Tag: Weight Loss

A Month of Healthy Eating

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” 
― Hippocrates

Bad news for me, team: I lost nearly 15 lbs in a single month doing nothing but changing the way I eat. I didn’t step foot in a gym, didn’t exercise at home due to an erratic work schedule, and made no other significant changes to my day-to-day life.

Why bad news you ask? Because it’s become abundantly clearly in record time that while I knew my diet was affecting me, I didn’t at all realize the extent. To see this much change this quickly has been startling.

Now, let’s be clear, I also changed up my birth control in this time frame (see here for the recap) which, based only on anecdote and personal experience, I thought may also have affected my weight (remember, the science is still out on this point). There’s no way to tell if this may  have had an effect, but I fully intend to talk to my doctor about it at a follow up appointment this month. There’s a working theory that I may be negatively affected by some unknown food item group (which is the most stupid, millennial thing to type) but that’s still up for medical confirmation. More info on that if and when my delightful GP helps me figure it out.

So, what did I do exactly? I’m sorry to say that there is nothing here you haven’t heard or read about before and there are no tricks, I simply cut out all the foods that make life worth living: no dairy, no sugar, no alcohol, no grain based anything. I massively upped my intake of fresh fruit and veg and have eaten more eggs this month than probably at any other point in my life. Seriously, if I never eat a hardboiled egg again, it will be too soon. I virtually eliminated all snacking, even healthy ones, and instead stuffed myself full at almost every meal with salad. I don’t care who tells you they love kale, there’s a 50/50% chance they are lying to you and dying a bit on the inside.

It worked. I’m feeling great. Damn it.

I didn’t tie this to a New Year’s resolution, I didn’t talk too much about about it or make a big deal out of it online or to friends, and I certainly didn’t have any weight expectations going into this. Like my birth control choice, I decided at the end of last year to try and proactively sort out some behind the scenes health and body issues that have bugged me for a long time and evaluating food groups is part of that overall project. The weight loss is just a welcome, if startling, side effect.

I mean…yikes.

I was looking forward to reintroducing a lot of food back into my diet…but honestly I think my consumption of these things will have to stay reduced if I want to continue trying to be more healthy. Things like dairy and alcohol are not food groups I ingested a lot of anyway before this started, but bread on the other hand… And while I don’t and never have eaten processed foods and have made good headway in reducing my sugar intake over recent years, clearly I could have been doing more to eliminate something which I suspect is one of the main culprits to my recent health roller coaster.

Final disclosures: I remain an unrepentant omnivore and moderate, I don’t think foods should be eliminated from anyone’s diet without medical advice and I’m certainly not urging anyone to do so. That being said if you do feel physically crappy for extended periods of time, notice changes to your body or brain rhythms, or sense that something is “not quite right” internally, talk to someone about it. Seek answers and options. I’m trying to be a less passive passenger in my own body than I have been for several years, and to have this many positive outcomes so quickly has been extraordinary.

To the comments! Have you made any big health adjustments in your life? What were your motivations, and what were the outcomes, both good and bad? 

Cutting Cutting Corners. And Ice Cream.

“This just in!  The secret to weight loss revealed: eat less, move more!”
– a friend’s Facebook status

Despite that three day nosedive into blissful sloth and inactivity, I’ve been doing rather well on the health end recently.  See, I’ve finally learned some of the keys to weight loss and exercise – none of them revolutionary to anyone with a functioning brain, but helpful nonetheless.

Principle the First: Garbage in, garbage out.  I’ve hit my mid-twenties and my metabolism has hit the wall, which makes me want to hit things.  Lots of hitting, but I digress.  I now understand why Mum eats large salads and few deserts, this dizzying cocktail of hormones that is feminine existence means that small things will have big effects on my system.  If I eat junk food I will feel awful.  Period.  Plan meals accordingly.

Principle the Second: exercise will trim the fat, not the skeleton.  I will never again go through the cycle of wanting to be thinner, working my bum off for months, and then throwing myself down a well of despair when my ribcage hasn’t shrunk to give me a longer waist.  My skeleton isn’t going anywhere…but the underused muscle will tone up because –

Principle the Third: underneath this shell of laziness and love of caramel, I actually do have a pretty nice little figure.  Willowy?  No.  Slender?  Ha.  Hourglass and the hallmark of a different era?  Yes.  But with a little effort, fabulous.  However –

Principle the Fourth: all the potential in the world is wasted if I don’t actually do anything about it.  Therefore one must watch the calories and make sure the ones going in are good, indulge rarely, snack better, and work out everyday.

Result: I’ve lost 5lbs in two weeks.  And since this is in no way tied to New Year’s Resolutions, the urge to quit hasn’t reared its ugly head.

A Freak Out In the Style of Margot

Disheartening : knowing that your fitness goals (lose about one pound every two weeks) are attainable and therefore you have absolutely no excuse not to achieve them.
Soul-destroying : working out religiously all week only to discover you have gained a pound instead of lost it.

GAH!, C. cries out to you in angst.

But, C., you say helpfully and soothingly, you know that muscle weighs more than fat and you have been sticking to your weight lifting with admirable regularity.  You spend an hour in the gym every weekday, and sometimes saturdays, and you try really hard to eat a balanced diet, you even take vitamins.  And look how flat your stomach is!  The arm flab is gone too!  Do try and have a little perspective here.  And C., you say a little more firmly and with much less patience, it is one pound.  Surely your melodramatic tendencies can be put to more effective use on another angsty problem. 

I will not be consoled!
I will not be consoled!

No!  (C. wails)  I am picking up my wedding dress on Saturday and already in a nervous panic to see what they alterations girls have done to it and now I am the size of a walrus!  And it’s not even about the wedding (C. howls, swathing herself in sackcloth)!  I know it’s just one pound.  It’s just one of those days: I’m fed up with my job, my internet keeps cutting out, and I gained a pound.  And I really…want…a brownie…!  !

You, shaking your head in disgust and turning about sharply, merely curl your lip.  C., you are being ludicrous.  Let’s talk when your sense of reality reinstates itself.

(Humbly) Ok.