We are four weeks in to the team weight loss challenge at work, and I'm totally shocked at how long I've lasted. I've done individual weight loss challenges several times now, but I've never been able to really last. I end up losing the first week or two, and then by week three I start to see the scale slowly starting to climb back up.
But not this time!
Everyone that talked me into doing the challenge was absolutely right: Being apart of a team has helped me stay motivated and really make an effort. I haven't touched a soda in four weeks, and I've been sticking to coffee and water. I've had two Gatorades in the entire four weeks, and last night I couldn't even drink all of the second Gatorade, because I found it too sweet.
So, how am I doing?
Well, yesterday I weighed in and I'm down another 2.8lbs! That puts my total weight loss, so far, at 9lbs. And, I think that's pretty darned good for four weeks. That's an average of a little over 2lbs lost per week, and that's totally how I want to be losing weight...slowly but surely. There's five weeks left in the challenge, and I'm just one pound away from being at half way to my challenge goal of losing 20lbs. I have a percentage of weight loss of 3.36%, and I'm very happy with that. Our team is now in 2nd place, and there's only one tenth of a pound separating us from the first place team.
It's amazing to me that I've lost 9lbs by doing nothing more than cutting out soda and lowering my portion sizes. I haven't put myself on any special diet, and I'm just choosing foods that are better for me, or give me more bang for my buck. I'm not counting calories, but I'm watching how many calories my food contains and limiting myself to much smaller portions of the normal stuff I eat.
I did have a startling discovery last night, however.
I've dedicated Thursdays as my 'free days'. That simply means, I can indulge on something I wouldn't normally eat. Yesterday, I had a few too many "indulgences". I ate two chocolate chip cookies and a small handful of candy corn mixed with peanuts during a meeting at school. Not long after eating them, I started feeling a little blah. My stomach didn't feel right, and I put it down to the fact that I haven't eaten that much sugar in over a month. Even though it wasn't really THAT much, it was enough for my body to let me know it was getting used to not being bombarded with sweets, and that I should just stay away.
Then, for dinner, we ate at one of our favorite diners. I had a cheeseburger and onion rings. I've dedicated Thursday nights to our dining out night, yet this was the first time since starting the challenge I went with something completely fried. Last week, we ate Chinese food.. which is technically fried, but I avoided the heavy stuff and stuck to eating meat and veggies. The week before, we ate Subway.
Well, after we ate last night, we went to Butter's last football game, and the whole time I felt completely miserable. My stomach felt bloated and uncomfortable. I felt a little sick to my stomach, and totally drained of energy. I chalk it up to my body making some changes, and not being used to taking in that much fried food after spending three weeks eating a lot cleaner and healthier.
I have quickly realized that I should listen to my body, and not overload with junk food at any time.
They say it takes 21 days to create a new habit. We've been going at this weight loss challenge for 28 days, and so my body has finally started getting accustomed to me eating better. Which means, when I sabotage that hard work with fried food and sugar, my body is going to quickly let me know that I'm making a mistake... and I don't want to fall back in to old habits.
I don't think there's anything wrong with having one day a week in which I can have something I wouldn't normally eat... like Chinese food and sticking to meat and veg, Subway, maybe a piece of cake or a small bowl of ice-cream... but I need to stay clear of too much sugar and grease. It makes me miserable, bloated, and lethargic. I don't want to feel that way. I'm enjoying the increase in energy that I've been feeling, and I don't want to walk around like a zombie because I ate too much.
So, I think from now on, my Thursday indulgence will include a lot less indulging.
Being that we're out of school next Thursday and Friday for Fall break, I don't have another weigh-in for two weeks. That means, there won't be a "free day" next week. I'm actually happy about that. I can add another two weeks on training my body to not want the toxins I was so used to pumping in to my system.
Something else I did this past week was wear a pedometer. We had an individual challenge to wear the pedometer and see who could log the most steps. Well, I didn't win the challenge, but I was very happy to turn in the 40,000+ steps I had accumulated on the pedometer. That equated to around 19 miles of walking in the past week. I understand that the miles weren't logged doing strenuous activity, and just consisted of me doing a little more walking than I'd normally do while doing normal activities, but I'm still pretty happy about that number.
The next challenge is to have the most steps in two weeks, and I'm setting the goal to get 100,000 steps in those two weeks. And that's easily reachable if I just add in another 5 miles each week. I can totally do that if I actually go for the 3 mile walks I've been telling myself I'm going to do... but never seem to get around to doing.
One thing I do know is that my body has been losing weight because of the changes I've made to my diet. But, that won't last for very long. I'm getting rid of the excess that has stored up from drinking soda and junk food, but eventually I'm going to have to start incorporating some exercise in if I want to really see the weight come off and stay off. I'm really focused on the fact that having a couple of days off school next week will motivate me to get out and get moving.
The weight loss challenge ends on November 18th, the week before Thanksgiving. But, our weight loss organizer isn't going to let us sabotage all of our hard work during Thanksgiving or Christmas. In fact, she's already sent out a new challenge for us to keep us motivated and stay on track during the holiday season. Those that want to participate just have to come back to school after the Christmas break weighing less than they did before at the end of this weight loss challenge. The person that has the most weight loss will win a prize. Then, we'll start our next team challenge.
At first, I read the email and laughed. I thought to myself, there's no way I'll be able to keep the weight off over Thanksgiving and Christmas. But, then I thought: Do I want to throw away all this hard work because of two holidays? The quick answer is no. Why on earth would I put all this effort in to retraining my body, to just throw it away and start back at square one in January.
So, I'm taking the challenge.
I figure, I will still have my "free days". Thanksgiving is a Thursday, so I'm good there. I'll enjoy my Thanksgiving dinner (within reason) and stay on track for the rest of the holiday. During Christmas, I'll eat Christmas dinner and indulge in a few sweet treats, but I'll make sure I listen to my body and focus on the before and after to ensure I keep my weight on track.
Instead of thinking about how much I'm going to eat during those times, I'm going to focus on other aspects. Family, fun, relaxation, and keeping the weight off.
I want to lose another 11lbs before this challenge is over, and I want to have lost another 10lbs by January 1st. So, when I start the next challenge, I'll be 30lbs lighter than when I started this challenge, and will only have 40lbs to go before I'm down to weight I want to be.
OK, that's enough from me for one day... it's Friday, and there's lots of fun coming our way, I'm sure.
Have a great day, everyone!!