It’s Official: I’ve Lost 10 Pounds!
Like most Americans, I’ve been trying to lose weight for years, with not much success. I’ve made numerous New Years Resolutions, started and quit exercising more times than I can count, and stopped dieting more times than I’ve started. All without seeing a single pound drop.
The closest I got was 5lbs about two years ago, when I worked as a housekeeper for a hotel for a month. I gained that weight back the week I quit. I’m pretty sure the only reason I lost weight then is because I basically exercised non-stop 5 days a week for 6 hours a day. Anyone who’s done housekeeping knows what I’m talking about.
Anyway–where was I? Sorry, I got sidetracked . . .
I’ve lost weight! Ten pounds, and I’ll tell you how I did it, too. Hopefully this will help some of you.
Set time aside to be healthy
Chances are, you aren’t me. God has blessed me with the chance to be a housewife and let my husband support me. I have plenty of time to exercise and watch what I eat. (Or the opposite–eat because I get bored)
You probably don’t have time to sleep, much less cook or exercise. But believe me, if you want to lose weight, you will probably have to. And if you are so busy you physically can’t schedule twenty minutes to cook something healthy, you might have to get creative.
For example: Take the stairs instead of the elevator. What floor do you work on? 7th? Oh, lucky you. You just got your exercise in for the day.
Keep in mind, making time doesn’t just cover cooking and exercising. It also covers shopping. If you make room in your brain to shop better, eat out less, stop going to Starbucks, etc., then your also making room in your life to be healthier.
No more soda, snacks, or fast food
You’ve heard it once, and I’ll say it again. You want to lose weight? Eat healthier.
What does that mean? That means no more candy. No more desserts. No more soda. At all. Not diet coke, not coke with fake/substitute sugar. Maybe carbonated water, but even then I’d draw the line. Just do yourself a favor and stop drinking it. Sugar aside, it’s full of chemicals that aren’t good for your body.
I know you’re addicted to Dr. Pepper (my husband is), but instead of spending the $20 a week on sugary drinks you’ll down in a single setting (if your like my husband, he can drink an entire liter of Dr. Pepper. By himself. In one setting. Now you know why it got banished from the house), spend it on fresh fruits and vegetables or lean meats instead.
Meat isn’t cheep. How much can you buy if you aren’t spending it on food that would go straight to your thighs?
For me, eating healthier also meant no more fast food. Now, I didn’t eat fast food necessarily because I liked the taste. We ate out a lot because we were lazy, it was convenient, and our fast food joint of choice was literally two blocks away.
Getting off my lazy butt and cooking not only gave me something to do, but it allowed me to control what went into my body. And it saved me about $80 a week I could spend on healthy foods that I wasn’t spending on fast food. And just so you know, it’s just the two of us. I don’t have kids yet. I can’t imagine how hard this would be if I did.
Can’t go cold turkey? You might need to do what I did and give yourself a treat once in a while. For us, this meant we allowed ourselves to go out to eat on the weekends. Note: this did not mean fast food. So, yes, go eat in that expensive Mexican restaurant. Just not Taco Bell.
I don’t count calories on the weekend. Yes, this means I don’t lose weight on those days. In fact, I usually gained 2 or 3–or even 5–pounds on the weekend.
Oh, and don’t forget to stop snacking and eat less. Eating healthier doesn’t mean squat if you can’t control how much you eat. Or eating between meals all the time.
The idea is to retrain your metabolism and your taste buds. If you aren’t constantly craving ice cream (me), it’s a whole lot easier to eat less. This isn’t a quick fix. It will take a while. So make sure to develop your patience, too, while your at it.
Get to know your body
Everyone’s body is different. You don’t have my body (be glad). I don’t have yours. And you definitely don’t have that magazine model cover’s body. She don’t even have it. Ever heard of a thing called photo shopping?
Your body will respond to different exercises and diets better than others. Find out what it responds to best. For me, this meant I needed to eat more protein and less anything my body thinks is a sugar. Which included starchy foods like pasta and vegetables.
I didn’t eliminate it from my diet–if I did, my husband would protest and then buy it behind my back just so he can sweet talk me into making my homemade meatballs. But you can bet I reduced it. If I eat too much of it, I get just as tired as I would have on a bad night of sleep. Instead of eating macaroni every day of the week, I had it only two nights a week.
This also meant I got out of the house and into the sun. Sorry, honey, but I need my daylight to wake up. Right now, it’s cloudy and noon: I’m yawning and fighting to not eat something sugary.
If you have any kind of health issue, you will already be on some kind of restricted diet. Like if you had diabetes, for example. Work with your health issues. Stick to the diet that will help you get better best. Atkins? Paleo? Vegitarian? Whatever your problem is, what you eat will either make you healthier or not. Don’t make yourself sicker by doing an exercise or a diet that will exasperate your problems.
Find an exercise you like
It’s a basic truth of the human condition: if we don’t like something, we don’t do it.
Why do you think we stop exercising? Because we hate it. Because its a hassle to put on exercise clothes and go to someplace and get sweaty for an hour and feel exhausted for the rest of the day. Because no one really likes how sore muscles feel (not unless your already in shape). Because people like having energy, and exercising can take what little you have away.
But if your overweight, you need to exercise. So find an exercise you like and do it. You aren’t going to exercise if you don’t like it.
For me, I like biking. I live in an apartment at the edge of your typical, suburban neighborhood. I’ve got a one-mile route that goes through that neighborhood and yet never takes me more than a half mile away from home. This way if I crash and fall off my bike, I can walk home. Or limp to someone’s house to use their phone.
Do you like to run? Good for you. I hate it. Need something less harmful on your joints? Try swimming. Can’t leave home? Exercise videos are your new best friend.
Whatever it is, find something you like to do. Don’t do what so-and-so is doing because he swears by it. Don’t do the newest exercise craze. You’ll get burned out and bored of those things in a week. Do something you like to do. As long as it gets you off the couch.
Get off the birth control
Now, so far, I’ve given you a lot of advice. Every one of these things I have done, and I honest believe they have helped me lose 10 lbs (since March, if your curious). They have certainly helped me be healthier. I feel better now than I did this time last year.
But you want to know why I really was finally able to lose weight? I got off birth control.
That’s right ladies. That little pill that allows you to have as much sex as you want and yet not get pregnant? That’s the thing I’m talking about.
Everything I looked up on the internet said that weight gain is not a side effect of birth control. Personally, I think they lied. Because the instant I started taking that little pill, I gained 5 pounds. And it didn’t stop there. In the 2.5 years I was on birth control, I gained 25 pounds. That’s right. 25. My previous average was about 5 lbs a year, not 10. I shudder to think how much more I would have gained if I’d stayed on it.
Here’s the thing about birth control, ladies: it is designed to mess with your bodies.
Medical science likes to believe they know everything about our bodies. That they know exactly what’s going on in there, and that they have all the answers for why such and such happens. They don’t. And they don’t know near as much about the female reproductive system as we would like for them.
The female body is full of all kinds of hormones. Maybe they were in balance to begin with, maybe they weren’t. Maybe your ideal balance isn’t the same as someone else’s. Maybe it doesn’t look anything like the textbooks. Maybe it shouldn’t. Who knows what good or bad that little pill is actually doing you?
I’m not saying birth control is bad, ladies. Don’t think that. If you actually need your birth control for very good reasons that have nothing to do with controlling the population of little people in your home, then by all means take it.
But for me, birth control was not that great. Sure, it gave me regular, pain-free periods. And it made sure I didn’t get pregnant. But that was it.
For me, birth control increased my appetite and decreased my metabolism. I was always hungry–especially for the wrong things–and I had no energy to burn off the extra calories. Not to mention, I was depressed more times than not.
You know how hard it is to lose weight when you’re depressed, hungry, and have no energy? Of course you do. You probably feel like that right now.
Now that I’m off the pill, I have energy, I’m not nearly as depressed as I was, and I can more easily control how much and what I eat. Coincidence? I think not.
I hope some of this helps you. Feel free to leave a comment. But please, consult your doctor if you have questions. I have an English degree, not medical.