Wednesday, October 7

how i lost 16 pounds and dropped 2 dress sizes in 3 months


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As of this past Monday, I have lost and kept off almost 16 pounds. In approximately three months, I dropped from 14's and Larges to 10's and Mediums in most of my clothing. I'm primarily judging this change by my Gap clothing since that is where most of my wardrobe originates. Take a look below at my before and after. The photo on the left was taken in June 2015, the photo on the right in September 2015. To meet my goal weight, I only have about 10 more pounds to go!

        

I am often asked what am I doing to lose the weight. My initial response is Weight Watchers, but that's really not a complete answer because Weight Watchers is really only the tool that I am using. The real changes are nested within understanding what I am eating, how much I am eating and then making wise choices based on that knowledge.

First and foremost, motivation is a must. I've known I needed to lose a few pounds for quite some time, but it wasn't until I had a reality check back in June that I found true desire to shed the pounds. The drive doesn't have to be a health related one, but it does have to be one that you are passionate about so that you stay motivated in the long term.   

So, let's chat about the changes I have made. I first want to mention that not a single change has been overbearing or unreasonable in any way - I only felt extremely hangry the first week. The impact of the changes, however, has truly been significant.

|One| I said goodbye to regular soda. 

I have a serious addiction, which I have admitted, to Coca Cola - especially the large fountain drink in a styrafoam cup kind. Did you know that a single 12 oz can of Coke is worth 6 WW points? (For reference, I'm allotted 26 points per day with an additional 49 point allowance to use throughout the week.) I am almost certain I was close to consuming my entire daily allotment in Coke alone. I replaced the real Coke with diet drinks to cover the caffeine fix and added much more water consumption.

|Two| I made eating out a rarity instead of a staple. 

I had fell into some bad habits when it came to eating out. I'd drop the kids at school in the morning and swing through McDonald's, Tudor's or Tim Horton's on my way to the office - every day. Large cokes, glazed donuts, biscuits & gravy, and bacon egg 'n cheese biscuits are my weakness. I never made the effort nor took the time to pack my lunch, so I'd pick up Tudor's, Fazoli's, Panera, or Penn Station. Busy evening after work? Let's swing through and grab a pizza so we can avoid dishes. 

All of these things are perfectly okay when they are the splurge, but not when they are the usual. I was so surprised by how bad some of my favorites are. For example, I love the Chili's Cajun Pasta with Shrimp - 32 points. Two slices of Papa John's Large Regular Crust Cheese Pizza - 15 points. Fazoli's Baked Ziti - 18 points. Panera Bread Baked Potato Soup - 9 points.

I would venture to say that I am now eating out only 2 to 3 times a week as opposed to 10 to 15. For breakfast during the week, I keep a half gallon of milk and a box of cereal at the office. For lunch, I either make a sandwich or bring a frozen Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine. When I do eat out, I plan ahead. I research their menu, see what Weight Watchers has to say and then make smart choices before even stepping foot inside the restaurant or swinging through the drive thru.  

|Three| I removed the stash of candy from my desk and started eating fruit. 

I love chocolate, and skittles, and reese's, and cookies, and ice cream, and more oh my. Snacking on sweets at my desk was probably my worst habit. I kept a basket of candy for others to enjoy but then maintained my own stash in my drawer, which I would snack from all throughout the day. When I ate these things, I paid zero attention to the calories and fat contained in them. A regular size bag of M&Ms is 6 WW points - I'd be sure to eat the share-a-size and then chase it down with a large coke. 

In my new world, I am eating a lot more fruit - fruit counts for zero WW points. It wasn't that I didn't like fruit before, I just preferred the junk. Junk is tastier and easier to eat. Plus, it doesn't require any prep work. I'm learning to take time the night before to wash and slice some strawberries or break off a few grapes and have them ready to go. Apples and bananas are good snacks too. 

And now that I've removed the stash, if I have to have a sweets fix, I must actually get in my car and drive to a gas station - I will not lie, I have done that. At home, our cabinets are no longer stocked full of the cookie of your choice, nor am I keeping break and bake cookies in the refrigerator. If I'm going to splurge on something sweet at home, it's going to be something of awesomeness - like warm baked brownies that I actually have to put forth some effort to make.

|Four| I literally measured my food and tracked it.  

I overate - every meal of every day. Weight Watchers encourages you to gain an understanding of portion size and keep track of what and how much you eat each day. I never paid any attention to the serving sizes on anything I ever made or ate. I just consumed until I was finished. 

To help me understand portion size, I purchased a food scale - the cheap one at Walmart, I think it was $5. Realizing the true extent of a portion was eye opening for me. Have you ever measured 3/4 cup of cereal out, counted chips, or weighed chicken? I promise you, one serving isn't much. I'm certain I consumed 3 to 4 servings at a time in most cases.

Tracking your food is monumental. It's amazing how quickly the points add up. When you eat entirely too much of the wrong kind of food on an every meal basis, you can blow through a 2,000 calorie diet in a hot minute. On a normal day for me, I'd say I consumed approximately 75 points. Woah.     

|Five| I splurge occasionally. 

Probably my most favorite aspect about Weight Watchers is that it is realistic and reasonable. In my opinion, it's absurd to think that I could never enjoy again any of the things I've mentioned thus far because they truly are not good for me. I will have those things, but they will be treats instead of every meal side items.

I've also learned to make wiser choices. For example, do I really want to spend my points on this food that I only sort of love because it's available and in front of me now or do I want to say no thanks and save the points for later when I can have something I'd really savor?

I won't lie. I have fallen off the wagon more than a couple of times through this journey. A few days working out of town on business, a child down for the count with a fever, etc. and I'm going to hit the hard stuff - coke, chocolate, and fast food. And that's okay - as long as the next day or even the next week, I pick back up right where I left off with determined focus.

What are some of your go to changes to shed a few pounds?

By the way, I joined the WW Online program in June and am incredibly pleased. I'm smitten with the iPhone app because it's so easy to keep up with and always at my fingertips. 
  
~Trista~

13 comments:

  1. Thanks for the advice and the honesty that losing weight is about making good choices over and over! I've had success with weight watchers in the past and need to get back on track with my eating. It's so easy to ignore portion sizes!

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  2. Oh and I forgot to tell you how great you look! Congrats!!!

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  3. A big high five to you!!! You look wonderful!!! Thank you for sharing this sweet sister friend.

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  4. You look amazing =) You've done an awesome job, so keep it up! I hate that I'm that person that loves junk too, but I do try to make an effort to not eat it. I need to get on track and REALLY make that effort now, you've inspired me!!!

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  5. You look fantastic!! Well done. These tips are very helpful, thanks!!

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  6. Great post and you look great, by the way! I have no clue what portion sizes should be and that's something I really need to take the time and energy to learn.

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    1. Thank you so much! I still struggle with portion sizes. You'd think after a few weeks of measuring and evaluating, I could do it with just a look. But no, I'm still weighing out my lunch meat and chicken! A lot of other things is a matter of taking the time to read the nutrition facts. If I don't look, I'll always eat more than just one serving!

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  7. I've really thought about doing Weight Watchers. I've done it in the past but a part of me is nervous about it because I love Dr. Pepper too dang much. I guess when you really want to make a change you do it. Did you join or have you just been doing it on your own?

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  8. Great post, you look fantastic! You didn't mention nay exercise, this is all based off of eating? that's amazing, it really is crazy how much we eat! And I am a chocolate lover and it's my go to when feeling bad or the day is not fun. I've only heard great things about WW. Good job!

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  9. This is awesome and YOU are awesome! What a positive and realistic (not to mention dedicated!) approach to getting healthy. You're doing great and look fantastic!

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  10. Good job girl!!! you look fantastic! I loved reading the background post too! I used to work at a cardiologist office.

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  11. I'm really trying to eat better so I really enjoyed reading this post. You look really amazing. Eating out really gets me!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I enjoy reading each and every one!

I hope you have a fabulous day! And stay classy through the chaos!

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