Personal Motivation

Checking In: Losing the Pounds

When I started to make these lifestyle changes several months ago, my main reason was to keep my MS under control, fight my fatigue, and model good eating/exercising habits for Jai.

It was never about weight loss.

In fact, I anticipated that I would lose 5 pounds TOPS and just continue on my way of maintaining a specific weight range as I made these changes. I lost around 20 pounds in the first few weeks after giving birth, but the weight slowly came back from bad habits formed during the first few months of breastfeeding.

I had fallen into the trap of “I am craving this and because I am burning extra calories from breastfeeding, I can afford to eat extra sugar/fried/foods without extra exercise.” It stung to see myself steadily rise back to my pre-pregnancy weight. That’s when I started thinking about making changes, but not really committing to anything productive.

I started this blog and after the first week of dropping sugar, I lost 3 pounds. Within a few more weeks, it was 9 more pounds. It’s been almost a month and a half since my last weight update and I’ve lost an additional 13 pounds. I have officially lost 25 pounds since I’ve started this blog. I have lost even more from my highest weight, though I am not ready to reveal that number yet.

I’m waiting until I hit a specific weight-loss number from my highest weight before I do a “before/after progress post.” I anticipate that will be within the first few months of the New Year. It’s a good goal to reach for when I recommit myself.

I have found that losing the weight feeds into itself. This tends to be the comment many make during their personal weight loss journeys.

As the scale goes lower, the better I feel physically and emotionally and the more motivated I am to keep going with my lifestyle changes. So while I never initially made this about weight loss, it became a secondary reason that helped keep me motivated.

I am making sure that the weight loss is handled in a healthy manner, so while my personal food options are less – in that I am not able to reach for pre-prepared dishes as much – I eat until I am just full and do not starve myself at any point in time. This leads me to lose an average of 2 pounds a week which is considered a healthy standard.

I am finding, though, that I don’t need to eat as much as I used to and I idle eat even less. Before I made these changes and lost the weight, I could spend an hour on the couch eating junk food while watching TV. Now I might still be watching the same amount of TV, but the dried apple chips make me feel fuller, faster than the potato chips did.

Quinoa and beans fill me up more than just meat and potatoes, and I even find myself enjoying broccoli, a vegetable I refused to eat since childhood, as the primary vegetable with dinner. I suspect my stomach has shrunk a bit or the food I am eating fills me up more and powers me longer than before.

For now the results of losing 25 pounds, or 3 dress sizes, speak for themselves. I am getting compliments from loved ones and friends about how good I look. I do get a bit of a thrill over having to hike up my jeans because they keep falling down. I feel like I can do a lot more, there isn’t the same sluggish feeling I had several months ago.

I am also noticing that my depression has lessened and that my mood is more regulated. I am not quick to have an emotional reaction or I am able to take a moment to collect myself, both were difficult for me to do before I started making changes.

Whether these emotional changes are tied to the weight loss, I do not know. I am sure it’s a combination of eating healthier, being more productive, losing the weight, and taking control over my MS.

So while I am not adhering to the lifestyle changes 100% of the time, like I would prefer, I am counting my weight loss as a form of personal motivation to keep me going for the rest of December. I can’t wait to see what happens once I maintain my full diet for a few weeks in 2018. I can only imagine more positive outcomes.

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