Losing Weight and Feeling So Good. How did I do it?

This is a miracle. It is February 5th and I have survived the holidays without putting on a pound. As a matter of fact, I have LOST 6 pounds over the last 6 months (a big miss compared to my lofty goal of shedding 5lbs a month!!). In August when I wrote about my horrific weight gain, I knew it would be hard to lose weight because my social life consists almost entirely of eating out and catching up with friends over cocktails and wine. But once I lost 5lbs and managed to keep it off for a few months, I knew I had passed a milestone of sorts.

Also, for me, 5lbs is noticeable. I feel much better, my blood pressure is down significantly, and my arthritis is definitely under control. I look better and my clothes fit better. The pictures above are from the last few months. I will do a better job of documenting the weight loss between now and the summer.

How did I do it?

For the first few months, my weight loss teetered around 2-3lbs – sometimes up, sometimes down. It was not very inspiring to see no progress. But once I started to get diligent about what I ate things improved.

Here are ten rules that are working for me:

  • No eating after 10pm. I literally tell myself “you could have these chips or candy but tomorrow morning, you will feel so disgusted with yourself when you step on the scale.” That works 75% of the time and now that I see the weight loss, I am even more inspired to do the right thing and not get derailed by unhealthy snacks.
  • Count the calories. I use the Lose It app and am diligent about adding every last morsel of food or sip of wine. My goal is to not go over 2500 Calories when I go out. And I am trying to stay home 2 days a week so that I can stick to 1500 calories twice a week.
  • No snack foods. This is easier when Brad is away because then I simply do not buy any. Now that he’s back and the cupboards are once again stocked with crackers and cookies and chips, I have to show more self-restraint.
  • Buffet table willpower. The 3 days that I work at Ludlow House each week, I have to show remarkable self-control. I always get a large piece of salmon and fill up the plate with greens. And I have gotten good at telling myself that although I’m spending $18 for lunch, I don’t want to give in to all-you-can-eat piggery because when I step on the scale, I will be very very unhappy with that decision.
  • Dial down the drinking by one or two glasses of wine when socializing.
  • No drinking when attending large parties.
  • No salt – very bad for my blood pressure
  • Avoid cheese and salami – caloric and bad for my blood pressure. This requires ridiculous amounts of will power. While I am writing this post, I am literally 15 ft from the buffet table but have not touched the cheeses or salamis.
  • Work out every day. Additionally have signed up with a trainer once a week to strengthen my core. My third week of working with him and I am definitely feeling – and seeing – the difference. Also, I walk everywhere and take Citibike instead of subway or taxis.
  • Don’t sabotage yourself. I often find that once I hit a new plateau of weight loss, I will do something really stupid like eat a pint of ice cream that I know will make stepping on the scale a disaster. What often works is telling myself how much better I will feel/look in the morning if I forego this craving now.  It has worked often enough that I am routinely overcoming the desire to binge eat at night.

I will do another health update in May before I head off on my next big trip. But so far, so good.

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