Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Battle of the Bulge - Operation Weight Loss

 (Image taken from blisstree.com)

Weight Loss - This seems to be a major topic going around the blogs I read lately. A lot of people seem to be trying to lose weight for things ranging from weddings to vacations.

I wish I could say that I didn't have some of those same motivations, but in my heart I do. We are supposed to go to AJ's little sister's college graduation in May. I would like to look a little better for that, but I would like to be in better shape. We are planning on going to Busch Gardens Williamsburg on that trip. We want to do this mega backstage tour that goes in depth into all their roller coasters. I want to be in shape to tackle all the walking and climbing that the tour would require. There are also some really personal goals that I need to lose the weight for, but I don't want to share those for now.

I have struggled with my weight most of my life. This post is probably one of the hardest I have written to this point. It isn't pretty, but it is real.

Before our wedding I went to a weight loss clinic. I knew in the beginning that this plan wasn't going to be something I could stick to long term. It was really restrictive and required some very specialized diet supplies. I was only allowed to eat about 1000 calories a day, and that included the liquid supplements that had to be drunk four times a day. The supplements made me very sick, so I think some of the weight that was lost was because of the constant nausea. The other thing that was required of this system was keeping my body in a constant state of ketosis. They advocated not eating carbs so that the body would have to burn fat to get the energy it needed, but it is fairly dangerous and because of that I had to check in twice a week to make sure that the ketosis hadn't gotten "too bad". I did lose about 25lbs on this system. But like I said, it was just to crazy to stick with.

I have been officially on Weight Watchers about three times. I have been on Weight Watchers unofficially about four other times. Every time I have had some luck with it, but I can't ever make myself stick to it. The best luck I ever had on it was in 2002, I went from 245lbs to 175lbs. I was very proud of myself and it only took about 8 months. The problem is that I didn't really learn anything. The weight loss lasted about a year, and then I slowly started gaining it back.

I restarted WW unofficially in 2008, I posted about it here and here. I lost some weight. But then, about two weeks after that last post we got the call that AJ got hired down in Orlando, and we had to have him moved in two days to start on Monday. It was really stressful - I had to quit my job, live in Gainesville a month without AJ, find a new apartment, move, be without a job, frantically hunt a job, found a night job at Universal Orlando (with some of the best people ever), took a new lab job with the craziest person I have ever met, quit Universal, soon there after quit the lab job, pay off all our debts, back to frantically looking for a job, found a new job (that I TOTALLY LOVE!), start house hunting, buy a foreclosure house, pack and move again (the second time in 9 months), and finally settle down. Combine that with the fact that I am an emotional eater and well the weight that was lost came back.

I did go back on WW in 2009. I went from 220lbs to 200lbs. Again, I was happy. It was barely in our budget for me to be going, but we were making it work. Then I broke my ankle and I couldn't go to the meetings. But, I was also getting really frustrated that the meetings I was attending were only advocating "fake" foods. Lots of frozen meals (which were a huge budget buster) and canned/ processed foods.
There are only so many frozen meals that I can make myself eat because I like my food to taste good and to be real food. I don't like diet drinks either, but I made myself drink them for years. 

I was holding really steady at the 200lbs up until October, then the weight started just piling on. A lot of it had to do with the fact that I was in such pain I couldn't move. I was trying not to stress eat and to watch what I was eating, but I wasn't having the best luck with that. I gained 34lbs by December. I knew I was gaining like mad, but when we went to the endocrinologist in December - January the gain had stopped and I was maintaining at 234lb. I was at least happy that I had stopped gaining. 

The last month or so I have been trying to count my calories. I have been trying to just track what I am eating and how I am eating. Just in the last week I have been trying to cut back on the calorie count from 2000 to about 1700-1800 a day. Nothing drastic, but it is a small step. I have also switched most of our food to REAL FOOD.  We have cut out lots of chemicals, but we aren't fanatical and I know the world isn't going to end if I do have a Coke. I will say that cutting out the chemicals and processed food hasn't been that hard for me because I cook most of our meals at home. The only difficulty we have had so far is going out to eat. That isn't a common occurrence, but when it does happen I hate having to pre-look at menus at home and try to find something that will fit into my calorie count for the day.

Also, the last couple of days I have actually felt better (I am thinking it has something to do with the fact that I had to have a steroid shot to clear up hives that I got in response to a new antibiotic). This feeling better has lead me to wanting to get moving. 

AJ also bought me a pedometer because my last one got broken. I have also broken out my mini-trampoline and pilates bands. I have done lots of other exercises in the course of this weight loss journey and these are the ones that I like the most. My pedometer gives me something to strive for by seeing how close I can get to the 10,000 steps. I enjoy bouncing on the trampoline because it doesn't hurt my joints and honestly it is fun. I am still working on getting up to bouncing for 30 minutes, but so far it is 10 minutes twice a day. I also enjoy the pilates workouts because they are slow and controlled. I don't do well with feeling rushed. I also have had really good luck toning up with them before, so it is a known potential outcome. 

I am setting the goal for myself to do a weekly update on this process. I need to do this for me. I need to know that there is a weekly check-in, and even if no one else reads it or comments, this is something I have to do.  If anyone is interested I would be willing to post my meal plans and calorie counts for more accountability. Is anyone interested in joining me on this journey?


Meaghan said...

Hey Molly,

Awesome post. It is definitely difficult to put yourself out there like that. I know I struggle with weight too.

If you haven't heard about it there is a website called sparkpeople.com. They have a lot of online support and a calorie counter, place to weigh in, place to track your exercise. I have been using it mainly to track calories and exercise, but there are a lot of other things on it. I really like it. And best of all, it is free!

dax248 said...


I would have never thought you struggled with weight! You always look AMAZING!

I will check out sparkpeople.com. I have been using calorieking.com and a couple of calorie calculator sites and keeping track of everything in excel. I am such a nerd. But, if there is one place that I can get all that info and for free that would be cool!