Please note: I am not a healthcare professional, and I recommend you consult your doctor before making dietary changes.
Quite a few people have noticed my weight loss in my recent videos and asked me to share what I did.
It’s fairly simple:
After turning 40, I noticed I was putting on weight, but I wasn’t concerned about it, weight had never been an issue for me before. But when I hit 150 pounds, I had to admit I was not happy with myself, with how I felt, or how I looked.
In the fall of 2021, I decided I needed to do something about it. So I, unfamiliar with weight loss, downloaded the Noom app because I’d heard good things. I’ve known a few people who’ve used it, and I figured I would give it a go. But it’s essentially counting calories, and that was difficult for me. I would get discouraged every time I would eat something that was calorie dense, and I felt like it was an impossible task.
Counting calories didn’t seem sustainable to me.
Still, I didn’t know what else to do, so I continued, very unhappily, for the next three months, and I lost about 10 pounds. I still felt guilty whenever I ate something high in calories, oh hey chocolate silk pie, and Dr. Pepper. 😘
After three months, I quit counting the calories, and the weight started returning.
July (2022), I decided to try intermittent fasting. I watched a video by Jennifer L. Scott, The Daily Connoisseur, and we are very similar in body size, height, and weight. And so I thought that would be a good option for me. I had tried intermittent fasting a year before, and having a later breakfast didn’t do anything for me. I just felt hungry, so I gave up on it after a week.
This time I decided to skip breakfast and just have two meals daily: lunch and dinner. Now being honest, what I wanted was to be able to skip breakfast and then eat anything and everything. I wanted consume whatever I wanted for those 6 hours and not have any consequences for it.
It took me about three days to adjust to not having breakfast. During those days, I felt hungry and a little bit uncomfortable. But not horrible, and I thought I could push through it. And then I was surprised at how good I felt, how much energy I had, how much mental clarity I had.
On August 1st Brian got a new job, and his schedule changed. Before, he worked part-time and was home Wednesday and Thursday each week. We had been in a bad habit of driving through and getting junk food just because we didn’t want to cook, the kids were in school, and we could. 🤷♀️
But Brian’s new job was more physically demanding, he has irritable bowel issues, and he didn’t want to be uncomfortable in the middle of his workday. Since he didn’t want to worry about any stomach issues, we stopped eating out twice a week.
This new job also meant that he would be home for lunch. Between one and two, he got gets an hour lunch break. So I moved my meal times to eat between 1:00 and 7:00 PM. That was about two weeks into my intermittent fasting journey.
Not just skipping breakfast
I thought I would just be skipping breakfast and skipping the breakfast calories. Which meant I would maybe cut 200 calories a day.
Shifting to intermittent fasting made me much more aware of my food habits and how many times I ate more so than counting calories.
When counting calories, I was eating all the same meals; I was just trying to eat less. But on an average day, I ate at 7:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 6:00 PM, and often before bed.
When I moved my first meal to lunch, it felt like a reset for my body. Perhaps it is just my stomach shrinking. Or learning not to pay attention to my “hungry” feeling… or it could be that I was drinking more water and didn’t notice feeling hungry. I’m not sure what it was.
I went from eating five meals a day to two.
I am currently down to 128 pounds, and I’ve been plateaued at this weight for about a month. I think I’ll probably lose a little bit more, just at a slower rate. I’m comfortable with my weight right now. I don’t need to lose anymore, but I want to start implementing more exercise. And I want to be more conscientious of what I’m consuming.
I’ve been reading French Women Don’t Get Fat, and I also got the book French Kids Eat Everything. It’s fascinating how much variety French people eat. Yes, they eat rich food, but they eat so many different things and a lot of fruits and vegetables.
One thing that stuck out to me was in the French Kids Eat Everything; she talked about how the French generally avoid using food as a reward. And they don’t want kids who grow up to be adults to associate any emotion with food. And I thought, “Oh my gosh, I do that all the time!”
If I want my kids to declutter, I say, “Oh, get rid of 500 things, and we’ll go out to ice cream,” and it’s a big deal for us.
But what am I teaching my kids when I do that?
And then I was looking at our school system, and everything revolves around food (mostly candy). “You did a good job on this writing assignment. You get a box of candy.” Paul just had that last week. He wrote a story, got the best humor in a story or something, and got a big box of Mike & Ikes!
And the French do have it right in that sense because food should be enjoyed, an event, and something that gathers us together, not something we secretly do because we’re sad, lonely, or anything.
How much of a difference is that from just sitting on the couch or grabbing something in the car and eating it on your way? Instead, taking time to sit and slow down and enjoy what you’re eating.
A little while ago, I watched a Netflix special hosted by Michael Pollan, “Cooked.” And he said Americans want to eat a big meal of lasagna, salad with dressing, baguette, and pie for dessert.
He had no problem with us doing that, as long as we cooked it ourselves from scratch.
Can you imagine how much effort it would take to make the pasta, baguettes, pie crust, pie filling, etc. from scratch? All of that takes so much work.
If we approached it in that way, where we need to cook everything from scratch, essentially slow food, how many meals like that would we have? Maybe one a week!
That would be the big Sunday night dinner with the family, and the rest of our meals would be lighter fare.
It’d be more manageable and nutritious because vegetables and meat are much easier to cook than lasagna and pie from scratch.
So in these days when everything is so easy to come by, it was helpful to remember that traditionally people didn’t eat like this every single day, every single meal. When they had a big meal, they exerted a lot of physical energy to create it. They got plenty of exercise to balance out the calories they consumed by eating it.
So I’m learning.
I’m learning what it means to enjoy nutritious food. I’m learning ways to incorporate it into our family and teaching my kids about nutrition. And I’m learning to appreciate a more formal eating time. We’ve always sat down together and eaten at the table, but listening to these books, I can understand the benefit of setting a lovely table and using tablecloths.
I still need to keep things fairly simple and focus on the cooking, not the presentation. Still, I can see the benefit of creating something more formal.
If you want to hear me talk more about health, nutrition, food, and what I’m learning, let me know in the comments below. Let me know what you’d like to see blog posts on.
If you are still overwhelmed with your home and clutter, and yet you know that you need to lose weight or do something to improve your health, don’t stress about changing all things at once.
We do that to ourselves far too often, where we know all of these things need to be changed, and we try to do it all simultaneously.
Instead, focus on getting your home under control.
Because if you manage your kitchen and develop cleaning habits, cooking and eating healthy will be much easier. So focus on that; just focus on your home.
When you have that under control, then add in another change.
If you want help streamlining your kitchen, I share ten ways to declutter your kitchen that will make a massive difference in this post. And it will make your kitchen so much easier to manage.