DIET (Do It Every TIme)

Today I subbed at the high school. I went in having limited knowledge as to what Math Analysis or Discrete Math entailed. After looking at the worksheets for Math Analysis, I knew it was more complex than any math I had ever taken. Let’s see, Advanced Algebra, my sophomore year in high school, that was over 34 years ago!

I fessed up to the class and told them they were further along than I ever went in math. I originally was going to sub for a teacher that always uses a Podcast. That sub job was cancelled last night and I got this sub job after the cancellation. I hate to say that for the first class, I truly was worthless. Luckily the day was planned for a sub so the work was sub-worthy.

The rest of the day was interesting. Normally I would teach 3 blocks but today I taught 4. There was a teacher that did not have a sub so the subs filled in during their planning time. So on top of 3 math classes, I also had a Physical Science Class. I earned my money today!

NOW ON TO MY TOPIC OF THE DAY, my weight loss.                                                .

Like many American women, I struggle with my weight. I have never been bulimic or anorexic, but every day I look in the mirror and think, “Ugh, you could be thinner. Why do I look so fat?” Even when I was a size 4-6 in my 20’s, I always had too much cellulite or tummy rolls in my eyes.

I probably have done almost every weight loss program around. Except for Weight Watchers or paying hundreds of dollars for a Jenny Craig-type program, I am sure I have tried it. The Grapefruit Diet, Slim-Fast, doctor (maybe a Quack) prescribed medication, the Soup Diet, Atkins (That actually worked when I was younger), I think I dieted away 3-4 ME’s and then gained it all back.

A little over a year ago, on September 19, 2011, I thought I would try something ingenious…calories in…calories out. AND I would look at long term, not short term, results. I wasn’t going to eat anything special. I wasn’t going to deprive myself. I was just going to track calories. I was going to exercise! Usually I would have a 900-1000 calorie intake.. I was going to be a rebel and figure out how many calories, for a person my sex, my age, my size, burns daily. Then I would go from there.

My Google search found a website, Calorie Counts. I know there are a lot of sites like this one, but Calorie Counts called to me. The site calculated that I burn about 1600 calories a day. I double checked with other websites and they were all consistent in what they calculated. WOW, I had a plan!

Calorie Counts computed that I burned 1600 calories a day. In my research, I also found out that a person should consume a minimum of 1200 calories a day so your body does not go into starvation mode and stop burning calories. So…if I took in 1200 calories, I would have a 400 calorie deficit before I even exercised. My research also found that 3500 calories is the equivalent to one pound. Without even trying, I could use .8 pounds a week. The calculations are always a guide (do we really have exact calculations for that piece of cake or how much you walk?) My treadmill, at the best of its ability, can determine calories burned. If I walked one hour at a 15% grade, I could burn between 750-800 calories at my beginning weight. It was kicking in. I could do this! And if I walked twice a day, I could take in more calories.

I was given a food scale as a gift, so in the beginning, I religiously weighed food so I could figure out calories in real food. I ate what my family ate, only less. I drank wine and figured in those calories; 6 ozs, of red wine = 150 calories. It was amazing! I didn’t have to hide diet pills or gorge myself on proteins. I could be a normal person!

The weight started coming off after I got serious in October. By December, I was losing 2-3 pounds a week and had lost 20 pounds. By February, I had lost 10 more. I had survived Thanksgiving and Christmas without gaining weight and still enjoying the holiday food. In February, I was going to Spain with my husband and one of my children. I needed new clothes!

I will tell you that one of the best things that I did was get rid of all of my baggy clothes. It was costly but I thought if I got rid of my “fat” clothes, I wouldn’t have anything to fall back on; I couldn’t backslide. I had to be conscious of my food intake and exercise regime. I would not have clothes that I could go to if I started gaining back the pounds. It was, by far, the best weight loss incentive I have. I can’t gain back the weight because I don’t have any clothes to wear. So I have to keep the weight off. I have no other option.

The ultimate compliment was when I had my annual exam in march. My gynecologist came in and gave me a big hug and told me how proud he was of me. This is a doctor that I have had for 22 years and the most we have ever done was a handshake, even when my children were born. I told him that I figured if I wanted to live a full life, I needed to get more healthy and start taking care of myself.

I fell off the diet wagon and exercise routine about 6 months ago. I probably have gained 2 pounds back but because I have no fat clothes to go to, I have control. My size 6 clothes still fit. I still have about 10 pounds to lose. I have started walking again, not 7 days a week but 3 or 4 days a week. The plan is to get back to 7 days walking and to throw in weights to speed up my toning. I just need to make it a priority again.

About a month ago, I went to a dietitian at our local Hy-Vee Grocery Store. She tested my RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate). It was calculated that to lose weight, in a healthy way, I should take in 1389 calories. If I exercise, I should consume 1600-1700 calories. This RMR is the calories I burn if I were to lay in bed all day and not do a blessed thing.

I think my new FLA (Four-Letter-Acronym) is DIET…Do It Every Time, meaning that dieting shouldn’t be limiting, It should be freeing; allowing you to feed your body, celebrate good food and drink, without destroying your health or limiting your life.

I feel better and look better than I have in 18 years. At age 50, I have more energy and stamina than I have had in years. I look forward to my next 50 years and take on the challenge with gratitude.

Image before        Image after (and ongoing)

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