Thursday, July 10, 2008

How I Am Doing It

I decided to make a single post that explains what I have done and am doing to lose this weight. I have been pretty successful, overall, and I get a lot of emails and comments asking either, "Can you please tell me what you are doing to lose all that weight?" or, "WOW HOW DID U DO IT!! PLEASE TELL ME UR SECRET!! WHAT DIET R U ON??" I always try and answer questions people send me, but since this gets asked a lot, I wanted a post I can direct everyone to for the answer. If you have read my blog, you already know what I am doing, but I understand that not everyone goes back and reads all my past entries (although I recommend it for motivation's sake if nothing else... the archives are on the left sidebar so you can always go back and read past posts). So here it is, in condensed form:

How I Am Losing Weight.

1. I count calories, every day. I personally use Sparkpeople.com because it is free and easy to use, but you could use other online counters like FitDay. You could also just write down your calories on a sheet of paper and add them up. It's important to actually measure your food so you know how much you are eating. Right now I try and stay right around 1500 calories per day, but I started out around 1800. You have to try a calorie level for at least a week or two, and then see if you lose weight. If not, you can adjust your calories until you see 1-2 pounds a week dropping off.

2. I go to the Farmer's Market or, when it's not open (winter), I go to the nicest produce section I can find, once a week. I buy a LOT of fresh fruits and veggies. I totally load up my fridge with them. Then I feel compelled to eat all that stuff before it goes bad. I end up eating a lot of healthy stuff just because of that. This has been the single most important thing for my success. Scope out a farm stand or a grocery store with a variety of produce and go every week. Buy a lot of stuff. Try new things. Look up how to prepare them on Google, and try new recipes from various online websites like A Veggie Venture, Allrecipes, and Kalyn's Kitchen. My 3 meals and 2-3 snacks a day are based around veggies, fruits, lean meats, whole grains, and low fat dairy. I use butter, bacon, and other fatty tasty stuff sparingly as a condiment with my veggies as long as I stay under 1500 calories. I watch my portions. I have learned what a serving is. I listen to my body, don't eat if I am not hungry, and stop when I am full.

3. Cut the junk. I stopped buying candy bars, Little Debbie cakes, chips, hot dogs, etc. If it is not beneficial to my body then I try not to eat it very often. I am not a fanatic and I do have some treats once in awhile, but I am trying to lose weight here and it is really not the time to be indulging in pies and cookies. I don't do 100-calorie packs either. I tried that, but I just ate the whole box in one sitting. So my snacks are fruits or string cheese or nuts most of the time. I have kids but they don't need junk food either. So I just try not to have junk food in the house at all.

4. Drink lots of water. I cut out sodas and coffee. I drink green tea, chai tea with skim milk, and lots of iced sun tea made from black and green tea. I used to add sugar to my iced tea but I cut it back gradually until I don't need the sugar anymore. Staying hydrated is a good thing.

5. I started moving. This was HARD. I was in a lot of pain. My knees were killing me and I had no stamina. I started out by just walking out the door and about 30 seconds down the sidewalk, then back. I did that every day. Each week I walked a little further. I got up to about 2 blocks (yeah my knees were SO BAD). Then I added a recumbent exercise bike at the advice of my orthopedic doctor. (I have severe degenerative arthritis, bone spurs in my knees, and a torn meniscus). I started out riding the bike for 5 minutes on no resistance. It was so hard. I did that 3x a week. Every week I added 2 minutes and when possible I upped the resistance a bit. Now I ride for 30 minutes, 6x a week and am up to level 4/5 resistance. I do over 7 miles a day. I also started lifting weights at home. I started by looking up basic exercises online, with a set of 5 lb dumbbells. Now I use 10-12 pound dumbbells and strength train 20 minutes, 3x a week (still at home). One of my goals is to be able to do push ups (normal ones). I started with wall push ups, worked up to 2 sets of 30, and now I am doing them off the kitchen counter. Soon I will be doing bent-knee push ups on the floor and from there, regular ones. I always HATED exercise, but I hate being fat more. And you will get to like it, eventually, as the weight comes off.

There are no magic pills, potions, or recipes that will make you lose the weight. It hasn't been easy by any means. It takes a lot of work, a lot of effort. I have five kids. I had to MAKE time for this to happen. You can do it too. Anyone can. If you want something bad enough, you'll make it happen. If not, you'll make excuses. The whole key is to never, NEVER give up. You make a mistake? Keep going. You eat something unhealthy? Make your next meal healthy. Don't wait til tomorrow, or Monday, or January 1. Do it NOW. And don't quit. You can reach your goal. Believe it.


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77 comments:

Chubby Chick said...

Great post and great pics! You are truly an inspiration to all of us! :)

Arachne said...

You are a rockstar, Lyn! But you already know that, dont you? Come on, baby, let's see your face. You know you're beautiful. Peace. --ANN (Momof6under8)

Heather said...

you look so good! and every thing you are doing is so healthy and wonderful and Im glad that it works for you.

Alanna said...

You're truly an inspiration, Lyn. Keep going!

TB--Milwaukee said...

Great post!

I tried those blasted 100-calorie packs too, but did the same thing. Fiber One bars are too tempting too.

I was always one for candy bars in the grocery store line. No more!

You're doing awesome, thanks for the inspiration.

Jayme said...

Thanks for the suggestions!!!

I think you are doing a fantastic job, keep it up:)

You got the right ideas on what works and you are proof that its working!!

Congratulations:)

Dinah Soar said...

Those push ups are hard stuff...I've worked up to 10 girl's push ups...don't know that I'll be able to do the real deal...

I like lifting weights...it's not that time consuming either...I do it in front of the TV or while I read blogs on my computer..

And I do leg squats...I figure anything what will build muscle and burn more calories is a huge benefit.

Where you were and how far you have come is a testament to your discipline, determination and strength. But I'd think this about you even if you hadn't lost a pound...from reading your blog you've overcome a lot of hard things in your short life (yes, you are still a young woman)and I think you are an amazing person.

spunkysuzi said...

You look awesome!! And yep i've got to stay away from those 100 cal packs as i tend to eat the whole box!

Living For Today! said...

I love your ring! can you tell me where you bought it? I would love to get an inspiration ring!

Lyn said...

Thanks all!

Living... several people asked about where I got my ring, so I added a link to the post. It's right under the ring photo. Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

Magnificent post! It tells it like it is.

I think too many people really think there is a secret, a special knowledge, a new diet that will be the key to thinness.

No such animal.

It's hard work. It's exactly--EXACTLY--what you mention: reducing portions, improving food choices, cutting back on sugar/fat/junk/treats, and exercising regularly. Excising useless food and including nutritional powerhouses and variety.

Eat less. Move more. Eat better, move smarter.

That's really it. And that's why it's hard. Because the simplicity means we can't have our cake and eat it all, too. We pretty much gotta give up stuff and do stuff we don't wanna.

Until we learn to wanna.

Wonderful. I hope tons of dieters read this post.

And as you already know, you are looking FABOO, woman. Youse got a waist!

The Princess

Joy's Journey in Weightloss said...

Loved your post! I really appreciate you taking the time to summarize your plan. I will benefit from your experience. Thank you!

Ceres said...

Thanks for the excellent post :-) There's no secrets, just hard work, good planning and smart choices. Thanks for sharing, the difference in the two pics is striking.

Honi said...

and look at that girl go.. thats a super plan.. and i agree with arachne you are a ROCKSTAR!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Lyn,

Have you seen this site? Several of us on 3FC are trying this plan. It's somewhat like the C25K, only this is for pushups.
http://www.hundredpushups.com/index.html

BTW - she recommends skipping the whole "knee/girlie" pushups. They are horrible for your knees.

-Girlygirlsebas from 3FC

Lyn said...

Hey girlygirl,

I have been looking at that site! I didn't realize the knee push ups are bad for the knees. Maybe I will have to do an alternative. One site I read says you can use an exercise ball (the big kind) and put your legs up on it, straight, and push up off the floor. I think it builds core strength as well. That might be a better intermediate for the knees.

Thanks :)
~Lyn

new*me said...

thanks for all the great tips! I'm less than 3 months into my journey and will take any help I can get. The thing that really inspires me about you is your perseverance and drive. No matter what, you never give up! Great pics.....you look awesome!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn! I would love to add you as a friend on my SparkPage. what is your user name? Actually ill give you mine, and maybe you could send me spark mail.

~simplyv~

Katschi said...

Thanks for letting us in on the 'secret'...eat less, eat well, move more. ;)
Ditto on the 100 calorie packs. I keep trying. Getting the same result. I know....crazy.
We have a great produce place here in Windsor. You're right...if it's in the house you'll eat it, good or 'bad' I choose fruits & veggies. Yeah.
I definitely agree with new*me..your persistence is what is most inspiring. Your refusal to give up has my heart.
The pictures, Lyn, are AWESOME! Thanks for being brave & posting them.

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

I love your plan! It's so healthy and reasonable. :D

Sheri said...

You've done great! Thanks for sharing your tips and your words of encouragement. I know I can do it too!

Tia said...

I am 41 years old and 265 lbs today, July 13, 2008. I turn 42 in September and feel so miserable. I have to get this weight of me and decided to go online to look at programs. I came across your website and you have given me inspiration. I have hypertension and I am a Mom too. I desprately want to be here for my daughter but I know if I don't change my poor eating habits she will follow in my footsteps. You look great and thanks for sharing your story! I too hope I can look back a year later and feel good about defeating the obesity demon.

Anonymous said...

you look great! you really don't look 218 - much thinner than that!! keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Terri said....GOOD JOB!!!! I dont know you, but, am extremely proud of you....don't give up as I have....I weigh the most I have ever weighed in my life....I am a 51 year old Grandmother of 9 and Mother to 6....This fat is the pits....GOT TO GET IT OFF...It takes will power and right now, I have none...if I walk, I feel wonderful, its just getting my fat body to do it...How do I get will power?

Amy said...

Thank you very much for this post. A friend directed me here because I also have severe degenerative rheumatoid arthritis, and moving or doing exercise at all is extremely painful. Reading this post (and I will be going back to read older ones) made me believe that this just might not be impossible after all. I have intese knee pain and I get so discouraged about my inability to move. But I'm going to try. Thank you again!!

SmushPants said...

I needed to read this post...thank you for this!

Liza said...

This was awesome! I love the last paragraph the most. It was what I needed to hear. I also love the fact that you are doing this without a fancy, expensive diet or an expensive gym membership or trainer. It proves that no matter what the obstacles (money, lack of time, kids to take care of)it can STILL be done! GO YOU, you are an inspiration!

skinnyhollie said...

Wow...you look great! Found your blog today and I'm really loving it!

KK said...

Great job! I pretty much do the same thing....count calories, watch portions, eat plenty of fiber, veggies, protein, watch fats, and MOVE!

Melissa said...

I love how you're showing some sass in your "218" photo. I've been reading through your archives for inspiration...excellent job, you have amazing drive!

Xuxa05 said...

WOW!! Great job!! Im 26years old and started this year off @ 281!! (Yikes!) I lost 31 lbs from February to July, but have been stuck, losing the same 5 lbs since August! :(

You are a big inspiration! & you look awesome too!! Great job!! I can't wait to start losing again!! :)

Anonymous said...

Your blog is really inspiring. It's not joke that being obese is a very real living nightmare. There's nothing worse than being blinded by food instead of seeing the beauty in life. I would say excersize and moderate eating are the foundations of what my weight loss would be based on. i've desperately wanted to lose weight at 237 lb (2 months ago i was 200!); but i also seem to succumb to the temptations of eating a chocolate bar or cookies or both and some and more... oh it's the worst.. i feel fat all the time and i hate it. sometimes i just want to jump out of my body. but i know i can do it. with the right excersize every day i'm beginning to feel healthier even though for some reason the scale goes up one or two pounds... which scares me. good luck to you .
god bless

Sabs said...

Just discovered your site and I must say it is so inspirational!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous job! nice blog..u hv used some nice ideas to lose weight....thanks for the same...goodluck to u!

TinaMiller said...

You are an inspiration as we both started out at about the same weight. I still have QUITE a ways to go however. "What are you doing to lose weight" is the question I get too - I always say " Iam doing it the old fashioned way: counting calories, making healthier choices, and exercising!"

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I found your blog. Thanks for talking so openly.
You look great. what an inspiration! Believe it!!

Jelene said...

Hi Lyn!

Can I tell you how much I needed to read your inspirational journey tonight!!! I needed this BIG today. I decided a month ago to start being healthy... eating well and constantly being active... without the help of pills or anything. My husband and I are focusing mainly on fresh fruits and veggies and staying active throughout the day. I've been doing really good with eating and drinking water and working out but the weight isn't dropping that much and at times any at all (this also could be b/c I'm so used to seeing the weight drop much faster than it is now). And I caved in tonight... had lots of rice with fried battered fish!!! Ahhhh... and so I'm feeling really disappointed (coz I worked my butt off this week) and scared that this won't work! But reading your journey is such an encouragement. Thank you so much for sharing!!! You've done an amazing job and you look awesome! =)

Kahunna said...

It is great to read the way you discovered how to fuel your body. It took me a long time to get there. I concentrate on eating well, working out and enjoying my life. I have quit obsessing about my "weight" My waist has shrunk from a 44 to almost a 36 over three years. It is hard to quantify weight loss as I work out 5-6 times a week and started using weights about 2 months ago and am steadly working my way up. My body fat is dropping and my muscles are getting really firm.
At my age I dont want to look like a 30 YO, just some fat burning muscle!

Kristine said...

I use SparkPeople too. LOVE IT!!
Way to go... keep up the great work. ((HUGS))

Jules said...

You are an inspiration.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Robby said...

What a fantastic blog!!!!! I am sure you have inspired so many people!!!! I am hoping that you can the magic pill for my friend. You are brilliant!!!!! xxxRobby

Charlotte said...

So there I was clicking random links online, and just found your blog and I want to comment: I've never been above a BMI of 24 in my life, although I did have a period of trying to lose ten pounds that piled straight onto my middle, and how you eat, is exactly how I do it - heavy on the fresh veg, using proteins, carbs, fatty stuff etc more like condiments to flavour-up the veg.

Crunchy and creamy is the mouthfeel that most of us crave, and that can be done with veg and carefully chosen stuff on top - or, it can be the cookies and pastries that lead so many good people into unwanted weight gain.

I'm cheering you on, you so totally deserve to attain your goals, you're obviously a really smart person and I enjoyed reading your posts!

RiKKi said...

You're such an inspiration!!! Glad to have you on the SBD board at 3FC!

*Lissa* said...

I just found your blog today! You are doing great -wow! You should stop in at Shrinking Jeans and share your tips!

Melissa

amanda said...

i have bad knees too and was wondering now that you are exercising regular do they still bother you as bad or did it help them?

Khris said...

AWESOME.....you really have done so well...keep up the great work. Khris

Lyn said...

amanda~

when I am biking regularly, my knees do not hurt nearly as much! So yes, I'd have to say exercise has very much helped my knees in both pain and mobility. Good luck!

wren said...

Great post. You're doing things the healthy way and you're seeing the results. It's hard work but you keep doing it. Keep it up!

Krisha said...

WOW! YOu're doing a great job! I started Dec 2008 & must say that it is not easy at all. I've been on a roller coaster but am trying to keep up on my program.

i just wanted to say, you're doing a good job :)

~Laura said...

You have done such an outstanding job. Very inspiring post...

Connie said...

You look wonderful. I've gone through your whole blog from the beginning. You look wonderful.

Coffee and Vanilla said...

Congratulations, it looks like it really works for you!
I try to loose weight as well, I lost about 20kg (what is about 44 pounds)... still have 10kg more to lose to go back to my weight from before my daughter was born.
I posted about it a while ago if you would want to read: http://www.coffeeandvanilla.com/?p=3626

Enjoy your day and keep on doing it... I will check our blog shortly.

Margot

Anonymous said...

I guess that's what you call a genetic difference...

I'm male, 16, and 160 lbs, and I can't see how you can weigh so much and just eat 1500 cal/day.

If I dropped to that, I'd end up weighing around 130. Or dead.

KAndra said...

Just found your site and I'm sure I'll be lurking here :)

Just curious, but have you thought about playing with your calories now that you've lost more weight and built more muscle?

Petra W said...

You rock! It is so hard for some of us to lose just 2 or 3 kilos, and have a look what you have done! Amazing... you can be really proud of yourself.
My biggest problem is that I eat whatever the kids bring home from their lunch because it is such a waste to put it in the bin... I guess you just learned that it's better in the bin than on you? Or how do you deal with the "leftovers" from the kids?

Anonymous said...

I feel like I'm reading my own story (minus the kids). I have been obese (that's the first time I used that would about myself. Ouch!) for the past 5 years. I have alternated between large and shapely to obese most of my adult life. At the age of 56 I am exhausted and fat. I was researching on line when I came across your blog. It is like a life-line, extended when I need it most. Thank you, Lyn.

amsterwill83 said...

I just came across your blog, and I must say you are a true inspiration. I'm a registered dietitian, and it's so refreshing to see someone losing weight in such a healthy way and not searching for that quick fix or magic pill you mentioned. All those small changes really do add up!! Hope you don't mind if I add you to to my blogroll! Take care :-)

ThriceBlessed said...

Great post, I'm going to be following your blog now, I'm trying to lose 100+ pounds.

Annie said...

Sparkpeople was recommended to me by my doctor. Since August, I have lost 26 pounds, gone down 5 sizes on the bottom and 2 sizes on the top. It is a wonderful site!! Looks like you are doing SUPER on it too!!! Great job and continued success!

Adelaide said...

amazing.

I just started my weight loss journey and I hope to read through your blog and keep up with your story as already from this one post you're such an inspiration!

Weighing in w/ my .02 said...

I just found your blog through another blogger (What the Beck) that I read and I am so glad I've stumbled upon it.

I'm starting out (again) at 283 pounds and it's refreshing to see your before and after pics and know that I can look like that too. I'm going to add your blog to my blogroll if you don't mind.

Well done!

monica said...

your pictures show that you are working hard at it and it is not easy at all. Good luck going for the rest of your weight. Im a big gal too and have started to lose some down 5lbs in two weeks mainly cutting back on my sodas and eating better.

Lacey said...

I've had struggles with weight and binging and being wacky with dieting for years. Seeing that it's possible to remain consistent really gives me hope for my own goals. Thank you!

CookinsForMe said...

You're doing a great job and looking fantastic! Keep up that awesome work. :)

christina said...

I just found your blog - wow you have done awesome! And I love how you discussed what you are doing to lose weight - you arent cheating, arent taking the easy way... you are doing it 100% right and I cant wait to follow your progress in hopes you will help me along the way!

luckiest1 said...

I am so inspired by your story. I love your philosophies, which are quite similar to mine. Keep it up, you look great!

Anonymous said...

I have been trying to lose weight too. I have done pretty good for two yrs. and now I have hit a set back some how and I can't get out of it. I have three kids and I feel bad that when I eat healthy and they don't. I need help fixing things for them that are healthy and that doesn't take long to prepare and fix. I have one that is kinda picky and that is where I get frustrated about what they eat. I have tried to help them eat better. I also would like to know somethings healthy to put in their lunch for school. U look great and it is hard to do this on ur own. Some days I feel like giving up but I know I can't. I am struggling bad, I am trying to get in my mind that I have to workout and eat better. I got to get back on track, just need some new, healthy ideas, specially for the kids.

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

Drop me an email! I'd be glad to give you some ideas. How old are your children?

It really IS hard, but you can do it and later, your kids will be so glad that you are healthy and THEY are healthy too.

Losing 100 Pounds said...

What an inspiration you are! I'm glad I found your blog!

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog by chance. I am on the wrong side of 40 , also a woman executive who feels terribly embarrassed most f the time as I am 250 lb. I dont know how I reached here . I want to lose weight desperately but feel lost. Your blog inspired me. Great job, I will do my best to follow you up, please keep it up as you might inspire other people as well. Z. Rosso

Miranda said...

Hi, I am a 44 year old woman, and I have type 2 diabetes, as a result
of Cushing's syndrome. I'm on a lot
of medication, but I have managed to lose weight, albeit SLOWLY. I want to encourage other women with similar issues as me, to not feel like they can't lose weight & get healthier, and ultimately, happier within themselves. What has finally
kept the fat at bay, is following a
fairly strict, daily regime of exercise & diet. And enjoying myself while I follow the rules. I don't drive (poor eyesight), but I cycle everywhere, from the gym (5 days a week), to the local shops. When I was diagnosed with diabetes,
I immediately consulted a diabetes nurse, who gave me crucial info on food & exercise. Knowledge is power. Over the past year, I have lost a total of 35 kilos. I have another 30 to lose. Everyday is a struggle. But it beats being obese.

Miranda said...

Hi, I am a 44 year old woman, & I have type 2 diabetes, as a result
of having Cushing's syndrome. Despite being on a lot of medication, I've managed to lose weight, albeit SLOWLY. I want to encourage other women with similar issues, not to abandon hope. What has finally kept the fat at bay, is following a fairly strict, daily
regime of exercise & diet. The key to maintaining the schedule is enjoyment. I cycle everywhere, from
the gym (5 days a week) to the shops. When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I immediately thought my life was over. However, after consulting a diabetes nurse, I learned much about looking after myself. Knowledge is power. Over the past year, I have lost a total of 35 kilos, due to old fashioned exercise & eating small portions of healthy food, preferably organic. I still have another 30 to lose. Everyday is a struggle. But it's better than being obese. To other fat gals, if I can change my situation for the better, so can you. YOU have the power. WE have the power.

Anonymous said...

I was looking for a recipe using fresh pole lima beans, (which was like finding a needle in a haystack), but I found your recipe and then read your blog about how you were losing weight. Fantastic! I'm sitting here on my 1st day of vacation and knowing I need to do something about my weight-254 lbs, 33 year old male, and I don't think I've ever seen a weight loss plan put so simply and matter-of-fact. I LOVE the line, "I hated exercise but HATED being fat even more". Isn't that the truth? I'm tired of it. Thank you so much for your blog and congats on your success, both what you have achieved as well as future success.

Roxie said...

Wow, just absolutely Wow!!! What an amazing woman and inspiration to so many.
I look forward to following you and reading all your archives.
I'm at the weight you are now, but look to others who have done it and are super successful in having lost weight the right way.

Thank you for having this blog!!

Roxie

Madlin417 said...

you are a true inspiration especially about the dont make any excuses i make all kinds wow thanks i have over 100 pounds to loose so i need to get cracking back strict i used to use spark people i might go back to that cause i can get it on my smartphone i found your blog by looking up the sharitaki noodles on google images lol you can contact me or add me on facebook if you like my name is amanda johnson

Madlin417 said...

you are a true inspiration especially about the dont make any excuses i make all kinds wow thanks i have over 100 pounds to loose so i need to get cracking back strict i used to use spark people i might go back to that cause i can get it on my smartphone i found your blog by looking up the sharitaki noodles on google images lol you can contact me or add me on facebook if you like my name is amanda johnson

100 Pounds 100 Days Challenge said...

That's awesome! I know I'm late but I found your blog looking for inspiration for myself. I literally just started today. I want to lose 150 pounds minimum. My husband likes me as a big girl but I want to be healthy. Anyway, great job!

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