Thursday, December 6, 2012

11 months in, 42 pounds lost

Hey, remember me? I'm the internist who had two kids in two years, ate everything I wanted throughout both pregnancies, and then  realized I had gotten REALLY fat and out of shape. Like, BMI 30, obesity fat. I started a South-Beach-Style low-processed carb diet and started exercising- which was VERY painful at first. See previous posts on that. I think I wrote that my first time back jogging I felt like a manatee on land.

Since then, I've maintained a basically low-carb diet (with the occasional celebration/ feast), and a basic exercise routine (with the occasional lazy week), and I've continued to slowly burn fat and build muscle.

Now, I've gone from 163 pounds to 121 pounds. At 5 foot 2, this puts me at BMI 23!

I am not yet at my goal, which is for 50 pounds lost, back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 113 pounds. I'm trying not to feel like a failure because I'm not there yet. (How Type-A is that?) But I am proud of what I have accomplished so far, and I offer myself as an example to others, including my patients.

Here are some take-away points and tips:

GET SUPPORT:  Last January, I stated my intentions to my family, and they were enthusiastic to help me. I work part-time, 5 clinical sessions of primary care, which really is a 40 hour week at least. My husband works as a writer and broadcaster so works from home alot but also travels alot. My mom helps with childcare, and we have a babysitter. So, in short, though I work alot and intensely, and hubby works, I have alot of support to help me with logistics/ kid care. But more importantly, my family has been all-in behind my efforts. My husband shares the grocery shopping and cooking; he buys healthy groceries and cooks good food. He eats and enjoys the healthy food I cook. Our family gatherings tend not to be laden with "bad" stuff. So that helps. Everyone is happy to let me have some "me" time to exercise. This is key!

SLOW AND STEADY: I'd go many days of staying consistent on my diet and then have a slip-up day. That's OK as long as you get back on the horse as soon as you have your senses back. Like, when hubby was hospitalized with a diverticular abscess; when both kids and us got sick with some nasty fluey virus; and when we went out of the country on vacation, and several other times, I did not pay much attention to my diet. But as soon as I could get back into any semblance of a routine, I started eating healthy again. So, over time, I had many more low-carb calorie-restricted days then I did "bad" days.

PICK A DIET YOU CAN LIVE WITH: I'm doing a South-Beachy-Style diet where I eat 3 meals and 3 snacks a day, so I eat SIX times a day. I aim for 1200-1600 Kcal daily. I like my eat-six-times-a-day-low-processed-carb diet because I like eating every two or three hours, and I like fruits, veggies and lean proteins. I don't miss cake, bread, pasta, cereal, cookies etc. because I feel pretty good on berries, yogurt, apples, cheese, big salads, grilled veggies, seafood and chicken, and nuts. It also makes the occasional really good hot bread slathered with butter that much more special.

WRITE IT DOWN: I got a 79 cent spiral bound notebook and write down everything I eat over the day, aiming at 3 small meals and 3 snacks, eating 6 times/ day, and calculated out to about 1200-1600 Kcal total per day. At first this involved looking up calories a it, but after awhile, I had all the calorie counts memorized. Clementine or small apple, 50 Kcal. Yogurt, 150 Kcal. 2 small hardboiled eggs, 160 Kcal. et cetera. I didn't stick to 1200-1600 Kcal all the time, and I didn't write it down all the time, but doing this most days really helped me stick to it. It also felt SO good to flip back over the pages after a few months, with the occasional weigh-ins recorded, and see the pounds just going down, down, down.

EVERYTHING IN MODERATION: It's OK to have the occasional slice of hot buttered good bread. A diet is not "ruined" by a big treat, or even a week of treats. You're in it for the long haul.

GET IN ANY EXERCISE YOU CAN WHEN YOU CAN: You don't have to go to the gym to get exercise. In the beginning, there were many nights when all I did was some core exercises on the floor by the side of my bed. I've worked up to at least two days a week of either running, or a gym workout, like Stairmaster and light weights. I try to walk with the kids, or even take one or the other out with the baby jogger. I try to use a basket instead of a cart at the grocery store, and switch arms like I'm lifting weights. I try to get out and rake, or shovel, or just fill the birdfeeders. Whatever, whenever.

GIVE IT TIME: Quick results tend not to be lasting results. The goal is fitness and health for life!


  1. Congrats! I lost weight well at first, but lately I've hit a wall - this is just the inspiration I needed!

  2. You speak the truth. Congratulations on 42 lbs, and good luck on the last 10!

  3. Low carb WORKS. We should all be prescribing it to your patients more often. You know what else works to change body composition? Strength training. Stop the cardio madness! Congratulations, and good luck with your continued journey!

  4. Congrats! I've lost 78 lbs since last Dec. I'm only a couple pounds away from a normal weight BMI. The food journal has been one of my keys to success. There are some great phone apps (I like myfitnesspal) to help with that.

  5. Congrats!

    I don't know. If your BMI is normal, why worry about the last few pounds?

    I used to obsess about weight mostly because I was a serious rock climber before kids, and a few pounds really matter in that sport. But since my baby #2, I have reached what I like to call the 'weight zen.' I have never been over weight, eat healthy, and exercise daily. So I have stopped weighing myself and be happy with whatever my weight may be. My last weight check was at my 6 weeks postpartum checkup. My baby is 9 months old. The crazy thing is that not dieting have helped me to get in shape faster. I am actually smaller now than after baby #1 at 13 months postpartum. I cannot tell you how freeing it is to be without this drive for thinness. And because I am not depriving myself, I get less urges to binge and such.

    But of course starting from BMI of 30 is different. But now that you have reached a healthy weight, I hope you will join me in my wieght zen state!

  6. Awesome!!! Congratulations! What a great inspiration for your patients.

  7. Jolly well done, that's sustainable weight loss and a life change that will make such a difference in your long term survival. Look what you have done for your family--it's all good !~!


Comments on posts older than 14 days are moderated as a spam precaution. So.Much.Spam.