I am a 5’2″ female in her early 30′s who went from weighing in at 148 pounds at my heaviest. I am now down to 120 pounds. It felt as though I woke up one morning carrying an extra thirty pounds. It took a year to lose the weight. I struggled tremendously, as you are right now if you are reading these words. I honestly cannot remember what came first – the weight gain or the depression? Whichever it was, it only perpetuated a vicious cycle.
Once I woke up and realized how much weight I had gained, I wanted it gone immediately. I knew I needed to lose weight fast. I needed help on acheiving the weight loss, and I had no idea where to turn. I picked up some fitness magazines and started there. There is no magic pill or quick fix to lose weight fast. You must make small changes that you can sustain, and they will add up and you will start losing weight.
The first thing I did was stop beating myself up over the state I had let myself sink into. Once I had made the decision to do something about my health and appearance, and to start losing weight, I held onto the resolution and let the decision motivate me. The final light bulb moment that goes off in your head is powerful stuff. Losing weight is a combination of many factors, and the psychological power resulting from entering into a resolution with yourself cannot be overstated! The days of feeling sorry for myself and making excuses were over. No more blaming the commute, working late, or headaches for feeding myself poorly or not exercising.
I told my friends, family, and boyfriend what I had decided to do so they would get on board as my support system. They knew I would get mad at them if they asked me to go out for pizza or to have a cupcake at the office birthday celebration every month. They also knew I would need all of them from time to time to listen to me vent my frustrations, and to provide encouragement.
I do not feel as though I did anything truly drastic, but it felt earth shattering at the time. I read several books about detoxing your system, so I cut out white carbs, sugar, alcohol, and fast food entirely for the first two weeks. I only drank water, green tea, and black coffee. I ate fruit for breakfast, a salad covered in lean protein and just a sprinkling of feta or mozzarella, plenty of veggies, and some balsamic vinegar drizzled on top. Dinner was the standard brown rice, lean meat, and green vegetable. The diet change was hard and I was very irritable in the beginning while my body was adjusting to this. I did lose literally five pounds that first week, and another 2 the following week. Results such as these served as motivation to really kick it up.
I bought a Nike Fuel Band to keep myself motivated. It helped me track the steps I took everyday, and how many calories I was burning. I love this tool because it makes physical activity seem like a game. In the first two weeks as I was letting my body detox, I was very gentle with exercising. I did pilates twice a week, and walked at about 3.4 miles per hour on the treadmill for 30 minutes five days a week. On the weekend, I hiked and took a walk around our neighborhood. As my body adjusted to the new diet, I added in three strength training sessions per week, concentrating on high reps of lunges, squats, pushups, and bicep curls. My cardio was up to 4 miles per hour on the treadmill, and I was starting to see the results I was after. I never jogged because it always hurt my knees. I still do not jog.
Now, I let myself have one treat day every week. This is usually Sunday. I eat whatever I want for lunch and dinner and skip breakfast. Usually what ends up happening is I want something small for lunch, and then a nice dinner and dessert out somewhere. If I know I have a party to go to, I will save the treat meal for the party and indulge then.
Looking back, I recognize how I used food as a way to comfort or reward myself. With an outlook rewarding behavior by eating food, losing was no small feat. Shedding weight fast was the hardest thing I had to do in my adult life. The way I view food has changed completely now. I see it as a tool for fueling our body and staying healthy. I never want to be heavy again.