- read my weight loss journey part 1 – the background here.
- read my weight loss journey part 2 – the diet here.
- read my weight loss journey part 3 – the exercise here.
- read my weight loss journey part 4 – the results here.
So like I said yesterday, after 5 months (September 2006 – January 2007) of faithfully doing the South Beach Diet and exercising, I had lost between 35 – 40 pounds. I stayed at that weight for about 10 months and maintained it easily with Phase 2/3 eating and 30ish minutes of exercise per day. Until I got out my food journals, I thought this was the weight I stayed at until we got married. However, around December 2007 I started losing again (I didn’t really remember this, but I guess I just started being more mindful of what I was eating) and I lost 5-10 more pounds. I kept that off for about 5 months but then it kind of went back up to my original weight loss range. I held pretty steady at that weight for another year.
At the time, I still thought I should lose more. Don’t get me wrong, I felt very healthy and happy but even after all that weight loss I still wasn’t ready to rock a bikini or anything. However, looking back it is obvious that the weight I reached after my original big weight loss is one that my body is comfortable at and is pretty easy for me to maintain. I think that in order to reach that elusive goal weight and have that awesome body I would have to be so strict with my diet and exercise. And guess what? I don’t want to! I love food too much and I don’t want to obsess over every little thing. So as long as I’m healthy, I think I’m going to accept that weight for what it is – I’m not super thin but it’s obvious that’s a good weight for me.
Things got harder after we got married. For one, we lived in an apartment complex with a little tiny gym so we didn’t want to purchase a gym membership, but it didn’t have much stuff and there were definitely no classes for me to go to. Another thing was that I started my first year of teaching. If I wasn’t working late hours at school I was bring stuff home to work on. It was brutal, one of the hardest things I’ve done, and as a result I stopped working out almost altogether and we definitely let the healthy eating slide. That first year I gained back 15-20 pounds. That following summer (2010) we decided to join a gym which really helped and I made a promise to myself that I was going to workout during the school year. I wasn’t going to let work dictate me and I was going to make time for myself. I did great with that and worked out consistently all school year last year, even after starting grad school during the spring semester. I just made sure to make time for it. However, I still wasn’t careful enough with my food so I toned back up since I had started working out again but I didn’t lose much weight.
This is a little off topic, but I don’t really know where to put it so I’m just sticking it in here. All during my weight loss I had never counted calories. That wasn’t something I wanted to get obsessed with, and I was getting results without doing so. However, after we got our iPhones last summer I got an app, called Lose It, where you can enter your food and it tracks your calories eaten and burned. You can also enter your weight loss and it makes a nice pretty graph (very exciting to this math teacher). I was already writing all my food down so I just started doing so electronically using this app. It was nice because is stored previous meals so I didn’t have to re-write stuff every day. I don’t advocate counting calories exclusively, because eating 300 calories of junk food is definitely does not do the same thing to your body as eating 300 calories of lean meat and veggies. But it is a good way to keep an eye on how much you are eating. I’ll use it for a while to check myself and make sure I’m on track, then I’ll quit for a while just to take a break.
So here I stand (sit, actually, while writing this) about 15 pounds above that weight where I know my body is happy and that can be maintained. However, writing this has really inspired me and reminded me that I did it before and I can do it again. We have joined a gym here in Bowling Green and I’m enjoying it so far; I just need to be a little more careful with my eating and I know the weight will come back off.