Many of you who know me or have been following my blog, know that I have weight issues and furthermore, issues with doctors and their fat shaming. I’ve been having weight issues since my first child was born, due to underactive thyroid. I think the biggest issue with that underactive thyroid was that for 5 years it went undiagnosed because doctors passed my weight gain off as “still eating for two” or “finishing what’s on the kids’ plates” or “sitting on my ass all day.” Those were just the nicer things they said to me. Once I was diagnosed and put on medication, I was able to lose some weight but then I hit a plateau….and stayed on that plateau for many years. Then I started having pain issues and my activity level decreased. That’s when my weight increased. At my heaviest, I was 275 lbs.!
Fast forward, to March 2016, when I was so fat shamed and humiliated that I left a doctor’s office in tears. I had no choice but to purchase a diet program — because up until then I had tried every diet known to man, except for the ones you have to pay for. I learned a lot about losing weight since then. I lost 10, then 20….and more. It was coming off! I lost 60 lbs. total! I hit a couple plateaus along the way. I even gained a little back, but I’m back on track now. I won’t give up!
Keep in mind, I am not a nutritionist. I am not a dietician. I am not a diet or weight loss counselor. I am writing from my own experience and the things I have learned are things that have worked for me. I hope this might help someone who is in the same boat as I am…..because we all know how much help doctors can be sometimes.
Eat. Eat. Eat. Don’t starve yourself! You have to keep your metabolism going throughout the day but you will slow it down to a snail’s crawl if you skip meals or starve yourself. Also, be prepared to eat every 2-3 hours. That’s 3 meals, and 3 snacks per day. No, it’s not a lot! Eating this often keeps your blood sugar stable and you won’t get those sudden urges to pig out!
Watch your portions. Read the labels. Don’t take just a little extra; stick to one portion.
Find what your calorie intake should be and try to aim for that number. And yes, you have to count your calories. If you have had doctors tell you, “You just need to count calories,” they are only partially right. Counting calories is just a small part of losing weight, which is why I failed for so many years. I’m sure there are others who have had the same problem.
Drink 64 oz. of water each day. Tea and coffee can be part of that 64 oz. if it’s not doctored up with fats and sugars. (Use artificial sweeteners or honey, and fat-free, sugar-free creamers.) Other drinks like Crystal Light and the like are also acceptable – but drink mostly water.
Make sure to eat at least 4 servings of vegetables each day! Seems like a lot, I know. It’s really not. Half a cup cooked or 1 cup raw is one serving. Make sure they are non-starchy vegetables. Oh, and the best part (to me, because I love my veggies!) is that you can eat as many as you want and you really don’t have to count those calories!! If you get hungry during the day at any time, break out the veggies! (Just don’t drench your veggies with oils, dips, and dressings! Those calories will count.)
Limit salt, alcohol, sugar, fat, and calories. Limit the extras as well; things like salad dressing, ketchup, mayo, syrup, olives, chocolate, etc. It’s ok to have a serving (look on the bottle) of ketchup on your turkey burger but let’s not go nuts and consume too many extras. Salt and alcohol will cause a little weight gain so limit those and drink a lot of water. Water will flush it out.
BREAKFAST: Eat within an hour of getting out of bed. This gets your metabolism going. Eat a protein and a carb. Not just any protein or carb. Eat LEAN protein and carbs that are low on the glycemic index. Look them up. Make a list of the items you like and can afford to purchase for your diet. Try low-fat, low-calorie yogurt and 1/2 of a whole wheat bagel or a serving of granola cereal and 1/2 cup of low-fat milk. There are many possibilities.
AM SNACK: 2-3 hours after breakfast have a snack. Your snack should be a LEAN protein at this time. Try a boiled egg, yogurt, or a palmful of nuts. It’s a great time to have a glass of water too!
LUNCH: 2-3 hours after your snack, have lunch. Have 1 LEAN protein and 1 carb, again low on the glycemic index. This is a great time to add 2 servings of veggies! If you love salads like I do, be sure to limit your salad dressings to 1 tablespoon. You could have tuna salad with wheat crackers or a turkey burger with a small wheat bun.
PM SNACK: 2-3 hours after lunch, have another snack. This time, have a LEAN protein and a carb. Could be an apple and a tablespoon of peanut butter, or wheat crackers and a tablespoon of cream cheese. Don’t forget the water!
DINNER: 2-3 hours after your snack have dinner. Here’s where you get 2 LEAN proteins and a carb. You could have a chicken enchilada with cheese, or salmon and 1/2 baked sweet potato. Don’t forget to add 2 servings of veggies!
AFTER DINNER SNACK: 2-3 hours after dinner, choose a cookie, popcorn, pretzels, peanuts, fruit or a brownie. Be sure to stick to one portion! You have to treat yourself or you will go nuts! Trust me, every single time I have tried to cut out my favorite snacks I have felt deprived and it just doesn’t work! Have your sweet or salty snack and then STOP!
Just a few last things:
If you mess up, don’t beat yourself up! Just do better next time. You’re worth it!
Don’t forget to exercise a little. Every little bit counts.
Don’t weigh yourself every day. Weigh yourself once a week, in the morning.
Make yourself accountable. Write down everything you eat and drink, including calories. Don’t cheat. Don’t lie. Be honest with yourself. Reward yourself but not with food. When you lose 10 pounds, buy a new dress or new purse. Be kind to yourself. You didn’t gain the extra 10/20/30 pounds overnight. You’re not going to lose it overnight.
Create an inspiration board. I put post-it notes all over one wall where I can see it from my desk. My granddaughter even added one for me.
I hope this will help someone. I know how it feels to not get any help from doctors. I know what it’s like to lose a little weight and then gain it back. I know how hopeless a person feels after trying so hard to lose, only to gain. It’s frustrating. It makes you feel like a failure. You’re NOT a failure. You just haven’t found what works for you. Just keep trying. NEVER give up! I’m here for moral support if anyone is in need.
Seriously, I’m here.