Friday, February 1, 2008

My Weight Loss Journey

The Early Years

Throughout high school and college, I maintained my weight by being active. I had always participated in sports (soccer, tennis, and track) and enjoyed exercise (running, skiing, and dance). While exercise kept my weight down, my eating habits were terrible (beer, nachos, few veggies) and my weight stayed steady at 140-145 lbs.

Putting on the Pounds

After graduating college, I took a job at a marketing and promotions agency, where the atmosphere was young, fun, and social. Happy Hour and late nights were regulars in my life, and all of the cocktails and bar food pushed my weight over the 150 mark.

Turning Point

For New Years 2004, a bunch of friends and I took a ski trip to Killington, Vermont. The vacation was such a blast; I still have great memories from it! However, I remember looking at photos of myself after the trip, and was embarrassed by how much weight I had gained, especially in comparison to my college friends, who had actually lost weight since graduation. Around the same time, I started graduate school and a part-time job at a health club. While my position as a “Front Desk Associate” was boring at times, I was able to do my homework and use the Club’s facilities for free.

Mal and me - Killington, Vermont, New Years 2004

Going out with the girls - Killington, Vermont, New Years 2004

Killington, Vermont, New Years 2004

Mal and me - February 2004

My friend, Carl and me - February 2004

Weight is coming off - Apple picking, Fall 2004

A New Life

Prior to beginning graduate school, I left my marketing job, where I was constantly tempted by an unhealthy lifestyle. With a free gym membership and new outlook on life, I was finally able to take control of my weight. I started exercising at the Club most mornings, taking Body Pump (an amazing workout!) and spinning classes on a regular basis. I also made some new friends, who were avid runners, and began running and participating in road races with them.

In the summer of 2006, after a lot of hard work, I finally had lost a little over 20 pounds, from my highest weight of 152 to around 130. Since then, I have maintained my weight (even lost a little), which ranges from 127 - 130, but realize my eating habits still need some improvement, specifically increasing my intake of fresh produce. Today, my focus is on healthy eating, wellness, fitness, and happiness.

After - Summer 2008


What Worked for Me: My Weight Loss Tips

  • Count calories (at least for a few days): I had always been an avid exerciser, but my eating habits were preventing me from losing weight. I was consuming way too many calories, and didn't realize just how many I was eating. I began to actually measure (using measuring cups) how much food I was eating. Not surprisingly, my portion sizes were inflated, so measuring and counting calories online opened my eyes to the true amount I was putting into my body each day. Great free sites for tracking calories: www.fitday.com, http://caloriecount.about.com, and www.sparkpeople.com

  • Read A LOT of health and fitness magazines: From these, I learned (and still learn) about healthy eating and nutrition. These magazines are motivational, inspiring, and keep nutrition and fitness interesting, especially when I really don’t want to get on the elliptical!

  • Eat fresh fruit with breakfast: It’s such a small thing to do, but it sets a healthy tone for your whole day… plus fruit is low-cal and good for you!

  • Plan: I don't keep track of exactly what I will eat each day, but I usually have a rough idea. If you have whole grains and fruit for breakfast, make sure you fit in veggies and low-fat protein with lunch or dinner. Also, if you know you have a long day ahead of you and/or meals are up in the air (e.g. vacation, running errands, out with friends, etc.), throw some fruit or a granola bar in your bag, so when your stomach starts growling, you are less tempted by unhealthy food choices.

  • Cut portion sizes: Seems like a “duh” tip, but just eating less of my usual servings helped me lose weight.

  • Keep truckin’: If you slip up at a meal, don’t throw in the towel for the day. The day isn’t a waste if your next meal is super healthy.

64 Comments:

KCPM1215 said...

Hi Tina,
I love your blog and the way you manage to balance healthy foods and treats. Thanks for sharing your meals and bakery concoctions. I've tried some of them and think they're great :o)

I have a question about weight loss. I want to lose about 15 pounds (I'm currently 5'7" and weigh 153). I was wondering about how many calories you consumed while losing weight, as well as the intensity of your exercises. I know I'm a bit taller than you, but I'm just trying to get an idea so I can be successful. Sparkpeople.com says I can go as low as 1200, but I feel as if I'm going to pass out if I go that low! I just really want to find a good calorie range where I'm losing, but not feeling deprived.

Thanks so much for your help and any info you have!
Cat

Tina said...

Hi Cat,

When I was trying to lose weight (and currently), I eat between 1700-2100 calories per day. I also workout most days of the week (free weights 2-4 times a week and some sort of cardio 4-6 times a week).

Jillian said...

Hi Tina,

What health/fitness magazines do you read??

Tina said...

Jillian,

My favorite magazines are Women's Health, Health, Shape, Fitness, Self, and Oxygen.

Anonymous said...

Tina how tall are you?

Tina said...

Anon,

I am 5' 3 1/2"

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