Thanks to everyone for the crazy amount of kind words and support when I shared my weight loss story on Facebook!
I’ve gotten some questions, and I want to answer a few. I was going to just post them on Facebook again, and then I remembered that I had this old blog sitting around and I’ve been thinking about resurrecting it for a while. No time like the present, I suppose?
Anywho, I posted about my 40-pound weight loss and a lot of people had some questions for me–how did I do it, what was my secret, etc. I figured I should just answer them, because… well… why not?
- What’s up with that tumor thing? I had a prolactinoma on my pituitary gland. It basically just secreted a hormone called prolactin, which can mess a bunch of stuff up since our hormones are in a delicate balance. As far as I know, it is gone! I do see my endocrinologist soon, and she’ll probably order blood work to make sure all is well, but we have no reason to believe it has returned. Hooray!
- How quickly did you lose the weight? It took me 15 months, or about 60 weeks. That means I lost at a rate of less than one pound per week. I lost the last bit pretty quickly while participating in a challenge at my gym (about 15 pounds since January, which has been 12 weeks), but otherwise it’s been slow and steady.
- What foods did you give up? None, really. Well, I technically gave up carbonated drinks, but that’s just because my migraine medicine makes them anything carbonated taste flat and nasty. That’s a side effect I was told would go away, but it hasn’t yet. If it does go away, I will definitely enjoy an occasional beer/soda/whatever again. I don’t ban any food item or group.
- What foods do you eat? I basically pack a turkey sandwich and carrots and overnight oats for lunch every day, because I’m a creature of habit. Other than that, it’s kind of just whatever. I made chicken parmesan the other night, and covered that in cheese, just drowned that sucker. It was glorious. I do eat a lot of Halo Top, because what’s not to like about protein+fiber in your ice cream? But yeah, I still eat carbs and bread and go out to eat and whatever. I drink like 100+ ounces of water a day. That’s pretty important.
- What supplements or other trickery do you use/have you tried? I drink BCAAs during my workout (I like Scivation Blue Raspberry), which was recommended to me specifically because I have the potential for muscle wasting due to the long-term steroid use during my treatment. I drink enough coffee and tea during the day that I really don’t need any more caffeine (and if you know me, I LOVE coffee), so I don’t really use pre-workouts particularly often (though I do currently have a tub of C4 in my possession). I have dabbled with Intermittent Fasting, which really just amounts to me skipping breakfast. I often wouldn’t be hungry for breakfast, so I started experimenting with intentionally skipping it and eating it with my lunch. I would feel really full and not hungry at all until dinner, which was nice. So I do that as a way to just feel full, but I don’t do it all the time (if I get hungry in the morning, I eat). I like to eat lots of food, so I’m not really into meal replacements. I don’t do wraps or pills. I haven’t even been very good about taking a daily multivitamin. I just eat food in the appropriate amounts and exercise 3-5 times per week.
- Where do you get your willpower? I don’t really believe I have this crazy amazing willpower everyone seems to suggest that I have. I’m not perfectly on track every day. I am a creature of habit, so once it became habit to schedule my gym sessions and prepare certain foods, it was natural for me to just keep doing it. If my habits were to not exercise and sit around ordering Chinese Food every day… I would keep doing that. It just required a few months of making a point to create new habits and stick to them, even if I didn’t feel like it at the time. Meanwhile, a nutritionist told me that 17/20 of your meals should be right on, and the other 3 can be “whatever” and you’ll still be on track. (Granted, “whatever” doesn’t mean eat all the food in your fridge 3 times a week…. moderation is always key) It’s easy to go off when, say, your coworkers order pizza at work. You feel like “oh well, I lost the day, might as well eat whatever I want for dinner and start over tomorrow!” Many people don’t start over tomorrow, or we let those off-track moments derail us for a lot longer. I just tell myself that one meal like that isn’t going to be a problem, that I can’t live my life always saying no to things, and I will just be back at it again soon. There are no “bad” foods or “bad” meals. I didn’t “fail” my diet by eating pizza for lunch. Eat the pizza, enjoy it, make it a special occasion thing vs an everyday thing, and tomorrow I’ll eat the lunch I packed.