I love food and I love eating. But, I don t love dieting. Although I have always been a mostly healthy eater, I m not one to turn down a piece of birthday cake or a glass of wine during cocktail hour. But indulging a little too much and a little too often resulted in a slow gain of 25 pounds by my early 20s.
When I was younger, I d managed to maintain my weight of 130 pounds by being active. I belonged to the dance team and played intramural sports, so it wasn t difficult for me to motivate myself to exercise. After college, I started a desk job, and with that came long hours, pizza lunches, and plenty of happy hours. I continued to exercise almost every day, but it wasn t enough””and my weight climbed to 153 pounds, which was too much for my 5-foot-4-inch frame.
My Tipping Point
I wasn t happy at my heaviest, but I wasn t really motivated to do anything about it until a ski trip with friends in 2004 put things in perspective. The vacation was a blast, but I quickly lost my getaway glow when I saw photos from our trip. Looking at the physical proof, I was embarrassed by how much weight I had gained. Every photo was a “bad” photo of me. I was so depressed that I threw most of them away.
Soon after the ski trip, I left my desk job to pursue graduate school and took a part-time job working at the front desk of an upscale health club. One of the perks was a free membership, which was the motivation I needed to take control of my weight. I started exercising at the health club most mornings, taking Body Pump and spinning classes on a regular basis. Finding workout buddies helped too. I made some new friends who were avid runners and I began training for and participating in road races with them.
Even though I was burning plenty of calories through exercise, I knew my eating habits were preventing me from losing weight. I wasn t eating unhealthy foods””I stuck with salads, turkey sandwiches, and stir-fry dishes””I was just eating too much of everything. I started tracking my daily calories online at fitday.com. Counting calories really helped me understand my overblown portion sizes and just how many calories I was consuming.
A New Life
Almost a year and a half later, in the summer of 2006, I finally reached my goal weight of 130 pounds. My weight loss didn t happen overnight””in fact it took a pretty long time””but that was because I wasn t “dieting.” Through trial and error and figuring out what worked best for me, I made lifestyle changes, which have stuck with me to today. For example, I almost always have oatmeal with nut butter and a piece of fruit for breakfast. It helps set a healthy tone for my whole day, plus it keeps me full until lunchtime.
Now I m committed to maintaining my weight without missing out on any fun, like birthday celebrations or nights out with friends, which is the main philosophy behind Carrots N Cake. Hopefully, my tips and tricks are helpful to you and you ll share some of your own secrets and successes with me too.