Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Weight Loss, Take 2

With the Biggest Loser finale last night, the guilt I’ve buried over the last few months while sitting on the couch watching the show has boiled over (again).

A couple of years ago, inspired by the amazing success of the contestants on the show, I decided that it was finally time to commit to becoming healthier, to losing the weight, to saying good-bye to shopping in the plus-sized section forever. Over the course of 6 months, I took off 60 pounds, squeezed into a stretchy size 8 and felt amazing! I still had some work to do, with about 30 pounds to go, but I was really happy with my progress.

With the stress of dealing with the situation with Youssef, coming back to the States, rebuilding my career and writing around the clock, the gym membership has been gathering dust and the weight has been creeping back on.

No more! I’m getting off the couch. I’m putting down the chocolate. I’m investing in getting fit. I’m holding myself accountable.

The first time through this weight-loss journey, I concentrated on eating as naturally as possible with a diet that was hinged on what I understand best, science (at least quasi-science), with 4 simple, not-so-secret weight-loss rules:

No unnatural fats.
I cut out unnatural fats because I recognize that the enzymes in my body that make use of the nutrients that I ingest best recognize naturally occurring substances. From a chemistry point of view, synthetic fats tend to be more chemically stable, i.e. they don’t break down as easily as natural fats do.

Control every calorie.
First, I set a calorie goal, a range that I had to hit every day - nothing new, nothing groundbreaking. Then, I controlled every calorie and charted my nutritional intake on (an awesome site with incredible weight loss tools). To implement this regime, I placed myself on a food schedule with every calorie planned throughout the day.

Limit over-indulgence to natural, nutrient-rich sources.
I’m the kind of girl that likes to eat. I am always hungry. When I’m not eating, I’m thinking about eating or planning when I’m going to eat next. It’s a problem! When I began the diet, I really had a hard time avoiding eating. So, I made a rule that if I had to eat and break the calorie rule, I would allow myself to only choose something healthy.

Burn calories every moment possible.
Not only do I like to eat, I HATE exercising. The treadmill is my enemy. The gym bunnies are Satan’s spawns. The Bosu Ball was created by a sociopath intent on destroying the will of every self-respecting fat girl on the planet (not really, but that’s how it feels).

Not only did I force myself to exercise, but I also found ways of incorporating small changes into my habits to burn more calories. I drank colder water. I stood more than sat. I fidgeted. I did random push-ups. I parked at the back of the parking lot. I walked an extra block. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.

So What Now?

Now it’s time to buckle down, make a commitment and choose a direction.

Since I’m publicly committing to losing the weight and tracking it via my blog, I’m going to have the pressure on to stick to my word.

As far as the direction goes, I’m going to take a slightly different take on it than I have in the past. I’ve purchased a couple of the Biggest Loser books, the original one (now a “bargain” book at Barnes & Noble) and the Biggest Loser Fitness Program. Both are similar in their approach to weight-loss than I’ve used in the past, but using the books feels a bit more supportive.

I’ll have to adjust the menus and recipes to make it vegetarian- and schedule-friendly, but it is time to getting back to making that change. It’s not about New Year’s resolutions or hiding the ring of chub over my pants when I sit or hiding from the scale; it’s about getting back to my commitment to being healthy.

If you have any weight-loss, fitness or diet tips or tricks, I’d love to hear them!


  1. Good for you. For me the problem is not actually losing, it's motivation and keeping going.

    One tip that works for me - eat a good breakfast; then about 100 calories every hour or 90 minutes until lunch; modest lunch and then the 100 calorie stuff again until dinner.You can figure out how it works with your calorie level.

    Supposedly this keeps the metabolism going and hunger at bay, plus if i know I'm going to eat again in an hour, things don't seem so urgent.

    approx 100 calories - apple; 12 almonds; banana; Wasa cracker and tsp of peanut butter; boiled egg; yogurt.

    I also wear a pedometer to track every step - 10,000 is good.

    I'm rooting for you!

  2. Thanks Chris! You're so right about the motivation. Keeping on top of it is 90% of the battle.

    I love the pedometer suggestion. I've heard it over and over again but never actually put it to use - maybe this time's a great opportunity to try it.

    Thank you again for the support!!