Monday, April 24, 2006

Since you asked…



So, lots of people (both in blog land and out) have asked me exactly how I managed to loose so much weight. The 200lbs as most of you guessed was my X, the 80lbs was all me. I've kept it off too, I'm still a size 8. I use to have all kinds of problems with my joints, my ankles would swell and my back gave me trouble. I felt tired and run down all the time, not any more! These are before and after pictures although I'd already lost some weight in the before and am in better shape now than in the after but they give you an idea.

We'll start with a list of what I did NOT do:
Join a program
Use any kind of Fad Diet
Take any kind of "slimming pills"
Buy only diet frozen entrees
Buy Diet Supplements
Use "Slimassed" or any other powdered or canned drink.
Weigh myself all the time (it's how your cloths fit that counts) I know how much I lost by my annual check-ups

Here is what I DID do:

I've done these things as a permanent life style change. If I start reverting to my old ways, I go back to this.

To start with, I was devastated when my X left, totally shattered. I couldn't eat or sleep for quite a while. My 2 oldest sisters in BC use to take turns phoning me every night to make sure I was still OK. I am 5'9", when he left, I weighed 224lbs. I lost about 15lbs right away because of the stress. It felt good (and it was the only thing that did at the time) so I decided I was going to make myseIf over.

First of all I began keeping a food diary. I logged what I ate and when and why for 2 months (I know but trust me it works). Right at the start, I also bought a cheap pedometer. I aimed to walk 10,000 steps a day. If I didn't make it, I didn't worry about it, just went back at it the next day. My son was pretty angry when his Dad left. His counselor recommended I get a rebounder for him to jump on when ever his temper was getting out of control. I found one on sale and soon realized it worked for me too! All the anger I was feeling towards my X and his new girlfriend (she was 23 at the time and I was 39) was channelled into the rebounder. If I was pissed off, I jumped! It's really hard to jump and stay pissed off. SO I was walking and jumping and keeping a food diary.

When I looked at the food diary, I noticed substitutions I could make that would cut calories. half and half and 1 sugar in my coffee became skim milk powder and Splenda in my coffee. less fat, more protein and fewer calories in every cup! I switched up my yogurt, 2% fat for 1% fat, sour cream same thing--all the dairy went to low or no fat. I got use to not putting sugar in things. I switched to leaner cuts of meat trimmed or drained the fat off. lots of fresh fruit and veggies. I like a glass of wine now and again but I cut back (that was easy, drinking a bottle of wine with your husband is romantic, drinking one alone is pathetic). If I drink juice it's either juice mixed with some water or it's juice sweetened with Splenda. I don't drink much pop anyway and I started drinking more water. I don't really eat less, I just eat different. I did some portion adjustment, I'm a starch fiend so I still watch my starch intake. I keep no sweets in the house, If I do want pop or an ice cream, I walk to the nearest corner store and buy 1 creamsicle or 1 diet coke. Chocolate is a bug for me, if I want chocolate, I have a tiny bit (like 1/3 of a chocolate bar) but it'll be a GOOD chocolate bar a Purdys or a Calebaut chocolate bar and I'll eat it slowly. Then I save the rest for later. If I fall off the path, Oh well. Dinner out, I eat what I feel like but don't finish my plate if I'm full.

At the time, I was having back problems and knew I had very weak stomach muscles (a c-section will do that). I read an article on working your core muscles. It came with a set of exercises and a chart. I started doing them faithfully three times a week and added in a couple of my own, working up to 25/each of A: crunches with your legs up on a chair(crunch up, hold for 5 seconds) down repeat B: crunches on a fit ball (lean back at an angle, (crunch forward hold for 5 seconds) back repeat C: take something progressively heavier starting with say a cushion and working up to say a medicine ball sit on the floor with your knees bent leaning back slightly and (twist to the right, hold for three seconds, twist to the left, hold for three seconds) 25 to each side. D: on your hands and knees on the floor (suck your stomach in towards your spine and arch your back hold for 5 seconds) relax repeat. E: On your feet standing with feet shoulder width apart (reach your right hand up and over your head bring it down at the same time as you bring your right knee up to meet it). Repeat 25 times, do the same with your left hand and knee.

That's it. That's how I lost the weight. It took about a year and a half. Every time I went down a size, more stuff went out of my closet to go to the consignment store. I dropped to a 16, then a 14 then 12 then 10 and now I am a size 8 and have been for over a year. All along the way, I rewarded my self with sexy new things bought at the consignment store, a new hair cut, new makeup. Lots of little perks along the way. After I lost the weight, I felt so much better, I joined a gym. Now I also work out on the elipticle trainer and weight circuit. I like the way I look now, people think I am 10 years younger than I really am. Charting things kept me on track, the food diary, the pedometer, the exercise chart. It all helped. To Paraphrase NIKE: I just did it!

PS: I just looked at the calander and realized it was exactly 4 years today that my X came home from his business trip, told me he'd had an affair, got in a cab and left, thus ending our 14-1/2 years of what I thought was wedded bliss. Time files! It also heals all wounds :-D.


Blogger Kathy said...

Good for you. I know it is one of toughest things to do. I agree with you, just start walking, 10,000 is exactly what one should strive for 7 days a week. I took this advice, dropped 5 pounds, and now hate it when i can't walk for what ever reason. Congratulations.

7:29 AM  
Anonymous canKNITian said...

Congratulations on surviving and succeeding during those four years!

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice on that day / the day after, what do you think you would say?

11:03 AM  
Blogger Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

I would tell myself, "Not only are you going to get through this… you will be a better and stronger person becasue of it!"

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Leah said...

You are an inspiration! And you should be very proud! Good for you!

11:38 AM  
Blogger Divine Ladi said...

Wow, what an inspirational story!! That is great!! I definitely think you should write a book, and who knows, it might lead you to be an inspirational speaker. I am still so moved by your story. Wow...

1:54 PM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Marnie you are an inspiration! And good for you - you are not surviving, you are thriving!!! Congratulations, congratulations!!

I have to agree with you; bad times make you so much stronger and ultimately better. I am just so impressed and happy for you.

6:31 PM  
Blogger The_Add_Knitter said...

Thank you SO MUCH for posting your story (and thanks for your email). It's so inspiring to hear about a strong woman taking care of herself and taking care of business. Rock-on!!

11:08 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

Wow. Inspiring. I've been holding out on getting my arse in gear to shed some pounds. I think I'd better get off the couch and have a healthy breakfast before I go for a walk (maybe a run?).

Have a great day!

8:02 AM  
Blogger quiltyknitwit said...

An uplifting and enlightening post! It's all about loving ourselves, isn't it.

7:57 AM  

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