"I wish I had your will power."
In my head, I laugh when people say that to me. Okay, so sometimes I laugh out loud, as well. It's kind of rude, I suppose, and I try not to...
...but I have very little will power when it comes to food. I love food. I adore food. I plan my vacations around where I'm going to get food. While some people plan the stores they'll visit when going shopping, I plan where I'll be stopping for lunch and what I'm going to order.
I. Love. Food.
When I think about it, I know that my love affair with food started when I was a kid. I remember being at a big family gathering. The cousins were off playing; the adults were visiting. I was at the long table filled with food, grazing on one delicious food after another. I started collecting recipes while still in high school, dreaming of the fabulous gourmet meals I'd someday be making. Heck, I've been known to hide an entire package of Double-Stuft Oreos just so I didn't have to share them with my husband and son.
And that, my friends, may be part of the reason that I ended up carrying 174 pounds on my petite 5'3" frame and lamenting that my size 16 pants were starting to get snug.
Which is why I feel compelled to write this blog entry. Why I felt compelled to write a similar one two weeks ago. I did something that I felt was impossible. And if I could do it, you can too.
In the last two weeks, I've had several people commend me on my weight loss (which has been great for my self-deprecating ego). As they've done so, though, they've often said, "I wish I had your will power."
And the thing is...they do. Because I don't have that much, as I said before. But what I had was enough self-loathing to finally compel me to make a change. And a healthy dose of spitefulness that I won't discuss in a public forum (wink, wink).
The change? My Fitness Pal, a website/app that tracks calories.
No exercise (shame on me). No drastic diet changes.
Just calorie counting and attention to portion sizes. Now, I say "just" but there is a little bit of work that has to go into it. You have to use the program. And that's what I did. Every single day, I tracked exactly what I ate and how much of it I ate. I was completely honest. If I cheated and downed a ten-pack of nuggets, medium fries, and a cheeseburger...I tracked it. And very quickly, I stopped doing things like that. I started to become mindful of how many calories different foods were, and I started to measure whether I was willing to spend my calories on those foods.
"Hmm...600 calories? I could have a bowl of popcorn, a cup of ice cream, and a handful of chips with calories to spare instead."
My alloted daily calories are only 1200, which seemed so low to start, but I have adapted very easily. Some days, I'm eating extra snacks to reach that 1200 calorie goal. And I haven't given up any foods. I eat in moderation (generally), and I have started making smart swaps in recipes (Greek yogurt for sour cream; low-fat milk and cheese for whole). I also plan ahead; if I know I'm going to splurge on a restaurant dinner, I eat light and healthy throughout the day.
That's it. I promise. I'm not trying to trick you. I'm not holding back that one secret ingredient to prevent you from having the same success that I have. There it all is. Heck, I even revealed my weight and pant size! That has to count for something!!!
And these nine months have certainly counted for something. This morning, I reached my desired "decade" of weight:
Wow. My scale is dingy.
I'm almost there; my goal weight is just a few pounds away. And today? I bought a size 8 dress:
Single digit satisfaction
So, why did I tell you all of this? My "secret" to losing weight? Because I need a girls' day out of shopping. And I want you to go with me. And I want to see you come out of that dressing room, twirling in delight over fitting into that size you never thought you'd fit into again. And I want to clap and cheer for you (and maybe even get misty-eyed because I'm that friend).
Come with me? Today is the perfect day to start.