55 pounds down, after 2-1/2 years of hard work! August 13, 2013
"What changes can I make that I can live with?" That was the question I asked myself on March 1, 2011. Four months prior to this (11/1/10) I had committed to going to the gym 3 days/week and that was great, but I still wasn't losing any weight. I knew I had to change what I was eating. I had done Weight Watchers in the past (several times) and always lost weight, but gained it back when I realized I could not keep counting points for the rest of my life. But what COULD I keep doing for the rest of my life? That was the question.
A co-worker had lost a lot of weight by eating salads for both lunch and dinner. I loved salads but did not want them twice a day, so I figured that eating them at lunch (with some protein) was an acceptable change I could make.
For dinners, I took the www.choosemyplate.gov idea and adapted it for me. I decided that half my dinner plate would be vegetables and the other half could be whatever my family was eating. That seemed to me like a reasonable change to make. In the past I would have eaten a big plate of pasta, gone back for a second helping, and then taken leftovers for lunch the next day. My new plan allowed for a half-plate of pasta (NO SECONDS) and no leftovers for lunch. I decided that this was a change I could live with.
I knew from past experience that deprivation would not work for me and would ultimately make me angry and return to my old habits. I have continued to have my nightly glass of wine (I'm married to an Italian!) and the occasional sweet treat when I'm really craving it. I never say, "Oh no, I can't have that." I'm convinced that, although this strategy has most definitely slowed my weight loss down, it has also kept me on track and sticking with my program.
I have now made many healthy changes over the past 3+ years, with a weight loss of 50+ pounds and counting. I have never felt better, and feel comfortable that these are now permanent changes I can live with forever. The weight has come off ever so slowly (2 pounds/month on average), but I have decided that this is better than not coming off at all!!
I want to wear a size 8 again. (Met goal)
I want to see the 120's on the scale again. (Met goal, but then re-gained, working on that goal again now)
I want to get into a healthy BMI range. (Met goal, but re-gained, working on that goal again now)
I want to age gracefully with as little pain as possible. I won't be one of those old folks wearing stretch pants on the sofa all day!
I approach each meal with this thought: "What's my vegetable or fruit going to be? What's my protein going to be?" If I'm going to have a carb (pasta, bread, cereal), I try to have it at breakfast or lunch, not at dinner. If I have a dinner time carb, I just try to make it a small amount of a healthy whole-grain carb, such as whole-wheat pasta, quinoa or farro.
I do a 45-60 min. workout at the gym, 5-6 days/week, mixing up what I do there. Always some low impact cardio, plus a free weights strength training routine 2 or 3 days/week.
Live in Maine.
Happily married, with two older boys (20 and 23).
I'm a HUGE Bruce Springsteen fan!
Secrets of Success
| current weight: 142.0