I have just started a thread in the 'Weight Loss Talk' thread which is a review of the Skinny Mini 5 Day Detox program, which I just started today. I wanted to start my own personal thread though, which I can write in, once the detox is over.
A little bit about me. I am 28 years old and I weighed in this morning at 66.7 kilos. I am 5"6. My BMI is in the healthy range (23.6) but I would like to shape up and trim down. There is definitely room for me to shape up and trim down! I am a size 10-12 up top and a 12-14 down below. Ideally I would like to be a straight size 10, but with the gifts God gave me, that is not likely to happen! My goal is to get down to somewhere between 60-62 kilos - whatever feels best for me, and wherever my body stops losing weight whilst just eating healthily. According to the BMI calculator, the lowest healthy weight for my height, without being underweight, would be 56.5kg.
My story: During school I put on a bit of weight which was probably puppy fat, but I freaked out and went on an unhealthy diet which involved eating very little. Breakfast, an apple at school, then dinner. I wish I'd had the knowledge that my body was just going through some changes, and that I just needed to eat well and exercise. Unfortunately I probably did a lot of bad things to my metabolism. What followed school was 8 years of fluctuating weight. In year 12 I weighed a healthy 60kg. I put on about 5 kilos at uni through poor eating habits. Before I moved overseas when I was 24, I lost 5 kilos quite rapidly by pretty much starving myself with those diet milkshakes. My body looked thin but not healthy; I was thinner but not toned. At the start of my overseas trip I weighed 60kg. I struggled with emotional eating overseas and I came home tipping the scales at 71kg. That is the highest weight I've ever been. I know that for others this may not seem a lot, but it was a lot for me. At this weight I hated the way I looked in photos - my eyes were sunken into my face. My pants were tight and I felt just grose. When I came home to Australia I knew I wanted to lose the weight but I wanted to do it the slow and healthy way this time. It took me 5 months to get a job (this was amidst the GFC) which was a bit of a blessing in disguise as I was able to devote myself to eating healthily and exercising. I started walking along the firetrail at the back of our house. At first I could only walk, I was too unfit to run - it would hurt my chest. I started running for short bursts along the walk. I exercised nearly every day and gradually increased the length of spurts I was able to run. During this time I started eating well. I tracked my calories using the Calorie King software to make sure I was eating 1400 calories per day. I ate things like healthy cereals, fresh vegetable juice, lean meats and chicken wraps, wholemeal bread, etc. As I lost weight I was able to run harder and push myself further. The weight started coming off quite easily, and within 6 months I was down to 64 kilos. During this time I read a hell of a lot of internet articles about how many calories you should eat, calculating active metabolic rate and BMR, etc. I found that counting my calories using Calorie King really helped to educate me about the calorie value of what I was eating.
My intention when starting that diet was to get back down to my pre-overseas weight of 60kg, but I haven't got there, yet! Since losing that 6kg I have been averaging a weight of about 65-66 kilos. For various reasons, I think that I started work and studying again and let emotional eating creep back in again. I am proud to say that I have not tried a quick-fix or dangerous diet again though, and nor will I ever again. I knew that it would just mess up my metabolism and do more harm than good and that my body would suffer.
I have tried a couple of different things to lose the rest of the weight. It's not just about the number though, in fact, it's not really about the number at all, it's about me liking what I see when I'm in a swimming custume, it's about being about to be young and free and wear the flattering clothes I want to wear. Increasingly though, it's also becoming about my energy, and my long term health.
During the last two years I have been on the Michelle Bridges Challenge. I only lasted a week. Friends of mine had completed the program with great successes. Personally, I found the menus and all the planning and preparation too time consuming and I did not like a lot of the recipes. I have also been on Lite N Easy. I would do Lite N Easy again just for the sake of novelty or change. I think I missed preparing food when I was on Lite N Easy. I missed the freedom of choice. I guess I missed listening to my body and what it felt like eating. So often I would eat in addition to the supplied meals.
All the while I have been exercising fairly consistently and joined the gym. My exercise motivation seems to come in waves though. For example, I haven't been to the gym for over a month, and have just started walking again.
I would like to reach my goals, though. I intend to do this. In two months I am going to be a bridesmaid at my friend's beach wedding. There will be poolside frolics in bikinis. I do not look good in a bikini at this point. I think I should be able to lose 4-5 kilos before then. I aim to try.
For the past two months I have been doing a lot of reading, searching for the right inspiration in order to give the weight loss another shot. I am currently very motivated. But if you spoke to me a few days ago it would have been a different story. I was still in holiday eating mode. I find I always have to wait for the motivation to strike in order to start on another weight loss crusade. This is going to sound funny, but I found my inspiration yesterday from the movie, Blue Crush 2. Whatever works.
If anyone is searching for inspiration, or more importantly, information, I would like to recommend some books. I have read a number of books on the subject and am only recommending these, which I have found to be life changing. I feel now as though I have all of the information I need. Because of these books, this goal has now become about my health as well as the way I look. It adds extra impetus to my goal. I now feel that with this new knowledge, I'm not in danger of saying, "Stuff this, I am just going to eat whatever the hell I want and be pudgy and happy". Aside from the fact that I don't think I can be pudgy and happy, it is not healthy, to be pudgy.
These books are:
The Clean and Lean Diet - James Duigan
The Sweet Poison Quit Plan - David Gillespie (this is the sequal to the book below, but I would recommend this one first)
Sweet Poison - Why Sugar Makes us Fat
Constant Craving - Doreen Virtue
I have come to learn that our difficulty in losing weight is NOT because we a week. We are not glutons. It is about emotional eating. We need to overcome this, and it starts with being aware. It is also about chemical addictions to sugar. Sugar has only been readily available since around 1950s and this coincides with the increase in heart disease and the start of the obesity epidemic. For anyone who is searching for enlightenment on both of these important issues, I strongly recommend the above books. As I said, I have read other books in addition to these four, on these same topics. These are the ones that I liked, that were helpful, that spoke to me.
Where from here?
This morning I started a 5 day detox using the 'Skinny Mini' plan. This involves drinking an antioxident-based shake before breakfast and lunch, and after dinner. I am reviewing this plan in the 'Weight Loss' general discussion thread.
According to the website, this is a weight loss detox, although I am not expecting or wanting to lose masses of weight in the 5 days. Nor would I want to. I know that .5 to 1 kg is a healthy amount of weight to lose within 7 days. Any more is likely to be water or muscle. Having said that, I have never done a detox before, so perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised? The plan involves eating lean protein, grains, vegies, etc for meals and snacks. I have learnt how to eat healthily as a result of all my reading and experimenting over the years. I know how to eat healthily. Putting it into practice requires a whole other skill. Having just recently acquired a lot of this new information though, I am quietly confident about my ability to move forward with a more healthy lifestyle.
I am fully aware that I will probably have blow-outs and moments of weekness... that is human nature. But I think accepting that is a healthy thing. I know that 'all or nothing' approaches set you up for failure. Inevitably you will at some point eat something 'naughty'. If you feel like you've failed, it would work. If you accidentally reversed your car into a pole, you wouldn't just keep driving forward and reversing again and again into the same spot. You would drive forward, and move on. Liken this to a treat. Just because you back into the pole, doesn't mean you have to keep doing it repeatedly. Accept it and drive forward.
Being able to drive forward though, I think, really means undergoing a full on revision of nutrition and of emotional eating. Read up. And then move forward.
That is what I will be doing. I have no doubt I will succeed, and hope I can share this with you.