How I lost over 50 lbs on Spark.
Thursday, June 09, 2011
So sometimes I go into the message boards and give some encouragement/tips to people who are struggling along their weight loss journey. But not everyone can easily access those message boards, and I think it would benefit myself as well to see how I got this far...especially as I am falling back on some of my tried-and-true tactics to banish fat from the Dani-kingdom once and for all!
So here are some of the things I attribute to currently looking so fiinnnneeeee:
1) Water. I can't stress it enough. I hated the taste of water until recently, but I forced myself to drink it plain. I shot for 10 glasses a day, and both started and ended my day with a nice tall glass of ice water. Diet soda is not your friend, it is that backstabbing bitch that you think is helping you out but is actually sabotaging your efforts. Drink water, it is like the Morgan Freeman of liquids.
2) Letting go. I was a chicken-nugget-a-day type of addict, and my favorite thing in the world was dunking some fried chicken bits into honey mustard with a heaping pile of mashed potatoes loaded with butter and salt. Many a diet fell to the triumph of a crispy coated chicken fiend. So rather than succumb to that slippery slope of 'eating anything, just in moderation', I changed it to 'make healthy things taste amazing'. Oven fried chicken is delicious, as are oven-fried onion rings and banana icecream [only ingredient: banana]. I still can be seen occasionally eating an icecream cone or taking a small bite of my boyfriend's philly cheese steak, but I will only order/buy/make food that is good for my heart and waistline.
I know it sounds horrible, eating 'healthy' all the time, but after a few weeks/months fresh vegetables and spices are way more flavorful then a piece of oil drenched meat. And now I don't even pause over Chili's chicken crispers when deciding to order...it's all about the black bean burger, baby.
3) Now walk it out. I eventually started jogging, but for the first 20 lbs of weight, all I did was go walking for 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Confession: I can't exercise without proper music. So I have a very carefully crafted playlist on my ipod for work outs that I have used [with constant adjustments] for the past 3 years.
4) Twisting vices into advantages. I was one lazy lady. I could [and occasionally still will] sit on the couch for 6 straight hours straight watching chick flick marathons. These days, I tend to throw on a sparkvideo on kickboxing, turn the volume down, and kick it out while watching Gilmore Girl reruns. I also will sit stationary while watching t.v., but use my coffee table to help improve my straddle/split...my point is, the things that you think are working against you can often help you if you just alter it a wee bit.
5) track. When I was steadily losing weight I was tracking every single day. I also would track into future: I'd input what I had for breakfast, and then immediately put in what I'd want for dinner and dessert to see how many calories I could 'spend' on lunch. I also always tried to give myself a 50-100 calorie window just in case things didn't go quite as planned.
6) I had dessert every night. Otherwise, I would have binged on chocolate cake once a week in desperation. Now, dessert does not mean a slice of cheesecake or milkshake. Examples: SF jello with FF cool whip, frozen fruit, orange juice slushies, and low fat frozen yogurt.
7) Sparkrecipes. Before I lost weight, I generally ate things that merely required a microwave or a take-out box. I fell in love with sparkrecipes after trying a salmon/asparagus/hollandaise recipe that I still use frequently, and now I probably have tried about 40-50 recipes from the site. They are healthy, easy to make, and as long as you read the reviews you'll have a good idea of how tasty they are. I'd usually pick 2-3 sparkrecipes to make over the week to supplement my normal selections of wheat-bread sandwiches and shake'n'bake with peas and instant mashed potatoes [going back to #2, if you have trouble letting go, make healthier versions of that which you hold dear and make it 4 times a week, haha].
8) Knowing failure is a step to success. It took me about 14 attempts in my lifetime [and i'm only 23] to finally succeed in losing any substantial amount of weight. The difference between steps 1-13 and the 14th step: all times prior, after gaining some weight back or eloping with a box of double stuffed oreos, I would berate myself and come to the conclusion that it was just too hard for me to be healthy; I was destined to be fat. The 14th time I decided that yes, weight loss was hard, but it was nothing I couldn't do. And I thought of it like climbing a steep hill; you might backslide a couple of times, but as long as you keep moving towards the top of that hill, you'll get there.
9) Reminders. Much to the aghast of friends and family, I made a "fat folder" on my computer. You should probably name yours something more uplifting, such as "progress!" or "drop it like its hot". In the folder I collected the pictures I had long since untagged myself in on facebook, and labeled them "starting weight". Every few months or so I would take another full body picture of myself and add it to the collection, so that whenever I felt like I had made no progress I could go back and 'see' my progress.
10) Be beautiful/sexy/handsome. It's hard to treat your body right when you mentally abuse yourself. I struggled with this the most, but as more people acknowledged and complimented my weight loss, I felt more confident and strove to become even more beautiful. So instead of looking in the mirror and thinking "today i'm less fat/ugly" after some weight loss, look at yourself, your body, and say "damn, i'm even more of a fox now!" Because well, you are.
That's all for now, I'm sure I'll add more one bored, lonely, or feeling extra inspirational day!
Member Comments About This Blog Post
Thank you for all your advice, I'm definitely going to put all of these tips to use.
1704 days ago
Thank you so much, and of course you can add me! The more friends and support on here, the healthier we all get! :)
1717 days ago
This blog is amazing. I just saw a picture of myself, my husband, and my son that was taken on Friday, 9/9/11. I cannot believe how awful I look. I know I've got a lot to lose but damn, that picture really put things into perspective for me and encouraged me to get back into the habit of tracking and actually using SP.com. I saw your comment on my friend Janel's (BeautifuSkinny) SparkPage and wanted to check out the blog she wa talking about; so glad I did!!
I love that you just keep it real and don't act like losing weight was easy. What a motivator- keep it up!! It's blogs like this and people like you that make me feel like I CAN do this. Thanks so much!!
Hope you don't mind if I add you to my Friends!
1717 days ago
I hope you don't mind, I added you as a friend cuz I think you are AWESOME and you have a similar body type as me, just taller. Anyhow, I saw you post on the jillian michaels board and found myself here on your blog, which is a great find for me for motivation/inspiration.
1724 days ago
Great blog! Everyone should read it.
1790 days ago
No worries on the self loathing, I love me at this size and any size. I realized a long time ago that what size or shape i am has no bearing on who I am. I am pretty awesome :)
Maybe you should hold back a larger shirt or pants, something you can put on for demonstration purposes to show yourself how much you've accomplished through hard work and changing habits.
At any rate, your words really rang true for me and the proof is in your pictures that your words and what is behind them really do work. So, thanks again!
1809 days ago
The "fat folder" really helped me out, because as my weight loss was slow and steady, the reflection in the mirror barely seemed to change to me, and once I had thrown out my old clothes [hm, that also should be a numbered factor in this blog] any tangible signs of my heavier self were gone...so once I plateaued it became a "i haven't done anything right!" or "well I may as well give up, I can't even reach my goal weight anyways"...the pictures in the folder reminded that even though I may not be at my goal weight/size, I have come a hell of along way, and I look better and am healthier for it.
Just don't let the 'fat folder' become some form as self-loathing. The purpose of it is to go "Wow, I really have accomplished something" and not "wow, I barely did anything."
Trust me, if my chicken-finger-lovin', reality-tv-watchin' butt can lose weight and keep it off, anyone can!
1809 days ago
This is fantastic, thank you. Just what I needed to read this evening. I'm 41 and still learning-and screwing up all the time-but picking myself up and dusting myself off as best I can when I do.
I like your "fat folder" idea. I may call it my jiggly fat folder just because ever since my 10 year old daughter saw that on a magazine cover (probably "first" magazine) and started repeating that phrase incessantly I have been fixated on it.
Looks like you're doing a great job and at the end of the day all you can do is try again tomorrow for a do-over if you've fall back on old behaviors. Just don't stop trying and I think we all still have a chance :)
1810 days ago
Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.