Over 30 and losing it: How I lost weight
At the time that I lost 60 pounds, I was a 37 year old woman and I had accomplished almost all of that weight loss in a 6 month timeframe. I wanted to write this story to share my weight loss success with you in the hopes that you will be able to write your own success story and share that with other 30-plus women. I promise to be honest with you about my setbacks and challenges, and will share more of my weight loss tips in future posts as well as more details about my exercise habits.
Timeframe for my weight loss
Although several factors helped me to lose the weight, the main one that helped me was a “Biggest Loser” contest that my workplace had created. With a $20 buy in per person and an initial weigh in starting in January and an ending weigh in scheduled for June, enough people had participated that the first place prize would be $750! That was a big motivator for me to lose weight. The winner would be determined based on the percentage of weight lost, not pounds lost. My starting weight was 255 and I was 5’ 6,” grossly obese according to BMI charts.
Setting a weight loss goal
I had a coworker who was tall (5’ 9”), beautiful and lean 20-something compared to me. She wanted to participate too and we decided to support each other in our efforts to lose weight for the contest. When she weighed in she was over 200 pounds and I hate to say it but that number was just so satisfying for me to see. She looked healthy to me and had a figure that I wished for. Her number seemed attainable to me and so now I had a goal to shoot for. I know that this is not necessarily rational, but it meant something important to me. This mental shift was key for me.
My diet success story
My diet consisted of the following:
Breakfast: Either Special K and skim milk for breakfast or a light Yoplait yogurt, frozen fruit (blueberry, strawberry or banana) and skim milk smoothie
AM Snack: Yoplait light yogurt
Lunch: Campbell’s soup: Either Italian wedding, tomato or creamy chicken. No crackers. Or tuna: Plain Starkist albacore can tuna, the Starkist tuna salad packs with crackers or the Bumblebee tuna packs in spicy Thai flavor
PM Snack: V8 veggie juice either the small can or the 12 oz one and a light cheese stick
Dinner: Varied but a grilled cheese was a frequent player along with more tomato soup, a McDonald’s Asian chicken salad without dressing, or Wendy’s chili and baked potato without the butter and sour cream.
Exercise plan for my lazy bones
Knowing what would work for me was important. The exercise had to be something that I wouldn’t dislike and could do without feeling self-conscious in workout clothes at the gym. I was almost 40 years old and looked like a whale in Spandex. I started using the recumbent exercise bike that had become a clothing rack in my bedroom. I moved it into the living room where I could sit and watch TV. The best part of this was being able to wear comfortable clothing (even going braless) and not having to worry about going to a gym and being judged by other people (read: skinny women) in the parade of thinner-than-me bodies.
I worked out once a day either in the morning or the evening, setting a goal of burning 500 calories each time. After I had done this for about 2 months, I ramped up my workouts to 1000 calories at a time or 500 calories burned twice a day. I also tried to work exercise into my daily activity by sucking in my stomach as often as I could remember throughout the day, doing leg lifts while brushing my teeth, push ups against the counter in the kitchen, anywhere I could find time to move, I did. I’ll write more on this topic later so you know which muscles I focused on more often than others and how I worked in other exercises like belly dancing.
My weight loss started slowly but had built to about 10 pounds lost by the second month. This was when I ramped things up with my workouts to compete with my friend. By the end of the 6 month contest, I had lost 22% of my body weight and almost 60 pounds total. And I was thrilled with my new leaner, more healthy body!
I hope that you will find this weight loss success story useful, especially if you are a woman who is over 30 or nearing 40 and has started to notice that your metabolism is slowing down. There’s more to my story and I’ll be posting and blogging more about my journey because I’m still working to lose weight and keep it off.