Thursday, November 17, 2011

I've lost Jack!

How's that for an attention grabber?

Well, I haven't really lost Jack, but I've lost the equivalent.  Over the last few months, I've been working really hard and have lost over thirty pounds.  I am very happy, obviously, but I'm not writing to brag about my accomplishment.  I find it to be unmotivating when people do that {envy, maybe?}.  To tell the truth, I took my sweet time starting the weight loss process and have been less than stellar throughout.  What I have learned has been more spiritual than anything.  Here's the lowdown.

How it began:
I'd been the same size {give or take a few pounds} since my senior year of high school.  Not fat, not thin, but just right for me.  After two pregnancies and not a lot of consistent exercise, I had gained more than I would care to admit.  I decided to start working toward losing ten pounds.  There was more to lose, but ten seemed a manageable goal. 

Christmas 2010

The problem was that after several months I wasn't getting anywhere, though I was eating well and had begun exercising regularly.  It was really discouraging to see the scale stay stuck at such an, well, unattractive number {picture me with an expression that says I've just come across Handsome Hero's gym socks}.

Then I got pregnant again.  After we lost the baby, my body remained bloated and I was very discouraged.  I had already begun going to the gym around four days a week, so the only thing I knew to do was attack my diet.

April 2010 - 10 lbs down

I should say here that I don't believe in dieting.  It never seems to work long term, and isn't that what you want, long term results?  I was determined to eat in a sustainable way, reducing but not eliminating foods I loved, even though it meant I might lose weight more slowly.

How I did it:
My diet had been a seemingly sensible one consisting mostly of lean meats, fruits and veggies, and whole grain breads.  Lots of whole grain breads.  A plethora of whole grain breads.  I began by changing my main snack, a bowl of cereal, to something like an apple and peanut butter.  I have always resisted the thought of limiting my bread intake.  I am a Breadavore.  I come from a long line of Breadavores.  I could eat my weight in bread, which was becoming considerable, if you know what I mean.  This was changing the family tree.  Still, what I was doing wasn't working, so I gave it a try.  I didn't eliminate all carbs by any means, but became careful of them.  And started losing weight.  Immediately. 

What I've learned:
When I said that the process has been more spiritual than anything, what I mean is this.  I have found that I cannot resist anything sweet in the house.  Anything.  All bad food had to be purged.  I would reach plateaus where I would think I had this under control, and when Handsome Hero would bring home ice cream, I would think I was okay.  Even as I reached for the spoon.  The biggest spoon in the drawer.  Right after breakfast. 

August 2010 - 20 lbs. down

I have no self control.  None.  Nada.  Nonexistent.  I can no more resist a delicious morsel of chocolate than I can a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream.  Wait, were those the same?  I can no more resist a Cadbury egg than I can Reese's cup.  Mmmmmmm.  Chocolate... 

I was a bit startled by this.  Self control is a fruit of the Spirit, an evidence of my growth in the Lord!  As I began to think of it that way, I started to give all my temptations to the Lord each morning.  I knew I couldn't leave the ice cream alone by myself.  I needed help.  I began to commit to the Lord not to eat certain things, and asked for strength to keep my promises. 

September 2010 - 25 lbs down - with Lydia, who had lost the same amount.  Don't we look fabulous?

Please don't think this is a formula.  It isn't.  God isn't a genie who grants wishes.  He is Master and Creator of the Universe, to be feared and held up as Holy.  But he cares for us and our struggles, and desires our growth.  For me, weight loss has been and continues to be more of a spiritual battle than a physical one.  I am thankful for a God who sustains and gently teaches.

So there you go.  Now would be the time for some embarrassing after pictures.  But I don't have any.  I got pregnant before I reached my goal, and I already have a baby bump, which doesn't make for great after shots.   Check this post and this post and this post for a few shots.  Wow.  I really need to get better at getting in front of the camera.

I've had this post in progress for awhile, waiting until I had reached my final goal to publish it.  Now that I'm in growing mode and not losing, I thought I should probably share it before I look like a watermelon has sprouted in my belly.  I hope this post accomplishes what I would like for it to do - be encouraging. 


  1. GREAT JOB! You look fantastic! I had to change my diet a bit too. We gave into grains again but I noticed a lot of symptoms came back so I went to more gluten free stuff and that seemed to help. My biggest thing now is managing stress. When I'm stressed, I plateau big time, no matter what I do with my eating habits; which I think I've been doing great at because I try not to eat if I'm not hungry. Makes sense to me! Mediation and doing Zumba and Bodyfunk at Gold's Gym are my stress relievers. I'm very happy I can find exercise that relieves stress and I don't think of them as a workout, they are really fun! But I'm in a couple of stressful situations that haven't really been worked out yet and, as my older sister says, I'm trying to 'go with the flow' and let things happen in a natural way. If you concentrate that certain things are happening to lead you to something better, you think more positively about it. It's just for these situations, I don't know where they'll lead me to or which way to go. And you know me, I don't like change. BUT ANYWAY! Back to the subject here, my ultimate goal has been to get under 200 lbs. and to find a weight I feel 'good' at. The lowest I got to was 205, and that was when I was doing the grain free diet. So the ultimate goals I believe that are here to work with?

    1.) Eat only when hungry
    2.) Try limiting one starch per meal; go back to making 'bread-like foods' such as biscuits, muffins, pancakes, and cookies with almond flour or coconut flour more.
    3.) MANAGE STRESS! Take things light-hearted and get out of 'serious/woe, is me' mode.

  2. All your dates say 2010... do you mean 2011?