First of all a disclaimer. I wanna say that I’m not an expert on any of this. I’m not educated and the only experience I have is what I’ve felt on my own body, heard from others and read online.
But I wanna share what I did. As I said in my post Weight Loss Journey #1 I’ve gone from 103 kgs to 90 kgs now. I started May 2016 – and got to 90 kgs December 2016. Since then, the last two months has been “quiet”. I haven’t gained, but I also haven’t lost anything. The reason being that I allowed myself a break for christmas, and the fact that I’ve been sick and overcoming minor surgery in January. Now though, it’s time to get back to business.
For this post, however, I wanna share what worked for me. This post will be the beginning. Later I will post more about the progress.
First of all, I got a dietrist/nutritionist to help me. I could probably have done it without her, but it would have been slower and I would most likely have tried out more stuff that hadn’t worked. What she did for me, was to make a plan for my daily calorie intake. I went down to 1600 calories daily – and an extra 700 a week which I could use whenever I wanted.
Note that not everyone are good with that amount of calories, it depends on different factors; how much you move, how much energy your body burns on it own and your age. I’m not an expert, this is simply what has worked for me.
Next this is that I started doing exercise. Before you sigh and give up, let me explain that for me that meant taking short walks. Before wanting to lose weight I did no exercise at all. During my every day life I stayed mostly at home (which was possible due to my mental illness) and my only source of exercise was the short walks to the store and to the bus when I went out.
At first I decided that I would go for three walks every week and I would mark it on a planner. It didn’t matter how long they were or how fast I went. I would get an X as long as I went outside of the house. And, I decided that going grocery shopping didn’t count towards that goal. There were weeks when I didn’t do it, and weeks where I got four X’s instead of three. But it helped. Slowly I started losing weight.
I’m pretty sure it was mostly the change in eating habits that caused the weight loss. I ate less unhealthy stuff – and generally smaller portions. I didn’t eat candy or cakes anymore. Not cause I weren’t allowed, but if I did it would take up a huge amount of calories and I would be left hungry for the rest of that day. It simply wasn’t worth it anymore. I ate a lot of carrots during that time. I’m pretty picky and carrots was the type of veggie I liked the best.
For the first few months every meal was a battle for me. Everything I wanted to eat, I told myself I wan’t allowed to eat. It’s not true, but at that point that was how I felt. Every time I went to the store I felt like it only had unhealthy stuff and it took so long for me to find the healthy options and settle on those instead. I had to go against all my instincts and habits, everything I’d allowed myself for pretty much my entire life, and it made shopping a hard task for me.
It got easier though.. I didn’t even feel the change myself. It was my diestrist who pointed it out. “Do you remember how tough it was for you in the beginning? You were all worn out from thinking about what you were gonna eat for dinner/lunch?” .. and I sat there, frowned slightly and said, “huh? No it was never like that.” But it had been! But gradually my habits had changed, just slightly. But enough that I didn’t just see the unhealthy stuff on the shelfs. I had several dishes I knew worked into my schedule and that I liked, and I had lists of which snacks I could eat, so I just had to pick now.
That made a huge difference to me. That I felt changed inside and that someone was there to see it and point it out to me. That’s when I feel like the diestrist was worth it for me. I could actually have made the plans for calories myself, I could have weighed myself – but I needed someone else to pat me on the back and say, “Hey, you’ve come a long way already! You’re great!”
So that’s my advice for anyone starting out. Not necessarily a dietrist or nutritionist, but someone who will keep an eye on you and support you when needed.