The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Monday, February 03, 2014

Brand New Me

Posted by Seeking Solace |

I reached my goal of losing 50 pounds and getting back to my pre-RA diagnosis weight.

Long time readers are all too familiar with my weight struggles. (Remember the Active Academic?) Since my diagnosis in 2001, I've gained 50 pounds. Periods of steroid use, inactivity because it hurt too much and my own laziness attributed to the weight gain. Over the years, I had lost 10 pounds, here and there, only to gain it more. I tried a lot of different things, exercise, giving up foods, all of that stuff. Nothing seemed to click. I couldn't find the right combination of things to shed the pounds.

In September 2012, I began using Lose It, a calorie and exercise tracker.  I told Lose It my start weight and my goal weight in 10 pound increments. I figured small goals would be easier to reach. I set my calories to lose one pound a week (the maximum is 2). Lose It set my daily calorie intake and I was on my way. I diligently logged in my food. I soon realized that my portion sizes were way too much. I started looking at labels to determine a proper portion size. I even investing in a scale to measure portion sizes. I didn't give up eating any food that I love. I continued to eat bread, pasta, sweets and drink alcohol. I just learned how much was enough. I never felt hungry or deprived.

I began to add exercise into the equation. I got off my butt and started walking in the neighborhood.  Junior was quite instrumental in getting my butt in gear. Husband fixed up one of the bedrooms and dusted off the treadmill. I downloaded a pedometer for my phone and clicked it on whenever I would go shopping or clean the house. As far as I was concerned, any activity that raised my heart rate counted.

There were ups and down, literally and figuratively. I battled flares, illness and periods of not wanting to exercise. There were times that even though I was doing everything right, the number on the scale would not budge. In fact, the last 10 pounds were the hardest to lose. But, I would just look at my my status charts on the Lose It site and remind myself how far I had made it. I did the happy dance when I started wearing single digit sized clothes. I felt empowered when I was able to do a little light jogging. I could feel less impact on my body, especially my joints. My primary care doc and RA doc are pleased with my progress. I have more energy.

Now, that the weight is gone, the next phase to tone up a little. Because I lost the weight slowly, my skin was able to adjust. My legs are lean and strong, thanks to the many hills in my neighborhood.
However, I would like to tone up my arms and core. I've wanted to get back into yoga, mainly to help with my fibromyalgia and stress. I had avoided it for so long because of the impact on my joints. I think it will be a nice way to tone up and relax.

Also, I have to figure out how to go from weight-loss to weight maintenance. I've been in the weight loss mode for so long, that I am not sure what maintenance will mean for me. I now have an extra 500 calories a day to play with. I don't want to go crazy, but I don't want to drop any more weight. either. The good thing is that the changes that I have made are truly lifestyle changes that are easy to keep, I just need to find the balance.

In the meantime, I am going to bask in the brand new me.


Belle said...

Congratulations indeed!

Rev Dr Mom said...

Congratulations! I know well how hard it is to be vigilant and consistent, and how great it feels when you reach your goal. Good for you!

I do WW and what I've found in maintenance is that I still need to log in every single thing I eat. Constant vigilances as MadEye Moody would say (not sure if you are a HP Potter fan or not, but anyways...)

chicago foodie girl said...

I'm obviously super behind with commenting, but I still wanted to throw in my congratulations. You rock! :-)