As a past yo-yo dieter, I wanted to share my most recent weight loss story that became permanent. And by that, how it took 15 months to lose and how I’ve kept it off for about a year. Nowadays, I live a healthier lifestyle in a thinner body. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m getting there.
Every person who has gone on a fad diet loves telling their story about weight loss. Then most of the time their weight loss story turns sour when they’ve gained it back, sometimes plus some. Almost every dieter gets sick of their fad diet. Either that, or they stray from it once they’ve hit their weight loss goal. I’m guilty of this, so here’s how the story of my weight loss unfolded…
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My First Weight Loss Story Involves Getting Away from Processed Foods & Drinks
Back in 2003, I was 19 years old and tipping the scale around 200 pounds. I tried exercising and cutting out junk food. I relied on diet coke to satisfy my sweet tooth, but it didn’t work. I sought treatment from medical doctors, but they couldn’t help me. So I saw a naturopathic physician, and he put me on an organic food diet with a series of detoxes.
I lost a considerable amount of weight and felt better from no longer eating refined foods or drinking diet coke or any kind of soda. Then as I started feeling better, I gradually went back to eating junk food again that had the USDA organic label. Plus, I fell off my regular exercise routine. With the mindset of all organic food being safe, my weight still climbed back up.
Next Attempt of Weight Loss to Add to my Story
I still stuck to eating mostly organic foods, but my next story about weight loss is from following a fad diet. I lost the weight that I’d gained from eating organic junk food and laziness. But when I hit a plateau, I grew frustrated and again ate organic junk foods and drank sugary coffees without bothering to exercise.
Of course, I experienced another disappointment from gaining the weight back once I returned to my old eating habits. Even more disappointing, I could no longer wear the smaller clothes I’d bought and had to buy bigger sizes.
For over a decade, my other common weight loss story revolved around gaining and then losing 15-20 pounds. I worked at a warehouse for a lot of that time frame. Since I was on my feet most days, it wasn’t hard for me to exercise. Between running around all day and lifting heavy boxes, working out wasn’t an issue.
My weight fluctuated with all the pastries my coworkers often brought to work. We often joked that we worked in a mini pastry shop. Whenever my weight was creeping up, all I had to do was stop eating all the refined desserts. But that technique didn’t last forever, and disaster soon struck.
My Weight Was High Enough That I Walked Lopsided
Even at the lower end of my weight range, I was still close to being obese. I started experiencing lower back pain frequently enough to where I had to quit my job. It got to where I was walking lopsided, and my doctor referred me to a physical therapist.
After a month of physical therapy, my back pain lessened and I started walking straight again, but it wasn’t full relief. My physical therapist delivered the bad news…the only way I’d ever be fully rid of my back pain was to lose weight!
Ugh, of course I groaned inwardly, because what woman wants to face the battle of the bulge? But I knew she was right. Not only that, but after being out of my warehouse job for several months, I’d tipped the scale at my highest weight ever…206 pounds.
That was my breaking point. I didn’t want another weight loss story involving another fad diet. And I didn’t want to make another weight loss effort that would fail yet again. To me, dieting became pointless unless you made the lifestyle changes permanent. Since then I decided that if I were to lose weight again I was not going to have the usual story of gaining it back.
To avoid another failed weight loss story, I knew I needed to change my overall diet. Not just a temporary thing, and not with foods I hated eating just to get the job of weight loss done (no offense, broccoli). This time around, I focused on swapping out the typical foods I’d eat for healthier options I wouldn’t mind adding to my permanent overall diet.
Here’s What I Did to Achieve a Permanent Weight Loss Story
Before I share my usual everyday meals, I’d like to note several tweaks I made to my diet.
- I cut out all refined sugar, and I don’t even miss it. The only sweeteners I use are stevia for my coffee, organic maple syrup, and raw honey (in moderation). My favorite brands can be found on my website blog post 5 Nasty Sugar Facts on the Body: 3 Better Options.
- I cut out almost all dairy (except grass fed half & half for my coffee). I switched from regular milk to a nut milk and dairy cheese to non-dairy cheese. I don’t even notice much difference.
- I stopped eating beef because it’s hard on my digestive system (including grass-fed beef). Instead, I opt for organic poultry or plant-based protein.
- I always drink half the ounces of water to my body weight plus replenish the amount from the coffee I drink.
- I had to learn to avoid an exercise rut by switching my routine every couple of weeks. Otherwise, I’d hit a plateau and endure every dieter’s worst nightmare. I enjoy doing Beachbody workouts because they offer such a wide variety of options.
I used to eat either a bagel for breakfast or pancakes. The brands I’d eat were still organic, but they weren’t necessarily weight loss friendly. This was mostly because I wasn’t getting enough protein.
So, I now eat egg whites mixed with bell peppers and coconut oil plus hash browns fried in oil. Or if I want pancakes, I’ll add protein powder. Or sometimes I’ll eat a smoothie bowl.
For lunch, I used to get carryout from either Boston Market or Papa John’s pizza. Those aren’t necessarily bad options, but they came in large portions and I also wasn’t eating enough vegetables. Plus dairy irritates my stomach.
Now my lunches consist of homemade sandwiches using Ezekiel bread with a Caesar salad or nondairy yogurt with fruit.
Sometimes I’ll drink a smoothie for either lunch or dinner, and for me, this is the most important dietary item. I attribute much success of my current weight loss story to the smoothies I make. They’re full of protein, vitamins, and fiber-enriched.
For the base, I use USDA organic coconut milk and mix it with 2-3 organic fruits. I’ll add either wheatgrass or kale, 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds, collagen protein, cinnamon or nutmeg. For flavoring, I use a dash of organic vanilla, organic cocoa powder, and sometimes 1 teaspoon of raw honey. This smoothie has helped with my weight loss story because it’s highly nutrient dense.
I used to grab either a medium-sized bag of chips or devour a whole bar of Green & Black’s milk chocolate. Now I commonly eat either an organic apple with peanut butter or a package of seaweed sheets. I started eating seaweed to help improve the health of my hair because it’s full of vitamins and nutrients.
My common favorite dinners are lean chicken/turkey with a veggie and potato (I leave the skin on for nutritional value). Or I enjoy eating sheet pan dinner with chicken/turkey, bell peppers, zucchini/squash, red onion, garlic, and chives. One of my most favorite go-to places for meal ideas is Cara Clark Nutrition.
Losing weight and keeping it off is very difficult. Throughout my weight loss journey, the main thing I learned is there is no quick fix. Maintaining permanent weight loss is about finding healthier foods and drinks you enjoy. With the right mindset, permanent weight loss can be done.
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