{My Six Week Summer Weight Loss} How I Did It


As I've been thinking through how to write about my weight loss this summer I've realized there is so much that happened before and after...and the losing itself was only part of a much larger journey with no real beginning and no real end.  I thought it was important to write about my back story because being at an undesirable weight is not the product of one single thing. Instead, it's the outward shadow of internal struggles. After I wrote about it, I was overwhelmed with private inbox messages and emails from people who were comforted to know that I struggled and took the time to write about it.  Both women and men told me that part of my back story was also part of theirs.  And I'm not saying that to pat myself on the back.  I'm saying it because sharing hard things helps people.  I also want to be authentic and real about the whole weight loss ordeal experience and for me that means writing about how I felt as much as writing about what I did.

What I Did and Didn't Eat
I'm an all-or-nothing personality when it comes to doing things with measured results.  I knew what I needed to do and I knew the outcome that I could attain, but I did not want it to take months. More importantly, it didn't need to take months. So I pep talked and psyched myself up for a couple of weeks with my eye on the first day of my weight loss journey: the day after Memorial Day. That day began my all-or-nothing eating plan:

low glycemic fruit only in the morning
protein (chicken, lean beef, white fish, salmon or shrimp) and veggies for all other meals
water, water, water!!!!
no dairy, caffeine, soda, alcohol, refined sugar, bad carbs (bread, potatoes, etc) corn, or wheat

There are lots of ways to lose weight but there is really only one (legal) way to lose fat and that is to do what I did.  I lost 25 pounds of weight, 17 pounds of which was fat.  It's also important to note I am almost 46 years old.  Things like this are not as easy at my age as they are if you are even five years younger.

The hardest for me was giving up coffee with the loads of hazelnut creamer I drank in the mornings and my "Diet Coke and salty snack" as my mid-afternoon pick me up.  It was also hard for me to eat the necessary protein since I'm not really a meat lover.  And drinking all that water - *ugh*.

Also, you may be surprised to know I didn't exercise, except for the normal things I'd do as a mom with a young son like bike riding, swimming, playing basketball and playing at the park.  Losing weight is 90% what you eat.  If the thought of starting a weight loss journey overwhelms you because you think you also have to set aside time for exercise, you don't.  Put your effort and energy into an eating plan that works and leave the hours on the treadmill to all those people who also think drinking protein/fruit smoothies is healthy. 

The first 10 days or so I had headaches and I felt lethargic and just "off".  It was so hard. But once the caffeine and sugar detox was over I felt great.  I was losing weight every single day so that was a mental boost.  But I also could think clearer and my energy didn't fluctuate throughout the day.

About three weeks in I really started hitting my stride and things got easier.  I thought about food as a necessary and healthy part of my day.  There was no more love-hate snacking sessions, no more skipped meals which left me starving and making poor eating (comfort) choices at the end of the day. Do you ever do that?  Reward yourself at the end of the day with food?  Wine?  A big meal?  Yes?  

I had two cravings:  creamy lattes and peanut butter.  I think the latte was more of a texture thing because there is nothing creamy about meat, veggies and water.  When I finally passed the six week mark and got a hazelnut latte it tasted mediocre to me at best and I had no interest in them after that.  The peanut butter craving was unfounded.  I have no idea why but when I finally could eat it, it was the best thing ever.  And I still crave it - and eat it.

About four weeks in I just couldn't take the water thing any more and so I did buy the flavored Mio drops for water and that became my treat.  For every four large glasses of water I got to have a fruit flavored water.  I also did have some iced tea with Splenda once or twice on the weekends but that's it - no other deviations from the plan.

I made it through summer vacation, the 4th of July, and weekends at my neighborhood swimming pool (where we eat and drink socially all day long) without going off my plan.  On July 9th, six weeks to the day after I started, I had lost 24.4 pounds.  I round it up to 25--- just because.

After my six weeks passed I continued on the plan for four more weeks (making a total of ten weeks) but did add in some meals with quinoa, brown rice, gluten free bread and a glass of wine now and then.  I lost another five pounds in that four weeks.

In Summary
You have to give up the bad stuff and it's easiest if you just give it all up at once.
It is hard but but it gets easier.
You can do it!  You really can!
Don't give up.  Sell out to the plan.  It doesn't take that long.
You can do it!  
{PS- You could be 25 pounds lighter by Christmas.}

Next time:  How I educated myself about nutrition plans, what I eat now, and how I'm doing several months later.


Mary Jo :

Yay! Thanks for posting this. I think hubby and I are gonna do it. (Well I'm sold, now I gotta sell him lol) I only need to lose 15 but he wants to lose 25-30.

Can't wait to read the next post on maintaining!

Kathryn :

Brava! Good for you! Can't wait to read the follow-up. You are inspiring. When people used to talk about the metabolism slowing after 40, I thought, "That won't happen to me!" but it has. I am nearly 43 and can see a change, so I want to do what I can while I still have some semblance of time on my side.

One question - were you plagued with that "ketosis" breath that comes with low-carb eating?

Jill :

Mary - Let me know if you start and if you have any questions or need tips along the way!

Jill :

Kathryn- I didn't notice the breath issue (and was never told by anyone). eek! I also did chew sugar-free gum a lot to occupy myself while I was thinking of more tasty food. I said the very same thing pre-40.... "I'll never have belly fat." oh boy.

Mary Jo :

Jill - I do have a couple of questions: did you eat any whole grain rice/bread in the first 6 weeks at all? And did you do any type of portion control for the fruit/veggies/meat? This seems like a no-carb diet, but were there good carbs you absorbed? I'm afraid of losing quickly and then gaining it right back.


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