Confession time! I’m both embarrassed and proud. I can’t believe I really let that happen to me. I’m embarrassed I let myself gain that weight over the past 8 years. And I’m proud that I finally got rid of it. The 20-pound dumbbell that I have been carrying around is finally gone. And it’s been gone for 3 months (and I pray longer). It’s been hidden in my legs, my back, my arms, my belly, and my face. It’s no longer there. Yes, I have finally lost the 20 pounds that I slowly gained the past 8-10 years. I know, most people would never have thought I had excess weight. But it was more than I wanted. And at this point, because I have noticed such a drastic change, I am determined it will never return (especially since this is now on the internet & social media so people can hold me accountable!).
It’s really just about Pain vs. Pleasure. And it’s not easy. For me, it was all about changing my eating habits. It had nothing to do with exercise. It was just about finally eliminating foods that didn’t serve me well. And now I have to stick with that.
Looking at older photos, I’m disappointed I let myself get that way. I’m a health professional. I know better. I’m ashamed. It was that gradual weight gain, a few pounds here and there. I accepted it as normal. I called it my mommy weight. I became a mom, my stress levels increased, life got busier, it was harder to plan meals, and I started eating “not as ideal” as I normally had. The weight slowly came on. In the past, it was easy to lose weight but as I got older, it was no longer easy. The foods I’ve always eaten just hung around my midline. My metabolism slowed. I’d work hard to lose a few pounds, but as soon as I returned to my old eating habits, the weight would come back. So this time around, I finally chose NOT to return to my old eating habits.
It started several months ago when I had a few positive interactions with friends who all unknowingly inspired me to lose weight, even though the discussion never came up and they have no idea they helped me. A few days later, I went for a run, felt gross and sluggish (again) and decided right then in the middle of my run that I needed to fast. So for three days, I only consumed the lemon/maple syrup/cayenne pepper combination that’s part of the Master Cleanse. After three days, I started to eat just vegetables. And then I added some protein. My cravings disappeared. I was eating less quantity and feeling full. I was only eating vegetables and meat. And I lost weight fast (like about in 3 weeks). And because it was so fast, I noticed pretty drastic changes in a short period of time. I wasn’t sure if it was a fluke and if I’d gain it back. But I made it through Thanksgiving and then Christmas. And I did not eat like crap over the holidays and I did not gain weight.
The biggest most satisfying change for me is how much faster my running is, about 45-90 seconds faster per mile!! No speed work, just less weight to lug around. And if you know me at all, you know how important that is to me. That is my motivation right now, to keep this weight off. I knew the extra weight I had was slowing me down, but I guess I had NO IDEA of how much of a role it played (or was in denial). Needless to say, I am thrilled that I feel good running again.
At this point, I am down about 20 pounds since my weight of the past several years. I am down 25 pounds from my heaviest in 2015 – the year I did three half ironman triathlons!! (so much for exercise to make you thin…it was opposite). I am now back to my weight that I had most of my adult life, my weight from college, my weight from 10 years ago.
My only regret is that two years ago I accepted this weight as my new normal, and I got rid of a bunch of clothes that no longer fit. I now wish I had those clothes back. None of my pants fit me. They are all too big. I am wearing belts now because I need them to hold my pants up, not because they are fashionable. Even my bras are too big.
So what did I do? These are the changes I’ve made in the past 3+ months….and I’m hoping and praying it’s not just a short term thing.
- I’ve given up coffee … almost. I’m down to 1 cup a week, instead of every day. I now drink tea.
- I only eat fresh veggies, meats and fresh fruits, along with some dairy (yogurt, some cheese). I have pretty much given up everything else. There’s been an occasional bite of something else, but that’s it. No breads is the “big” one.
- I meal plan every Sunday or Monday. I make enough vegetables to last a week.
- It’s kind of like Paleo diet, maybe the Whole 30, but nothing official.
- I eat less quantity of food.
- My evening munchies are gone.
- I’m no longer achy walking down the stairs in the morning.
- I no longer have digestive issues.
- I no longer drink ice tea during the day. It’s water only and herbal tea.
- My face doesn’t look puffy in photos.
- My clothes don’t fit, but in a good way.
- My running is faster.
These changes may sound horrible to some, but it’s where I am now, and where I plan to stay. I’m surprised at my discipline and that I’ve been able to say no to those foods, but I have, and hope that it will stay that way.
To sum it up – it’s pain versus pleasure. Before, I had the pleasure of eating those foods vs. the pain of having that extra belly fat, inflammation, digestive irritation and running slow. Now I have the pleasure of running faster, overall healthier skin & digestive tract vs. the pain of not eating those foods. Sure I want some of that “bad” food (I love pizza, shocked that I haven’t had any in months), but for now, the cravings are gone. And I pray it stays this way.
So what about you? Where are you on this? Could you lose a few pounds and be healthier? Do you need to lose a lot of pounds? Do you know how much that extra weight is affecting you (whether it’s 10, 20, 50 pounds or more)? Do you have any idea what that will do to you? Do you know how much better you will feel? How much better you will function? Take it from me – I know. You will be different. If you want to chat about it or have concerns about your health, please let me know.