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One Year Weight Loss Journey

One year ago I was obese. I tipped the scale at 198 lbs, and for a 5’5” female, that’s not a very healthy look. Today I am finally back in the normal BMI range at 150 lbs. It was a long and difficult journey but one that I’m so glad that I chose to do and more importantly stuck with. What motivated me you ask? Money. Pathetic I know, but when you ante up your own hard earned cash to bet on yourself to win who can say no to that? I used the site HealthyWage. I participated in three different contests, a BMI one that gave me a year to get my BMI into the healthy range and two 10% challenges where I had to lose 10% of my body weight. The BMI one I paid in $300 and at the end got $1,000 for completion. The 10% challenges I paid in $150 and received $300 for completion of each of them. Knowing that I had already paid money in that I won’t get back if I don’t win, the fact that I’ll make money from doing this, I’ll look better, feel better, and just daydreaming about what I am going to buy with my profits were large enough factors in motivating me. The other huge factors were how I started looking and feeling when I began losing weight. Weight loss fueled more weight loss. My hard work was paying off.

This past year was difficult. I had to pass up on desserts, pizza, alcohol, takeout, and other delicious food items that were once staples in my life. Of course I did indulge sometimes but I had to be careful to get right back on the wagon or else I would spiral out of control, sometimes months at a time. I made a lifestyle change for myself. I can never go back to how I ate. And I don’t want to! I want to look, feel, and be healthy! Yes, I’ll indulge in the various “bad” types of food but it won’t be the majority of my diet by any means. I’m going to stick to eating mostly organic fresh or frozen fruit/veggies and lean meats. I stayed away from breads, pasta, processed foods, sugary foods, and limited my intake of dairy. My Vitamix blender was my new best friend. It really helped with making easy, delicious, healthy smoothies every day. One of my favorite smoothie recipes has: organic dark leafy greens mix (spinach, kale), wheatgrass, frozen mixed organic fruit from Trader Joe’s (strawberries, mango, banana), organic raw honey, mango juice, spring water, organic goji berries, and 1 fresh organic banana. It’s so simple to make nutritious smoothies. Basically you have three components: a liquid base, veggies, and fruit. I like to use organic pear or mango juice, almond milk, or hemp milk for my base. Add some organic dark leafy veggies, usually spinach or kale. And add organic fruit, fresh or frozen, and ice cubes if you like it cold. Instant healthy yummy meal!

I worked out almost every day for 1-2 hours. I will now cut back to almost every day for 1 hour. My favorite machine at the gym is the Precor elliptical machine. I used the stationary bike, treadmill, and weights as well but not as much. I set the Precor at level 8 with an incline of 6 and go at a slow/moderate pace for a while. I’ll usually burn about 500 calories/hour. I like to watch a TV show or movie on my phone while I workout, this really helps to pass the time. My weight is something that I will always have to keep an eye on, food is my downfall. I will have to keep an eye on the scale and never let myself get more than 5lbs overweight again. I never want to go back to the days of not being able to run a mile, people asking me when my baby is due, my knees hurting to walk up stairs, my thighs rubbing, clothes not fitting properly at all so nothing looks good, weighing more than my boyfriend, my skin tearing, and feeling tired/depressed/lethargic. I will not go back. I want to feel good in my skin, like how my clothes fit, be able to walk miles just for the fun of it and run if I want to, and simply be healthy.

Too many Americans are overweight. Why? I think it’s because they don’t really know better. We are pressed for time and go with what’s cheap and tastes good. Too many things have just become a normal of society, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer for example. Maybe they are preventable or reversible. Maybe with enough knowledge and research we will find out or maybe not because the drug industry makes money off of us being unhealthy. Who knows…

Wheat is making us fat. The wheat or today is different than the wheat of 100 years ago. It’s completely different because it’s a GMO (genetically modified organism). Most of society doesn’t know that the wheat they are eating is frankenwheat that is genetically modified crap that is wrecking havoc on their body. And it’s in a lot of different companies products, a few are: Ritz, Lay’s, Doritos, and Fritos (http://foodbabe.com/2012/09/28/do-your-favorite-snack-brands-contain-gmos/). This is making many of us fat and sick because our body doesn’t recognize it. Try eliminating it from your diet for a month and see if you feel better.

Sugar is making us fat. There are so many different sugars out there today. Many are chemical concoctions from laboratories that are not beneficial to our bodies. When looking for a sweetener you can choose from table sugar, cane sugar, honey, agave syrup, Equal, Sweet’N Low, Splenda, and Stevia to name a few. Maybe simply eating fresh organic fruit would be more beneficial to our bodies. The fruit sugar we get from an apple also has fiber with it and is a much healthier choice.

Processed food is making us fat. If it has a label with 50 ingredients how healthy can it possibly be if you can’t even pronounce more than half of the ingredients? Our ancestors didn’t have partially hydrogenated oils in their foods and were healthier for it. The best option is to buy things on the outside circle of a grocery store that don’t have food labels because they are made up of one ingredient. Fast food is making us fat. MSG is making us fat. So many things are just not helping us in our quest to better health. But not knowing is not an excuse. None of these are meant to be scapegoats for people to justify being unhealthy. It’s to bring it to our awareness so change can occur. Humans are better than being ignorant. We need to know! So what are we to do?

Find better choices! Substitute something healthy in place of the chemical concoction you are eating now. Instead of sugar, have raw honey or organic cane sugar or even just a piece of fruit. Instead of fast food, whip up a quick nutritious smoothie in a blender. Or buy a few ingredients and make a meal. Instead of a burger and fries get an organic grass fed burger patty sans bun with an organic side salad. Instead of a milkshake, have a fruit smoothie. Instead of eggs and bacon, have a hardboiled egg, walnuts, and an orange. Simple changes can have a profound effect.

Yes, most of the “unhealthy food” is cheap, but we have to look at long term effects on our health. It’s making changes and substitutions here and there that really add up. Ask yourself if you are worth it. I know that cheeseburger isn’t worth a heart attack. Be around for yourself, family, and friends. I think you are worth eating healthy and having a long enjoyable life. I know I am. Try your best and I’m positive you will love the results!

Weight Loss Health Food


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