How to Lose 100 Pounds - Nosh Edition
|Guess what you don't do a lot of when you are|
In every picture I look back on I am either hiding
behind something/someone, or it is a head shot.
Facebook Status: People frequently ask me how I lost so much weight. And while the basic principles of "eat less, move more" reign supreme, my secret trick is that every so often I weigh myself and decide that it's okay to have a cupcake for breakfast. And today was a delicious morning.
So, I used to be 100 pounds heavier. When people learn that I usually get a lot of questions. The most frequent is ... HOW DID YOU LOSE IT? I don't claim to be an expert at weight loss. I've failed more than I've succeeded through the years. But this time it worked. And it keeps working. The quick stats:
BEFORE: 31 years old, three kids, 5'3", 253 pounds. (All time non-pregnancy high.)(Pregnancy high, because you're dying to know? 267.)
|Say hello to my little|
|This was my sister's wedding. I was really proud of myself because I'd lost|
40 pounds for her big day. 210 pounds.
|I'd either just gotten married or was about to. Circa 2000-2001.|
|At Hosanna's birthday party in 2008. I was excited to fit in a juniors extra-large t-shirt.|
AFTER: 33 years old, four kids, 5'3.5" (because sometimes when you work out your back gets stronger and your posture improves and you might get a little taller - whaaa?), 148 pounds
|Also, fun fact = Because all the pictures of me are winners, here is an especially awesome one of me the day I did thepractice triathlon. It was taken earlier in the day when I was still sick in bed with the flu. Note the rockin' mom pony with elastic headband. You better work.|
|Vacation run with my sis - of course my arm is raised in a victory cheer - it's a vacation run.|
|Okay, two things. Yes, I am hiding behind a child again. But also, it's a super cute child and he is covered in cake. So yeah, perfect weight loss picture.|
|December 2012 - 150 pounds, size 10 dress for Fancy Date with Lauren|
So, how did I lose 100 pounds? First I had to learn basic math. (Thank you, Elementary School.) The science behind weight loss is surprisingly simple when it's stripped down. I decided to look at weight loss as budgeting.
|Louis Vuitton Lockit MM Handbag.|
Retail price: $3650.00
So first, you figure out how much money it takes for you to live. House, car, food, etc. Then you figure out the difference between what you earn and what you need. If you can save $500 a month you can have this purse in (approximately) 7 months. If you want it before then, sister's gonna have to get an extra job so she can bank more cash. With me so far?
You do the same with weight loss. Say you want to lose 20 pounds. If you can save 500 calories a day you can lose 1 pound a week, reaching your goal in about 5 months. But if you want to reach your goal sooner than that you need to hit up the gym and burn more calories to add to your Must Get
That's the idea in theory. I mean, you could always go and steal a Louis Vuitton handbag, wind up in prison, and eat baloney for the rest of your life. Or, I suppose you could buy a rip-off L.V., but that's a little like this:
From far away you might fool me, but up close ... c'mon now.
So if you want the real deal - the $3650 Louis Vuitton, the decrease in twenty pounds that showseven when you are naked - how do you budget in real life? What are the nuts and bolts of application?
A Girl's Gotta Eat
First, go to this calorie calculator and figure out your calorie budget. Be honest. (When I renewed my driver's license this June, I saw that the last time I had to report my weight I told a 75 pound lie.)(That's pretty ballsy.)(Or delusional.)(You pick.) I use the 7 day calorie cycle (zig-zag) for regular old fat loss for two reasons. 1. I can stick with that range forever. With the extreme fat loss I can do about a week before I cheat. 2. Zig-zagging my calories means that I don't plateau (just randomly stop losing weight) as much and I can look forward to a relatively "big" day once a week. My big day is Tuesday, and I really really love Tuesdays.
Next, buy a calorie counter/download an app/search the internet for the calorie counts of everything you eat, and write them down. This doesn't have to be all fancy and Pinterest-y; I've used leftover McDonald's napkins before. Oh, the delicious irony. In the beginning I measured or weighed everything. Now I can eyeball pretty accurately and save measuring for when my weight begins to creep up. (And it does; how I love you, International Delight Iced Coffee, at 150 calories a cup.)
Finally, stay within your budget. All the time.
It really is as simple as that. If you are faithful, you will lose weight. You don't need special food or crazy methods of eating. I eat out (big surprise if you are a regular reader, hmmm?) and have never bothered with the specialty diets (i.e. macro nutrients, clean food, low-carb, low-fat, etc.) The main reason I don't do them is I would never stick to them. I can't eat low-carb forever so I don't eat low-carb in order to lose weight. Once I've lost weight I want to keep it off. And I won't keep it off if I gooff my crazy low-carb (or whatever diet, no hate for low-carbers out there) and eat how I was eating before. Because how I was eating before made me weigh 250 pounds.
A quick warning: It is easy to get seduced by a "less is more" mentality. The one that says "If 1600 calories a day helped me lose one pound this week, imagine what 1000 calories a day could do!" Do you want to know what 1000 calories a day will do to you? Make you miserable. And about four days in, 1000 calories will make you binge. You will eat 3000 calories in one sitting, erasing any deficit you built up and providing a healthy dose of guilt with a side of failure. Take the extra calories up front; this is a plan for the rest of your life we are talking about here.
I have always chosen foods I love in order to stay within my calorie budget. I'm not a big salad girl, I hate cottage cheese, and I really have to be in the mood for yogurt. But I did start to notice (after
Lunch has always been a challenge. I stay at home with the kiddos and we homeschool, so lunch just seems to sneak up and surprise me everyday. (Like, "What the heck, Lunch? Didn't we just do thisyesterday?) Leftovers are popular around here. Or sandwiches. I also probably eat one or two frozen diet meals a week for lunch, but I only eat ones I enjoy the taste of, because I will not shove crappy
As for dinners, I eat whatever I am making for the family. If we are having pizza, we are all having pizza. I just have to be mindful of my calorie intake. Little Caesar's Hot-N-Ready pizza has about 280 calories a slice. I can choose to eat two pieces and write down 560 calories for dinner. But that's all the food I'm getting, so I have to really want that pizza. (And who doesn't want pizza?)(This has to be the best weight loss post ever.)
So, what's left? Oh yeah, snacks. I'm not gonna lie. I eat snacks whenever I can "afford" them. This might be because I'm a perpetually hungry person, or because I just think eating is fun. (The advice just gets better and better, am I right?) Since I'm a "quantity" and not a "quality" person when it comes to food, I like things that I can eat a lot of. Popcorn, grape tomatoes, strawberries, greek yogurt because it takes forever to eat (because I have a process)(because I'm weird), nuts, chocolate covered raisins (see how I sneaked that in? Like a boss.) ... really, anything is fair game if I can afford it.
To summarize: How do you lose weight? Consistently eat less than you do now.
Tomorrow I will post on the other side of my weight loss, in which I had to learn what it was like tosweat like a dude.
If you have any questions, please comment or email me: Sublurbanmama@gmail.com
P.S. FULL DISCLOSURE: I wrote this entire post eating a Snicker's candy bar. It was 280 calories of deliciousness, and took approximately 29 minutes of running to burn off. It was worth every mile.
How to Lose 100 Pounds - Sweat Edition
So yesterday I posted about the nutritional side of my weight loss. I tried to include the key aspects of my weight loss, like "iced coffee is a food group." Today is dedicated to the physical side. Once your food intake is on point, the only other thing to do is move yer butt.
So why work out? Technically you can lose weight without it. If you consume less calories you will lose weight. But working out is the triumvirate* in the weight loss world.
1. As your muscle mass increases, your metabolism (that crazy mechanism that burns calories) increases. It's like taking speed for intense calorie burn. (And who doesn't want permission to do speed?)
2. It helps with the whole "loose skin" issue that Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition has so thoughtfully made known to the world. Because it's not like Spanx was totally helping a sister camouflage the ugly side of losing 100 pounds or anything. Now when people find out about a big loss, their first thought is about the "apron" of skin (how sick is that visual?) that must surely be hanging sexily (totally a word) from your otherwise rock hard abdominals. Truth? Lifting weights has helped tone my body so much that I have very little loose skin. Yes, I have a rockin' baby gut but I've also had four C-sections in seven years, so I feel I have earned that. It's like a trophy I will proudly display
Swimmer's arms, shoulders, and backs.
Runner's hamstrings, quads, and calves.
Yoga/Pilates's *ahem* flexibility.
A Girl's Gotta Move
My extensive athletic history began after Ezra was born. It was September, 2010, and my sweet #4 child was seven weeks old. I thought that since I was already as sleep deprived and hormonal as I was ever going to be it was the perfect time to add calorie restriction and physical exhaustion to the list as well. (Again, I'm a planner, people.)
I started with a 5K running class based on the Couch to 5K program. I can't say enough about this method; it is awesome for non-athletes. It was hella hard, I'm not gonna lie, but 2 years after I completed the program I am still running. I ran my first 5K on Thanksgiving 2010, and finished in 37:47. My goal was 38:00, so ... nailed it. By my first 5K I lost 53 pounds.
|Waiting for the start. 200 pounds and so freaking proud of myself. Also? Terrified to run this race.|
Tom got me into the gym, showed me the equipment, how to adjust it, how to use it, and how to wipe it off when I was done. (Dude - it's not that hard.)(Seriously.) He gave me routines to do, and set up some goals to achieve and a plan to dominate them. (These were really do-able goals like "lose five pounds by next meeting(one month away)", "hold plank for 45 seconds", and "do 7
When I started getting bored with my workouts, I signed up for another 5K. It was great motivation to keep moving. My next 5K was finished in 33:51. Whaaaa? Almost 4 minutes faster?! Jeah! (Say it like you're Ryan Lochte.)
|Let's forget for a moment how incredibly photogenic I am, and focus on me weighing 174 here.|
|My oldest ran the 5k with me and we PR'd! 32:47. 152 pounds. (I don't know what my hair ate for breakfast, but I swear I don't have a mullet.)|
|Oh, you haven't seen this picture yet? (Haha, this is a joke because if you know me/read this blog/are friends with me on Facebook you have seen this picture 4,000 times.) 148 pounds.|
How Does This Help You?
But I have the heart of a Navy Seal and I wanted my life to change, so I started the only way I could: small.
It's so cliched but completely true that small changes make a big difference. I started with just being faithful to run three ugly times a week. I sloooowly added strength training. I slooooowly added cross training. The gradual changes are the ones you'll stick with.
All my fears about injury? Totally realized. At first I got shin splints. Then I had hip pain. Then knee pain. Then lower back pain. All these pains had a legit reason. I was using my body in ways it hadn't been used before. (Also I needed new running shoes.)(That's the story I sold my husband and I'm stickin' to it.)
Working out hurts (if you are doing it right). You should be sore afterwards; it means your body is getting stronger. I honestly don't remember the last time I wasn't a little bit sore. But the trade-off? I'm strong. I burn extra calories. I have endurance. I can play with my kids outside. I don't resent the baby when he drops his paci and I have to squat with an extra 20 pounds in my arms because Dude, I do squats in my spare time - I got this.
All my fears about failure? I only failed when I quit. It took me three separate runs to be able to conquer the ten minute cycle of Couch to 5K. I learned through exercise what it means to persevere and that I am (physically and mentally) stronger than I think. (Raise your hand if you are a parent/child/employee/spouse and, at the end of your freaking rope, and have uttered the words, "I.am.done." Guess what? After paying your dues as a runner you will say that a lot less.)
My fears about looking fat? Um ... I was fat. But every run put that stored fat to good use. Farting and peeing? Just a sign I am a real runner. The kids, the hubby, the house ... they were all still there when I got back from working out, but I was a less stressed
So, this is a little rambling-like, but I have a wicked paper cut on the tip of my middle finger, the hubs is watching politics on television, and I have my Ipod on to drown out the noise so I can freaking concentrate, cut me some slack, Dude.
To summarize: Exercise?
1. Just do it. (Just kidding, I totally stole that from a little company called "Nike.")
1. Just do it faithfully.
2. When you get bored, do different exercises faithfully.
3. Repeat for the rest of your life.
Just for fun, to end this post I leave you with a picture my Sister Wife Rachel took at a wedding a few years ago of Rose and I.
|I loved this dress. It was totally cuter in person.|
And here is a picture of Rose and I at the recent Red Carpet Run 5K.
|Suburban gang signs.|
Since this post turned into more of a generic shout out to exercise (What up, Exercise!), tomorrow I am going to do a Practical Tips post about specific helps for diet and exercise. My "tricks of the trade" if you will. And I have a lot of them ... because I'm tricky.
*triumvirate - don't hate me because I have a thesaurus.
How to Lose 100 Pounds - Tricky Edition
So I promised today I would post some practical tips and helps for weight loss. If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm not the best at following traditional weight loss suggestions that I think
I'll start with FOOD:
Don't drink your calories
(*this is where I was going to link to Trey Songz video for Bottom's Up and then I took a minute toread the lyrics. Sorry y'all, no link for you.) I'm not a drinker, but I think the calories in my beloved iced coffee are comparable with a glass of wine. So I treat those calories as treat calories. (Homophone alert!)(Not a slur.)(Google it.) They are still within my budget, but they're just calories that are used to make me happy. Not used to provide adequate nutrition.
Fiber is your friend
Now let's look at whole grain toast with peanut butter. It's admittedly not as delicious as a KK, but it is more palatable than wheat grass, so, compromise. The fiber in the bread will work with the sugar in the pb to slow the sugar rush. This means no LIFE IS GREAT moment, but also no "must ... nap ... now..." moment, either. And it certainly skips over the 400 extra calorie binge moment. That's why I eat peanut butter
*Protein* - It's good stuff. It's good for a lot of physiological reasons, like building up muscle and something to do with amino acids, but honestly, I majored in music, so once it sounds too science-y I tune out. (Oh my goodness - "tune" out? Music major? *giggle*) It's the building muscle part I fully support, because more muscle = greater calorie burn.
Prep work is the best few hours you will ever spend. (Except for watching Twilight.) I try to plan as much as possible. I make my menu for the week, make a grocery list I stick to, and *ideally* do all the prep work when I come home from shopping. Since I'm doing this post on the fly, I didn't have time to photograph a beautiful example of some of my prep work. Instead you get what is actually in my house right now.
|Left baggie: 100 calories of almonds. Right baggie: 120 calories of Chex Mix.|
Scissors and lock of hair: What Esther did during her quiet time today. Again.
I rule at parenting.
I also keep cut up veggies in the fridge, and spend extra money for store bought, cut up melon, because I freaking hate cutting up cantaloupe.
This Book was really helpful in shaping my overall weight loss philosophy. It was written by a mother and daughter who were each significantly more than 100 pounds overweight. They are both normal weight today.
Now on to WORKING OUT:
Change up your routine because it not only keeps you from getting bored, it helps your fitness improve. Your body gets bored as well, and it's all, "this is old hat, I can totally phone it in today," but throw it some unexpected burpees and it's all, "The heck? Where have I been? I better get my tush in gear."
Learn what it means to truly push yourself. I was always so worried about injury. I was worried about puking. I was so worried I never pushed myself. Then I took that running class and I thought I was going to die. Like, heart attack/gasping breath/vomit totally happening kind of dying. I totally didn't die. But I did discover a new level of normal for my athleticism. And now I'm not afraid of a workout that ends with me shaky-limbed, flopping around on a mat on the floor in a puddle of my own sweat, because it means that today I brought it.
Announce your goals publicly. I love me some Facebook for this. Your goal is there, in print, forever. Also, I love Dailymile.com. This keeps a good record of what you are doing, and other people can see it
Workout buddies will shame you if you don't show/do your best/have a good attitude (if they are good ones). Working out is so much easier with a pal. The accountability is priceless. Sarah is a treasure to me. For realz.
Motivational stickers. Because I'm a nerd. A visual reward nerd.
|"Kelly, those are lovely star stickers on your calendar. Whatever are they for?"|
"Why, thank you, you are too kind. Every sticker represents a killer workout."
And finally, THIS:
|I kinda wish I went to this gym. I bet it's the most fun gym EVER. (Definitely better than Lifetime.)|