This is how I feel writing this blog post today:
That’s me in February on top of Mount Amos overlooking Wineglass Bay in Tasmania. The view was, without a doubt, one of the best of my life. It was a short, but challenging hike to arrive at the top – we literally climbed on our hands and knees in sections to scramble straight up the rock face (and then had to butt-scoot back down!). But it was worth every step for that view.
And so goes my weigh-in today. 141.6 pounds! Not only is that a 4-pound loss from last week, but I can officially say I have never been this thin in my entire life. That’s right – the last time I weighed 141 pounds I was 12-years-old and an inch or two shorter than I am today. It’s a whole new territory and I don’t know what to expect. I think that most people who have gained weight have an idea in their mind of a time they were comfortable with their weight and a specific number where they felt good about their bodies. I have no such anchor, no number that I am striving towards on the scale. I’m just meandering along, waiting to see how my body changes and at what point I feel good and want to stop. I know that I’m not there yet, but that end point feels within reach like it never has before.
I think it’s worthwhile to stop for a moment and reflect upon what has changed to supercharge my weight loss. First, I need to point out that I don’t expect this rapid weight loss to continue. In fact, if I lose no weight next week I wouldn’t even be frustrated. For some reason my body is shedding weight right now and I will ride the wave as long as possible, but I know that it will inevitably slow down or even plateau before I hit whatever my goal weight will be. But there have been significant changes in my behaviors in the last few weeks:
- Tracking: As I mentioned in my last post, I started tracking my food intake on My Fitness Pal. Honesty in, results out.
- Choosing Veg: I have been eating beans instead of meat. I made Mexican lasagna on Sunday with pumpkin and black beans instead of beef (recipe to be posted soon!). I am eating salads with lentils instead of chicken. I often start my day with eggs, refried beans, and salsa. 250 calories and it packs such a punch of protein and fiber that I don’t need to eat for hours! I have read that beans keep your blood sugar steady and I find it amazing how slowly I get hungry when I eat a lot of legumes. The hunger comes on gradually over many hours. I’ll notice a twinge and an hour later be only slightly hungrier. Compare that to before when hunger attacked! I also simply feel lighter when I consume a large amount of beans, veggies, fruits, and yogurt. Yes, it does take a bit for the digestive system to get used to that much fiber and I definitely wouldn’t recommend incorporating beans into every meal overnight, but my system adjusted quickly and now my body is happy. Aside from losing weight, feeling good day-to-day is its own reward.
- Strength Training: Six weeks ago I met with a personal trainer to redesign my weight routine. I had been doing the same thing for months and my body wasn’t challenged anymore. She gave me a quick routine and each exercise works multiple muscle groups. It only takes 20 minutes and by the end I am dripping with sweat and I can feel every single muscle I have worked. Because my heart rate stays high, I am getting cardio at the same time as strength. Not only is this good for immediate calorie burning, but I believe that I am starting to get the long-term calorie burning effects of having more muscle. I am burning more calories all day long!