Sunday, May 16, 2010

How I Lost The Weight - What Works For Me

Today is Sunday.  I am a Christian. Growing stronger in my relationship with Jesus and living out my faith from day to day is the overriding reason for my existence.  Everything else is secondary.  Unless we are ill or out of town, Sunday mornings will always find us in the choir loft at our church.  Sunday begins a new week with a whole new set of "gains" and and probably a few "losses."  Hopefully, the scale will reflect a positive "loss."  I am excited to start a new week.  Hope you are!!

I am not a doctor nor do I have any medical education.  I know that what works for one person does not necessarily work for the next.  I found what works for me, but it is unique and would not work for MOST people.  It works for me because:

1) I have a husband who does not expect or require dinner on the table every evening, nor do I have children to consider,  His work schedule is "wacky" and he is gone several evenings each week. As a result, we usually eat dinner at different times & he is content to eat something simple that he fixes for himself. 

2) I do not enjoy cooking and/or planning meals.  This plan is simple, plus is very easy to track calories and document exactly what is eaten.

3) My greatest food "issue" is the inability to stop eating.  If food is there, I have to have it and it never stops tasting good no matter how full I am.  It is a compulsion.  I was not blessed with the "stop eating when full" button.  (There is so much more to this that I will write about over time, but for today, am trying to keep it simple.)  If food is available, I will keep eating it.  But once it's gone, I'm o.k. Sick from overeating maybe, but not normally tempted to resort to unusual methods in search of more food.  I am slowly working on this and am finding more educational materials available to help, but for now, my eating plan for steady weight loss, MUST be very regimented and controlled, 

It's not rocket science, but it has worked for me not once, but twice.............................

1/2 cup cereal (I make my own granola)
1 cup skim milk
1 fruit

One frozen dinner (Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, Healthy Choice, etc.)
Salad or veggie assortment
1 fruit

One frozen dinner (Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, Healthy Choice, etc.)
Salad or veggie assortment
1 fruit or low-cal, fat-free dessert

This will ALWAYS equal approximately 1200 calories which is the level at which I lose weight best.
In addition, I walk at least 10,000 steps per day (how and when I began this habit is a post for another day)
I only drink coffee and water.
If I get hungry between meals, I eat an additional fruit or handful of veggies.  Sometimes a Clif Bar or other protein "bar."

Life happens and with it comes circumstances where following this is not possible.  I revert to my knowledge of portion control and make every attempt to eat what is served to me in reasonable portions.  As with any weight loss plan, the key to success is to get right back doing what you know works for you.

When I began this plan on October 1, 2006, I did a lot of web research evaluating ingredients in these meals.  Healthy eating is important to me and I fully understand that these are considered "processed" foods and contain  ingredients not found in fresh foods.  Many of them have a high sodium content. I weighed this carefully, but knew this plan works for me and with no underlying health issues such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, determined that the benefits outweighed the risks.

I also discovered that between the three brands mentioned above plus many others that have entered the market, one could easily go for a year or more without ever eating the same dinner twice!!  I use coupons, find them on sale and keep a medium sized upright freezer that is usually full of nothing but my "dinners."  I open the freezer, stick my hand in and pick one out.  Lunch and dinner are always a "surprise."  I can honestly say I have never grown tired of this or not looked forward to my next meal.

Needless to say, I've encountered different criticism's when asked about my weight loss and how I did it.  Those generally fall in one of two categories:  1) that's very expensive  or 2) I don't like them, they don't taste good.   My response has always been to smile sweetly and reiterate that what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another.  These are preconceived ideas that mask the real issue and you aren't going to change their mind.   I let my visible wight loss speak for itself while trying to offer encouragement for finding something that DOES work for that person.  I have vowed never to forget what it felt like to be grasping at ANYTHING that might help me get on the right track to weight loss.  I'd hate to ever be responsible for being a "discourager" rather than an "encourager."

Here is the downside of this plan.  It's a big one and something that will continue to be a challenge.   Much like Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig or any plan that involves pre-packaged foods, one has to learn to deal with the challenge of moving back in to the world of "real" food and the availability of it.   In other words, portion control when the portion isn't controlled for you.  This time, as I near my goal, I hope to work out a better balance for the "maintenance" phase.   It's always a learning process, isn't it???

Tomorrow:  More About What Works For Me -Changes in Plan and Tracking

1 comment:

  1. Sharon, I'm starting my weight loss adventure Sept 1st. I'm 51 also a Christian. Enjoyed reading your blog. Do you ever listen to Beth Moore? She was talking about praying about our sins (over eating) for one month everyday. Asking the Lord for healing from this sin. I'm trying this.....