Ok, so it's no secret that I'm a Big Girl. I've always been a Big Girl, and I've never really had a problem with it. I like to exercise, and I have lower blood pressure than my hubby, even though I weigh about 80 pounds more than him. I always joke about how I'm in great health, except I just like to eat chocolate too much.
But that's actually a lie.
The truth of the matter is that I've been yo-yo dieting since I was about 13. Over the course of all that dieting, I must have lost well over a hundred pounds, but then they come back, plus more. I've actually had a secret weight-loss blog going on for a couple of years, on and off (mostly off), which has lots of followers and everything. The idea of putting it out there for the people who know me to read - well, that scares the crap out of me. But I'm experimenting with doing things differently, and this is definitely different.
After I lost Baby T and started blogging about that, people told me how open and vulnerable I was, and I would think what a lie that was. Blogging about losing my baby wasn't hard. Blogging about how I thought it was my fault because I'm overweight...that's hard.
Now, having lost another baby, I'm seriously sick of feeling like it's my fault for being chubby (oh heck, if we're really being honest, let's just call a spade a spade. It's not "zaftig" or "pleasingly plump" or any of those endearing names that my hubby calls it. It's fat. Capital F. Capital A. Capital T. F-A-T.).
Given the fact that we're taking a break from the whole Project Pregnancy for at least 6 months, I figure that this time is a gift for me to learn how to take wonderful care of myself, and the biggest part of that is learning how to eat well; learning how to use food as the fuel that it was meant to be, and not as a friend-substitute, or an alternative to a good massage when I'm stressed out.
So this six months is it for me. I'm looking at this time as a gift from my babies to me, to get myself in the best shape of my post-college life, so that when I get pregnant again, I'll already be that much further ahead in being able to take care of myself.
I'm not ready to post actual numbers yet...maybe at some point I'll do that, but not yet. Let's just say that if I were to get back to my super-healthiest college-weight, I'd have to lose about 80 to 90 pounds. Looking at that number freaks me out, so I'm not going to focus on it at all. I'm going to focus on being healthy one day at a time, one meal at a time, and if that leads to a weight loss of a pound or two a week, then that's a great target.
So here's what I've started doing this past week to reach that healthy goal:
First, I am weighing myself every day because I've found in my previous weight-loss attempts, that, at least at the beginning, I have to make weight-loss the number one priority for me, and keep it at the front of my mind. One way to do that is to weigh myself every day. I know the experts say that once a week is when you'll see results, and if you do it much more than that you could get discouraged, but this is one area where I really know what works for me - if I don't presence that weight for myself every morning, it goes right out the window. And then the weighing-in day comes, and I'm all, "oh, hey, am I supposed to be losing weight? Wow, I forgot. Bummer." Facing the scale every day takes some of the significance and scariness out of it for me.
Second, I am keeping a food diary. But it's more than a food diary. Every morning I write my weight, and the top five reasons I wan to lose weight. Again, this presences it for me. Otherwise I tend to forget why it's important - it's amazing how quickly stuff like this just goes right out of my head - until I'm at Target buying Breathe-Right strips and eating a pretzel, and I think, "Oh, yeah, I wanted to lose weight so I don't snore as much... bummer..." Then I write down everything I eat as I eat it. At the bottom I keep track of my water, and the exercise I've done. And then at the end of the day I put my thoughts about the day, ie, "I should have had a snack before dinner so I didn't eat such a huge bowl of pasta," or, "I'm proud of myself for eating a salad at lunch." And finally, at the very bottom, I write something nice I did for myself that day. This is important to me, because it shows me that rewards and happiness don't just come from cupcakes. It allows me to build up an arsenal of treats that don't involve calories, so that the next time I'm bored/sad/lonely and I feel like eating an apple pie, I can say, "oh, hey, that time I played with flowers made me really happy. Maybe I should do that instead." And thus, the pie-crisis may be avoided.
Third, I'm drinking craploads of water. Nothing in it. No flavor. Just plain, boring water. I pretty much hate it. I can't see myself ever drinking water for fun, but who knows.
Fourth, I'm embracing hunger. I'm pretty much convinced that the people who say you can lose weight without being hungry are all liars. You don't go from eating 2700 calories a day to eating 1800 calories a day and not feel any hunger. You just don't, I don't care how much fiber and protein you stick in your diet. I'm going down slowly. As in, last week I averaged around 2400 calories a day, and this week, I'm going to try to keep it under 2200. Eventually I'll get it down to around 1700 or 1800, but I need to work into that.
The fifth thing I'm doing is taking my measurements every two weeks. Well, I took them last tuesday, and I'm going to take them next tuesday. I figure I won't see much in the way of change every two weeks, but again, it's a way of keeping it at the top of my mind. If I only did it once a month, I'd probably forget all about it in between. And if I did it every week, that would just be redundant. So I figure every two weeks is a good compromise.
The sixth thing I'm doing is structuring a rewards system. Every ten pounds gets a reward, with bigger rewards as we go up and get to 40 and 50 pounds. I'm not sure what the rewards are yet, but I'm going to think of good things, for sure.
So how did I do the first week? I lost two pounds, thank you. I'm hoping that I can keep the pace of 1-2 pounds a week, which they say is the healthiest pace to lose weight. I'd love to say, "oh, I'll lose ten pounds before our cruise," but that's just setting myself up for failure, which then triggers a cupcake-crisis. The first goal I'd like to reach is to lose 40 pounds by mid-August (well, 38 after the 2 pound loss this week). After that, I'll reevaluate and come up with a new goal, but for right now, 40 pounds looks reachable, and not-too-scary.
I'm going to report back on this a lot, because it will give me motivation to keep going. That's another thing that I've found is important to losing weight - having a check-in structure to keep you accountable. So this blog is my new weight-loss accountability tool.
Scary, but if it works, it'll be worth it.