Be Gentle on Your Weight Loss Journey 3…

Hi dear Readers!

I just went back and reread Be Gentle on Your Weight Loss Journey and Be Gentle on Your Weight Loss Journey 2. Wow! Eyeopening! I had forgotten that I renewed this journey on September 1, 2016. That makes it just over two years that I’ve dedicated to improved health. And the good news is that I’m… right on schedule – with lowered blood pressure, weight, and blood sugar.

I started the journey at 225 pounds (I write about the first leg of the journey in my other two blog posts). This morning I weighed 159 pounds.  Down 66 pounds! I am stoked!

So how did I get here? I have worked hard and tried several different tactics along the way. I began with a popular weight loss program and lost the first several pounds, but could not sustain the cost of the foods required.  I was afraid I would gain the weight back if I didn’t find a substitute right away.

So, I tried the Mayo Clinic Diet App on my phone. It worked, teaching me portion sizes and serving control. To my amazement, the pounds began to melt away. I was learning how to eat healthy foods in healthy portions. After about three months, though, I hit a plateau. I had learned to use the food log to my advantage but needed something more detailed to break my logjam.

I eventually switched to My Fitness Pal so I could track individual foods and see their impact on my progress.  At about this time, I added walking and a home yoga practice to my previously nonexistent physical routine. I met another walker and we walked the perimeter of Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley, California three mornings a week. I developed my home yoga practice on two days a week.

I did very well with My Fitness Pal but switched to a ketogenic lifestyle six months ago. Wanting to track macros more intuitively, I switched to CarbManager. The app works very well for me as I can plan my meals for the day in the morning, then edit them as needed before logging at the end of the day. The bookend approach works well for me, keeping me accountable at both ends of the day.

I haven’t lost much (about five pounds) in the past six months on Keto, but I have lost three pants sizes and two blouse sizes. That means I’m building muscle. 🙂  The best thing about Keto is the way I feel – younger, healthier, stronger. I’ll take those any day of the week!

I hit my current plateau six months ago. I lost a large amount of muscle during the early months of my weight loss journey. As I increased my exercise level, the muscle began to rebuild. I think the plateau is not really a plateau but a reshaping of my body.

I caution anyone considering the Keto lifestyle – do your homework and find out everything you can before embarking on this style of eating. It’s not as easy as it first appears, but it is doable. We made the switch because Alzheimer’s Disease runs in my family. This lifestyle seems to lessen the effects of this memory-stealer. It has similarly been attributed with lessening or reversing the effects of seizure disorders, Type II Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, and some other diseases.

Hubby lost thirty pounds on Keto and feels better. The change was difficult at first because of the cultural norms we experience in relation to food. It is second nature now. I don’t eat bread, pasta, rice, potatoes or other starchy veggies, but I do eat salad and fruit every day. We often have steamed broccoli or asparagus with pure Irish butter. We frequently eat caveman chili or bacon and eggs for breakfast. Just plain yummy.

I don’t miss donuts or sugar as much as I am wistful about the memories involving eating such foods. I recognize that my obesity was the result of eating foods that packed a lot of calories and little nutrition. That situation is reversed, I am happy to report! I no longer eat sugar or sugary foods. I can feel the difference in my health.

Last fall hubby bought me a three-wheeled bicycle so I could begin riding with him on a daily basis. We rode five days a week all last fall, through the winter, and into spring this year. Of course, living in the southwestern Arizona desert, we took the summer off. We just resumed riding a week ago. It’s a good feeling to exercise daily, especially doing something as interesting as riding around looking at homes and yards and our local golf course.

I think my takeaway from this journey is that slow and steady wins the race. I have only lost an average of 1/2 pound a week for the last two and a half years. But over that time I have lost a total of 66 pounds. I have fallen off the wagon, climbed back on, and ultimately stuck the course. I will be happy if I never lose another pound. I’m so accustomed to logging meals though, I’ll bet I continue to do so and lose more weight. Yes, I believe this plateau will end when my body stops building muscle to replace the muscle I’ve lost. In the meantime, I’m 66 pounds lighter. Yay! No really – YAY! 🙂

-Mary-

 

 

 

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