A photo of me at around 215 pounds
A photo of me at 163
(To see more photos of my transition, click here. As a side note, I’m a big proponent of the “embrace what God gave you” philosophy, so the above photo of me with straight hair is only the third time in my life I’ve let someone straighten it. But what can I say–I was feeling a bit bored with myself that day!)
It’s been slow-going with my weight loss lately; I’ve spent a lot of time (as happens sometimes in weight loss) bouncing back and forth in a 2-pound range. But this past week, my weight finally tipped down and stayed there (I weigh nearly daily) so that on Saturday, I weighed in at 163.6. That brings me to exactly a 40-lb. loss from my Jan. 1, 2007 weight of 203.6 and a 60-plus-pound loss from my highest weight of around 225.
Ya think giving up all dairy starting last week might have had something to do with this downward nudge? I sure do. Cheese—delicious, delicious cheese—averages about 100 calories and 6-9 grams of fat per ounce. Do you realize how big an ounce of cheese is? Strictly speaking, it depends on the density of the cheese, but start with a single die for really dense cheese (cheddar, pecorino), and expand a little from that (2 dice) for cheeses that are less dense (mozzarella). I knew this measurement—learned it many years ago in a bout of WW membership—and have utilized the knowledge to be careful about how much cheese I add to foods in the last year and a half. However, the size of my cheese servings has crept up over time, I must admit. And instead of utilizing a small amount of cheese as an occasional high-fat, high-calorie treat, I had started to indulge a bit too often purely based on calories/fat/cholesterol/etc., even if you discount the other dairy issues I have. Obviously, that won’t be an issue now!
As far as my general outlook on weight loss and myself at this point, I’m really in such a happy place with how I handle food. My diet isn’t perfect (and I don’t aim for perfection these days), but I generally eat healthfully. I have occasional indulgences and eat a small bit of dessert (an ounce of chocolate, a 2″ cookie—something like that) about every other day. I pay attention to how I feel when I’m eating, and I usually stop when I feel the first nudge from my brain that says I’ve reached the satiety point, whether that means leaving half the food on my plate, leaving two bites on my plate, or finishing the whole meal (which only happens if I’m careful with portion sizes—even now, it’s easy to heap my plate too high!). If I don’t stop when I hit that point, I regret it almost immediately when I grow stuffed and uncomfortable, and I keep that regret in mind when I am tempted to eat more than I actually want and need. I still have to watch my relationship with food to make sure I don’t start relying on it to try to fill needs that are entirely unrelated to food (and which food can’t fill, anyway) while still enjoying—while thoroughly relishing, to be more exact—what I can have. That involves making healthy food that’s fresh (almost always organic and often local), flavorful, and fun. It involves moving my body on a regular basis. It involves taking care of myself emotionally and physically to the best of my ability—of listening to myself. I read an article a few months ago where the author, who had lost a chunk of weight, said that she knew that the more slowly it came off, the easier it would be to keep off. That is aligned with my philosophy, as well; if I can’t live with how I’m eating forever, then losing weight utilizing it won’t help me in the long run. And the skills and pleasures and growth related to this whole process have meant a lot more to me than just weight loss; they’ve meant becoming more of a self-actualized person.