Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How I Spent My Summer Vacation #1 - The Losing Weight Part

I did it and then some!  After losing about sixty pounds ten or so years ago, I got stuck at the "last 10 pounds" part.  Then it very slowly starting creeping up.  When the summer clothes gave me a muffin top this year, it was the final straw.  I was NOT going there again.  The goal was to take off twenty pounds, but I moved it up six more pounds after reaching the twenty pounds.  I am four ounces--yes, ounces-- from the new goal of 118.  I'll let you do the math for the original number. 
How?  Mostly Nutrisystem along with the My Fitness Pal app, and the Map My Run app.  I just could not get there on my own this time.  No, I'm not making any money for promoting Nutrisystem, nor will I gain by getting someone else to join.  This is my month to transition to doing my own food shopping, and I'm done.   Several things made this work for me:
  •  I could just follow the simple plan and eat the designated meals not worrying about portions, cooking, and nutrition. It gave me a nice quick and successful start.
  • While I was losing the weight, I had access to all kinds of information about healthy eating and cooking from Nutrisystem.  There are links to articles on what to eat, why it's good for you, why other things are not a good idea.  I got to practice this stuff cuz I was still cooking for Brian.  (Added bonus:  Brian got all sorts of interested and is now watching his eating and losing some weight, too.)
  • I liked the Nutrisystem food.   I really did.  If you are a gourmet cook or have a particularly sensitive palate, it might not be the one for you.  I was kind of surprised at first that the food included some things that seemed a lot like sweets and the number of meals with pasta or bread.  Then I realized that nothing ends an attempt to lose weight faster than sticking to a Spartan menu or ultra healthy food.  The actual weight loss is the important thing at this point, and Nutrisystem foods are made to be low glycemic and high in the good stuff  in a healthy portion size.  Truth is that we are going to be eating some sweets, and it's good to learn to do it in a reasonable manner.  Sometimes the thought that I could have that chocolately bar for lunch or the dessert after dinner was the thing that got me through.  I have no complaints.  You also get to customize your order, so if there are some things that you don't like, you can choose not order those items. 
  • I use the My Fitness Pal app for recording food and exercise because I found it easier and more convenient than the Nutrisystem one.  Map My Run keeps track of walking and bicycling, etc. in addition to running and syncs with My Fitness Pal automatically making that stuff really easy.
  • I also had access to forums and blogs where people share their experiences--what worked for them, what they do during the difficult times, and, probably most importantly, why they failed in other attempts.
  • The forums and blogs gave me lots of ideas for exercise and encouragement to push to new heights in this area.  I started jogging in my fifties.  First around the block which totally wiped me out.  After a number of starts and stops, I worked my way up to 2 1/2 miles at the most which I thought was the most I would ever do.  Then I found people on the Nutrisystem forums that were a whole lot heavier than me who were running in 5k races all the time.   With this encouragement and the Map My Run app I upped my running and bicycling. 
    From my first official 5k
    From my most recent 5k for the Molly Wilmot Radiation and Oncology
    Center running in honor of Brian's mom, Carol, who died of ovarian
    cancer a few years ago.
    I've been alternating between running and bicycling for exercise everyday.  I'm not up to Brian's level in bicycling (he does 50 mile rides on an easy day), but I'm way better than I was.  Next on my agenda:  Biking to Lake George and back.  Last time I did that I was 19, and I'm sure I can do it now in half the time I did then.  Never thought I'd be in better shape in my sixties than my twenties:-O


  1. CONGRATULATIONS!!! <-- caps intentional, as your accomplishments are definitely worthy of yelling :) I always thought a muffin top meant you should eat more muffins - that's the plan I've been following ... with the results one would expect *ughhhhh* ;) The 5K run is something to be very proud of as well - excellent! I used to be able to do a 5k walk in an hour (and about 2 minutes), but with the cold and ice last winter I got out of the habit, and haven't gotten back to it. I started Aquafitness a couple of weeks ago and am noticing big improvements in my flexibility and plantar fasciitis - if this continues I hope I can get back on track and lose some of the baby weight (from kids that are 24 and 25, ahem). KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

  2. For some reason I didn't get this post in my email, but I got Part 2, which sent me looking for this one! I'd say this was a great way to spend your summer vacation. I've been using the My Fitness Pal App for weight loss and as long as I stick with it, I do pretty well...but let me stop and BAM! I can see a difference right away! Thanks for the encouraging words!