Tales From the Scale: Celebrating Two Years of Conscious Eating
Welcome to fall, where it feels like winter and we're all starting to drink eggnog.
True story, last night we cracked open our first carton of the fancy stuff.
I share because I care and also because I am celebrating my second year of being conscious of what goes in my mouth.
This was me weighing in at probably 260. My peak of heaviness.
If you are just joining, back in 2017 I weighed in at 231, ready to lose weight. My knees, my back and my stomach hurt. I had mood swings and if I was really honest with myself, the words I quietly said to myself when I looked in the mirror, were not positive.
The goal was to reach 170 and I didn't care how long it took me to get there.
My entire life needed to change so after hitting the Central Washington State Fair and eating everything I could get my hands on, I cut it all off. I made the decision to accept professional help and cut my calorie count from 2,000-plus a day to about 1,200 a day.
No working out, just focusing on hitting the calorie count and making note of how I got there. It was a slow process. Seriously, I lost anywhere from one pound to three a week, but it kept working and I kept going.
I broke down and had a glass of milk a few weeks in, extra calories and I was trying to stay away from dairy for a bit. But I kept going. I enjoyed a s'more and even some bacon, not on my plan, but I kept going.
A few months in I had lost 25 to 30 pounds and I hit a wall. It was time to continue my calorie count of 1,200 but begin adding in duh, duh, duh exercise. It was tough at first. I wanted to eat so much more after a workout, but if I did that, I would lose all the calories I just burned off. Occasionally I went over a bit but mostly I stayed on course and still I tracked it all, even when I knew I was overeating. I was being conscious.
Every week I hit the scale assuming I gained but I didn't. The weight loss slowed again as fat turned into muscle and my body began to adjust to the new lifestyle. I had gotten to the point where I could look at foods and know the calorie count. I planned ahead and brought snacks full of fiber and protein with me if I got into a jam.
I had never experienced hunger that made me dizzy, but now that I had fewer calories to play with, hangry was a real thing.
I truly believe the things that helped me be successful were:
In January/February 2018 I teased my nutritionist about how well I was doing and she reminded me I hadn't met my goal weight. Shall I quote Lizzo, "Truth Hurts" :) But that is why you have your people. They hit you upside the head with real talk when you start leaning one way or the other, so I buckled down and nailed 170, even dipped into 160ish land, which was weird. And for the first time I even thought, holy crap, I feel skinny.
Now that is when the real work comes in because now I can just relax right? Wrong and right. I stopped tracking, but was still mindful of what I was eating. Then I started to push it. I was eating whatever I wanted and not gaining any weight. OMG. I am in a new lane of skinny people. I can eat it all and I won't gain anything, you can do that a little bit. That is why they say treat yourself. You turn it into an everyday thing and you will slowly begin gaining weight and that is exactly what happened.
I stopped going to the gym and I noticed the tight little tummy I was working on began to loosen up but it also went back down after overeating. Fun. :)
My clothes were still fitting and my arms felt a little bigger, but I still wasn't gaining weight. This went on for months and then it started up again. A few pounds here and there. Some of the pounds would fall off. Water weight can be attributed to some of that, but some of it I already knew why. I was overeating. My stomach was beginning to stretch. The food choices I made were how I used to eat. Loads of carbs and very few veggies. Items full of sugar that don't leave you feeling satisfied so you have to eat again and the biggest ones.
Coffees. I was drinking fancy coffees again, sugar-free but it was happening more than three times a week. Sometimes I would go full-on without sugar free and sometimes I would even drink soda. No water, just coffee and soda and after days of this. My skin would feel tight, I was cranky and all I wanted was more caffeine.
Everything in moderation. So enjoy your coffees and your eggnog, but be aware that the calorie count can creep up on you. Maybe switch to a latte or a swig instead of a giant mug or go balls 'cause life is short and sometimes you gotta treat yourself.
I stepped on the scale this morning and am holding at 182.2 pounds. Not too shabby after canning down Thai Fried Rice, a fancy drink and soda.
After two years I have come to the conclusion, that it's more fun to get into better shape in early fall. That way, when we really get into the holidays, I can splurge at the parties and family gatherings, feeling sexy and confident instead of sad and frumpy. You down to join me?
Find me on Facebook Sarah J The DJ.
In the end you only have one life to live. You can lose weight for your partner, your kids or because the Dr. told you too but unless YOU are fully on board and committed. It's easy to fall off and quit. You need to be making the decisions for you. If your partner wants to eat something else. It's ok, this is your journey.
You both will survive if you are at the dinner table eating different meals. Trust me. Once your partner sees how take charge you are being about your health don't be shocked if you start seeing a ton more support.
Our loved ones are our chearleaders but when you see someone fall on their face over and over again sometimes it can be hard to trust that they are on the right path so you gotta let em do them for a bit.
Being open and honest about my weight-loss has been very helpful for me. I know I am not alone and before I made it over the hump, I never thought I would get to wear skinny jeans.
I dreamed of weighing 170 but figured there had to be some kind of magic pill for the skinny girls and it wasn't meant for me so I began sharing on-air. I wrote about my journey. I allowed people to basically join me each week as I worked with my nutritionist.
They got to step on the scale and feel the anxiety, watch the number slowly tick down and then I created a private group on facebook called "Get It Right! Get It Tight!"
This group still exists and we have over 300 active members who are all on their food journeys as well.
Some people might not get your food obsession but at Get It Right! Get It Tight! You can open up about your struggle or your success. Get ideas for new food and work-out ideas and we are even world wide. Members from the UK and New York and our very own certified nutritionist.
It takes a village so if you are wanting to join, find me on Facebook Sarah J The DJ and head to groups. You have to request to join and I have to accept you. VIP status but all free :)
Chill the **** out. That is what I wrote last week because this is a slow process. You didn't gain 30 pounds in one week so you certainly shouldn't be losing it in one week.
Food is so much more to so many people. My husband uses it as fuel. I use it for comfort. Some use to punish themselves and they don't even realize it.
The weird and random relationships we have with food are created when we are young and we carry them into adulthood.
So the first step is acknowledging your habits, your go to's when you are stressed or starving or bored. Accepting those things and then making some positive changes.
Do you sit in front of the tv and snack mindlessly? Slowly switch the snack to something with barely any calories and then make a point not to eat while you are watching tv.
Everyone is different, you have to pick and choose what works for you but overall it's consistency and being conscience of what you are actually doing that make the difference