Sunday, April 17, 2011

Peeling off more layers

Today's celebration is for significant weight loss.  I've been on a very strict regimen and it's paying off.   Yes, I've lost weight, a good amount.  But I've also seen real progress in how my clothes fit.  I have two sizes of clothes in my closet and sadly I'm wearing the larger of the two.  But until I started this program, that size was becoming extremely tight and I was in danger of needing yet another size up. I couldn't let that happen.  But after just four weeks of effort, pants that used to pinch at the waist with serious muffin top now sit comfortably and loose at the waist, and thighs no longer look like sausages in them. I tried on the next size down and zipped it up, but still too snug--but we'll get there.  It's nice to see progress not only on the scales but how clothing fits and how I feel.  A big plus is having less pain walking up and down stairs.

The program I follow is self-prescribed and simple:
  • I walk 3+ miles per day, 5 days a week (about an hour).  
  • I limit calories to under 1500 (more like 1200, in fact)
  • I do something nice for myself every day (this is harder than you might think)
  • I log (yes or no) if I engage in any emotional eating

I log everything on a shared spreadsheet where my friend and I exchange comments and encouragement for each other.

Only a few times has the walking been difficult because of weather. But I walk on a flat area that has helped me to build up my stamina and improve my pace.  I use and GPS on my phone to track my walks and prompt me at each half mile I achieve.  Today I walked 4.4 miles.  When I walk in the morning, my energy is up and I can last longer.  At the end of this program I plan to start walking more on the hills, improving my pace, and varying my exercise with bike riding as weather permits.  Minimum an hour a day, whatever the activity.

Limiting calories would be hard except that I am very careful about what I choose to eat right now.  You can eat a lot of vegetables with a very low calorie count.  I add no butter and I limit even olive oil which has 120 calories per tablespoon.  No food is "illegal" but if I want to eat out, I compensate at other meals.  Usually I'll eat half and take the rest home for another meal.  At home sandwiches are one slice of bread instead of two.   I use light soy milk on dry cereal instead of regular milk.  Many dinners are nothing but veggies.  I bought a little notebook that is just for tracking food and calories--each day starts on a new page.  I've had only a couple of days where I exceeded my goal, only as a result of social eating.  But I have no guilt for that as I also need to be with friends and sometimes that involves food.  But one thing is for sure: if I'm going to consume more calories, they'd darn well better be extra delicious!  The key to success is planning ahead what I will eat and having low calorie snacks on hand for when I really feel the need.

I've wanted to track the emotional eating issue to see if my state of mind affects how I eat.  I think I've been so successful at keeping a positive viewpoint, that I have rarely had episodes I would call emotional eating.  And even then, I'll just have a fruit or graham cracker and stay within allowed calories.  But as they say, nothing succeeds like success.  The more I lose, the more motivated I am to stick with it.

Our challenge ends in two more weeks, but I am going to continue my program for longer and continue tracking.  Even though I've lost quite a bit, I still have a long ways to go to reach my ideal weight.  Incidentally, weight goals are not in my program.  I do weigh, but I don't have a target for each week.  I know if I follow the plan, the pounds will come off, and they do.

Continuing to emerge.


Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

Congrats. Weight loss is not as easy as weight gain unfortunately. And especially as we age. And you lost this in the hardest months. Our bodies want to put it on winters.

Emotional eating has been a real problem for me this winter. Maybe I will try the journal trick for that. Thanks for the tip.

Becky Stauffer said...

For me, the success of the notebook is simplicity--keeping it small and limited to just a tally of food and calories--no commentary. It has made it easy and convenient to keep track throughout the day. My commentary is added to the shared spreadsheet where we log our results at the end of each day. There we are positive and supportive yet honest. The danger I found in personal journaling is becoming too analytical and self-critical. Sometimes it's good to just record the facts.

Nicholas V. said...

Well done, Becky! It's amazing how wonderful shedding a few kilos *feels*, as well as looking good, isn't it? The journal is an excellent idea.
I wish you every success with the remainder of the exercise dietary regimen!

Becky Stauffer said...

Thanks so much, Nick. I seem to have lucked into just the right combination of support, eating and exercise plans that work for me. How right you are the best part is how much better you feel and how much easier everything seems to be without that extra weight.

Catfish Tales said...

Cool, Becky! I like your healthy eating and exercise. I'll bet you feel a lot better too. HUGS

Becky Stauffer said...

Feeling SOOO much better, Shers. Stronger, more energy, sleeping better. By now the routine has gotten much easier and I know I can stick with it and achieve my goals. The encouragement and support of friends helps enormously!

troutbirder said...

It's great to read your doing good and feeling good about yourself. Way to go Becky. :)