Lately, I've been thinking about the very beginnings of my weight loss on this blog. I remember it well. I often think back about the two huge turning points I had that started this journey. One was when I was on vacation with my family and we drove over to a gorgeous beach on a lovely sunny day. The kids were so excited to play and run and look for shells. My daughter was a baby, just turned 2. My husband had to drive me to the handicapped access point, drop me off, and then go park at the regular parking lot and walk to reach me. Why? Because at 278 (or 283, depending on your scale) pounds, I could not walk from the regular lot to the beach. So after my family walked all the way down to the handicapped lot where I was waiting, we walked the short path to the beach and *I was exhausted.* As my boys ran off towards the waves, I was huffing and puffing, panting and limping, desperately looking for a driftwood log to sit on. But there were none. And as my kids ran off laughing and playing, I stood aching in the sand, wanting to turn back. I stood there and watched them for a bit, and then I had to gather everyone to leave. I just couldn't stand there any longer, and I knew if I sat in the soft sand I would not be able to get back up. So we left. We drove 10 hours to get to the beach, and I couldn't even enjoy it for 10 minutes. The rest of vacation I sat in the beach house while my boys went to the beach with their cousins. That is where I took my 'before' pictures: in the mirror of the beach house. I knew it was rock bottom and something had to change, but I didn't know how I would do it. Yet.
The other big moment, one of the defining ones in my life, came quite by accident at the Farmer's Market. I had been given a gift certificate for $30 in produce, so I took the kids and went to get some fruit (I was not a vegetable fan). We had just gotten home from the beach. I remember it like it was yesterday. I could not believe how much STUFF $30 could buy! We had to make several trips to the car: a watermelon, a cantaloupe, a honeydew melon, fresh corn, a flat of peaches, pints of berries, apples, carrots, squash, onions, plums, apricots... all kinds of ripe, fresh local produce. It covered the counters when we got home, and much of it was super ripe and needed to be eaten soon. We all dove in and enjoyed the awesome flavors. And that was the beginning of my journey.
I did not count calories. I did not measure anything. Nothing but JUNK was off limits. I kept eating the same meals we always ate, but I added vegetables to everything. I made a point of listening to my body and stopping eating when I was nearly full. And between meals, I ate TONS of fruit. I'd get hungry, walk in the kitchen and see melons and berries and plums. I'd eat 2 or 3 fresh peaches a day... several plums, handfuls of berries. I did not limit my fruit consumption at all. And the weight started falling off. In the first nine days I lost nine pounds. In two months I lost 20 pounds. I did not count calories, and did not exercise. I started out walking across the street and back, then halfway down the block and back, once per day until I could build up my endurance a bit. After two months and 20 pounds gone, I bought my recumbent exercise bike and started indoor biking.
By the time I got down to 218 pounds, I was biking 30 minutes, 6 days a week. I had begun the calorie counting as well and was eating about 1500 calories a day. I was also doing strength training for 20 minutes, 3 times a week.
And THAT is where I stalled out. I am going over this because I am trying to figure out what exactly worked and what didn't. For whatever reason, when I got to 218, which is very close to what I weigh today, my plan stopped getting results... or was unsustainable.
1500 calories of whole foods
biking 30 minutes 6x/week
lifting 20 minutes, 3x week
I lost weight on this. I did well on this and felt good on this regimen until I was in the 210's, and then it fell apart.
I think I have been aiming to go back to that, lately. About 1500 calories of whole food (albeit lower carb now), adding back the biking and the lifting. But maybe that is not such a good idea. If it didn't "work" before, maybe it is a bad idea to aim for that again. It's been the ideal in my own mind, so I'm not sure.
I often think about 'starting over' at my current weight and just doing exactly what got me results before: going to the Farmer's Market and buying a ton of produce and just eating it, making it the bulk of my intake and letting the rest be 'regular' foods I fix for my family, in moderation. And then, if the scale doesn't move, start counting again. Start biking. Start lifting. Exactly the way I lost the first 60+ pounds. It appeals to me far more than any other 'plan.' I am mulling it over, and thinking about doing this. It feels like going back to my 'true self.' The only thing stopping me is fear of failure, of gaining, of it not working, not being enough.
Home Neat Home: Decluttering
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