I know I am 0.8 lbs away from 30 so I won’t count it as a milestone yet but I did finally reach the 170s for the first time in a while – I weighed in at today’s official check-in at 179 lb!
I was curious though how long it had been since I had seen the 170s (2008 by the way) so I started digging through the archives of this blog since I actually have had this blog around for a while and keep track of my past attempts at losing weight in now hidden posts. Here’s a quick summary of my past journeys:
- 2002ish – Lost ~25 lbs, from 160 lbs to 135 lb. I was 28 at the time. Not sure how long it took.
- 2008 – Lost ~22 lbs , from 182 to 160 lbs. I was 34. This took 7 months.
- 2012 – Lost ~21 lbs, from 206 (my heaviest at the time) to 184. This was also over 7 months. I was 38.
- 2016-17 – so far have lost 29.2 lbs, from 208.2 (my heaviest recorded weight) to 179. Again, 7 months. I am now 43.
So here we are, in 2017 and at a current total weight lost of almost 30 lbs over in 7 months (same time frame as 2008 & 2012) and it’s the most weight I’ve lost. Now, some people may get discouraged looking back at my history. Seems like I can consistently lose 20 lbs every few years. But why do I feel like this may be different this time? Well, let’s look at what I was doing the first three times.
I basically followed Weight Watcher rules. I didn’t enroll officially in the program the first time in 2002 but I got some WW books, read up on what to eat and what not to eat and unofficially “counted” my points. In 2008 and 2012 I did sign-up for the mobile app and more clearly “counted” my points, diligently recording everything I ate and drank every single day of those 7 months. Was it miserable? Not really. Was it tedious? Hell yes. So yes, Weight Watchers’ point system does work. But for me, it was not a sustainable model. I can’t live the rest of my life counting points and recording everything I eat. It did help me choose better and healthier options but it still let me treat myself with some bad stuff too easily (for example, if I starve myself most of the day, I’d have enough points for that donut) because technically, nothing is off limits in Weight Watchers as long as you have the points to eat it.
So on this fourth round I’ve changed strategies. Paleo-Dairy is now how I eat and I only call it a diet in the strictest definition of a diet – not a weight loss process but a way of eating. No more points to track. No need to record what I eat. It’s great. It has helped immensely that my husband is eating this way as well (before he was not following Weight Watchers with me). Our pantry and fridge look completely different than they did a year ago and this is a good thing. It’s hard to “cheat” when all you have in the house is compliant and OK to eat. No need to hoard points to have stuff I like since my tastes have changed (and hell, I can still eat all the bacon I want). No need to look at restaurant menus before going out to figure out what I can eat within the number of points I have left for the day. Now I just check to make sure the menu has some options I can make paleo or close to paleo and 99% of them do so it’s not an issue even.
So it may have taken me 15 years but I hope I won’t be re-starting this blog in another 4 years at another 200 lb+ start point. Can I guarantee it? No. I have no idea what is in my future. All I can do is live in the here and now and at this moment, this Paleo-Diary lifestyle is offering me a delicious and satisfying way of losing weight and has helped create a healthier way of eating for me that I hope will last me the rest of my life.
The reality is that each time I’ve gone down the weight loss path, I was always optimistic and cheerful as I lost weight, just as I am now – but why didn’t I maintain it? It will be interesting to see if it was my method, not my motivation. Check back in 4 years. 🙂