Losing is winning

So the weight loss challenge (mentioned in a previous post) ended yesterday.  Before I talk about the final weigh-in, let me just recap how the whole journey went.  This was a 7 week “biggest loser” challenge that my bootcamp instructor organized.  By week two, I lost about 7 lbs.  About 5 of those pounds quickly came back.  I had been eating “healthy” and going to bootcamp 2-3 times a week along with a pure barre class once a week.  I didn’t understand why I wasn’t losing more and was even gaining some back.  It was time for a reality check.  Food was the problem.  I wasn’t actually eating healthy at all.  My bootcamp instructor asked me one day “What did you eat for breakfast today?”  A hard boiled egg…just the white.  “ONE egg?  That’s it?!”  He told me to eat at least 2 egg whites, two slices of turkey bacon and an apple.  He also told me to eat a lean meat or fish for lunch along with a veggie.  Tuna alone wasn’t going to cut it.  My body was going into starvation mode because I wasn’t eating enough and therefore was retaining any and all fat it could.  My other problem?  Snacking.  Of course I didn’t admit this to him but deep down I knew it was a big reason why I wasn’t losing weight.  A few pita chips here and there or eating some pretzels while watching tv at night…it had to stop.  I also have cut back on alcohol.  A few glasses of red wine a night used to be pretty normal for me.  I try to completely avoid drinking during the week now.  If anything I will have a small glass of red once or twice a week.  I drink more on the weekends but stick to light beer or wine for the most part.

This past week I made a decision to stop the senseless snacking completely.  Veggies & fruits were allowed and some nuts (1/4 cup a day if hunger struck sometime before dinner) but that was it.  It definitely made a huge difference.  I ended up losing a total of 5lbs at the final weigh-in.  Would have liked to see a number more like 10 but I was just proud that I was able to drive that number back down from what I re-gained in the early weeks.  I also just felt a lot better and I even noticed my clothes fitting better this week.  So why didn’t I lose more?  Because that theory I was hoping was true actually was true – “it’s because it’s turning into muscle”.  He also tracked our body fat percentage at our initial weigh-in.  At the final weigh in my body fat was down 3%.  I’m going to get discouraged by the scale every now and then because of that but need to push through.  Ideally I want to be down 4 more percent.  I plan on having him check my body fat % again in a month to ensure it keeps going down.

Things that have worked for me:

– Eating more for breakfast & lunch.

– Avoiding bread & cheese as much as possible.  Focusing more on lean meats, fish, and vegetables.

– Completely avoiding sweets & salty snacks.  After a week of doing this, I have no interest in eating these foods that I used to crave.  I’m not saying that I won’t indulge here and there but I don’t plan on doing so until I am maintaining my goal and I have still have awhile before I get there.

– Tracking every single thing I eat & drink.  I love the weight watchers online program for this.  I have the app on my phone which makes it even easier to track.

– Brushing my teeth around 8pm to help me not want to snack or eat late night.

– Going to bed before 10pm (can’t eat when you are sleeping).

– Going to bootcamp 3 times a week as opposed to only 2 times.  This bootcamp is 55 minutes of strength training mixed with cardio.  It’s different every day.  No class is ever easy but I also can keep up (most of the time) and feel I accomplished a good challenge every time I leave.

– Doing 10-15 minutes of ab work before bed.  This is the current routine I am loving.  I have added some extra ab work on to the end too.

– Looking at cheesy motivation photos and quotes any time I want to skip a workout.

– I hung some dresses in plain sight in my bedroom that I would love to wear (and feel good wearing).

– Having a partner throughout the process.  My husband did this challenge with me and has been a great support system.  He pushes me to go to bootcamp when I am not feeling it and he appreciates the help I have given him with eating healthier.  (Side note: he came in 2nd place for men in the challenge!  Down 9 lbs!)

– Envisioning my upcoming trip to Aruba.  I just keep telling myself “bikini, bikini, bikini”.

– Blogging about it for the world (or my followers) to read.  This helps hold me accountable.  (You told them you were going to lose weight – can’t go back on your word!)

Just because this organized challenge is over doesn’t mean my personal challenge is.  As of this morning I still have 15 lbs to go until I reach my ultimate goal weight.  That number might change a bit based on muscle/fat ratio.  I want to be realistic and make sure I am at the healthiest weight for me.  Now that I fully accept that my diet is just as important (if not more important) than working out, I have a lot more confidence in actually attaining my goal.  Pretty sure I always knew this fact but just chose to ignore it.

I look forward to posting an update in a month or so.

What are some weight loss tips that work for you?  Comments appreciated.

photo

(one of those cheesy motivation photos I was talking about)

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