Developing a Weight Loss Program That Works for You

A couple of years after my sabbatical I realized I needed to try once more to get rid of my chronic back pain. I decided a good first step was to lose weight. I didn’t think I was THAT overweight and didn’t own a full-length mirror to be able to see what I really looked like on a day-to-day basis. I can’t remember if I even owned a scale. BIG mistake!

I bought a mirror and this is probably when I bought my scale, and was in shock when I discovered I was almost 170 pounds (5’6”)! I went into the living room and told my husband that I needed to seriously lose weight and was shocked when he agreed with me (normally he tells me he likes me just the way I am). This was the AHA! Moment. It was devastating and I broke into tears. I immediately started planning and told my husband I needed to do it my way and didn’t want to hear any push-back about how I was doing it.

The first ten pounds:

I decided I wasn’t going to do any fad anything this time and needed to start reducing portions. I started looking into various home meal deliveries and realized I couldn’t afford even the cheap ones. It was at that point I decided I could create my own system cheaply by going and buying the pre-packaged diet meals at the grocery store. I’m incredibly picky at this point about eating whole and non-processed foods and was a little bit back then so didn’t want to put anything in my body that was too fake, too much salt, etc. I did a little research and found the lean cuisine food wasn’t too bad. Neither was my local grocery store brand. Here’s how I ate almost every day for the first ten pounds:

  • Pre-breakfast: ½ grapefruit
  • Breakfast: three egg whites scrambled with veggies and coffee
  • Mid-morning snack: an apple or ½ banana
  • Lunch: a boxed diet meal plus a salad or carrots to supplement
  • Mid-afternoon: a square of dark chocolate and coffee or tea (decaf)
  • Pre-dinner snack: cut up cucumber
  • Dinner: another boxed diet meal plus salad
  • After dinner: (mid-evening ) an small mandarin or another square of dark chocolate
  • If I was really dying (or PMS) I would eat a bag of Trader Joe’s organic single serve popcorn

I lasted about 1.5 months on this system and lost my first ten. I was also learning to run errands on my bike and was walking more with my hubby for increased exercise.

Next ten pounds:

I was stuck and sick of the diet meals  and needed to change it up! On to Weight Watchers!

Weight Watchers is still an amazing system for losing weight especially now that you can keep track electronically.  I stuck with WW for about three months and slowly lost the next ten pounds. I made all of my own food or supplemented with Lean Cuisines when I didn’t have time to cook BUT STAYED AWAY from anything that was fake (no skinny cows!).

Final five pounds

After three months and ten pounds I needed another change and was used to cooking for my new portion control so I picked up my exercise program and lost the last five pounds in another couple of months.  My next post will  be about the increased exercise!