A year ago, I decided to try and lose weight. Again. This wasn’t the first time that I’ve done a diet, only to fall off the wagon a few months later. Still, I was tired of having my clothes feeling tight, not being able to get anything from anyplace but a big and tall shop, and I was worried about my health. Penn Jillette stated on his podcast that he realized he was having to take so many drugs to compensate for the fact he was overweight. That hit home with me. I didn’t want to have all the health problems with my family history if I could help it.
Somehow – somehow – I have managed to keep the willpower to stay on track for a full year. Everything I’ve read led me to the most basic rule of weight loss – “Consume less calories than your body burns.” So, I fired up a calorie counting app I’d used before and started my budget. This time I followed some rules.
Track everything. Even on days when I knew I was going over, I still put everything in my food log.
Manage budget on a weekly basis. I strove to keep under every day, but my main goal was to be under my calorie budget for the week. If I knew I was going to have a party or a team lunch, I made sure to “save up” extra calories earlier in the week.
Weigh myself once a week. – Before I’d weighed myself daily, but there’s too much fluctuation on a daily basis. It’s discouraging. Weekly weigh-ins gave me a better idea of how I was actually doing.
Enlist help. – The Brother was nice enough to help me with this, which was a good thing because he’s the one I do my grocery shopping with. Having someone asking me if I really wanted that package of cookies or chips helped when I was sitting on the fence.
Accept defeats. – There have been weeks when the scale went up instead of down. I needed to understand that those were tactical defeats, not strategic ones. Losing a battle does not lose the war.
Have short and long term goals. – My first short term goal was just to hit 300 lbs. That took seven months to hit, but it was a lot easier to work to that then the 200 lbs. long term goal. I need both to keep my motivation up.
Celebrate wins. – When I hit one of my short-term goals, I have a “bye” week. It’s a week I can eat as I want without worrying about calories. I still track everything I eat during those weeks.
When in doubt, say no. – This was one of the harder lessons, as I love to eat. If I had a doubt whether I should eat something or not, I had to make my default setting as “no.”
Understand that this is a way of life. – This lesson came much later from an episode of Squirrel Report. If I want to keep the weight off, I’m going to be counting calories for the rest of my life. Even when I hit my long term goal, I will still need to count calories.
So, how effective has this been for me?
Starting weight: 355 lbs. Current weight: 261 lbs.
Starting pant size: 56 Current pant size: 44