Updated: Oct 22
Somewhere along life’s journey, I lost ME. Since I was a child, I’ve always loved long walks. In those same years, I also learned to use food for comfort. I didn’t know both these things might bring me to where I didn’t know ME anymore.
I love nature and long walks in it. Seven years ago, my hip started hurting. Gradually it got worse. So much so that I would walk my dog and wonder if I could make it back to the car. I just knew my long walks had come to an end.
However, last fall in a series of events, I ended up in an orthopedic surgeon’s office. He told me I needed a hip replacement and asked me what took me so long to come. I wondered the same.
November 14, 2022 was the start of finding me again. I had a total hip replacement, and it changed my world! That new ball and socket restored a part of me I thought I’d lost. Long walks were a part of me again!
I had always been small. I am 5’2” tall with a small frame, feet, and hands. I’m still not sure how this body carried 220 pounds, but it did. This came after my decision to slide the scale under the bed for three years. I think we call that denial.
I became aware of where I was and went on a low-fat diet and lost down to 150.
The rest of my life, I have hovered between 130 - 170.
If a diet has been given a name, I’m sure I have been on it or some form of it. I’ve been on Weight Watchers so many times, I’ve lost count. But I had never in my life counted calories.
This past summer, that all changed. I was visiting my daughter, and she introduced me to Noom. I found it interesting, but I was troubled by the calorie counting aspect. That seemed tedious and practically impossible to do. Nevertheless, I started the 14-day Noom trial.
The things I learned that changed me are:
I learned to have a new relationship with the scale.
Counting calories works well for me.
I had no idea about serving sizes.
I can’t eat all of the plant based foods I want and lose weight.
I've realized there is no finish line.
I didn’t know I’d feel so different getting back to me!
Noom taught me how to have a healthy relationship with that scale that spent three years under the bed! Noom suggests that you weigh daily to get familiar with the ups and downs that are natural with weight. My tendency had been to avoid the scale when I knew I had eaten poorly until I thought I would see a loss. This set me up for failure again and again. I started to weigh each day on this scale and record it on the app. I found that the reasons Noom says this is effective rang true for me.
For example, a few weeks back I weighed one morning and was up 2 pounds. I immediately said, "I'm not recording that!" Then I thought, "That's the old Peggy!"
I recorded it, and got on with my day.
The most significant change I saw was that weighing each day holds me accountable for what I eat. I had long wanted to eat what I wanted with no consequences. This never worked well for me.
After the Noom trial, I canceled and got the Lose It app. While the psychology of Noom is helpful, the food logging aspect was lacking. If you are interested in the psychology aspect, Noom has a book that covers the reasons we eat.
Lose It’s food logging is phenomenal! Not only does it have an amazing food base, it also provides these features with the $39.99/year paid premium subscription. I found the features meet all of my needs. I especially benefit from the food logging and recipe creator. If you’d like to see the features, watch this.
I started calorie counting on June 23rd. As of this writing (10/21/23), I have lost the 18 pounds I needed to lose to get to my goal! I never expected to get to my goal so soon, but I'm so thankful I have. I had joined WW twice in the past 18 months with little to no success at all. There must be truly something to this idea that calories matter.
We live in a society that has watched serving sizes
grow astronomically in the past decades.
It is like the proverbial frog in the pot of water. Serving sizes gradually increased, and our view of them followed right along.
Now you may find yourself like me - knowing I eat too much food, but what is even the right serving size for me?
This is where calorie counting changed me. When I began to log the serving size I had been eating, I was astounded at the calorie count! I bought a food scale like I had in my WW days and began to weigh my portions before I ate them. Logging my food at the beginning of the day or at least before a meal has been a game changer for me. I am rule-oriented naturally, so if I log it, that’s what I’m going to eat.
Plant based doctors say you can eat all of the veggies, fruit, legumes, and grains that you want, and you will lose weight. This never worked for me. WW also has a “zero point food list” that contains non-starchy veggies, fruit, all legumes, and popcorn. Yes, you read that right - POPCORN! Who knew?
Needless to say, this is why WW and eating all the plants I wanted didn’t work for me. I can’t eat all of those foods that I want for zero points! (WW is based on a point system where one is allotted a certain amount of points each day.) I lost weight with WW before so many foods became “FREE.”
This was an eye opener for me! I never knew I could find such freedom in measuring, weighing, and logging my food. It is a paradox for sure! What I thought would be a prison brought freedom and weight loss to me.
Will I ever be able to look at food and judge the serving size accurately? I don’t know. What I do know is that the Lose It app has been a lifesaver for me, and I will carry it with me as long as I need.
I've always worked hard to get weight off and then failed miserably at maintaining the loss. This time I've learned that there isn't a finish line! Staying healthy takes a commitment for all of our life. Staying at my goal weight will require much of what got me here. This has become such a part of me, so I'm fine with that!
So, how do I feel differently since reaching my goal weight?
I have more pep in my step - more confidence in myself. My daughter, Laura, echoes this. She said, "Since I lost 10 pounds, I'm making good decisions right and left!" I agree with her! When you gain knowledge about yourself and what it takes to lose weight, good decisions almost come naturally. This gives you amazing belief in yourself that you can do what you set your mind to do!
I feel like I can buy cute clothes again! This is obviously my deal, but when I'm heavier I feel frumpy - so I dress frumpy. Lots of layering to cover me up. It feels good to be free from that.
Because I lost this weight in a different way than I had ever lost weight before, I feel like I can keep this up. To be honest, as you can see from the pictures above, I've bounced all over the place for most of my life. However, I know that I have a set of tools to keep my weight down and keep me healthy that I've never had before. I'm ready for the challenge!
The Lose It app and a new hip.
I'm walking long again with less weight to carry. I've learned to not use food for comfort, and I'm fine with the serving size that is right for me. This has been an amazing journey in finding ME again!