And as I said in my weight loss kickoff post, I would be giving monthly updates to show how you can lose weight while eating lots of food, lifting lots of weight, and fully rejecting diets. FULLY.
But here is the thing about my weight loss success so far: this is NOT the work of merely 30 days on display. It’s merely been 30 days since I decided that it was time to count my calories to 3,000 every day, keep track of lifting and dancing every day during the week with one day off (but where I still get outside and moving, maybe for a walk), weigh myself every week, and be accountable to all of you here.
But I didn’t start creating health 30 days ago. I started that a little over one year ago.
Over a year ago I started reading Diet Recovery. I started RRARFing, which stands for Rehabilitative Rest and Aggressive Re-Feeding. I did this for one month, which means that I ate to excess and was forbidden from working out. Breakfast was low moisture, lunch was the largest meal, with protein and dessert incorporated, and dinner was smaller and vegetarian.
Oh, and I took a lot of naps. And went to bed early. It was such a hard life that month!
But honestly, it was difficult in many ways. I felt guilty for eating until I was full. I felt guilty not doing the noble thing that people do: “even if you are tired, you go to the gym because the gym is good for you!” I felt guilty sleeping so much, because that meant I was being lazy and lethargic.
RE-FRAMING MY APPROACH TO MY BODY
But do you see what was going on there? These are the messages that we get from the media, our culture, and our communities. Fat people are lazy. Fat people eat too much. Fat people don’t care about their bodies. Fat people can’t know anything about nutrition.
It’s all a lie, by the way. I’m not lazy, I don’t eat too much, I do care about my body, and I like to think I know a fair amount about nutrition. I also am committed to being body positive, and loving myself the way I am today.
As I RRARFed a year ago, I was finally facing my assumptions about bodies, food, and working out. I was finally facing the fact that I didn’t think I deserved to eat enough or sleep enough. I was finally facing the fact that I used the gym as a way to measure up to being a “good, healthy person”.
That’s where the shift started. Eating is for enjoyment and energy. Sleeping is for restoration and health. And working out is for joy and movement. I wasn’t eating, sleeping, or moving with real intent. I was going through the motions of what I was “supposed” to be doing.
Last year, I also started having consultations with Matt Stone (the author of Diet Recovery), about every month or so. He encouraged me to track my temperatures. To keep sleeping as much as possible. To eat not to excess anymore, but to satiation. To work out only if I was so energetic that I just couldn’t help myself!
I went from about 180 pounds back up to my set weight point of 230 pounds. I stopped gaining weight at that point and hovered there for a few months. I kept eating enough. I kept sleeping. I worked out more and more. I had energy!
But then I had my breakdown related to unresolved PTSD, which you can read more about here. Long story short: I gained another 50 pounds from the stress of that situation. But, happily, found that I was back to having good sleep and eating habits, and even my energy return after completing my PTSD treatment in the fall and winter of 2012.
With these issues faced and resolved, I was finally ready to lose weight the right way. I found Go Kaleo, got majorly inspired by her array of photos over the last 5 years, and decided: “I want that, too.”
SO WHAT IS THE RIGHT WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT?
Now we are finally to the part you have been waiting for!
I am currently losing weight because my body is no longer working from a starvation point, a deficit of calories and sleep. I am currently losing weight because I am eating enough calories for my activity level. I am currently losing weight eating about 3,000 calories every day, from a variety of sources. I am currently losting weight because I move my body every day.
I do not restrict macronutrients, like carbs or fat.
I work out at the gym lifting weights 3 times a week. It takes me about an hour, but I take my time. You could certainly get enough of a workout in 45 minutes. I make sure I warm up, do at least 5 heavy, multi-joint lifts*, and then stretch afterwards and cool down. (*squats, dead lifts, rows, bench press and all variations thereof)
I like to ride my bike to the gym, since it’s about 1/2 mile from where I live. Built-in warm-up and a cool-down!
SO WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE LAST 30 DAYS?
I still love dancing and lifting. I am still happy. I still sleep. I still have energy. I still reject diets. I still eat the food. I still lift heavy things. I still love my body.
And I have lost 10 pounds. Yep. The same scale at the gym that shocked me a month ago with the number 280 has now become a friend I look forward to seeing every week on Saturday when I go to the gym with my husband to lift weights and feel generally kickass.
My friend, The Scale, helps me gauge my success. And when I weighed in this week, I thought the total would be 8 pounds for the month, but I was surprised to see that 2 more pounds had slipped off and the scale read 270. I will take it!
So there you go. I mean, do you get the gravity of this?! I have been eating 3,000 calories a day and I lost 10 pounds this month. And while I am being active, it’s not like I am training for a marathon or anything. I just move every day, and I lift weights. And I am happy.
Don’t restrict your calories. The only way to lose weight is NOT by starving yourself, working out for hours every day, and aiming for 1200 calories a day or even less. And the only way to lose weight is also NOT going low carb. Do you know how many pieces of bread I have eaten this month? And pizza? I’m not kidding.
SO WHAT IS NEXT?
Hopefully we will see another drop in weight next month. For the next set of 30 days, I will be tracking what kinds of specific foods I am eating, so you can get a feel for what 3,000 calories looks like.
So now the only question is this: are you with me?