Can we just take a freaking moment to say: “holy guacamole”? I’ve been trying to lose weight for YEARS. Seriously, I’ve been on this fitness journey for almost 2 years now, and in total I’ve lost 40-ish pounds. But this month? This month I lost 10 pounds.
Disclaimer: This is a raw, uncut article and may trigger some readers. Continue with this in mind.
Coming to Understand…
So, I recently came to a realization – I don’t know how to eat. I know that sounds ridiculous, because well hello, clearly I know how to eat because that is how I got this way. I clearly know how to eat – that’s how I got to be nearly 100 pounds overweight. But that’s the problem, guys! I don’t know how to eat; I know how to overeat.
Maybe I’ve talked about this before, but if not, and for my new readers, here’s a little story about me and my life: I used to be a binge eater.
Most of my high school years I was relatively athletic. I played volleyball, I was always out running around, swimming, hiking, waking my dog, etc. etc. etc. You get it – I was rarely stationary, like many people my age. But I ate a lot of food – and nobody knew about it.
I used to wait until nobody was home and I would eat in private – like a lot of food. I’m still not sure why I was doing it. I remember part of me thought “boys don’t like me, so I don’t need to look hot anyways”. Another part of me thinks because we were pretty restricted on what we could eat and when, I went the other way and ate everything I could when I could. Who knows why I was doing it – but the truth is that I was.
This continued for approximately 4 years, until I went away to college and I couldn’t afford anything but ramen noodles and Busch beer. The meal plan of champions, right right right. I also wasn’t working out or doing anything. Seriously, my idea of cardio was shotgunning a beer and dancing at the same time. I was not living a healthy lifestyle, safe to say.
Then I went into my second year and I worked for the college so I had a little bit more money so I could afford take out and real groceries. But I still hadn’t healed my binge eating habit, and I truthfully don’t know if I was even self-aware of it at the time. I remember one time in particular, I ordered an entire pizza and ate it all to myself. Coming from someone whose stomach hurts after eating 2 pieces of pizza, I definitely pushed myself to eat that much pizza. That was something I used to do though – I would eat even when my stomach seriously ACHED. It was like a challenge to me to eat more and more and more. I would also do groceries and get so excited about the good things that I got that I would want to eat everything all at once. Again, I was not living a healthy lifestyle.
Present Day Eating Habits…
In the past two years or so I came to understand what I was doing with my life, and that I needed to change it. I first joined the gym in August 2016, and at this time, I was still unaware of my unhealthy eating habits. I remember getting very frustrated because I would workout and not lose weight. Well duh, you can’t eat a tub of ice cream and expect that lifting a couple of weights is going to fix everything.
Over time, I did a lot of research on health and wellness, and found out that your diet dictates EVERYTHING. Getting fit starts in the kitchen for those of you who don’t know (no shame, I spent 90% of my life not knowing). Some people say 80% of losing weight is what you are eating, and the other 20% is working out. Some people have said that its even 95% about your diet! Either way, what you are eating truly matters.
I went vegan in August 2017 (It’s almost my 1 year anniversary, and to celebrate I’m launching my cookbook!) and this helped a lot. I really didn’t lose much weight but it helped me to build a better relationship with food. It made me change my mindset from food = comfort, to food = fuel. And that’s what food is, guys. Food is the fuel we need to get up in the morning, crush a workout, do the laundry, love your family, and everything in between. We need food, but we also need real food. I didn’t lose much weight, but I started feeling like a person again. I don’t know if I had ever felt truly alive until this moment. Read more about my vegan experience here and here.
How I Lost 10 Pounds
Well here it is, guys – what you’ve all been waiting for. The big reveal; the answer to the question that everybody has been asking.
The answer? I learned how to eat. I lost 10 pounds by learning how to eat – properly. I bought a cheap food scale off Amazon (this one) and used it to weigh my food; all of it. Everything I put in my mouth goes on the scale first, and then I track it using the LifeSum app. A client of mine told me that the app he uses to track his intake tends to give people a higher caloric intake than they really should be eating and recommended decreasing it to properly lose weight. I tried this because the LifeSum app was recommending that I eat 2400 calories in a day to lose weight, and I could never eat that much food. That’s a problem, because on a diet you shouldn’t need to eat MORE than you can – So I lowered it to 1800 calories and I lost 10 pounds.
I still workout, but primarily cardio, because I’m technically on a cut right now [read about this here]. When you burn calories, you can eat more so if you like food – workout more.
I’ve been using my Fitbit Aria scale to keep track of weight loss trends, and it’s nice because it shows me my BMI, body fat %, and lean mass – not just weight. I’m still weightlifting to maintain my muscle mass, so this is a great way to keep track of the muscle I’m keeping on my body while losing weight. It is natural to shred some muscle mass when on a cut, while it is incredibly disappointing, it’s all part of the process. Once you reach your goal weight, you can build it back up – don’t even worry about it!
So there you have it guys – I lost 10 pounds by learning how to eat. I started weighing my food and better understanding portion sizes. I’m so excited that I finally cracked the code, because NOW I’M READY TO ROCK! Are you ready?