Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Don't Hate Me Because I've Lost 20 lbs. ...

...and kept it off. I didn't go on a "diet", I just did the following things and changed a few basic things about the way I eat.

1. Last August, I starting using Fit Day to track what I was eating every day. What I discovered was that my diet was too LOW calorie, but too high fat. So I began to eat more frequently (not bigger portions) with some important alterations.

2. I quit ice cream. When it comes to ice cream, I am like an alcoholic. I can't have a little, or have it occasionally. I have to quit cold Turkey Hill. (Just kidding. I've never eaten Turkey Hill ice cream. It just worked for the cheap joke.) Anyway, I recently took my son to the Cold Stone Creamery and got nothing for myself. Not even when I was offered a free "Mom Taste". If I had a sponsor, I would have called her to report my little victory.

3. I've replaced ice cream with coconut fruit bars (organic, all natural) which are sweet and delicious but they have two important qualities: They are lower fat than ice cream, and they don't come in pints that can be inhaled in one sitting. (Am I the only one who giggles at the "4 servings" reference on a pint of ice cream?)

4. I've reduced my dairy intake substantially. However, I've started eating Greek yogurt with honey as my in-between meal snack. Every day, once or twice a day. But I eat almost no cheese and I've switched to fat free half and half for my coffee, and I've replaced butter with Smart Balance.

5. I eat breakfast every day. Usually Special K or Kashi with a banana. Even when I'm not particularly hungry, I force myself to have breakfast.

6. Most nights I have a Lean Cuisine for dinner. The sesame chicken one is so good I've been known to lick the plastic tray. Don't tell anyone. But Lean Cuisines are great for adapting to portion reduction.

7. I don't eat out very often anymore, and when I do I'll order an appetizer and small salad rather than an entree.

8. I took up knitting. Can't eat and knit at the same time.

9. If I want a snack while watching TV, I make popcorn. Since I basically view popcorn as little more than a transportation device for butter, I melt Smart Balance and use that instead. I never thought I'd like it, but it's actually very good.

10. I weigh myself every morning.

11. I walk at least 3 miles every day.

12. I've moved my weight bench to the living room. Not the most attractive design element, but it makes it very easy to do crunches while watching the tube. I try to do 300 per day.

SO... that's basically it. Now, I'm 51 years old and have come to terms with the fact that I'll never get back to my 37-year-old body (ironically, that was when I was in the best shape of my life, even after having one child). But I've gone from a size 10 to a 6 and feel healthier and lighter and definitely more comfortable in my own skin. Of course, the key is keeping it off but since I've just basically changed my lifestyle as opposed to taking a short term approach, I can give away my fat clothes with confidence now.