My Weight Loss Journey
I previously published how I gained 30 pounds in “That Covid 30,” and the emotional turmoil I felt over the realization of how out-of-control my weight had gotten. It was more than hurtful however, I also felt embarrassed because of my history as a Holistic Nutrition Educator. I didn’t realize the impact shelter-in-place order would have on my physical state.
Fast forward 13 months later and I made an active decision to lose those additional pounds and their companion inches around my waistline. As a Nutrition Educator I did not believe in diets, but I researched a few as I was desperate to lose as much weight as possible before a family vacation I planned for my son’s birthday.
I immediately decided to put myself on a very similar eating plan I had recommended for several past clients who experienced pretty radical, healthful shifts. Previously, keeping fit was easy for me, including losing extra inches when needed, but there has been a major shift in my life. I turned 50 last year.
According to many “experts,” that put’s a little extra spice (i.e. challenge) on this journey. However, since I was in my peak physical condition at 40 when I had my Nutrition practice and actively participated in Cross-Fit, I knew I was up for this challenge. I started with my eating habits.
Though I do not believe in “diets,” I did research different practices that I heard were effective. I first researched Keto. I had looked into it several years ago in order to stay abreast of current trends. Ultimately, I personally felt uncomfortable with the amount of fat and moved on to something different.
I then looked into Intermittent Fasting. I’ve read that it’s excellent for women in my age group, especially with regulating blood sugar and hormones.
I am very familiar with Vegan and Vegetarian lifestyles, neither of which works for my body due to a genetic blood disorder. Yes, this has been confirmed by a doctor and I’ve conducted my own individual research.
What I ultimately decided on was to put myself on a modified version of the meal plan I offered most of my clients years ago. The big difference for myself is, I cut out most grains. I currently only eat Fonio, a West African grain that is gluten-free and has good protein. The plan for myself is more dramatic than what I recommended for past clients, but I also have 10+ years of discipline around my eating habits. Therefore, I knew this was best for my body.
What I gave up:
- All sweets, except for fruits and/or honey in my oatmeal.
- Grains, except for Fonio.
- Bread, including Gluten-Free.
- Pasta, including Gluten-Free
What I’m eating:
- Fresh organic vegetables, raw or lightly sauteed.
- Organic free range meats.
- Fish, salmon, catfish or cod mostly. I also occasionally eat prawns.
- Fresh fruit.
- Smoothies, homemade with fruits, almond butter and almond milk or coconut water.
I eat most of my veggies raw to ensure I get the most nutrients. I actually love celery and eat a few stalks daily for a snack with avocado. I also snack on carrots, fresh peppers and cucumbers.
I love eating oranges but most berries and bananas I use in smoothies.
When I cook I typically use a high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil and I often add Red Palm Oil in soups and stews. I lightly saute vegetables and bake my fish or chicken. We typically eat steak only once a month and I split one with my son, therefore not much beef.
A Note on Drinking:
I gave up sodas over 20 years ago, that’s not an issue for me. I do love lemonade, but only drink it in moderation, literally only a couple days a month.
I absolutely LOVE wine, I am a red wine enthusiast. I have not cut it out of my life, but have decreased to drinking a glass three, maybe four times a week.
What is a staple in my life is tea. I do have my own tea business, which makes it easy. I drink green tea daily. I have plenty of blends, but green tea is a huge part of my health journey. It’s nourishing and high in antioxidants, among other nutrients.
Of course, I drink plenty of filtered water. Wherever I am in my home, I have a large glass of filtered water by my side. Filtered water is key in staying hydrated and flushing out toxins.
I am a firm believer in weekly cheat days as a success tool in any weight loss journey. My philosophy has always been, as long as it doesn’t kill you, a weekly “cheat meal” can help achieve success. I have yet to decide whether or not I’ll have my Saturday morning gluten-free pancakes. Or one of my favorite treats, the homemade buttermilk biscuits that are calling my name. I just may have to say no for the next 30 days. I’m working on a radical shift.
Weight loss journey would not be complete without some form of exercise. I’ve been active my entire life, I started out a tree climber at a very young age and just keep going. Being sedentary during shelter-in-place definitely hurt my body. I thought I could jump right in to a fitness plan, but it didn’t work out that way initially.
I started out with a Tabata workout video a couple days a week for about a month. I do believe this was helpful, but honestly I just don’t enjoy working out with someone on YouTube, that’s just not my thing.
I have a weighted hula hoop that I initially utilized daily to inspirational music. I haven’t kept it up as much as I did in the beginning.
I began a daily yoga practice. This felt more like a meditation than anything, but I began to feel more strength in my core.
Between the eating and workouts, I did lose 10 pounds in three weeks. I honestly could’ve lost more but I was not diligent about cardio. I also went through a brief slump when I was having hip pain and took a few days off. I cooked less, ordered in more and did not work out for a week. I regained five pounds just before our vacation.
Although I did not find Intermittent Fasting effective with actual weight loss, my energy and focus increased substantially. I’ll likely continue this on days I do not run or hike.
My waistline is slimming and I have not gained anymore weight. I’m more diligent with meals and will continue to do so.
I currently practice yoga daily. I go on a run/walk at least three times a week. What I have yet to do is go on my weekly hikes. That’s my priority beginning this week. I would like to start swimming, however our local pool is booked up way in advance and the next nearest one is still closed from the pandemic.
What has been my most dramatic shift was learning to love my body. I personally find curvaceousness very sexy. The figure I have now unfortunately, does not come with a healthy weight for me. I’ll continue to eat healthy and work out at a pace that’s nourishing for me. My plan is to still lose as close to the 30 pounds as possible while loving my body through the process.
This has been a painful journey, but one that’s helping me to appreciate who I am as I work on my own plan for optimal health. It’s possible at any age.
***If you have gained weight during this time and are choosing a new fitness plan for yourself, please consult a competent healthcare provider prior to making any shifts in your eating and working out. Our bodies have individual needs and what works for some, may not work for others and could cause harm if not cautious.
Pictured above is a simple meal with sauteed onion, tomato and zucchini in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Spiced with sea salt, black pepper and chili pepper. Served with a side of Fonio.