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100 ways I lost 100lb!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ok below is the list of things that have helped me lose 100lb in the last 14.5 months. Perhaps it's all obvious, but hopefully someone out there in spark-land will find something of use in my random ramblings! The way I see it, if I can do this, anyone can!

1. Work. I am lucky to work in a job I love that keeps me on my feet all day long! I teach at a high school in the UK. The teenagers never let me get comfortable. It means I have to work less hard to burn calories!
2. Movement. Links to work, but also keeping more active out of work – walking or cycling instead of driving to get some more milk!
3. Track. Track those calories! Gives me so much control over my lifestyle and lets me make totally informed choices all the time!
4. Plan. I take my lunch to work every day. I used to buy in the canteen – sandwiches and cakes mainly! Now it’s fruit and protein. Now I don’t go to afternoon lessons feeling sick like I used to, but comfortable and ready for the day!
5. Routine. I try and eat at roughly the same times every day – including getting up early at the weekend for breakfast!
6. BIG portions. Of vegetables, salads, fruit, protein. I don’t eat off small plates, I eat HUGE piles of food. Low calorie food. I never feel deprived or that my meal is small – it isn’t, it’s bigger than H2B’s. It just has half the calories because I chose wisely!
7. Constant weighing. Of food!
8. Recording. I record my weight loss with my Wii Fit. I also have bathroom scales. I use these daily (and more!). I am used to the fluctuations, and I don’t let them bother me. When I am down, I record it by weighing in on the Wii Fit. No deadline, no pressure, but a steady record of my achievements!
9. Dancing. Going out, drinking water and dancing my butt off, and waking up to a drop of a lb or 4. So worth it!
10. Just Dance. For the Wii. Like number 10 but at home! All I need to make it better is a bigger house!
11. Drinking. Water, all day long. It does make me pee a lot but it makes me feel healthy!
12. Fizz. I have moved on to sparkling water at work as it adds some sparkle to my day and helps me stick to it!
13. Balance. On weeks where I knew my calorie intake would increase, I compensated by increasing my burn! As in while on vacation and enjoying scrummy food, I walked for several hours a day and got up early for a half-hour swim each morning. Such an invigorating way to start the day, I wish I had one in my house for every day!
14. Inspiration. Obvious but mandatory! Mine has been watching my Dad lose 180+lb. I was inspired because if he could do it making tiny changes, so could I!
15. Motivation. You have to want to do it! I’m getting married in a few months. This has certainly spurred me on (although I was 23lb down when he proposed!).
16. The future. After we get married, M and I want to start a family. I need to be healthy and capable of raising a family with a healthy lifestyle before we start!
17. Cake stand. I got one with a lid on! Now when I bake a cake, it gets covered over. There’s no walking past and picking a bit off and not logging it, because I can’t get to it! (I bake them for M because he loves them! And I LOVE to bake!)
18. Ribs. Feel a rib though your skin for the 1st time ever and it feels good. Makes you want to feel more!
19. Chicken. Lean and full of protein. Nuff said!!
20. Fish. I love the stuff. I eat it daily. Protein and good fats. And super tasty!
21. Broccoli. Boiled, stir-fried, baked. Low in carbs and higher in protein than many vegetables. Oh and yummy!
22. Walking. A nice walk with M of an evening is a lovely bit of ‘us’ time, relaxes me after the stresses of work and gets up a good appetite for a healthy evening meal.
23. Ebay! Seems odd but it’s the perfect clothing exchange! I sell what’s too big and buy myself new sizes at tiny prices. This means I always have things that fit and don’t have to feel guilty for spending money on things – as I just use the money I make selling the stuff that doesn’t fit. The added bonus is that I can’t gain any weight now – I don’t have my fat clothes anymore!
24. Mirrors. I put up more mirrors to remind me of how far I have come, and also how far I still have to go.
25. Tomatoes. Just love them and have them with every meal. Vitamin C rich, I’m sure my love of them is the reason I rarely catch a cold!
26. Measurements. I wish I had done them at the start, they add to my sense of satisfaction when I think that I’ve lost 1 foot – 12 inches – from my waist alone!
27. Moisturiser. No, I haven’t got away without skin sag! But I moisturise all over twice a day and it makes me feel better about my skin. I doubt I’ll ever don a bikini, but on the plus side, I doubt I’ll have to worry too much about stretch marks when I have babies – I’ve made room to grow them!
28. Cauliflower. Love it. It may taste great with cheese but it’s pretty amazing without! And stuffed with vitamin C.
29. Seasonal produce. Vegetables and fruits are expensive. It’s like people want us to eat junk as it’s cheaper! But I have found buying in season makes this cost issue easier. Plus foods always taste better if they haven’t had to be forced to grow!
30. Compliments. At first they were amazing. Then they became embarrassing. Now I’m ok with it! It’s something of a transition, but you can’t expect colleagues, friends and family not to comment when you lose a significant amount of weight!
31. Treats. Those sweeties or that cupcake that I never denied myself. They have all been logged (including the MacDonalds I had last Saturday night!). And despite this, I have only gone over my calorie range a handful of times since I started logging daily!
32. Pumpkin. And squashes. They make an amazing and healthy soup, particularly with some flaked salmon and peas mixed in!
33. My kitty! I love to play chase round the garden with her. I couldn’t have done it a year ago! We have a tonne of fun! I guess this works even better with dogs and kids – they are much less likely to jump over the fence and wander off when they get bored!
34. Mental Arithmetic. I calculate calories in my head as I go, even in the supermarket planning out meals for the week. Having a good head for figures is certainly a bonus in this game!
35. Avocado. OK it’s fairly high in fat and calories, but also in fibre! I wouldn’t eat a lot of them, or too often, but they are lovely with chicken and seafood, and a lovely creamy texture to a salad to replace dressing!
36. Online information. Particularly for restaurants. I read menus before I go and make sure I have a plan of what I want to eat! I love that many places in the UK now supply full nutritional information for all their menus, meaning I can have logged my meal out before I’ve even left the house!
37. Potatoes! I began by cutting out potatoes, pasta, bread, rice... all carbs basically! I have gradually reintroduced them after the kick start and now I eat them a few times a week. They fill me up and aren’t as high in calories as I’ve always thought!
38. Shoes. Wear comfy shoes and moving is so much easier! For work, play and exercise, calories burn easier!
39. Stuffing. Stuffed vegetables are fun to make and taste so lovely! Some of my school students grew some giant tomatoes and I stuffed them with Mediterranean veg, wholewheat couscous and goats cheese and it was gorgeous!
40. Breakfast. Since I began this journey I haven’t missed breakfast after 25 years of only eating it when I was hungover!
41. Alcohol. No I haven’t cut it out. But I have certainly reduced my intake, and give a lot of thought to what I drink when I do. My drink of choice is vodka and diet coke. Many less calories than the beer I used to swig!
42. Sleep. I still don’t get enough sleep, but I value it far more than I used to. I make more effort to get to bed and unwind at a reasonable hour. I haven’t got it in me to do what I see so many Sparkers doing and getting up at the crack of dawn (or before) and working out. I wish I could, but I just can’t!
43. T.O.M. A time all girls dread. And the time I lose most weight! Unlike many, I don’t put on water weight at this time, and for the past 6 months or so, this is the only week of the month I have lost any weight – usually 4-5lb! It has become my favourite time! It’s a weird way of things!
44. Confidence. I have grown in confidence dramatically in the last 15 months. And every time you feel better about yourself, it pushes you to keep trying.
45. Soup. I now make soups. I get up on a Sunday morning, put on a cookery show and get going. I roast and peel peppers, I mush up squashes, I add water and I blend. And then I enjoy!
46. Onions. The basis to so many tasty vegetable based meals! Eating wouldn’t be the same without them!
47. Energy. I have noticed this most at work. As I have said, I work on my feet. In the last 2 weeks since we went back from the summer break, I have been full of energy in front of my classes. I literally bounce about. They think I’m crazy, but it shows how much I’m enjoying my job. At 273lb that just wasn’t so easy!
48. Comments. Comments from my students. Like finding a scribble on the classroom windowsill saying ‘miss is fat’. I had lost a lot when I found this – I can’t say how long it had been there. I didn’t clean it off; it’s still there. It keeps me heading in the right direction!
49. Wii. I mentioned Just Dance, but it’s wii fit I believe really set me off on this journey and still the one I turn to when I feel lazy!
50. Me. Sounds stupid but I was finally ready to change. Before even thinking about losing weight, I had given up smoking. For 7 years I had been regularly giving up and starting again with the smoking. Every time I gave up I never thought I’d never have another cigarette. That’s what changed – the last time I knew I was really ready to quit. I didn’t think I’d ever pick one up again. Same with this time’s weight loss. I actually was planning to change for good. I had no plans to revert like I have before. And oh look, it worked! I was ready, and that was key!
51. Career. I am aware that in my profession, physical performance is important. I know if I want to progress in my career I need to be able to walk in to an interview and show the employer I am physically up to the job. If my butt gets stuck in a chair, that ain’t goin’ to happen!
52. Cleaning. I now clean my house much better – I realised it’s a great way to burn off calories at the weekend when I’m not at work burning them that way!
53. Gardening. Like with the cleaning, only with the chance of getting some sun on my skin (with sunscreen on of course! ).
54. Herbal Tea. Tasty and fresh – peppermint is great for digestion.
55. Cinnamon. I read an article saying it aids weight loss. Now when a plateau has gone on for too long, I add some to my breakfast cereal and it seems to give the lbs a kick start! I don’t know why. And it doesn’t work on a daily basis, but every so often it seems to do the trick for me!
56. Bananas. When I first made changes, these got me through the working day. Nice slow release energy!
57. Fibre. I have added fibre to my basic trackers. I always thought I had to much of it given all the fruit and veg I eat, but it turns out I probably don’t have enough! This has helped me make positive changes to my diet.
58. Bicycle. I use it for running errands. It’s wonderful for toning up my oversized thighs!
59. Cheese. Or a lack of it. The single greatest change I think I made to my diet was to remove cheese almost altogether! I hate to imagine how many cheese calories I used to consume in a week. Hundreds!
60. Herbs. I use fresh herb leaves in salads to add some lovely fresh flavours and reduce the need for dressing.
61. Stir fry. Quick, healthy and tasty hot meals for days when work runs on past 9pm!
62. Fruit bowls. I used to have 1. Now I have 3. Fruit is always out where I can get to it. I don’t even need to visit the fridge for a snack, where the less healthy things lurk, as fruit is sat there waiting for me to munch it!
63. Marching. I march in place while cleaning my teeth. OK it’s not gonna make a huge difference but I think it’s a perfect level of multi-tasking!
64. Phone-calls. I now speak to my mother while pacing in the garden or hall way. It’s a time where I can’t be doing anything else so I add a few steps to my total my doing them then – sometimes for half an hour if we have a lot to say!
65. Jogging. I tried this. I can’t do it. I had a knee reconstruction when I was 17 and am due a second on the other leg. I have been medically advised to avoid all high-impact exercise. This really cuts down my cardio options! That said, I do jog to the post box and back – about 300 yards each way.
66. Seeds. Healthy fats and a great texture to add to a salad!
67. Salad. I eat them a lot. Like a lot! I don’t use salad dressing. I love the freshness of salad leaves as they are!
68. Dressing. On the side when I eat out. I examine it and decide whether or not to bother. Usually not!
69. Sports Bra. No full on cardio workout is safe without one!
70. Stationary Bike. My parents have one. If I have a bad day at work (I’ve had less and less of these the smaller I’ve got – perhaps a coincidence, perhaps not) I swing by and spend 20, 30, 45, 60 minutes feeling my quads burn! It mellows me out!
71. Relax. Relaxing in the bath, on the sofa, in bed with a book, is a major plus. Stress = more likely to make bad choice or not have the right mind set to follow through with carefully laid out plans!
72. Bed time. I’ve not had one since I was 11 (incidentally the last time I was in this size jeans) but now I am in a proper routine everything seems easier!
73. Snacks. I didn’t bother before – just waited and over-ate at my next meal. Now, if I’m hungry, I eat. But I eat sensibly and cut down my next meal by that number of calories!
74. Support. I asked for it from those around me when I needed it. They stopped me from giving up.
75. Christmas. It was tough, I come from a big family of eaters! They were all supportive of me over the difficult time, and as it’s a time of year I love I allowed myself to relax for a few days and thoroughly the food I ate. I gained a few pounds. I lost them again easily.
76. Photos. I have used them as motivation and as a marker of how far I have come. I’ve never had much problem having my picture taken and now it’s so much more fun without having to hide a double/treble chin!!
77. Blogs. I haven’t written many, but when I have it’s helped me set things right in my mind. It has also been great to get such wonderful support from fellow sparkers when I have said something!
78. Trees. I have climbed trees for the first time I think ever in the last few months!
79. Skipping. I have a skipping rope. I go in the garden and jump rope 50 times when I’m bored!
80. Shopping. I love to walk around the supermarket and read the detailed nutrition labels of all the foods I buy.
81. Temptation. I love to ignore it. I have had a tub of chocolates on my dining table since Christmas. They are unopened. I know they are there, I can see them now. But I haven’t once given in. Of this I am proud!
82. Pride. I am proud of so many things I have achieved. On a ‘fat’ day I try and remember this!
83. BMI. I am very tall – 5’11. Therefore I weigh a lot more than a short person. Therefore I like to remember my BMI as well as my actual weight. 173lb seems like a lot to some people, but it puts my BMI at 24.25 – in the healthy range. Don’t compare yourself to others!
84. Body Fat. Much like the BMI, it gives a clearer indication of where I am than the number on the scale!
85. Cabbage. I love it. Crunchy raw in a salad, soft amongst a pile of steamed veg. Yummy!
86. Play fight. I play fight with M all the time. It’s great to burn calories and so much fun, and quite sexy too!!
87. Sex. It’s good cardio, that’s all I’m saying!
88. Laundry. I put the basket far away from the line and walk back and forth between the line and basket for every item. Just keep adding in extra movement.
89. Car park. I park at the far end and walk a few extra steps before and after work.
90. Toilet. The toilet for staff is about 60 second walk away. I go 3-5 times a day. I could use the students one just down the stairs, but I make the effort to go the extra distance.
91. Stairs. I take them rather than a lift if they are on offer. If it’s only a flight or two I run up them!
92. Water bottles. Multiple functions. I always have water for drinking in my bag, on my desk and by my bed. I also use water bottles as weights as I can’t afford a gym membership or to buy a set of weights.
93. Salt. I don’t add any to my food while cooking unless totally necessary.
94. Blood Pressure. It was slightly high, particularly for someone of my age. All the females in my family have high blood pressure. It’s now back to normal because I have worked hard at getting healthy and reducing stress levels.
95. Evaluation. When the scale has gone up, I have thought about the reasons. I have looked back over my food logs and looked for patterns, working out what doesn’t work for me and not doing it again!
96. Pickles! They are brilliant to jazz up a salad when you start getting bored of them.
97. Repetition. I have learnt what works and stuck with it, repeating it and getting results.
98. Crunches. I like the feeling of 100 jack-knives. It makes me feel like I can do anything!
99. Goals. Without a goal in mind I would have given up months ago. I haven’t reached my goal yet, and the goal has become less and less important as I have felt better about every aspect of my life. I hope to one day weigh 165lb. If I get below 170 I will be really happy. I may never make 165, but I don’t plan on stopping this lifestyle. Ever!
100. Spark people. All of you! Thank you!

I hope that at least one of these points has helped you in some way! xxx
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