Sunday, October 2, 2011

How I lost 55 lbs

So, as I mentioned in my post about remodeling a Bridesmaid's dress, I have lost 55 lbs over the past few years. This seems to be a hot topic with everyone so I decided to share how I did it.

It actually happened in phases over a few years. I had to make gradual changes that would stick then I built on them.

Phase 1
  • Realize that I have to lose weight.
  • Stop buying junk that I don't need to eat: pop, candy, chips, etc.
  • Eat a piece of fresh fruit for dessert.
  • Stop snacking. Ask myself if I am really hungry.
  • Drink water instead of pop.
After phase 1, I lost nearly 30 pounds. It happened VERY quickly, that is, over the span of 5 months or so. It felt like I had done nothing yet I was loosing weight which was great. Then, when the scale started to plateau, I made the next set of changes:

Phase 2
  • Start a walk/run program on a treadmill for 30 minutes per day, 3 days per week.
  • Start lifting light weights.
  • Eat more vegetables.
  • Eat more protein and less carbs (so pasta nights are only on Fridays and no other time during the week). This means that leftover chicken dipped in BBQ sauce becomes a snack instead of crackers, bread or leftover rice.
  • Monitor my sugar intake.
  • Stop emotional eating. If I am sad or angry about something, write it down or listen to music instead of eating.
  • Continue doing everything else above, most notably drinking more water.
After phase 2, the scale started moving again and I lost 25 pounds within a year. Not only that, but my clothes seemed to fit differently now. The scale wasn't moving quite as fast but my clothes were loose. I couldn't figure it out until I realized that I had gained muscle from the walk/run program on the treadmill. It took so long for this phase because my weight seemed to go up and down so I had to constantly lose 5 pounds that I had put on during holidays or trips. Now I am working on phase 3.

Phase 3
  • Do a walk/run program for 45 minutes, 3 times per week, until I can run for 30-45 minutes at a time. 
  • Do a calisthenics workout (mine is on our Wii) for 40 minutes, 2 times per week.
  • Walk to locations whenever possible. For me, this means taking the bus less, walking home from the bus stop every day and walking to and from the grocery store.
  • Eat more vegetables and less carbs. So, instead of mashed potatoes with supper, eat two vegetables instead.
  • Eat fruit or other real food for snacks and desserts.
  • Phase into Clean Eating so that each snack has protein and/or fibre. I really like their menus.
  • Again, continue doing everything else including drinking more water.
With these steps, I hope to loose another 20 pounds. That would be the weight that I have been carrying since high school and I don't know how successful I will be as I can already feel my ribs right now. But, if I only end up losing 10 pounds I can continue living like this and I know that this is a healthy lifestyle.

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