Friday, April 3, 2009

Change of Mindset Yields Change of Pants Size

A funny thing happen on the way to the scale -- I lost about 45 pounds.

It's funny, because I didn't really diet, per se. I didn't head off to the gym each night, and I didn't take the latest and greatest pills. I didn't starve myself and I didn't join weight watchers. I just lost weight.

Around the middle of the summer, I hit the scales at the heaviest I'd ever weighed. I was in a rut at my job, and had little energy to make a change in my life. Luckily, change found me. Maybe I got caught up in politics, but lets just say I was overwhelmed by this phrase I kept hearing, "yes we can!". So I did. Weight loss has tapered recently, but it hasn't gone back up yet, so I'm happy to be in a healthier place and state of mind.

If you're reading this for weight loss tips, here are the things I found helped me to lose weight, but with this disclaimer: Without the change of mindset to want a better life for myself, any attempts at change would probably have been given up on after a week.

  1. I started walking more. I mentioned this in an earlier post, but I think it was a critical early effort to raise metabolism. Get off at one subway stop further from your house or job, if it's a possibility. Or just walk anywhere. Walk to the movies, to the park, to the next post office, to the further Starbucks. We all have to walk to get where we're going; my advice is to just walk more.
  2. We started cooking almost every meal. JC is home with the Pumpkin, and has taken on the duty of head chef. Cooking at home has done three things:

    • We eat healthier. Fewer oils, fewer preservatives, fewer ingredients that sound like they were made in a laboratory.
    • We eat less. Take-out portions are huge, but if, like me, you eat with guppy mentality, "everything is servings per container: 1"
    • We don't have to buy lunches. Lunches are packed when dinner is dished out. This means smaller portions than take out, with the added benefit of massive savings, the amount of which I can't imagine.

  3. I rarely drink alcohol anymore. This was mostly a financial decision, but the calories avoided from my nightly beer(s) surely add up. I'll still enjoy a drink with friends, but we almost never drink at home we're really jonesing for it.
  4. We eat more fruits and vegetables. I stop in my fruit stand in Elmhurst about twice a week and pick up what's cheap and looks good. I've gotten pineapples for $1, 3 red peppers for $1, and so on. Filling my belly with fruits and vegetables means filling it with less processed ingredients or "bad for you" food.
The recession is hitting everyone hard, but we found ourselves ahead of the curve when we decided for JC to stay home and raise Pumpkin. Who knew we'd be preparing for the storm? We've given up a lot, as I imagine everyone is doing now, but I have to say I really don't miss any of it. Every so often I yearn for a pricey tech gadget, but for the most part I really just stopped "needing" all the things I don't have anymore... including those 45 pounds!


Terry B said...

What a great, uplifting post! And points one and two really spell out how to successfully lose or control weight: Burn more calories than you consume. That your family is eating healthier foods is an added bonus.

JC said...

Terry B -
I started writing about how our desire to feed Pumpkin healthy food led to our eating better... and then just decided there was a blog post in there! Thanks for adding so much to this blog through your comments!