1. How have you lost that much weight in 9 (or any number) months?
To be completely honest, I have no idea. The human body has a mind of its own. But, I will say that, although difficult, I committed to this 100% from the beginning. I knew from past experience that if I didn't, I would do okay for a couple of weeks but I would sink right back into what was comfortable. My body has definitely been shocked in more ways than one. With Renee's help, I've done my best to not let my body get used to what I'm doing.
2. Do you eat?
Yes, of course I eat. If I didn't, the weight loss would have stopped a long time ago. Or I would look like a ghost. Actually, I probably eat more often than I ever did before. I've learned that what you read in all those fitness and nutrition magazines is completely true - you should eat every 2 to 3 hours. I now do and I have since the end of January. My "meals" are much smaller because I'm not starving when I eat.
3. Do you feel healthier?
ABSOLUTELY!! Just the other day, I was so excited to have pizza for lunch. It's probably been over a month since I've had a piece of pizza and, for someone who used to eat it a few times a week, that's saying a lot. While it was absolutely delicious, I couldn't believe how full I felt the rest of the day. I was also incredibly thirsty. My body has definitely grown accustomed to having healthier food to operate with. I felt kinda sluggish the rest of the day (but I would still eat pizza again:).
4. Do you have more energy?
110% YES. While there are still days I would love to go home and take a nap after work, by going to the gym, I find that I am more energetic for the rest of the day. I also sleep soundly through the night. Well, I've always slept like a rock, but I definitely feel much more rested in the morning. When I am chasing my nieces and nephew around, I don't get tired anywhere near as easily. I want to be up and moving around. I don't mind going up the stairs now.
5. What do you eat?
I eat a lot of lean protein. But, I also eat a decent amount of carbs and fats. The difference is the type of carbs and fats I eat. I also eat different protein. It is mostly lean protein. I eat a lot of turkey, chicken and, at times, a little fish (when I can get it down...). There are some fats that are actually healthy for you. They are in peanut butter and avocados, just to name a couple. While my entire diet cannot be carbs (like a majority of it used to), it is important to eat carbs. They give you energy and serve important functions in the body - or so I've been told (and I believe it). I still eat pasta from time to time, it's just whole wheat. All of the bread products I eat are whole wheat. I make a smoothie a few times a week using protein powder. It's an easy way to get a good amount of your protein in and there are a lot of ways to make them yummy! I am also really conscious of the amount of sodium I eat. Sodium causes you to hold water weight and has other health risks. I still eat sodium, I just check labels to see what my best options are.
6. Do you eat out?
I'll be honest, I struggled with this at first. Actually I still do. But, yes, I do. Oftentimes, I research the menu online before I go so I can make a good choice. Most restaurants have at least some of their nutrition information online so that usually helps me. I also look for grilled items. Usually means it is a healthier choice. I almost always order a salad to eat before my meal arrives. Makes me not as hungry when my meal arrives.
7. How do you not eat all the good, sweet, sugary stuff?
This was and still is one of the hardest things for me. I have a huge sweet tooth. But, as I've gone through the months, it's gotten easier. I also allow myself to have a little bit of something if I really want it. That's usually at a birthday party or social gathering of some kind. At work, I just stay away from all of it. But, I also know that I'll get in trouble if I eat it. Well, not in trouble but Renee' might hurt me (in a loving way, of course!). While I still tell her what I eat every day (it helps me stay accountable to myself), I find myself getting a little better each day at walking away. To satisfy my sweet tooth, I eat some york peppermint patties with lunch and dark chocolate with dinner every day. Funny thing is, it actually works!
8. How often do you exercise?
Almost every day. Very rarely, I might miss a day. Unless I'm sick there has to be a pretty good reason for me to not do at least 10 or 15 minutes of something. I missed one day in September and Renee' kicked me in my butt, which I needed. Except for a couple of days when I was sick, I haven't missed a day since. Well, I did miss last Friday but I had a free pass because of the state championship game :) The trick is, I usually don't do the same thing two days in a row. Some days I go for walks, others I do a walk/jog, some days I go to the gym and get on the elliptical or the treadmill and then lift some weights. I try to change it up so I don't get bored. If I get bored, I know it will get more and more difficult to keep going. Google has become my best friend :) I've also taken my time integrating things into my workout. I still don't jump and I try to take it easy on my knees by only running/jogging 2-3 days a week.
9. I can't see you as being quiet - have you really changed that much?
This definitely comes more from people I've met recently. But, the answer is, yes! My self-confidence and self-esteem have grown by leaps and bounds which has allowed my personality (that I always knew was inside me) is finally shining through. I am 100x a better version of myself and I have Renee' (and a couple of other people) to thank for that.
I think most of the time you see people lose the amount of weight I have, you don't know the person real well or they might be on a TV show. I've always loved the Biggest Loser. It's a great motivator to get healthy. But, I firmly believe there is something to be said for being able to do all of this at home while working and being involved with my family and friends. Yes, it takes longer, but having the support of my family and friends has made all the difference in the world. I couldn't have gotten this far without them.
"My friends and family are my support system. They tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear and they are there for me in the good and bad times. Without them, I have no idea where I would be and I know that their love for me is what's keeping my head above the water" ~ Kelly Clarkson