WEIGHT LOSS UPDATE: Five pounds forward, two pounds back

by Erika Torres

Losing weight is HARD.

I think I was starting to reach a point where I was just hoping someone would spill the weight-loss secret. Everyone has all these great tips, but really I wanted someone to show me the diet where I can eat whatever I want, not exercise and still lose weight. Sadly, such diet does not exist. Trust me, I would have found it by now.

But I’ve noticed more and more that losing weight is exactly like budgeting.

There is no reward for good behavior. You can’t reward yourself for sticking to your budget by going on a $1,000 shopping spree. Just like you can’t reward yourself for losing weight by pigging out on brownies at 9 pm on a Saturday night.

Your only reward is knowing how much money you saved, or how much weight you lost.

The moral of this story? Last week, I had lost 5 pounds for the month. 5 pounds!!! I was so excited to tell you guys about it because I knew everyone would be so proud. Look at that, you would all say, she stuck with her plan and now she’s reaping the benefits…

Well, because I had eaten so well I decided to “slide” a little bit this past week. This meant baking brownies and eating (more than) half the batch. This meant eating every cookie that crossed my path and never saying “no.” This meant constantly saying “I deserve it! I lost 5 pounds!”

(FACT: While writing this post, I attended a retirement party and had a huge corner slice of chocolate cake…I may have also had Quizno’s and a cookie for lunch…)

So yesterday, I stepped back on the scale and realized I had gained two pounds back. In one week. Doh!

Total Weight Loss this month: 3 pounds.

Total Weight Loss since starting weight loss journey in January: 8 pounds.

(You can read month 1, month 2, and month 3–if you’re keeping track).

I should be upset that I suck so much at losing weight. But just like budgeting, this doesn’t mean you just forget about it and go console yourself by stuffing your face in a bucket of ice cream. This means, you keep going at it. Because again—it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Do I sound like a broken record here?

Our anniversary is this weekend, and I’m exactly 10 pounds heavier than I was at this point last year. But I feel good. I think my boot camp class really helped kick my butt into shape and give me some muscle! And I’ve still lost 8 pounds! That’s good, right?? <– shamelessly seeking compliments here

But sadly, boot camp is over tomorrow. And I don’t really plan on jumping back onto the weight loss wagon until Monday–because I plan on going into vacation mode this weekend. I’ve become a firm believer of E‘s mantra: Losing weight is 95% food and 5% working out. Unfortunately, my problem is food. I’ve got working out down.

As for my other weight-loss goals this month?

Fit into my jeans comfortably

Check! I was able to fit into not one, but TWO pairs of jeans. I haven’t worn a pair of jeans that weren’t jeggings since before Christmas. The last time I tried to wear a pair of jeans in February, it hurt to sit down because it would dig into my fat. But I’m wearing them now and it feels great! (Except then I had to wash them, and now I’m back to stretching them out again…just being honest!)

Work out at least 20 days this month

Check this out!

That’s right! I worked out 22 days this month! or at least 2/3rds out of the month. EEEEEE!

These are my weight-loss goals for April…

1) Get to the 10-pound weight loss goal! That’s only 2 pounds away, I hope to kick this out of the ballpark!

2) Work out at least 20 days this month.

3) Stick to my “no-carbs for dinner” rule at least 15 times this month.  (I really believe this is my weight loss secret.)

What are some of your weight-loss secrets? How is your weight loss journey going? Have any of you given up yet? Stick with it–we can do it!!

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Ali April 4, 2011 - 7:25 am

I find that working out goes better if I have something I am training for like a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, etc. You get a high on race day (when you are finished of course…) that keeps you coming back for more. 🙂

You are doing great!

Red April 2, 2011 - 7:00 pm

Oh! One more tip – don’t drink your calories! 🙂 I gave up soda on May 8, 2010, so that hasn’t been a problem for me. But sweet tea? Boy, do I love it! I keep it out of the house so I won’t drink it. The only time I do drink it is when I go out to eat (see previous tip!), but when I do, I get unsweet tea and use the pink sweetener packets. (Not sure what their name brand is, but they’re zero calorie and they don’t include aspartame!)

If you’ve got a Starbucks addiction, this can be a problem when losing weight. That’s how I keep myself from not running out for a McD sweet tea when I really, really want one. I keep repeating, “Don’t drink your calories, don’t drink your calories.” 😉

Red April 2, 2011 - 6:32 pm

It’s so true that there’s not some big secret to losing weight that makes it easy (same with getting your finances in order). Even though we look at magazines and think, “Damn, Britney lost that weight so easily and quickly!” She probably spends the majority of her day focusing on training and cardio and eating right. After all, part of her livelihood is her body.

For those of us who have jobs that DON’T revolve around looking gorgeous, it’s more difficult to make time to work out, and it’s more difficult to make time to meal plan.

One thing I suggest is finding out if you’re calorie or carb sensitive. My mom and I took a little quiz at Curves and found out that we’re both calorie sensitive. So, when I “diet” (ew – ugly word!), I watch calories. Low carb and low calorie don’t work for everyone, so it’s important to find out which works for you. (Might try a Google search – there’s gotta be something online for this!)

I don’t believe in the “no reward” system though. I don’t necessarily reward myself, but let’s say I’ve done really good this week and the office is getting cupcakes for someone’s birthday on Friday. If I want a cupcake, I make sure I have room in my calories that day for a cupcake (by eating a low-calorie dinner and lunch or whatever). Can I do this every day or even every week? Can I pig out and eat half the cupcakes? Hell to the no. But I can have one cupcake every once in a while without it killing my results.

What helps me the most is 1) exercising regularly (looks like you got that down pat!) and 2) AVOIDING EATING OUT AT ALL COSTS. Yes, there are some lowER (certainly not LOW though) calorie options at restaurants, but they’re not the tastiest. I know that my big problem is food (like you), and I have little willpower if I’m looking at a menu with yummy, yummy food on it. I always use this example when explaining to people why I try to avoid restaurants: When I was dieting hardcore with Mom two years ago, I let myself eat out once a week while going to the gym every day. One week, I forgot about going out. I lost DOUBLE the weight that week as weeks when I went out once. Most of the meals I eat out – and some of them include grilled chicken salads – constitute an entire day’s worth of calories. Crazy.

So that’s what I do. I avoid restaurants as much as I can. I’m working up to exercising every day at the gym, doing 30 minutes of cardio and weight training alternating between my legs and arms. I keep a food log. (<– This has helped me more than anything, much like tracking my spending!) I allow myself 1,200 – 1,600 calories a day. It's been three weeks, and I've lost 5.2 pounds so far. (Though for one of those weeks I stopped keeping my food log OR going to the gym, so I think I should cheat and say two weeks, lol.)

I think you're doing great! 8 pounds is awesome, and you're gorgeous already! Keep at it! 🙂

I'm going to shoot you an email tonight so be on the lookout! 🙂

Teacher Girl April 1, 2011 - 3:07 am

Yay!! I am so proud of you for losing what you have and fitting into your jeans (I am SO jealous)!
I have been majorly slaking in the working out dept and it shows because I haven’t lost any more weight =( Time to get my ass in gear.

IntrigueMe March 31, 2011 - 9:49 pm

Hey, 3lbs is still 3lbs less than before! Good for you!

I haven’t been doing as good as I would like, but I’m still doing okay. This morning I finally reached my first weight loss goal. My next goal is to still be under said goal weight when I have my next period. I monitored my weight this month throughout my cycle and for me there’s a 5lb variance throughout my cycle! Craazzzy!

Kim March 31, 2011 - 3:37 pm

Well here’s to Spring! it’s so much easier to lose in good weather because the fruits taste so much better! They take care of my sweet tooth.

Wait – does So Cal even HAVE cold weather?! 😉

Maggie March 31, 2011 - 1:36 pm

Eating is the good part of my weight loss….working out is the devil

jobo March 31, 2011 - 12:55 pm

NICE WORK!! 8 lbs total is awesome, especially because as I keep saying, you already look great, I promise. I am struggling today as I feel badly for drinking and eating somewhat in abundance while on vaca and getting back on the workout/eating well wagon is a struggle sometimes. But if you can do it, I can do it, we can together 😉 I will let you know if I get the membership thing done for next week and we could take a class together 🙂 How’s that for motivation? Haha.

Jessica07 March 31, 2011 - 12:49 pm

Congratulations on your progress! 🙂 22 days of boot camp? Yeek. I used to do Tai Boe (probably spelled wrong) Boot Camp five days a week. That was probably a REALLY bad habit to get out of. Just looking at your calander exhausts me now. LOL

You’re right about the correlation between dieting and finances. One of my favorite books is “Does This Make My Assets Look Fat?” I have to admit, I bought it solely because of the title. Hehe

Niki March 31, 2011 - 12:21 pm

Congratulations! Even if you didn’t lose a pound, your work out routine is to be commended.

LBC Teacher March 31, 2011 - 11:39 am

I joined Weight Watchers and I’m a big fan! I like that they give you weekly points that you can use at your discretion. This means if you are “good” most days you will have extra points to use later (which for me means happy hour). I also think it puts “good” into perspective and for me makes me have some freakin’ discipline…which does not come naturally. I’ve lost ten pounds in four weeks by really sticking to the plan. Just a suggestion, but your working out is awesome and good for your heart! I’m impressed!

A Super Girl March 31, 2011 - 9:25 am

No carbs for dinner?!?! I would die.


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