Weight Loss is Humbling

weight scale red apple and measuring tape

What I find fascinating is how quickly the body gets used to something. When I took a break from calorie counting and tracking during September I was definitely eating more food than normal and not paying attention to portion sizes. While I wasn’t bingeing, I certainly wasn’t moderating anything. The scale reflected that when we got back from our honeymoon.

When we got back I weighed in and immediately got back to tracking my calories and getting back to my normal workout routine (fitness 5 days a week with 2 rest days). I wasn’t beating myself up over gaining some weight because I needed the break. While my healthy lifestyle is definitely my “norm” and it’s comfortable and usually fairly easy to maintain, people need a break once in awhile.

So back to the beginning of this post…my body got used to eating more. When I got back into calorie counting my body was yelling at me. “I’M HUNGRY!!!! FEED ME!!!!” It a feeling I hadn’t really experienced in awhile because I’d been so used to what I was doing for 8 years!

That hunger when you first make that adjustment is difficult. I’d forgotten just how difficult. The grumbling of the stomach, the ache, the sadness and frustration in knowing that I couldn’t eat EVERYTHING I wanted…it’s a brutal reality until you get used to it. The hunger goes away after a little bit. I remember now what that feeling was like when I FIRST started to lose my weight. It was a few weeks of insatiable, uncomfortable, almost painful hunger. I was starving. But I got through it. I drank a lot of water (and diet soda) to fill myself up. I tried eating healthy snacks to curb the hunger in between meals.

A few weeks later, my body adjusted. Making an adjustment from eating 5,000+ calories a day to 2,000 is a huge change. Give it time for your body to get used to it. I keep reminding myself of that this time around. Give it time. A few more days and this horrible hunger will subside.

I had one “slip up” when we got back. I was doing pretty well with my calories. I had a few days where I was a little bit over but not by much. The day I had a slip up was a conscious choice, so I don’t know that I can really call it that. I made the choice to splurge. It was our three week anniversary (haha!) and we went out to the movies for a date (we saw Gone Girl, which was great and I had worried they’d ruin the movie because the book was so great) and Michael got popcorn. I wasn’t going to have any but it smelled so good I ended up eating a bunch of it. Sigh.

Then we got dinner at Popeye’s (besides In-n-Out it’s the only fast food I like) because one opened near our place! We had to try it! I didn’t go crazy and wasn’t really over my calories too badly but it certainly wasn’t HEALTHY food!

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We also shared a bottle of champagne left over from the wedding. 😀

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(Dancing in the kitchen!) Movie theater popcorn, fast food and champagne…dinner of champions? Maybe not. It was good though!

Progress?

I was back at the fitness routine and I was also back at the Warrior Room…ouch! After almost a month off from it and three weeks of no weight lifting, I hurt pretty badly after that. Ouch ouch. But I’m back…and going consistently twice a week to the WR.

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I tracked my calories–every bite, nibble, snack, everything–and got back to the gym. I didn’t weigh myself again for about three weeks. I wanted to give it a little time to kick in and I also knew that I was nearing the time of the month where I’d “gain” several pounds due to PMS bloat. I didn’t need to see that on the scale. Sadly, I did weigh in and see that the original number on the scale hadn’t accurately reflected the honeymoon weight. I should have taken in to account that weight gain often shows up on the scale the FOLLOWING week.

It was discouraging. I had more weight to lose than I originally thought. It was frustrating and deflating and definitely humbling. I’d been maintaining my weight for so long, I forgot just how hard it is to lose weight. It was time to get even more serious. So this is what I’m doing now:

Measuring my portions (just eye-balling it doesn’t work when you need to LOSE)
Trying to create a calorie deficit every day 
Eating more whole foods (lots of fruits and veggies)

And I’m going back to weighing myself once a week. I was discouraged to see a GAIN after getting back on track. Clearly I’d gained more than I thought I had. I’m humbled and ready to take this seriously.

Stay tuned.

5 Reasons to Lose Weight

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There are a million reasons to lose weight. It can be health related, vanity related, or just a self-improvement challenge. I have a friend who struggles with the motivation to lose weight. One of the things I suggested she try was to try and lose weight for her kids. I asked, don’t you want to be live a long life to see them grow up and become amazing people?

Whatever the reason, find one that resonates with you. Turn it into your mantra to keep you going on days when the struggle with the scale is so frustrating you want to give up. The point is to find a reason that really speaks to you. Write it down, post it somewhere you can see if every day.

1. For better health.

This is obviously a no-brainer. We all want to be in better health! Losing even 10 pounds can make a big difference with a lot of issues.

When I was 250+ pounds my doctor wanted to put me on blood pressure medication because it was so high I had dizzy spells. I’d have moments where my vision would black out and it felt like my heart was racing. It was not a good feeling. Losing 20 pounds lowered my blood pressure to a more normal level. The more weight I lost, the better it got. Now when I go to the doctor my heart rate is somewhere around 110/65.

Another medical issue I had was that I was developing diabetes. Becoming pre-diabetic was the tipping point for me. I was terrified of becoming diabetic and having to give myself insulin injections. Weight loss cured me of diabetes. My friend Star has struggled with her diabetes for years. She’s been losing weight and she recently went vegan and that put her blood sugar at a normal level. She’s no longer on diabetes medication!

Something simple that losing weight fixes pretty quickly: body aches and pains. I wonder how much that extra weight put strain on my joints.  I was only in my mid-20’s and yet I hobbled around with stabbing pain in my hips, knees and back. I had chronic pain in my ankle after I had surgery on it to repair the ligament. The more weight I lost and the more fit I got, the less my ankle hurt. I’d had weak ankles my entire life, which lead to many sprains and strains. I attribute my super strong ankles to swimming and running. Both of those activities strengthened my ankles and I no longer roll my ankles.

Losing weight and getting healthy can also reduce doctor visits. I used to get sick ALL THE TIME. I always seemed to have a cold, then bronchitis, then pneumonia. I just had a crappy immune system. Becoming more fit knocked that chronic illness down to only once or twice a year.

2. Your world will open up to new experiences and challenges.

I have done so many cool things since losing 110 pounds! I am now fit and active and I want to DO THINGS instead of just sit on my couch eating ice cream. My lifestyle changed drastically as I lost my weight. I became active and rarely have time to just sit on the couch.

I biked 55 miles to the Oregon Coast in Reach The Beach: Recap 1,Recap 2Recap 3 with my now fiance Michael. It was such a cool experience that we could accomplish together. We both got the “bug” and went on to bike The Portland Century: Part 1Part 2The EndRecovery (75 miles) and then the Peach of a Century Part 1Peach of a Century Part 2.

I started running and ran a 5k, an 8k and Hood to CoastLeg 12Leg 24Leg 36Crossing the Finish Line , Good Luck Lisa!  Having those experiences made me stronger as a person physically and mentally. I got to see what I was made of, how I dealt with challenges and difficulties. I got to feel ACCOMPLISHED when I finished! Crossing a finish line, no matter what your speed or pace, feels AMAZING.

If it doesn’t challenge you, what is the point? Challenges change you.

3. Losing weight and maintaining a fitness routine can help depression.

I can attest to this! So many times in the last few years I’ve turned to fitness to boost my mood. All those people that boast about the runner’s high? It’s valid. Exercise most certainly boosts your mood. I use exercise as a stress reliever. I use exercise to battle seasonal depression that sets in every winter. It really does help me.

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Getting to maintenance mode and changing my weigh-in schedule to once a month changed my outlook. I no longer felt dread every single week, wondering what the scale would say. It would effect my mood in such a negative way. It wasn’t healthy! Losing the weight and keeping it off and seeing a consistent number on the scale makes me feel so much happier!

4. To look and feel attractive/sexy.

Don’t dismiss the huge motivating factor that vanity has. There is no shame in wanting to lose weight to fit into a particular dress or look great for an upcoming event!

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After years and years of low self-esteem, telling myself I was fat and ugly and no one would ever love me, I finally LOVE MYSELF. I love how strong I’ve become. I love that I can lift weights and swim fast. I love that I can fit into a size 4 jeans and that I can FINALLY wear cute clothes! No more baggy crappy clothes that were unflattering and ugly. I can wear sexy dresses and short skirts to show off those legs I worked hard to get!

5. More energy.

I have so much energy now! I used to feel lethargic and tired all the time. Now I can barely sit still. When I walk, I walk fast–to the point that I’m almost running. I just don’t feel run down all the time. It’s nice to feel ALIVE. 🙂

Hopefully I’ve inspired you to find your own motivating reasons.

What’s your motivating reason?