1 Feb 2011
My weight-loss story is a seemingly simple one.
I shed 35 pounds sixteen years ago and never looked back.
The more challenging piece to explain (and the question I’m most frequently asked) is how I’ve maintained the loss for so long. I know the statistic is hotly debated, but somewhere around 90% of all weight-loss is regained within five years.
My answer (after pondering this post for almost as long as it took me to shed the weight): I finally realized it was what’s was on the inside that mattered.
Let me back up.
I gained the majority of my weight in college. I drank lots of soda (and various & sundry other things), ate many late-night junk food meals with friends, and basically enjoyed my collegiate experience. If by ‘enjoyed’ you mean I packed on pounds quickfastandinahurry—which I do.
Unlike many of my peers I was pretty ok with my weight gain (that’s a post for a different day). The morning I discovered my pants no longer buttoned did I commence dieting and self-flagellation? Nope. I bloused a sweatshirt over-top of my jeans and proceeded along my soda-drinking way.
That said, when graduation loomed and the time came to don interview suits, I was faced with the reality none of them zipped.
Not only could I not employ my fluffing-the-sweatshirt trick with a skirt-suit, I’d grown but my bank account had not. Lacking the funds for new clothes, I commenced an exercise and revised eating routine which, after many months, resulted in this.
I discovered weight training. I re-found my old eating habits. I paid close attention to what I put inside my body. I thought I had it all figured out. I did not. I consumed lots of processed white (hello bagels!), ate virtually no fat (fare thee well salmon!) and was a lean, mean and exhausted shell of my former-self.
When I finally grew tired of being tired I stepped back and recorded precisely how I felt after eating various foods. Breads and pastas? I was still famished, usually swollen, and broken out in a rash. In addition I was definitely, clearly lethargic. Fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and gluten-free foods? I was a force to be reckoned with. I possessed boundless energy, my swelling/rashes disappeared, and after eating I was satiated.
While all of this reads even to me (now) as a no-brainer it transpired long before others were eating gluten-free and far before I realized when I feel healthier on the inside everything else (including my outsides) follows suit.
Weight-loss maintaining isn’t even a concept I consider these days.
My focus, and the one which has facilitated my maintenance over sixteen years, is fueling my insides in a way which allows me to live my life as filled with energy and healthfully (& rash-free) as possible.
It’s the insides which count.
CarlaCheck out my latest posts here