In late September of last year, I decided that it was time to do something about my weight. It’s been bothering me for some time and the earlier plan I had of losing weight by knocking on doors as part of my election campaign, did not have the results I hoped for.
While sitting at a restaurant for breakfast one day, I’ve come to discover that several people around me managed to loose a substantial amount of weight – 20 to 35 lbs – by going to Medithin Weight Loss Clinic. I figured that if these people were able to do it, it was time for me to try. Medithin is located right here in Janesville and without a question put me on track to getting the results I wanted to achieve. Though I’m not at my goal of losing 50 lbs (not at all unreasonable by Medithin standards), I was able to loose over 35 lbs and continue to maintain it while making slow progress to get my weight even lower.
I am not going to go through the many benefits of weight loss, suffice to say that I feel better, look better and plan to do a lot more running, which is a sport I really enjoy. What I would like to do here, is to share some of the things I learned about my body and weight loss, that perhaps could be useful to you, the reader.
1. Counting calories can seem like a burden at first, but what I realized was how much good food we have around us, how inexpensive it is, and how little of it we can afford to eat without changing our weight. Counting calories, even though I no longer do it as strictly as in the beginning, provided me with fundamental knowledge of what I am putting into my body. Combined with knowing how many total calories I need to consume within a day, forced my brain to become part of the equation. It also made it clear that eating at fast food restaurants is to be avoided.
2. Carbs are to blame. So much of the food most of us eat – breads, pasta, rice, potatoes – are rich in carbohydrates. Carbs are plentiful, cheap, frequently taste great, and if not used for energy, get stored as fat. By cutting out carbs, and replacing the space they took on my plate with proteins and vegetables, not only am I able to control my weight but I just plain feel better after I eat. I also realized how few vegetables I have gotten used to eating over the years. Instead of being the cake, veggies became the cherry on top.
3. You can have a little bit of anything you want. Life of denying pleasure that comes with eating tasty food may work for monks but not for me. Knowing that I can never have …. whatever it is – does not fill my life with joy. Knowing, however, that I can have a little bit of a delicious dish that will result in unwanted pounds if eaten in its entirety, creates a space where free will and motivation can exist.
4. Find snack foods that help between meals. In my case, I discovered that having the following foods always available, made what seemed like starvation at first, into a manageable approach to eating:
* Nuts. Any nuts are good in my uneducated opinion, but I found that cocoa-covered almonds are delicious. At first I was nervously counting how many were in a serving, but then I discovered that since they are not only full of protein and are low in carbs, but are also full of fiber, they just leave the body in due time.
* EAS Carb control shakes. While there are other options on the market, again I found these shakes (especially the Chocolate Fudge flavor) to be quite good.
* Fruit-flavored Jello. Some people love it some people hate it, but if you are one of those who consider Jello to be an option, pig out all you want – sugar free version can be eaten in practically unlimited amounts – though I dare you to eat much more then 2 cups of it at a time.
*Eggs. Simple, tasty and full of protein. I make sure to boil these 6 at a time, and have some sitting peeled in the fridge just in case.
*Water. It is my understanding that we are supposed to consume half of our weight in water per day: meaning if you are 200 lbs, you should drink 100 oz. of water per day. It may seem intense but it does feel good and it does help in a number of ways: water gets rid of dehydration, which is particularly likely in northern climates in winter when people exist primarily in-doors and the outside air is dry as well. Additionally, water in your system creates a feeling of fullness. To be clear: drinking half of my weight in water on daily basis is still more of a goal than reality but I know that it is practically impossible for me to drink too much water.
5. Exercise. My goal is to be on my elliptical machine 30 minutes each day. If I feel more ambitious, I may stay longer but with time being limited, longer work outs are not always an option. However, having done my exercise for the day, makes me feel good on many levels. Also, the knowledge of exactly how many calories I lost while exercising on the machine, fits much better in my new mindset where number of calories consumed and burned off have a pretty precise meaning. For instance, if I know can have 1,200 calories per day, losing 400 calories while exercising feels much more rewarding then just doing 30 minutes of exercise.
This is what works for me, and I hope that this information helps you get to where you’re going.
To learn more about Medithin Weight Loss Clinics, check out my interview with Jeff Dedrick, co-owner of the clinic, right HERE.