Lose 10 Pounds: So easy, a caveman could do it?
If this were a Disney movie, birds would be singing and small woodland creatures would break out in a choreographed dance in celebration of my latest list item check off:
9. Lose 10 pounds
Yes….I’ve finally gotten down below the target weight I set after stepping on the scale on January first and weighing in at 142 pounds. I now proudly weigh 131.4 pounds, for a total of 10.6 pounds of total weight loss. It’s been 10 months since i started trying to lose 10 pounds, so I’m pretty pleased with that progress. That averages out to being 1 pound a month for 10 months, which feels like a really healthy way to lose weight….and keep it off. When I turned 30 on August 14th, I was down 7.5 pounds, which was still a big achievement, but those last 2.5 pounds were stubborn. I went through the rest of August, all of September and the first half of October with no further progress, although I was glad to be able to maintain my weight and not backslide. And then on October 17th, things got exciting again. I was down a pound on the scale, and two days later, another half pound and then this past Sunday morning when I stepped on the scale, I was a full .6 pounds below my target number. And boy did it feel great. Why the sudden drop after almost two months of the same number everyday on the scale? Let me backtrack.
The first 5 pounds were pretty easy to lose, if fact, I’d lost them about halfway through January. I started out by getting on a workout program (my training program for my first 1/2 marathon) and by journaling everything I ate in MyFitnessPal.com. The workout coupled with simply cutting down on my food intake accounted for the first 5 pounds. Keeping a list of what you eat is a great tool….no one wants to write down that they ate 6 doughnuts….so you just don’t eat them. You taper back to one doughnut, and then as you get more serious, you realize, you don’t want any doughnuts, etc. So that’s what I did. I didn’t necessarily worry about what I ate, as much as HOW MUCH I ate. I set my tracker to 1600 calories a day and I was hardcore about not going over that. After a few months of that, I’d set new routines for myself, and become more educated on how many calories were in various foods, so I stopped writing everything down, because I didn’t need those training wheels anymore.
Besides calorie counting, I was working out like a beast, as you all know, with lots of running, some swimming and biking, and 3 major races mixed in. However, muscle weighs more than fat. So, while I only lost a total of about 2.5 or 3 pounds from February to August 14th, I dropped another pants size or so. I kept getting leaner and stronger…losing more fat and building muscle and thus the weight loss wasn’t as dramatic as the body change was. And then I turned thirty. I was slimmer, more trim, and more in shape but I still wasn’t 10 pounds lighter which had been my original goal.
As you may remember, Keith and I have now been attending bootcamp classes for about a month. And there I’ve noticed an improvement too in my level of physical fitness. Our trainer, Maxwell, who we both really like, suggested the Paleo diet as a way to take our healthy lifestyle to a new level. I’ve always been skeptical of diets. Atkins, South Beach, and all the rest have always made me suspicious, so I was hesitant about trying this one. But….after Keith did a little research and then after I did some more on my own, I figured it was worth a shot…especially since Keith was so excited, and it seemed like a great thing to do together.
The Paleo diet is nicknamed “The Caveman Diet” and basically, you can eat whatever a caveman would have eaten….whatever you could hunt or gather. So lean meats, vegetables and fruits are fair game, as are nuts. Anything made with flour is off the table (for all you gluten-free folks out there, even rice flour isn’t an option here! The only flour you can use is almond flour, which is just almonds ground to a fine powder.) as is anything processed or anything with lots of sugar. Dairy is off the table as well, although Keith and I still drink small amounts of milk and use cheese for flavor. A typical day for me used to consist of waffles for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, tortilla chips for a snack, and some sort of rice or pasta with dinner. Talk about carbs with a side of carbs with carbs for dessert! Goodness! Now, a typical day’s worth of meals looks more like the photos below (of actual meals from the past few days).
It’s not just about the weight loss, although clearly we’re excited about that. We’ve both been sleeping better at night, have more energy during the day, we don’t “Crash” mid afternoon, our moods are good, etc. We’re thinking we’ll be hardcore about it for 2 months and then settle back into adding a few things back in from time to time when we feel like it. (Keith doesn’t miss specific foods…but misses variety since we’re much more limited to what we can have….and I’ve had a hard time giving up breads and black beans).
Anyone out there have any great Paleo-friendly recipes to try? You know I’ll be posting some!