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How to Lose 15 Pounds in a Year

Since I've been bragging about reaching my weight loss goal on Facebook, several people have asked how I did it.  So, I'm hoping to do a blog post or two about my journey for the last year or so.  First, I must say that I am a wife, mom, and pastor, NOT a fitness or wellness coach.  I only know what worked for me, not what will work for you.  AND, what worked for me was an inconsistent perseverance, because I am still a wife, mom, and pastor.  Life is busy and full; upending my lifestyle for personal fitness just isn't an option.

The title of this post is a key.  Reaching my goal meant a relatively small amount of weight, and it took a long amount of time.  Patience and perseverance win.  And grace, lots and lots of grace.

2013 found me at 130 pounds with high cholesterol and blood pressure.  The last time I'd reached 130 pounds was my third trimester with my daughter, Lily.  I was 123 when I got pregnant with both of my kids.  I took care of myself while pregnant, and at six months pregnant with Lily, I weighed 129.  So, when I got on the scales last January and saw 130, that was a rude awakening.  And it was time for changes.

The change I've made most consistently is breakfast.  I've always been a breakfast eater; I LOVE breakfast.  But breakfast usually meant cereal with milk (carbs and sugar), or things less healthy like biscuits, muffins, or bagels.  Instead, my breakfasts now are usually a piece or combination of the following:  fresh fruit, low-fat vanilla yogurt (I can't do the Greek kind, although that's all the craze in healthy living.), protein-laden granola, eggs (I LOVE eggs; I've eaten LOTS of eggs!), smoothies, and oatmeal.  I also cut down on the milk.  I love milk, and I thought water for breakfast sounded gross.  But, I got used to it and actually got to where I craved ice cold water in the mornings.

Otherwise, I just tried to do better.  I don't know what "better" looks like for you.  I didn't turn into a health food nut or that person who's rude at social gatherings and (im)politely refuses all the yummy food prepared for them.  I just did "better":

  • I ordered a small hamburger at the drive-thru, minus the mayo and sans french fries, with water instead of sugary tea or lemonade (never been much of a soda drinker).  Added tip--it's much cheaper this way!
  • I kept almonds or walnuts in my office and car for my crunchy, salty snack cravings.  That's my biggest craving; I'm not a chocaholic, but I do love some salt and carbs! 
  • I bought and ate more fresh fruits and veggies.
  • I gave myself permission NOT to clean my plate, even if I'd worked hard to make or to buy the food on the plate.

Even when I stuck to my eating better plan well, I allowed myself one freebie a day--a latte, pasta, chips and salsa.  AND I gave myself one free day a week when I ate whatever I wanted. 

Here's how it worked for me:

  • The beginning was hard, and I did feel hungry much of the time.  I hate healthy amounts of food, but I was used to portions too big for my 5'2" small frame.  
  • I went to bed feeling hungry, but I wasn't really.  My body was just used to a bedtime snack; it didn't need it.  And going to bed feeling hungry often meant going to bed ticked off; I was mad about it!
  • It took a while to see results.
  • Eventually, even on free days, I didn't want lots of trash, and I couldn't eat all the junk food I'd dreamed about all week.  My body changed.
  • I fell off my plan A LOT.  I'd have two or three weeks of success, and I'd fall off the wagon for a week.  Then, I'd extended myself some grace, and climb back up.  That's the real story of the last year.  Two steps forward, one step back, two steps forward, one step back, over and over and over.  I just kept going.

I'll do another post about the exercise side of this, and the story about me behind this journey.

January 2013 I weighed 130.  April 3, 2013 I weighed 125.  March 27, 2014 I weigh 114.  I'm not worried about lowering the number on the scale anymore.  I'm not the picture of fitness; there's plenty of room for toning.  But I'm happy with the way my clothes fit; I'm back in pre-Tristan pants.  I haven't had my cholesterol or blood pressure checked yet; I'm hopeful those numbers are better:)

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