So, after one month of officially dieting and 11 pounds lighter I finally feel justified in writing this post :)
I recently decided it was time to make a change in my lifestyle. I always been on the heavier side, but ever since getting married and moving out on my own two years ago I've just noticed my weight going up and up. It's just been a constant "wow this the heaviest I've ever been" over...and over...and over again going up and up and up on the scale. I've been so unhappy with certain body features and clothing sizes as of late. I've been unhappy with looking back on pictures where I'm wearing super control-top pantyhose and STILL basically look like I'm pregnant.
So finally after hubby and I booked a vacation to go back to Jamaica this May, I decided I didn't want to worry about looking back on MORE pictures from our fun vacation and not remembering the fun times we had because I'm only able to focus on how chubby I look in the photos. I started a diet.
Part of what gave me the confidence to start this journey is honestly one day just being able to run for 30 minutes straight on the treadmill. I may be big, but I have always exercised at least. Before I started dieting I tried to workout three days a week. I would go to Zumba one day and run on the treadmill two other days. However, my treadmill routine consisted of walking five minutes, running at 5mph for 10 min., walking 5, jogging 5, walking 5, jogging 5, walking 5. Not super intense. One morning though I got to the end of my 10 minutes of jogging and just thought, "this isn't too hard, I guess I can keep going." So I did. I went past the 15 minute mark, 20 minute mark, and ran for 30 minutes straight. I used to be able to do this in high school/early college but not since I've been married. I just felt so empowered and strong like I could really do something.
After my first 30 straight minutes of jogging (I always walk for 5 minutes before/after)
That didn't immediately spark a change though. It's just so easy to fall back into what is comfortable and not push yourself as far as you can go. So it took booking a vacation and wanting to look decent in a bathing suit to push myself to try and go farther. But you know what? Recently I've been able to jog for 45 minutes+ straight with no problems!
Granted, I'm still going at a pretty slow pace (12 minute mile) but just KNOWING that I can go for that 45 minutes has been such a change for me. Next up is working on going a little faster :)
So, exercise has been a big change for me. I'm now working out EVERY DAY instead of 3 times a week. Right now I normally go to a Zumba class at my gym on Monday nights, run on the treadmill Tuesdays, do some type or workout video or Zumba video at home on Wednesdays (more low-key), run on the treadmill Thursdays, get up early and do a Jillian Michaels DVD on Fridays, bust it out at the gym on Saturdays mornings (normally on the elliptical and/or Zumba class), and do something low key around home like go for a long walk or hike outside with hubby on Sundays.
I've been using a Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor to track how many calories I burn during my workouts which has been super helpful because honestly...
My biggest struggle has always been food. And accurately tracking how many calories I burn during workouts has made it easier to calculate how many calories I can eat for the rest of the day. I've been using My Fitness Pal (username is mygirlishwhims if you want to friend me!) to keep me on track which has been SUPER helpful.
Tracking everything I put in my mouth and how many calories it has in it has been very eye opening. Can I just say that alcohol is like the devil??? Seriously. I knew it had calories, but didn't really know how many calories it had before I started tracking. Before my diet I would maybe have a hard cider on Thursdays and a couple of drinks on either Friday or Saturday and the other day a couple more than a couple drinks :) Well NOT SO MUCH any more because I've realized I'd rather eat and feel full than drink 500 calories of wine (even though I love it so much.... *cries*)
Measuring out my wine like a good girl...this Food Scale has been super helpful for counting calories!
I've also made a big adjustment to the types of food I cook for dinner. I think part of the reason my weight has spiraled out of control since I got married is that I've really enjoyed learning how to cook and make really yummy food. Unfortunately, most of the yummy food I was cooking was not very healthy!! So I've committed to cooking more healthy meals. I've made a lot of recipes from Cooking Light and it's been a big eye opener that food can still taste good without tons of cheese or heavy cream or gobs of pasta in it. Portion control has also been a huge thing for me. If a Cooking Light recipe says it makes four servings I now scoop out the four servings (two for me and hubby for dinner, one for a lunch for him the next day, and one for either a second helping for him or another lunch) into separate dishes so I only eat a smaller serving instead of piling it on my plate like I would have before. I really have not felt super hungry since I started this diet, I've just been eating more healthy foods and in more appropriate amounts.
I'm certainly not 100% gong-ho diet all the time though. Normally at least once during the weekend we are out with friends or order take-out for home and I eat pretty bad. BUT, the difference I think now is that I'm doing well the rest of the week that it isn't as big of a deal. Sometimes I'm up on the scale the next day which motivates me to hit it hard at the gym or sometimes I'm even down on the scale the next day which is crazy to me!!!
To be frank I'm pretty proud of dropping these 11 pounds in a month. I have my My Fitness Pal app set to loose 1.5 pounds a week so I have already surpassed that rate for sure. I really have not noticed any difference in how I look or how my clothes are fitting yet, but I'm sure after another 11 pounds gone I will :) I'm sure it's bound to get harder though: today I logged in to my My Fitness Pal account and it congratulated me for losing over 10 pounds and then promptly told me to update my goals and reduced my daily calorie intake goal BOOOO. If I keep this rate up though I'll be down 33 more pounds by the time we go to Jamaica!! Wow that sounds like a lot. I'm not expecting quite that much to be gone by then but it does feel good to have a tangible goal in sight as something to work towards. So onward I go...I'll keep you posted for sure.
I'd love to hear if any of you have had any success with loosing weight or if you have any healthy recipes to share...drop me a note in the comments!!