Monday, June 16, 2003
posted by Julie |
A little while ago I met Carol, also known as Buddha_Babe through 3fatchicks.com, on the Skinny Daily board there. Carol has been working very hard and seeing great results. So I asked her to tell us her story, share her methods. Here's Carol:
Thanks for asking about my "methods" because a lot of people keep asking me the same thing! I went from a size 18 to (at present) a size 5/6 between 9/02 and today. How'd I do it?
I was motivated by a personal loss - my mom died at the beginning of 2002. She had Type II Diabetes at the end of her life and was always overweight. I made the decision that I was going to do what I could to get healthier as preventative medicine.
I've always been the kind of person who said I would never "diet," but only do behavior modification because mentally a "Diet" isn't a permanent change. For me, this meant going from never dieting because I didn't believe in it, and just accepting my overweight situation, to living at the other end of the spectrum.
I started by diligently keeping a daily food diary and "re-training" myself on what a portion size looks like. ("THAT's a half cup?!) I was eating more than I thought at each meal! I captured all the numbers, not only calories but percentages of carbs, protein, and fats too. Then, I added a daily multi-vitamin, B Complex, 1500 mg of vitamin C, and Soy Protein powder with extra calcium to my fat-free milk.
I went onto the Internet and did LOTS of research - Body Mass Indicators, calorie consumption calculators, high protein foods, www.fitday.com, info. on essential fatty acids, basically anything I could get my hands on to educate myself. Every trip to the grocery store became an expedition, and I read my way down the aisles.
And yes, I was obsessive about it - and I still am because I find that FOR ME it is what allows me to continue to stay motivated. I use all the great compliments I get now to fuel my continued success. READ, READ, and READ some more until you are comfortable with your plan!
Eventually I felt good enough to add a modest exercise program. I walked a little outside, I started by walking 15 or 20 minutes, increased to 30, then 45. Today I do 2.5-5 miles a day of power walking which takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour per day.
At the beginning, I also used low impact aerobic tapes, which were useful. I bought a jump rope for $5, and some 5-pound dumbbells for under $20. The most money I've spent so far is on exercise clothing - but I haven't spent more than $250 on my "exercise program" since I began it last year. I don't belong to a gym and still don't feel the need to do so.
I lift free weights regularly, and I owe some of my enthusiasm for that to Krista (see links on the right and below), and I'm building my muscle mass. Okay, I do ab crunches two to three times per week too, and stretching.
After I lost the first 10-15 pounds, I started seriously tweaking my percentages of carbs, proteins, and fats on a weekly basis to see how I felt and how my progress was going. I find, and this will be of no surprise to anyone who's done the reading, fewer carbs in my diet means I can eat more protein and feel fuller, I don't get carb cravings too often (although I find if I do 5 miles of power walking, inevitably I get a carb craving and will sometimes satisfy it with a few pretzel sticks or a "fat free" cup of pudding ("fat-free" usually means high in carbs).
And all along the way I also set goals for myself. I had dates in mind for achieving each goal. The FitDay website is a great assistance on this because you can track your weight goals when you create a profile. It'll tell you exactly how many pounds you have to lose per week to meet your goal by the date you set.
Today, my goals are in inches and not pounds. I want to look more toned, which means reducing my body fat but increasing my muscle mass - which may mean that my weight stays the same, or possibly even increases! One of my goals is to get into a bathing suit this summer - something I have not done in 10 years. And I don't mean any kind of bathing suit, I want to wear a bikini!
One note on persistence though - there have been several times during this entire length of time where I hit plateaus for three weeks running and didn't lose a pound as measured on a scale. I continued to remind myself during those weeks that I still felt great, and I was sure that my body was retaining water or building new muscle and that I wasn't just "not losing weight." I knew this too because my clothes continued to get baggier. It also helped for me to remind myself that the entire endeavor was about being healthy and NOT just losing pounds.
So - WHEW! - here I am today, a size 5/6, the smallest size I've ever been in my life. I'm still striving to achieve the goals I've set for myself, better muscle tone, lose more inches, etc. and I know it'll be a challenge for me when I move to "maintenance" mode, another transition I'll have to deal with at some point in the future.
And that's how I've done it so far - but your mileage may vary.
Carol just wrote again. She's now working with a personal trainer to boost her weight lifting program into high gear. She's working on the sort of muscle building she wants to support that new bikini. She's tweaking her fat/carbs/protein ratio to support the extra work.
I love these stories. We need to hear more about what people do to achieve and maintain significant weight loss, because we need to remember that it is not only possible, but possible for people who have given up on the whole idea.
Thank you, Carol,
Learning Serving Sizes
Mistress Krista on weights
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