So. Many. Emotions. Today! Today is Magnolia’s 1st birthday, I’m hitting 1 year postpartum, and I’m sharing My Scaleless Summer Results. Today I am proud. Proud of the little girl my baby has become. Proud of the balance Neal and I have created this year. Proud of the parents Neal and I have become. Proud of how hard I worked this summer to find peace and to lose weight.
On May 25, 2015 I stepped on the scale. I weighed 252.1 and decided it would be my last time on the scale for a little over 3 months. It wasn’t my first time tackling a scaleless summer, but this year was different. This year I tackled my scaleless summer without a diet or workout plan. My goals were simple; eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m full, eat more produce, eat less sugar and processed foods, and workout more.
In April, after obsessing over calories, Points, and macro-nutrients, I realized that I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was sick and tired of being on a diet. I hated tracking calories, I was tired of rejoining Weight Watchers (again), and I desperately wanted to be healthy.
I spent the first half of the summer letting go of the restrictions I had put on my life and on food over the past 22 years. I allowed myself to eat any foods and spent a great deal of time thinking about how I felt when I ate all foods. By the end of May I had a very clear picture of what foods made me feel great and which foods made me feel bloated and lethargic. I consciously decided to stop eating the foods that made me feel lousy and to focus on eating foods what gave me energy.
In June I swapped almond butter for peanut butter, decreased my processed foods intake, and made sure to pack all of my meals with fruits and veggies. I didn’t track anything. I simply ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full. On the workout front, I was in the thick of football season. I went to practice 3 days a week and played in games every other Saturday. I didn’t do much outside of football, but I did get some great cardio sessions in here and there.
The real turning point of my summer however happened in July. After 2 months of healing my relationship with food I had a huge realization. I can eat healthy foods and I can be at peace with food, but if I’m still eating more than my body needs I’m not going to lose weight. Although this has been drilled in my brain, sometimes it’s hard to step back and realize that you’re still eating too much food. If you are eating too much, you will not lose weight.
I think I’ve spent the past 4 years trying to reach a place where I could have the best of both worlds. I could eat what I want and still lose weight. The reality is, you can eat whatever you want, but weight loss takes a lot of sacrifice. You have to learn to say no, you have to burn more calories than you take in, and you have to want to change. Weight loss takes a lot of sacrifice and it took me letting go of dieting to realize that. Even though I had reached a place where I was eating intuitively, in order to lose weight I had to really think about what I was putting in my body, how much I was putting in my body, and how my workouts would help me to reach my goals.
In July I made a conscious decision to only eat when I was hungry and to focus on eating more vegetables and protein. I still allowed myself to eat what I wanted when I went out with friends or family, as I did not want to return to feeling as though certain foods were off limits, but outside of those times I ate mostly fruit, vegetables, and protein. For example, I’d have eggs and veggies for breakfast, oatmeal for a snack, zucchini and turkey meatballs for lunch, fruit for a snack, and grilled chicken and a ton of vegetables for dinner. I ate like this most days, but enjoyed plenty of meals out and a few vacations too.
Mid July, after a business trip to Minnesota, I decided to do a 3 day South Block juice cleanse. Weight loss was not my reason for doing the cleanse. I wanted to detox my system after a week of eating out and wanted to work on reducing my sugar intake. The cleanse was hands down one of the best experiences I have ever had physically and emotionally. The cleanse showed me that I do not need to eat as much as I had been eating and that my body is happier and healthier without caffeine.
Do I miss drinking coffee? Heck yes! I miss the taste and I miss the social aspects of drinking coffee, but the benefits far outweigh the things I miss. I have so much more energy now and use sleep instead of caffeine to recharge my system. I’ve also decreased my calorie intake naturally because I’m no longer drinking 2-3 cups of coffee (loaded with lots of creamer) a day or swinging by Starbucks once a day. I still enjoy a cup of tea here and there, but I have not had coffee since mid July.
Since my juice cleanse in July I have continued to drink juice as part of my diet. Some weeks I have little to no juice and other weeks I enjoy it often. Drinking cold press juice leaves me feeling refreshed, re-hydrated, and re-energized. Again, I still eat whatever I want, but I strive to make produce and protein the core of my diet. I either have eggs, acai smoothie bowls, or cold press juice for breakfast, I almost always have vegetables and meat for lunch, and then I have vegetables, meat, and sometimes a bread, pasta, or grain for dinner. The one thing I eat rarely is dairy. My juice cleanse just made me realize how bloated and gross I feel when I eat dairy. It has nothing to do with weight loss and everything to do with how my body feels, so I try to limit my dairy intake.
I am truly a different person than I was 3 months ago. Not only do I weight a lot less but I’ve learned so much about my body, who I am, and who I want to be. I love that I allow myself to eat whatever I want and I love that I am in full control of what and when I eat. I also love that I eat really healthy foods most of the time and that’s out of choice. I do not feel restricted and I do not feel consumed by my diet. I feel like I have finally become an intuitive eater and it’s really, really awesome.
I don’t want to sugar coat anything though. I sacrificed a lot this summer to lose weight. I turned down a lot of sweets, a lot of bread, and plenty of trips to Starbucks. I ate enough to be satisfied at each meal and tried my hardest to not overeat. There were plenty of nights when I went to bed hungry, but I knew that I didn’t need more food after dinner. I learned to fuel by body with healthy foods, to enjoy “not so healthy foods” on occasion, and to listen to my body. It wasn’t easy but I loved how I felt day in and day out, mentally and physically.
My goal is to continue on this path and to move further and further away from dieting. I am really happy with my results and look forward to continuing the work I’ve been doing. I have more weight loss goals and know that I can continue to achieve them if I make myself a priority and continue to make sacrifices. I also have room to improve on my workouts. I’m not in much of a routine currently, just doing various workouts each week, so I’d like to find more structure in my workout plan and to lift weights again.
This summer I lost 17.7 pounds and weighed 234.4 pounds, point one less than my pre-pregnancy weight! I was so excited to see 234 on the scale this morning and to know that all of my hard work paid off.
Moving forward I’m going to be blogging more and more about weight loss; workouts, recipes, and the highs and lows of weight loss. I am not going to weigh myself weekly, but plan to check-in with a monthly weight-in. Stepping away from the scale and from weight loss blogging helped me a lot this summer, so I want to maintain a healthy balance moving forward.
Thank y’all for your support and for reading Coffee Cake and Cardio! Your support means a lot to me and I hope that I can help others to know that they are not alone in their journey to lose weight.