5 Inches Down, 8 To Go! What’s Worked So Far…

I have been meaning to try to lose weight for so long but just have never gotten started until now. I was a size 3 the year before I moved to New Orleans. Now I don’t know what size jeans I’d have to get because I stopped wearing them. I only wear skirts, which I started doing because they were more flattering but now I just love them. I wouldn’t mind wearing pants occasionally. It’s just I feel they showcase every flaw below my waist. A skirt covers that so well and it looks pretty.

It’s been a slow steady gain of weight in the eight years I’ve lived here. I was happy with how I looked anyway, through most of it. The past two years have been the hardest though. I finally got to a point where it started affecting my self-esteem, my health and my personality. I don’t expect to be a size 3 again but I want to lose as much as I can. At 4 foot 10 inches with my frame weighing 100 pounds is normal but I don’t even expect to go that low.  I have lost five inches so far just by shaking up my eating habits. I’m not on any fad diet and even though I should be, I’m not exercising much.  I aim to start walking with the plan to work up to running which I’ve been waiting to do until the weather starts to break, which it is just beginning to a little bit.

Since people keep asking how I’m losing the weight and commenting on it I decided to make a list of some simple things that are helping me. I was eating so much and such crap before this…

I think we’ve all heard that breakfast is important. I used to eat a bagel (w/ cheese!) every morning, but the problem with eating a bunch of fat and calories when you first wake up is that you haven’t eaten in at least 10 hours and you’ll absorb a good deal of the calories and fat. It’s better to have a smaller, healthier breakfast with a bigger meal later. The best way I’ve found is have something like cereal and fruit, have your main meal for lunch and another smaller, healthier meal for dinner.

Snacks work for me. Some of my favorites are low-fat Wheat-Thins, a mini bag of low-fat popcorn esp. kettle corn if I want something sweet, string cheese, rice cakes, fruit and cereal.

I love to drink  Ovaltine and  eat cereal so I’ve switched to fat-free milk (from 2%.)  Horizon Organic milk usually lasts two months before it expires and tastes richer than regular no-fat milk.

I love having peanut butter and jelly on a rice cake so I switched to reduced-fat creamy Jif. It’s delicious!

Country Crock Light only has five grams of fat in a tablespoon which is less than half of what butter contains.  One of my favorite meals is angel hair pasta with a bit of Country Crock, pepper, a small bit of sea salt and about two tablespoons of grated Kraft parmasean. That serving of cheese only has 1.5 grams of fat and 20 calories. Pasta has about the same amount of fat per serving, so that’s a reasonable meal-it’s satisfying!

I love ice cream. Looovvvee. Instead of eating Ben & Jerry’s, if I want full flavor ice cream that’s got something in it, like cookies n’ cream I will have Edy’s Slow-Churned. It’s got less fat and calories then B&J but it’s just as yummy. Skinny Cow has even less fat & calories- their treats come in smart sizes too.  I also love sherbert!  It’s fat-free and has less calories per serving than most sodas.

I used to drink a lot of soda too. I have almost completely replaced it though. Now I drink mostly water and sometimes I put calorie-free drink packets in my water bottle. If you don’t like water this is a good way to make it easier- Crystal Light has a ton of flavor options and there are some decent iced teas too.  Also lots of ice-water! It actually makes you burn calories by drinking it because your body has to warm it up. I drink a lot of tea as well. I am partial to chai because all I need to add is a teaspoon of sugar and it’s delicious. I also love Earl Grey and herbal teas. There is a mall tea-shop called Teavana that has some amazing blends- check them out! Tea has antioxidants, some blends are good specifically for losing weight and it’s yet another way to get your water intake up.

I think we’ve all heard smaller portions and eat more often and both of these tips are really working for me!

My sweet tooth is insatiable. It’s always been my downfall. The thing is that whenever I’ve tried to follow a diet when I deny myself chocolate or a cupcake or whatever sweet thing I’m craving I end up eating four of them when I finally cave. I don’t think that denying yourself is a good idea. I don’t think a single square of chocolate is satisfying either. Since  this is my biggest problem I had to figure something out. Now when I want something sweet sometimes I will eat Jell-O, or a pudding cup. If I need chocolate I will have candy but I have been sticking with 3 Musketeers, Junior Mints or York Peppermint Patties. Kit Kat’s are good too and so are Twizzlers. All of these candies are on the lower end of the fat spectrum.

Everyone has that one weakness with food just like I have my sweet tooth. If you are trying to lose weight don’t try to avoid it completely. Find a way to satisfy yourself without going overboard.

I am keeping a food diary. I count the calories and fat and keep track of my portions. I started this when I first decided to make some changes and I was shocked at how much I was eating in calories and fat. It  has helped me a lot and I suggest it to anyone who is trying to lose some weight.

So, that’s all I got right now. I am sure that if instead of switching to no or low-fat and calorie versions of food if I just stopped eating them entirely that would be better but it wouldn’t last. I’m not just trying to lose the weight- I want to keep it off. I think doing anything super drastic is hard to maintain and yo-yoing weight is no good for anyone. I already have some stretch marks from gaining this weight and I don’t want more from losing it too quickly. I want to be 2/3 of the way to my goal by Mardi Gras (February). I started  four months ago.  I suggest setting realistic goals like mine if you have a target weight or inch amount to reach. I am gauging my loss in inches around my midsection rather than weight because weight just frustrates me more.

This was a long and picture-less post and for that I apologize. Because this blog is about beauty and alternative ideas of beauty, I think it’s relevant. I’m not all about one size fits all beauty by any means. For myself though, I am not happy with what I’m seeing in the mirror and I’m going to change that.

How about you? Have you ever made a big change in your appearance? Ever been on a crazy diet

you can tell us about?  Do you think changing little things would help you to lose weight?

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