Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Well, I shamefully have not logged onto SPARKPEOPLE in forever (since January 2011). The excuse: I was too busy. The REAL reason: I was ashamed because here I was setting all of these lofty goals for the new year, then I instead gained a ton of weight. By May, I was at my lifetime high: 301.1 lbs! How could I have let that happen?! I was completely in denial, isolated myself from family and friends. Food was my only comfort and stress reliever, which only made the problem worst.
Well, when I finally weighed myself in May, it was a definite eye-opener! I sucessfully completed my second year of medical school in May (Woo hooo!) and told myself that I cannot continue poisoning myself with foods that are toxic to my body. No longer can I keep waiting for "next year, when I'll be less stressed" to make a change, because that year NEVER comes! Each year becomes more and more stressful, so I simply need to learn how to better handle the stress. So, while some of my friends were telling me, wait till after your boards to start trying to lose weight, I told myself 'No! Enough is enough!" I had decided to start eating less, eating healthier and exercising on a regular basis during one of the most stressful times of med school.
I eat less beef, pork, and even chicken. Instead for protein, I love veggies burgers, turkey, scramble egg whites (w/ steamed spinach, yummy!), and fish....tons of fish, especially salmon and tilapia. I eat tons of fruits and veggies for snacks and desserts (apples, oranges, grapefruit, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, watermelon, strawberries, and cherries). I don't worry about carbs from fruit at all. I also don't count calories anymore (it drives me crazy!). I instead try to listen to my body. I eat slowly and when I sense that I'm full, I put down the fork. I only drink unsweetened tea, coffee, and water. I haven't necessarily cut out any foods. I still eat bread and butter, chocolate, cake, etc...but the only difference is I don't eat them frequently and when I do eat them, it's in much smaller portions. I have, however, completely cut out fast food. The only thing I buy at McDonald's these days is coffee.
Additionally, I take a daily "One-A-Day Women's Multivitamin" and I am FINALLY compliant with my PCOS meds. The only other big change is I walk a lot and go to the gym 2x's a day, no more than 30-40 mins at a time. What has been revolutionary for me, is working out in the "fat burning" zone. Before, I always figured that the harder you workout, the more fat you will burn, the faster you will lose the weight. WRONG! I learned at a certain level of intensity (i.e. 80% of your maximal heart rate), you are mainly strengthening and conditioning your heart muscle, not burning maximal fat.....this is your cardiovascular zone. Instead, I should be working out at a heart rate of 65% of my maximal heart rate, at which your body is optimally mobilizing fat from your adipocytes to be used by your muscles as energy. (BTW, you can calculate your maximal heart rate by: (220-your age in years). Then multiply that number by 0.65 to get the heart rate you should try to maintain during your workout for maximal fat burn. For me, it is (220-28 yrs old) X 0.65= 125 beats/min)
Anyway, that's all to say, that from May 2011 to now (September 2011), WITHOUT a fad diet, starving myself, or working out hours on end at the gym, I have loss 38.7 lbs! I now weigh 262.4 lbs. I still have a long road ahead, but I'm taking it one pound at a time. :) Finally, I have found a plan that I believe I can stick to for the rest of my life.