater… he didn’t like to be hungry.  We loved food.  Weight Watchers didn’t work for us, as the foods we ate seemed to be very high in points and so we went through points very quickly and he felt hungry all the time.  So, I stumbled upon the 17 Day Diet and it seemed very well balanced and appealed to us.  We gave it a try and never looked back.  It actually took us away from potatoes, but allowed us unlimited lean proteins and vegetables and just was a perfect combination for us, we were full and satisfied.  Finally, we found something that worked, and the weight just started falling off!

I think losing that weight brought me a confidence in myself that stayed with me throughout my lifetime.  I never let the number on the scale define who I was.  I married, had a child, divorced and even married again.  I’m now happily married, but living in a body that has been worn down by 20 years of carrying huge amounts of weight.  I knew that I needed to take care of that if I wanted to live longer in my happy marriage and enjoy my son and hopefully, future grandchildren.

marie

My husband is down 73 lbs now and I’m down 122 lbs!  

We started our journey in March of 2012 and he is about 25 lbs from his goal and I’m about 90 lbs from mine!  We just know we’ll get there and we feel more confident than ever that we’ll keep the weight off.

This diet has changed how we feel about food and finally… a diet that follows through and actually becomes that LIFESTYLE that every diet promises to be!  We’ve found ours and we are so very happy!

Lisa’s Note: I really appreciated getting Marie’s email about her and her husband’s amazing weight loss. The transformation is very visible! I think her story is relatable because most people feel like Weight Watchers points or counting calories are too restrictive. What works is finding a way to get used to eating the things you love in smaller portions and NOT being hungry all the time!

QUESTION: Have you found something that has worked for you? Share your story!

Maintenance 101: Beware of Food Creep

Maintenance 101: Tips from Lori

 

Hi there! I am Lori from Finding Radiance. I am very honored that Lisa asked me to write a post about my tips for maintenance. I have lost over 100 pounds and kept most of it off for several years now. It has been an up and down journey to keep it off (literally and figuratively). These are some of the things that have helped me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1. Maintenance is not really all that different than losing, you just loosen up and relax a little.

You do have to have some parameters for yourself , however. Give yourself either a weight range or pants size to be in. Use this as the tipping point to go back into losing mode (I just currently went back into this mode). It helps to periodically journal your food to make sure you aren’t going overboard on something. When the gain is happening, it is easy to say “Oh it is just a pound or 2” – but those pounds add up fast if you say that a few times. You want to nip it in the bud before it goes too far.

2. Realize that there is ‘real life’ outside of dieting.

Often times, you see people cocoon themselves in their diet, avoiding eating out, avoiding social occasions or the like because of the fear of how you will eat. You can’t hide forever. That doesn’t mean going back to your old ways, though. If chips and salsa are your downfall, maybe you need to choose a different restaurant that doesn’t offer those. If you tend to eat a lot when you go to a bar because of the drinks, try to stick to seltzer water or alternate every other drink with water to help slow down the drinking and hopefully less eating. If get togethers are an issue – bring foods that you are comfortable with over indulging. And if you do go overboard sometimes – it is not the end of the world. Just practice your good habits the next day without sliding into an overeating cycle.

3. Beware of “food creep”.

This is a term my husband and I like to use. Where you measure out a portion of nuts or a snack, but then reach in the bag and eat some more, but don’t count it. Or measuring out your peanut butter and then licking the spoon of the extra, but still only counting the serving (I know I am not the only one who does this, right?). A scoop of ice cream that is really a scoop and a half, but you tell yourself it is only 1. Walking by the candy dish in the office and snagging a piece or two. On the surface, this really doesn’t seem like a lot of calories, but they add up whether you acknowledge them or not. Sometimes it is just eating out a couple more times a week and not always going for the better choice. This is where the periodic journaling really helps with accountability.

4. Keep activity a strong part of your life.

I don’t think exercise is nearly as important when you are losing as it is to keep the weight off once you have lost it. You can take care of the weight by simple calorie restriction, but maintaining your loss and being fit and healthy requires activity. Find whatever it is you love. Walking, biking, Pilates, Zumba, karate or just extra play time with your family. If you love it, you will do it. Create new traditions with family and friends that involve physical activity. How about taking a walk after Thanksgiving dinner before settling in for football or pie?

I feel the most important thing about maintenance is to not beat yourself up if you gain some weight. It happens to everyone at some point and it certainly does not mean you are a bad person or have no will power. Some people gain a little, some people gain a lot. Life isn’t perfect and neither is maintenance. Just go back to the tools you used to lose weight before, put yourself first and don’t give up.

Lisa’s Note: Thank you so much Lori for sharing your wisdom. There are only a few “maintenance” blogs that I’ve found and Lori’s is one of my favorites. I love how balanced she is with food and fitness. 

QUESTION: Have you experienced “food creep”? How do you avoid it? 

Maintenance 101: How to Eat  *  Maintenance 101: Challenges  *  Five Truths of Maintenance  *  Maintenance 101:  Self- Love  *