Warning: This subject may be sensitive for some people, and also this is long, rambly, and just a stream of consciousness. You’ve been warned!
I want to talk about health and weight loss. I know it’s a sensitive subject for many, but it helps me stay motivated to write it all out.
I have lost and gained and lost and gained and lost and gained for so long. I was on a good weight loss path again when I got pregnant. Of course I gained then, but it was way more than necessary. I stopped even trying to eat healthily. I was just constantly hungry. After having Lizzy I got back on the scale and was nearly forty pounds over the weight I was when I got pregnant. I cried. I cried a lot.
When I was younger, even in high school, weight was not something I ever had to worry about. I ate what I wanted, drank what I wanted, and was constantly being told how thin and fit I was. The thing is, I was also very active. I never learned how to cook. Never learned what was healthy vs unhealthy. Over the last, ugh, so many years I’ve learned a lot about food, preparing food, calorie counting, every single diet under the sun, and now I’m trying to learn how to just take care of myself.
Last fall I had my annual health screening. Everything was good except my BMI. I should’ve been happy. It’s not even like my BMI was far off. It was only a point or so. I was upset with myself. I had been down a few more pounds, but gave in to junk food, temptations, and probably mostly alcohol. If it weren’t for that, my BMI would’ve been in the normal range.
Now, I know many other people have had this same struggle or harder struggles with weight and health, but this is about my internal struggle. My mom and two of her sisters have always been stick thin. No matter what they ate or drank. Always. So growing up the assumption was I had the same constitution. Turns out, I don’t. That’s fine, but I had to learn how to take care of myself. It’s taken a long time, and I’ve learned a lot over those years. The biggest thing though is losing weight is really all about eating less and moving more. Calories in vs calories out. Simple concept yeah? Sure. In theory, but then you have to put it to practice. First you have to find out how many calories your body burns on the regular then determine how quickly you want to lose the weight. The longer it takes you to lose the better off you’ll be in my opinion.
Let me state here, this is my personal account. I’m not a doctor, I don’t have a degree in any field even remotely related to health or food. This is just from the many times I’ve been up and down trying to find a way to just stay down instead of going back up. The trouble is… I know what the trouble is. Self control, sweets, sugar, alcohol, lunches out with co-workers, snacks, eating while bored. I’m slowly learning to enjoy vegetables. Trying to find other things to stay busy instead of eating in front of the TV. Trying a new “fad diet” to see if it can help me stay in my calorie count. Because, again, it all comes back to calories in vs calories out. I find I get to dinner and don’t have enough calories left to enjoy the meal I had planned. Sure, part of this is just poor meal planning on my part, but the other part is being bored at work and walking down to the little snack shop in the building and buying chips and cookies and other things I don’t need. Even if I’m not hungry.
So, this past Friday I started intermittent fasting. I’ve talked to only a few people about this, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly against it. I get it. They think skipping breakfast is bad or that I’m eating fewer calories than I should be. Here’s the deal. I’m eating the amount of calories I should be to maintain my health while losing weight. I already waited until 9 to eat breakfast. Now I’m waiting until 11 for my first meal. I’ve only been trying this the last few days, but so far I haven’t been overly hungry by lunch time. Just the right amount of hungry. I have my coffee and roughly 60 ounces of water before lunch, and that keeps me going. I don’t feel tired or unfocused. I’m getting quite a bit of work done in the mornings actually.
I know I’ve rambled on quite a bit about this now, and thank you if you’re still here. My focus now, while on weight loss, is also on my mental health and overall well being. I’m listening to my body. If I need food I’ll eat food. If I need to get up and walk I’ll get up and walk. If I need to rest I’ll rest.
Here’s my overall plan which is open to adjustment as needed:
- Consume 1400 calories (Anywhere from 1300-1500 will be acceptable for weight loss desires). I’ve calculated using TDEE calculators and my heart rate monitor that I burn anywhere from 1600 to 1900 calories a day. The higher count is on the days I’m walking 10k steps. The lower count is on days when I’m home or less active.
- Walk 10k steps when in the office (4-5 days a week)
- Drink 100-120 ounces of water each day
- Evening yoga when life isn’t too hectic (2-3 days a week)
- Meal plan/prep each week which has the benefit of helping with grocery shopping and sticking to calorie goals.
- Minimize alcohol intake. Doesn’t mean don’t drink any, but don’t drink in excess.
- Intermittent Fasting through the work week (5 days a week) unless I get hungry early. In that case, I’ll eat half my planned lunch for breakfast and the other half for lunch to guarantee I don’t go over count.
It seems like a lot, but drinking that much water and walking those steps have been a part of my life for well over a year at this point. They’re just habit now. The fasting is at the bottom of the list on purpose. It’s just another tool to assist in my goal.
A few things I’ve noticed only a handful of days into the fast:
- I actually can’t eat the whole lunch I packed as quickly as I could before. I have to slow down eating and actually work on it for the full hour of my lunch break. Even then, sometimes some of it’s getting saved for snacks because I become full.
- I feel more alert after lunch. This could be in part because I’m not stuffing a bunch of fried foods in my face, but I definitely have more energy through the day than I used to.
- I generally just feel happier. Again, this might not be because of the fast, but because I’m happy to have a goal and be working toward it.
And now, after all that rambling. You have a little more insight into me as a person. On top of all the hobbies. Board games, video games, reading, crochet. On top of family. On top of everything else I am there will always be this until I can be happy with myself.