Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Weightloss 101

After going to my husbands family reunion, so many family members and Friends expressed questions related to how I lost the weight, and how I keep it off. First off, I will make it clear, that never once was losing this weight 'easy'. There is no magic pill (I know, so sorry) there is no miracle 'diet'. The only thing we can really do is make slow gradual changes towards health. So where to start? For me my worst habit (well there were two or three) Diet soda and NO water ever, unless I accidentally swallowed it while swimming the other eating at fast food restaurants! I started out with the water, I stopped drinking soda completely and worked on increasing my daily water intake, some days I felt as if I was drowning. I started carrying a reusable water bottle and still do to this day. This way I can keep track of my water intake, and on a side note help the environment by not throwing away(or even recycle) a million little water bottles. I really did little else, although other changes started occurring. Like I had more energy, I felt better and I chose to exercise! Amazing huh? Dehydration, even a slight bit, can slow metabolism, cause fatigue and generally encourage poor health... so drink your water. As I was feeling better, if I would eat fast food, I would feel worse, thus I just stopped eating it. At this time, I had lost at least 15 lbs and starting exercising and liking it! Imagine that. I started to cook more at home. I ate more vegetables than ever before and more fruits. I was planning meals and balancing my nutrition out over a weeks time, days with more and less carbohydrates and fats. Planning was second nature. As I lost more weight I learned, I can't have as many calories as my 'smaller' body doesn't burn as much calorie at rest or work. (sigh) So constantly revamping, and reworking my food intakes was imperative. Over the years, I have come to eat the majority of my diet from whole foods (just the way they were grown with little processing) I changed all breads and pastas to whole wheat and other whole grains. Started eating brown rice instead of white. Generally I made an effort to make sure what I put in my body was beneficial to my health. I am always asked, how do you do it, stay so committed. Well I want it! I love feeling good and having energy. It's better than eating a whole bunch of junk food, and feeling physically ill all the time. I had so many ailments(which I will spare you all of in this public forum) however, as the weight came off, the ailments went away! Hurray to good health! There is no need to try and be perfect. I know I said before and I will say again. This is an imperfect world we live in. In western culture we have fast food, junk food, processed food shoved down out throats. It's hard to weed through the facts of food and what we really need. When I go to the store. I like to stay to the outside, I like to think like a native and buy the foods that people would have eaten before, the mass grocery store full of processed foods. In school I have learned of the 85/15 rule, others think of 90/10. If your just starting out, how about 80/20. The first number, I will use 85 for explanation, is the percent of healthy foods you eat. Whole foods that nourish you, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, if not a vegetarian like me, eat quality meats, and fish. The other 15 percent is for fun. Eating to enjoy. For me, I still like to keep away from refined flours and sugars as much as possible. Health is not an exact science, everyone is different. All I can say is that if you want health, and a normal weight, be patient with yourself, get support and give yourself time to make permanent changes. If it's not something you can live with, for a lifetime, it's probably another diet gimmick. Give it up and strive for life. Don't forget to add your daily dose of exercise!


Red said...

I could have written this post myself, save the being overweight part. I have never had to deal with being overweight, but have lived in a family of morbily obese family members and married a man who struggles with his weight and was morbidly obese himslef for a time in his life.

My heart aches for overweight poeple. I know their struggle, only through my husbands stories. But you are a shining example of the fact the you, 'Have a choice.'

This is my main argument against overweightness(I made tha up) in this country. I have MS...I did nothng to have that infest my body. My son is autistic, he di nothing to get him to that stage, but being overweight, you can make changes. Are they difficult? HECK YEAH! But you have that ability. There is nothing I can do to get rid of my MS or my sons autism.

I am so glad we have made chages in our life here and the foods we choose to put in our guts. And yes, it is our guts here in the U.S. that are all messed up.

I just read another blogger who went to Europe. And she said that they are soooo much thinner than us here. Why? Becasue they little if any fast food. They cook, and cook with whole foods, and meat is not the big hoopla it is here. There it is a side dish, a compliment to the meal. Here, if there is no meatloaf on the table, people(mostly men) get totally freaked out.

I am considering to a vegetarian Thanksgiving this year. I know my husband is going to buck me, but I am still going to give it a shot. Wish me luck.

Sorry I got so chaty!!

Tam said...

Love it, love it, love it! Your thoughts on water so true! And the 85/15 that's great especially the part about having the treats not be processed and refined! We get into so much trouble letting ourselves have those cause they are non-foods and so very addicting! We go to the health food store when we want a quick treat I like to call it glorified junk food! And we try to keep it down in that 15% range!