How I Lost the Weight

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I had someone ask me how I lost the weight, and I had written this email to a couple of friends a few months back. So I am going to just paste it here!

WHY I LOST IT:

I lost it because weight loss was not my goal, maintenance was. Between December 20, 2012 and April 8, 2013, I lost until I was down to a medium frame weight for my height (I was usually within five pounds of the large frame weight, but I think that was too much all those years). I remembered my favorite weight, and that was when I was 19 and playing basketball. My love handles were totally gone then. So, I lost until the love handles went away, and that is the medium frame weight. I also had a rousing email exchange with a radiologist who said that all people’s bone mass are medium frame, and there is no such thing as a “large frame” weight. This is his website for recommendation for your ideal weight. Scroll down to the last box and do the ROBINSON FORMULA. That should be the ideal weight for regular sized women according to this guy (I use the Devine because I am tall): http://www.halls.md/ideal-weight/body.htm

I had the extra motivation of a very tight budget due to George’s job being cut to a barebones salary. So, I didn’t have any extra money for little "treats" here and there, and walking saved me gas money! My LDL, cholesterol, and blood sugar were also a bit high (not in any danger), and my dietician friend says that she recommends a 7% weight loss to get them within normal. Extra motivation really helped me lose too!

(Update: all my blood work came back great Nov 2013!)

HOW I LOST IT: 

I recorded everything for 16 weeks and reported total calories consumed to two other friends by email EVERY DAY. They were free to report when they wanted, but that is what I committed for myself, and I was faithful to do it EVERY DAY no matter how busy I was (and I was very busy).

I also burned at least 2500 calories every day by walking, walking, walking, even in the rain (quitting running was the biggest way I have lost weight because I used to run and take two days to recover due to my back problems – now I just walk three days in a row and burn more calories overall). I committed myself to “Walk for Weight Loss and the World” so I prayer walked and prayed for unreached peoples and for my community!  I did it rain or shine and in the dark even. I made sure I got that 2500 calories in EVERYDAY too.

If I have a busy work day, I make sure I stand a lot and walk, walk, walk. I even walk and do listening prayer, discipleship, and counseling with the women I meet with because one of the things I am also teaching them is that exercise helps with depression, and it really does. I do not go to the gym as much, but I just move a lot more every day. I stand more while doing tasks. If I watch a movie, I move around. I dance around my living room a lot. I am moving, moving, moving all the time!

I do not sit at my computer like I used to (A smart phone has really helped me not sit at my computer as much too.). I quit taking as many photos because I sat too much processing them (also bad for my back).

(Note: the only difference between overweight people and thin people are that they stand more. The article is no longer on the internet, but here is an article about the characteristics of thin people that alludes to this fact: http://www.realsimple.com/health/nutrition-diet/weight-loss/secrets-thin-people.)

Also, I only allowed myself one post for the Bible Book Club for every pound I lost. I wanted to FINISH the Bible Book Club. So, I lost the weight so I could FINISH. Now, I do not let myself have my favorite Chai tea in the morning unless I am under my ideal weight.  (I have modified this since Chai tea is such a wonderful part of my quiet morning ritual. So, I allow myself a single serving of chai without WHIPPED CREAM. If I am at my ideal weight of 173, I allow myself the luxury of whipped cream. That has worked well!) That keeps maintenance because I love my Chai tea (with whip) in the morning!!! LOL!

I also dropped out of one of my book clubs so I wasn’t reading as much; and if I do read, I try to find the audiobook so that I can listen to it while I am walking, working out on an elliptical (I do that sometimes for variety), cleaning, or cooking. I combine working out with pleasure reading that way and am not sitting on my bottom reading a book. Moving while reading is a great thing!

I also got physical therapy for my back so it doesn’t go out as much because I do exercises for it every day. I also get a monthly massage so that my back stays better (my doctor wants it once a week, but that is TOO expensive). So, I burn so many more calories because I am not in bed nursing a hurting back anymore!  (Note: since I wrote this letter, after many months of no pain, it wigged out. So, I could not walk and burn more calories for a couple of months, but I only ended up gaining 4.4 pounds over my ideal weight so I am learning to eat less when I am inactive. Also, I have learned the beauty of self-myofascial release (SMR) with a roller and then static stretching. That and Pilates has kept me pain-free for over two years now. )

Also, I walk or ride my bike everywhere I can (on errands, to discipleship meetings on campus, etc.). Once I reached the goal, I was determined to keep it off and not let it come back on, and I have kept it off for six months (now it is eight months), and I just keep on reporting to those two women! It has been a great year!

I also practice the eight things that help you with your serotonin and dopamine levels (see the VLOG for all about that: http://carolhomeschool2.blogspot.com/search/label/VLOG). I try to do those eight things every day. Sleep is a big one, and I am getting really good sleep and really efficient sleep.

Also, the BodyBugg helped me keep my calorie burn accurate. Sadly, it was bought out by Jawbone, and then Jawbone discontinued it. It was the ONLY accurate calorie tracker out there. The Fitbit and other fitness trackers are WILDLY INACCURATE for calorie burn so please do not go by their estimates that are based on an algorithm and not on accurate body measurements. I went on a hike with a woman who was a foot shorter than me, and her Fitbit said she burned 1400 calories while my BodyBugg said, accurately, that I had burned about 500. I tracked the data with this device for eight years, and my calorie burn - my calorie intake always = the pounds I ended up losing. I think it was 94% accurate because you wore it on your arm (see slideshow), and it measured four things on your body. Beware of the Fitbit because it makes some people fat! http://www.fitnesstipsforlife.com/can-a-fitbit-make-you-fat.html/comment-page-1#comment-359822

You can watch all my VLOG posts for other tips on weight loss! They are all around a minute long. So, not a big time consuming thing to do but helpful tips:


There you go! Now I have SAT ON MY BUM so long writing this that I must MOVE!!

HOW I HAVE MAINTAINED IT

I already mentioned that I do not allow myself to have my favorite beverage if I am above a certain weight: "No chai tea above 173" is my new motto! (As I mentioned above, I changed that in 2016 to allowing myself a single serving [used to make a double] and allowing WHIPPED CREAM on top only when I am at 173 - like I was this morning! What a treat to have a little WHIP on my chai!)

I examined my pattern weight gain after a period of losing since 2008. I had the data from my Body Media BodyBugg. So that gave me valuable information about what I do. Here is the post with all my analysis of that data: 

"The Good News on My Overeating

I had two times since the weight loss where it climbed back up about five pounds. This last time was due to a relapse in my back on October 10th, and I wasn't able to burn a lot of calories because I needed to rest a LOT and could not even stand for long periods of time. All that said, I overate about 233 calories per day during that time period (When in pain, I eat. I also need to eat to keep myself from being nauseated from pain meds.) gaining five pounds. But it is so much easier to "course" correct at five pounds rather than thirty, taking two and a half weeks to lose it rather than fifteen!  So, I am committed to "course correcting" on a regular basis. So, I weigh myself at least every two weeks, but I admit I did not weigh myself between November 25 - December 30 because of the holidays. I was afraid to do it!  But fear is our biggest enemy of weight loss, and I was pleasantly surprised that I had only gained three during the holidays and two from my back injury! YAY!

(2017 update: I lost to goal before England, but I gained again. So, I am committed to maintainance once again this year. It is not good to fluctuate more than 10 pounds for post-menopausal women! See this article: http://www.realsimple.com/health/yo-yo-diet-heart-disease-sudden-cardiac-death)

Maintaining is also easier with the two women who hold me accountable and encourage me. I always have them to email with my "FACEing my day" (see the link to my VLOG videos about FACE.)

(2017 Update: The women quit logging so I felt at a loss. But I am giving my reports everyday to them regardless of whether they report or not. One has reported a few times a week, and the other has not even responded to any of our emails. I am on LoseIt! which has a very nice and encouraging community. Most are losing a large amount of weight, but that is OK. They do have a maintaining group that I hope to be in soon. 2017 Update - As of February, I am in the maintaining group. They are a small group but many have become my friends so we encourage each other. I am still sending my reports to the two I have reported to since 2004!)

As I said at the beginning, maintenance was my goal, not weight loss. I had that mindset from the beginning, and that has really helped. 

(And maintenance still remains my goal even though I lost sight of it when I switched to Pilates over calorie burning exercise. I have loved having no PAIN anywhere, but I have not loved the extra POUNDS that came as a result of the switch in my daily calorie burn. I am dropping one of my Pilates classes so that I can have more time for calorie burn. 2017 update: because of the switch, I was able to get off those last stubborn five pounds. I think four hours of teaching was just right for me. I also have more time for aerobic weight training that strengthens and burns calories while Pilates strengthens and stretches. So, I like this balance much better and will make it easier to maintain.)

I am tired of not maintaining, and this is my commitment for 2017! (And I am doing great so far!)

Carol


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