Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Remedy

How I Lost 22 Pounds

*Disclaimer* The following information is based strictly on personal experience and should not be taken for medical or weight loss advice. Please consult your doctor before implementing any weight loss regimen.

Ok, now that is out of the way...

Last year I lost 22 pounds. I have never in my life had a weight problem. I have always been skinny, to the point of disgusting my friends - trust me when I say it was not always fun. My senior year in high school, I grew about 2 inches (up to 6 feet tall) and maintained my light weight of 112 pounds. I couldn't help it; I have always eaten like a horse - never dieted or watched calories and still stayed slim (thanks to Dad for his genes). In college I gained the freshman 15 and finally developed a back side and hips. That was a turning point for me. My weight over the next 10 years climbed by about a pound or two a year until I settled out at about 135 pounds. Then I got pregnant. While carrying Kiddo I gained 70 pounds!!!! By the time I had him, I weighed over 200 pounds and had stopped looking at the scale. Of course, we found out when I delivered that I was pre-eclamptic, and most of the weight was water. I lost 40 pounds before I ever left the hospital.

So after Kiddo, for the next year or so, I was weighing in at 156. Though not overweight by any means, it was more than I had ever carried and was causing back problems and self esteem issues. But I was a mom - and as we all know in that first 6 months to a year you pretty much run in survival mode - snagging food when you can, eating on the run or while multitasking four hundred different things, and convenience foods become a life saver. Unfortunately, convenience foods are rarely good for you, and in my case, actually kept my body from getting rid of the extra weight.

It started out innocent enough. I would eat a couple of frozen burritos for lunch. Then I started putting cheese on them, then ranch dressing, then I was eating other things with them, cleaning up after Kiddo when he ate - I became the human garbage disposal. So in January of last year I decided enough was enough and I changed my eating habits. I know I am not an exerciser - so it had to be done with eating healthy and revving up my metabolism. In addition to the no exercise thing, I knew that a traditional diet wouldn't work as well. I am not good with telling myself "no", and if there is no room for "cheating" it would never stick. So I decided I would eat salad every day (that I could stand it) for lunch, change my portions at dinner to include more veggies and less of the other stuff, and then weekends would be free to eat anything I wanted. I began drinking coffee more regularly (a true mommy life saver) and changed my daily lunch to this...

This is actually not a good representation because it is a bit different than my normal salad - but that's ok. I truly believe this is the perfect salad. First off, it is HUGE. That is an 8 cup measuring bowl! I have this salad at lunch and most days I do not even feel hungry by dinner time. Here are the ingredients: I start with about 6 cups of fresh spinach and 2-3 cups of Romaine lettuce. I tear up the spinach and lettuce to bite size and then add about 1/4 c shredded carrots. Next is 1/4-1/3 c of Feta Cheese (very important for protein and flavor) and 1/2 of a medium avocado (the best nutritional food there is). Then I add about 1/2 c shredded chicken. Every week and a half or so I boil a whole chicken in the crock pot and then de-bone and shred for my salads. Very nutritious and tasty. I top the salad with about 10-15 garlic croutons (for some fat and crunch) and about 1 tablespoon of Ranch dressing (again for fat and flavor). All you need is about a tablespoon - just enough to make things kind of sticky when mixed with the avocado and cheese. This salad is VERY good, and after a year of eating it pretty much every day, I still love it. Sometimes I vary it a little - if I want a bit more crunch I'll add some bacon bits. If I am out of chicken I'll put in a whole avocado or even use leftover taco meat from dinner. Sometimes I heat up a couple of Kiddo's chicken nuggets (as in the picture). If I have chopped onion or tomatoes I need to use I'll throw them in as well. But the bulk of the salad stays the same - good, nutritious greens. Try it, I think you'll like it. ;)

Anyway, just changing those couple of things made all the difference in the world. If I hit a plateau along the way, I would up my water intake and actually eat MORE - throwing in a couple of snacks during the day (yogurt covered pretzels, wheat thins and hummus, even a hand full of dry cereal). I think the weekend free for all was important too. First, I never felt deprived because I could eat whatever I wanted and second, eating more on the weekends jump started my metabolism in prep for the next week. The pounds came off steadily 2 at a time for several weeks, the I plateaued for a couple of weeks or so and they would come off again. By August I had dropped 20 pounds and went from a size 8 to a size 4. I have since lost 2 more pounds, then gained about 4 over the holidays. The 4 dropped off quickly once all the holiday treats were gone and I am currently hovering around 134 pounds. Also, I make sure to satisfy the inner beast once a month with my PMS Treat of the Month. :)

So there you have it. My secret. And - NO EXERCISING. Imagine what I could do if I added that in...

Yah, right!


D :)


Jennifer said...

sounds like a good plan! I might have to try it after Baby Dos comes along! WTG you should be proud of yourself for loosing 22lbs!

Amy said...

Good for you! Very impressive. I hope to do the same sometime - I ahve about 30lbs more I would like to shed to get to my goal weight.


karrie said...

The salad lunch is a very good idea.

I also think having a day off is a good idea since it keeps your metabolism guessing. (My only problem is that I take a day, and it becomes 4 or 5...lol)

Oh, The Joys said...

I lost a lot of baby weight this year too, but more traditionally with weight watchers points and exercise.

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