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New Year, new me is total bullsh*t. Ahh, just typing that out was cathartic.
I mean, do we really expect a new calendar year to completely change us as human beings? If I was an awful human before, I don’t think one calendar day would make a difference. Right? Much like eating one bowl of lettuce doesn’t turn me into a runway model overnight, no matter how much I will it so. Haha.
Losing weight, whether an ounce or a pound, isn’t just about food. It’s taken me ten years to finally come to terms with that. It IS something that I wanted to change going into this year, even if it was going to be a slow process.
I was always tiny. I was always a skinny kid, and then a skinny teenager, and then skinny in college…you get the point. But then pregnancy and marriage happened, and life took over. Life, with its losses, near losses, changes, and sudden emergencies, it all seemed like it was happening at once. I get it. People go off course, and unlike my body when it was younger, it now laughed at me after kid #2 and decided to revolt. I didn’t help myself by making poor meal choices and letting stress take control. I just sort of accepted it. Doing that was the worst thing I did.
Like most weight gain, mine was a combination of feeling depressed, anxiety, stress eating, and convenience eating. I wasn’t looking at the big picture. I was just enjoying my undying love affair with nachos, or at least that’s what I told myself. I was burning the candle at both ends for so long, that I totally gave in to eating whatever and whenever, and to be honest, I just didn’t care what it was.
This past Christmas I had enough. I bought a scale and decided to see just exactly how bad the damage was. Oh my, it was eye-opening. Like, really eye-opening. My too-short-for-my-own-good frame is not supposed to carry that kind of weight, mentally, physically, or emotionally. What the hell was I going to do? I had just canceled my gym membership because of schedules changing at home, which left me NO time to go. And it’s winter! Getting outdoors by myself was damn near impossible.
I decided it was now or never. And I needed to come up with a plan on how I’d go about this without a lot of time to myself or my gym membership.
The first step was to be completely honest with myself. I created a weight page in my bullet journal with the real numbers. I was not going to sugar coat just how much weight had to go. I needed those numbers to stare back at me. I also made a page to write down what I was eating during the day, along with the water I drank and my Fitbit stats. No lying. Write it down. I’m a pen to paper kind of person, even if the stats are on my computer or apps. I need to write it down to completely absorb the information.
My second step was to GET MOVING. I don’t care how or what I had to do, I was going to get moving every day. I’d start my 30 Day Fitness Challenge, for one. I used to love going to Body Pump classes, but I was not going to buy their weights or gear at astronomical prices. What I did do was hit up trusty old Amazon (which will come back later in the post to save my butt), and I bought hand weights, a stepper, and yoga mat. All things that I could use at home for a fraction of what the name brand equipment cost. There are so many videos online of people recording their classes that I was able to still do it at home, without the gym fee. As of right now, I’m beginning to look more into what other videos are available on my Amazon Fire Stick or Netflix. I definitely prefer to workout to my TV than my Chromebook screen.
Of course, this day in age we have the fitness bands and accompanying apps. I link MyFitnessPal to my Fitbit Charge. Even if I’m not writing everything down, I have all the stats right on a wrist all day long. SO many people have these that creating challenges between friends, or cheering each other on is just as exciting and supportive as the tracking capabilities.
Third for me was what most people put first: FOOD! What was I going to do? I love food, or should I say, I love all the wrong foods. I was eating for convenience and taste, and unfortunately emotions/feelings. This has been the hardest step for me. I want to eat pizza and nachos. I want a pile of potato chips to snack on. I had to start small. I knew if I went full blast I’d be doomed to fail by binge eating the kids’ snacks.
SMALL CHANGES. I started with breakfast. There’s no way in hell I’d EVER give up my coffee. No.Freakin’.Way. But not even my coffee was immune to a little tweak. I went from Extra Large Sugar and Cream coffees from Dunkin’ Donuts in the morning to making my own at home in the coffee maker. Full fat creamer went to fat-free. All that sugar went to 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. Maybe that sugar change still sounds awful to some, but to me, it was a HUGE thing to overcome. I make sure to use measuring spoons to accurately add the cream and sugar. A 400+ calorie coffee just shrunk to about 80.
Food like nachos? I changed out the chips for low carb tortillas that I bake in the oven with a little sea salt. I use ground turkey, and like I said about the coffee, I measure it all out. I’m just changing the way I eat all of those great comfort foods.
But the number one key to all the food is MEASURING IT OUT. I never realized how bad I was sabotaging my diet by not measuring out exact portions or ingredient sizes. Remember when I said Amazon saved my butt? Well, this was it. I found a very small and very accurate digital food scale for under $15 one morning and never looked back, (I know prices are always subject to change on Amazon, but this scale is a lifesaver!). It was so easy to use, easily calibrated to ignore the weight of cups or bowls, and small enough to store without taking up any space. Since I started accurately weighing out the food I’ve noticed that my scale (for my weight) began moving again. It was the single most helpful tool I’ve implemented.
Some of the meals I made this month are:
I won’t lie, it sucks sometimes. I’d love to always eat the huge bowl of pasta that I make for my family, but subbing zucchini or spaghetti squash has become a happy medium.
My loss for January (and the last two weeks of December): 13 pounds.
Here’s to month two!