19 January 2009

Weight Loss Weekly

This is a current shot of me

This was me December 2007, 34lbs. heavier than today

This post is part of a weekly series of posts titled "Weight Loss Weekly".  Weight loss weekly is part of a collaboration with 3 other bloggers who, like me, are trying to lose weight.  Join us as we share our struggles and victories in our personal battles to lose weight.  You will find introductions to the other three bloggers as well as snippets from their blog posts below.

With the start of each new year, comes a slew of new year's resolutions.  I would bet that the majority of resolutions in America have something to do with losing weight.  I started gaining weight when I went away to college (as a lot of people do).  I have a weakness for buffets, and eating at a buffet three meals a day for a year can do anyone in!  I probably gained 25 lbs. my freshman year and kept that weight on through college.  After college, I started working as a teacher.  I was living on my own for the first time in my life, was exhausted from teaching all day, and got in the habit of picking up Chinese food 3-4 nights of the week at a supermarket on the way home.  I gained a few more pounds.  After teaching for a year, I got married.  I was (still am) blissfully happy, had a husband who was cooking for me, and started putting on weight again.  It was after a year of marriage that I realized, something had to change.  I was unhappy and unhealthy.

The question this week is "How did I get overweight in the first place?"  I think for me, it is more helpful to look at the habits I possess that contributed to my weight gain and talk about what I am doing to change them.

1.  I eat way too fast.

I am often the first one finished at the table.  Eating quickly does not give my stomach a chance to tell my brain that it is full which means that I'm often the first one getting seconds!  I need to start putting my utensils down between every bite, sipping water between every bite and try to be the last to finish.

2.  I eat "just whatever" way too often

This was my problem in college and when I first started teaching.  I took no ownership of what I was eating and just ate whatever was fast and easy.  When you take ownership of what you eat, plan it, shop for it, cook it, you take more pride in what is going into your body hence eating better things.

3.  I eat "wherever" way too often

How many times a week do you eat in your car?  How many times a week do you eat while you are typing at your computer, watching T.V., standing at the counter?  Meal times are sacred times.  Of course there are days when I have to go through the drive through at McD's, but I don't want to have this be a habit or to happen more than once a week.  

4.  I eat like I don't know where my next meal is coming from

Because I eat too fast, I eat until I am overly full rather than content.  I need to slow down so that my stomach can tell my brain "I am content" rather than, "Stop!"

Last January, I found the book French Women Don't Get Fat.  With this book, I realized what my bad eating habits were and why I had gained weight.  Slowly, I have worked to change these habits and have so far lost 34 lbs.  The changes I made were not radical.  They were simple changes of slowing down, enjoying my food, and eating consistently, yet because my bad habits are so ingrained in me, they are so hard to change and stay with consistently.  I want to pass good eating habits onto my children however, so I must continue to fight to change my bad habits.  To keep myself accountable, I have started an online food journal which you can follow on Twitter.

This post is part of a series of posts that will be coming out every Monday titled "Weight Loss Weekly".  The posts will be designed not only inspire you on your own weight loss journey, but to help me and the authors of these posts stay motivated and inspired as well.  There are three other bloggers that are participating in this series with me.  Below are their names and introductions to their "Weight Loss Weekly" posts.  

They are:

Nurit says:
"Once upon a time there was a little girl.  She didn't like to eat, her mom didn't like to cook, and her dad lived in the land of far far away so he wasn't around to do any cooking.  (Oh, well, it wasn't "IN" for men to cook those days anyway).  The little girl never ate breakfast and she rarely ate the food in her school lunchbox.  Her mom was annoyed when she returned her lunchbox back with all the food, so she got rid of the evidence in the trash before she got home."  To read more, click 1 family. friendly. food

Sunny's post:
"I don't think it would be fair to blame the whole 20 pound weight gain on Chicken Biscuits.  (More like just the last 5 lbs, hehe!)  I actually think I could blame the majority of the weight I gained on dieting.  Here's why"...www.ThatExtra20Pounds.blogspot.com

Giyen's post:
"I can give you a million excuses about why I am overweight, but the real reason is"...find out why here.


Chef E said...

You look great now...I also thought about posting a shot of myself...but will wait, because now I realize that my weight and stress of it has caused a medical condition I have to take care of...you have been inspiring to me with the post and all!

Sunny said...

Great post! I do all those things to, especially eating way too fast. I'm trying to slow down though.

Bob said...

I eat way too fast too. I've been trying to work on it, but I don't even notice I'm doing it! Ah well, perseverance is key. :)

Anonymous said...

I love your current shot and you look great! I've lost a bunch of weight last year but over the last two months I'm afraid I've gained a little more. I think I eat too fast as well. I have a lot of success loosing weight during the spring season. I'm not sure why - maybe because all the holidays are over and I try to eat healthy seasonal meals.

Wandering Coyote said...

Using Twitter as a food journal is a really great idea! Have you heard of The Daily Plate? I use that site quite often and it's really nifty, though it takes a bit of time to set up.

Sheila said...

Reading your post is encouraging. Like others, I can see myself doing these same things. I think the biggest help to me is knowing that I want to not only lose weight, but improve my long term health for myself and my family.

Thanks for the links to others stories!

Melissa said...


I just found your blog. It looks wonderful.

I have skimmed through the French Women Don't Get Fat book, but have not really seen it. It looks like a great book.

I saw you have a recipe posted for challah. My goal this year is to learn to cook and one of the things that I want to make is challah. It reminds me of my childhood.

It was very nice visiting your blog.


Justine said...

Encouraging post. I see some of my culprits on the list too : ) Keep up the good work!

emily said...

I am already following you on twitter! Wonderful post! Good luck to you and your fellow bloggers. I have a great tip that worked to slow my husband down. He ate so fast sometimes he choked! Use chopsticks! They are fun to use and believe me will slow you down. Use them for everything.

Good Luck!

Tangled Noodle said...

I am saving this post because the reasons you enumerated for weight gain were my reasons, too and they are great reminders that mindfulness of body and spirit are critical to a healthy being! I applaud you for sharing your journey with us. May I recommend a book? Dr. Brian Wansink is an economist who has studied food behavior and his book "Mindless Eating" is an eye-opener about how our perceptions of food can lead us into a nutritional minefield.

P.S. I lost 35lbs (a lot on a 5-foot frame!) from my heaviest weight and have maintained for about 8 yrs now.

Daily Spud said...

Inspiring post and a lot in there that I'm sure many of us can identify with in some shape or form. For me, in particular, it's point 4 - eating like I don't know where my next meal is coming from. This is somehow ingrained in me since childhood (not that we ever went hungry as kids but somehow it's there). It takes a really concious effort to overcome that, so I wish you the best of good luck with your weight loss efforts!

Pierce said...

I hope you like the Will Clower book. This is one that helped my husabnd and I start eating "French" and we kept weight off for a long time.

Our problem is eating the higher fat foods and keeping our cholesterol to managable levels. No matter what Clower states in his book, my chol. went up quite a bit. We are trying to have a happy balance now.

Great photos by the way! Thanks for sharing.

Reeni♥ said...

How inspirational! Most of your habits are the same ones I struggle with every day. Being aware helps, but its been hard to break out of habits I've had for a lifetime. I seem to do good for a while, fall back to the old habits, do good, etc... just a cycle I keep repeating. I suppose it's better than just giving up all together. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous pictures!

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Thanks for being so open and sharing your pictures with us. I think you look great and I congratulate you on losing so much weight. Keep it up.

Joanna said...

this was a lot of fun to read. i love learning about the blogger behind the blog.

i commute to school, but i've heard from college friends that they have all gained weight from not living at home. that's one of the reasons i like being here!!! i couldn't imagine have somebody else make my food all the time.

anyway, you're making great progress and you look stunning!

Sara said...

Congratulations on the weight loss, you're doing great!

Passionate About Baking said...

Good for you...you're doing really well. I eat way too fast too.Cheers

Acai Berry Ultimate said...

Well Done. You have a nice and helpful blog. The most important thing is that you have succeded and you lost 37 lbs! I know that this is not ease. Continue this way.

Jo said...

Oh wow, I can't believe you've lost so much in a year. You look really great and good job. I'll be rooting for you!

Chef E said...

I found out last night that a friend has 'French Women Don't Get Fat' and she is giving it to me to read along with you!

Bob said...

I have an award for you, kiddo! Details here: http://icookstuff.blogspot.com/2009/01/some-tv-announcements-and-award.html

Robin Sue said...

I have gotton into some bad habits too. I am not over weight BUT I am not eating right nor excersising so I am out of shape and flabby. I need to get it together or I will be in trouble real soon- not so much wiehgt issues but other health issues like heart disease, yikes! These posts are honest and inspiring. I am enjoying the French women book as it has some common sense ideas without the big DIET feeling. I was never a breakfast person but I need to be!

Foodycat said...

This is really interesting. Thank you for sharing this with us.

best weight loss pills said...

i did not read your article, i just saw your photo, you are great.