I promise, this is my last post in this arc devoted to my losing the 20 lbs I had to lose. You’ve read how I gained the weight, the book that taught me to eat much more cleanly, what app I used to keep eating consciously and what workout routine I used to get everything high and tight.
Are you all as sick of me talking about this as I am? Sheesh! Shut up lady! You’re right. I’m almost done.
First, I wanted to share my “after” photo, such as it is. This is me at 5’7″ and 135 lbs. It’s my ideal weight. My BMI is good, my blood panels clean and my husband is happy. (Though, to be fair, my husband has always made me feel beautiful and is NOT in any way the reason I wanted to lose the weight.)
Sure, I could lose more weight with more effort, but I don’t feel any need to do that. I like a little curve in the right places, you know? Anyway, my goal was to like what I saw in the mirror, not hit a number. And I now feel as fierce as I’ve ever felt, so, I’m good.
I’ve been at this weight for 2 months with little fluctuation. Not a hugely long period of time, of course, but long enough for me to know what works for me for maintenance. First, I’m still eating “On Plan”. The difference is that I’m not as rigid as I was when I was losing weight. If I’m craving a bit of coffee ice cream in the evening, I’ll have a 1/2 cup. A beer every now and then is not out of the question. Halloween came and I made mince meat of several Kit Kats. And that’s ok. This whole way of eating, exercising and generally caring for my physical health really and truly feels like a habit now and I don’t plan to change much.
Some things I do every day (besides eating clean and working out) that help:
- I eat breakfast every single day. It starts my metabolic “engine” and keeps things humming.
- I drink at least 48 oz of water every day. This controls my appetite and helps maintain my energy level. Plus my hair and skin look better when I hydrate well. My Kor water bottle is with me all the time. (Thank you, friend and fellow Penelope Lisa for the personalized bottle!) I love that if I fill and empty it two times a day, I know I’m getting enough water. (I also think it’s hilarious that they call it a “hydration vessel”. Really?
- Hunger is the enemy. I almost never let myself get there. When I am really hungry, I’m so much more likely to make bad choices. I just don’t go there.
- I set out my afternoon snack every morning. See #3 for reason.
- Eating the way I learned to eat in “Look Better Naked” I now understand how to balance the foods in each meal for optimum efficiency. I know I need some fiber, some protein, some fruit/veggie and a small amount of healthy fat at each meal. If I get the balance right, I won’t get hungry fast.
- My family eats the same things I do. If my 14-year-old son, for example, needs more or different foods after our meals, he grabs them himself, but that rarely is necessary as we’re eating a ton of good food. What I know for sure is I never would have stuck to this plan if I’d had to cook two menus. Nevah!
- I do a lot of food prep tasks in advance so that I always have good choices easily at hand. For example, if I’m cutting veggies for lunch, I chop up enough for 2-3 days worth of lunches and put them in containers. If I’m grilling veggies at night, I’ll do the same, make more for later. This kind of plan-ahead work comes easily to us Penelopes and it really pays off in this endeavor.
That’s it! That’s my story and I thank you for allowing me to tell it. And thanks to all of you who’ve written to me publically and privately to share your struggles and wins on this topic. How we feel about our bodies is a pretty personal topic, and I’m incredibly grateful to the Penelope community for making this such a safe place for me to share this journey.
Because the Penelope tribe is such a safe group with which to share, I’d love to hear from you: what has worked for you to stay healthy? What books/apps/workouts are helping you feel your best? There are so many ways to arrive at a good body image, let’s share with each other.