there IS NO SECRET!!!!
So, I've had several people message me after I posted yesterday's progress photos asking abut what I do to lose weight and how I'm doing it. Now, these people honestly asked for help and I absolutely want to help them!
People helped me and now it's my turn to help others, and to be fair, none of these people asked for "the secret" lol. But some people do and I want to make this very clear... there is no "secret." There's no magic pill, or special wrap, or special drink. It's hard, hard work, day in and day out, and it takes a lot of time but it is also so worth it!
So to make thing easier, I decided to do this blog post to talk about what I have been doing and how I've been doing it, to lose the weight, start getting in shape and get healthy!
And, just as a warning, I am going to be completely honest and open here. Nothing is off the table. If it needs to be mentioned for some reason it will be no matter how embarrassing it may be!
I've written posts like this before but it's been a while since the last one so I'm going to be repeating some things, so if you you've read them already, feel free to skip over them and if anyone has any more questions, feel free to leave them here on the blog or try me on my Facebook or Instragram. I'm online a lot and I always answer my messages and, honestly, I would absolutely love to help anyone who wants the help! You won't be bothering me at all!
So... let's go back to the beginning. I started out "officially" in June of 2015 at 230 lbs. This was my highest weight ever and I was miserable and obese. My clothing sizes kept going up. I was in pain most of the time, not just from the Fibromyalgia (which doesn't go away with weight loss) but also massive back pain, joint pain, knee pain, migraines... you name it, I probably had it. I was binging constantly, not just because I felt like I couldn't control myself but also to make myself feel better emotionally.
There are things I have not written about before but I will here. I apologize if some of them are a little too much TMI but it is what it is... so... that was your warning for the following paragraph...by the time I hit 230 lbs (at 5"3) I had to stop shaving my bikini area because I couldn't really see it anymore and I was starting to get rashes under the, uh, hanging stomach skin due to the rubbing and it never seeing air. My thighs rubbed together when I walked and chafed so I refused to wear dresses and skirts (not that I could find any to look good on me anyway). I hated everything about my body. Okay, TMI over.
I was on numerous medications, not just for the mental health stuff but for tachycardia (rapid heart rate), blood pressure meds for high blood pressure and statins for high cholesterol. I was unhealthy and getting more unhealthy with every day.
I was tired and fat and unhappy. I hate how I looked. I hated how I felt. I hated what I was doing to myself. I felt incredibly uncomfortable in my own body and I knew something had to change.
Now, sure, I've tried losing weight before 2015. I've done calorie counting, I've done Weight Watchers, I've done the "starving myself because I'm depressed" thing... and everything worked for a little while but I would always, always go back to gorging myself on junk and making myself feel better with sugar and carbs.
Food was my comfort and my friend. I ate when I was happy. I ate when I was sad. I ate when I was upset and to celebrate anything. Food, food, food... but never good, healthy food. It had to be sugars and carbs. They made everything better... or so it seemed. Turns out they made everything worse but that incredible feeling of letting the food take over and comfort me was just too good to give up at the time. But it had to happen before I ate myself into the grave.
My back pain was getting worse with each day and my back would go out all the time. My joint pain was getting worse. I couldn't make it up one flight of stairs without breathing hard so I stopped trying and just took the elevator. I was running out of clothes that fit and every size I had to get was higher than the size before. I hated all of it!
Around June of 2015 I decided to start losing weight again but this time, I not only joined a gym, I also got a trainer there (who remains more than just my trainer now and I consider her to be a good friend). She suggested low carb, which was really funny to me because my doctor had just suggested the same and so I was... okay, if both of these people, who I trust, are telling me to do this, let's do this.
That day I went out and got a huge Chinese Food meal (last meal before the diet... who hasn't done that?) and then I started. Well, that's not exactly true. I researched and read everything I could find on low carb and then I started. It was low carb plus calorie counting plus whatever exercise I could do in between cycles of pain and my back going out.
That was my first bout with low carb. I did lose weight during it but I also made many mistakes that actually took quiet a while to learn from. I'm going to talk about the things I did right in the next post but first, let's talk about what went wrong.
One of my biggest mistakes was to have a weekly cheat day because my cheat days never stayed "weekly" for long.
I am, and always have been, a carb and sugar addict but I just couldn't admit it to myself. I would have a good week, maybe two on low carb and then I would allow one cheat food. That cheat food would turn into a cheat meal, that turned into a cheat day that turned into a cheat week and so on.
I did manage to lose my first 31 pounds between June 2015-May 2016 and then I spent a year floundering around while I lost and gained the same 6-8 pounds over and over and over again because I kept changing my mind and cheating.
If you've read this blog for a while, or if you want to read back some, there's almost an entire year of blog posts were I go back and forth pretty much weekly, if not daily, one day sticking to low carb and then next day planning a more moderate carb approach and the next day planning to just count calories and then back to low carb again. It was a vicious, horrible circle of driving myself (and everyone around me) absolutely crazy with mind changing and poor decisions when it came to food.
My kids stopped believing me because they were sick and tired of hearing my promises for get healthy and then watch me cheat on those promises over and over again (and let me tell you, that one hurt!). Hell, I stopped believing in me. Yes, I was smaller and slightly healthier but I was still obese and the weight was coming back.
I was desperately unhappy again and constantly changing my mind to the point where I was making myself dizzy and then... then it all changed.
So what changed?
The absolute biggest thing that changed was that I took away cheating and that changed EVERYTHING.
So let's start there... two major things led to my change and cemented my decision to stop cheating and they remain as clear in my mind now as they were then.
1) I read an article about a woman who lost (and kept off) 180 lbs doing low carb/keto with NO cheat days at all and a part of me thought.... well, if she can do it, maybe I can do it too.
2) I watch "My 600-Pound Life" a lot and there was this one episode, which came on the heels of reading that article, that cemented the "no cheating" decision for me. The woman lived at home and shared a room with her 15 year old son. He was talking about his mother and he said that she likes to sneak food and claims it's her cheat day. And then he said the words that hit me like a bolt of lighting. "... but it seems like every day is her 'cheat day.'"
And I was, like, "Oh, sh*t." and I called out to my oldest son and said the quote to him and he said, "yup, that's pretty much how it is." and something in me broke. And suddenly, just like that, I was ready to get serious and change it all.
I didn't want that kind of relationship with my kids. I didn't want to keep failing and showing them that I was choosing to fail because that is exactly what I was doing. They didn't trust my word anymore (at least not about my food) because all I did was break it and I refused to do that to them, to my husband, or to me anymore.
It had to stop and it had to stop now.
That was the day I changed it all. It was Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 and I have yet to have a cheat day (143 days cheat free today)!
I've lost 32.2 pounds since June 6th and 63.6 pounds in total. I'm no longer obese according to the BMI chart. I'm down numerous inches all around (all on my "weigh-ins and measurements" page). I'm down into sizes and a weight I haven't been at in about 14 years. My pain has improved immeasurably. I'm faster, I'm stronger, I work out almost daily. I'm not on cholesterol meds anymore and I think my blood pressure meds will be lowered soon. I'm only 36-ish pounds away from my original goal weight (and losing 100 lbs) and I feel amazing.
So how am I actually doing it?
I'll tell you in the next blog post (which I will write as soon as I post this one, lol, because this is getting VERY long).