Saturday, April 10, 2010

Losing 30 lbs--Part 2 (How I Did It)

I almost lied.  I almost wrote "Part 5" of my journey but planned to tell you all it was my "Part 2". But since I said I would be honest, I'll give you the REAL "Part 2" and the real Part 5 will come later, just like it did in real life...even thought I wish it had come sooner!

So I told you how I gained the weight in Part 1, but now, how did I lose 30 lbs?  Well, this is how I lost the first 20lbs...

I was excited in the beginning, but wanted to be realistic about my goals and my willpower.  I kept fearing the day when I would want to quit and eat everything in sight.  I feared not seeing quick results and losing hope.  So in order to avoid giving up, I put alot of things in place to keep myself encouraged and accountable, because I wanted to make sure I tried and persevered, regardless if my fears coming true.

First, I wrote down every goal and every part of my plan to reach that goal. I included all the things that follow...

A Partner:
I think losing weight would have been really hard to do without my Hubby doing it right along side me.  He didn't need to lose as much as me, but he decided to join in with my plan 100%.  This helped so much because when you have to prepare two separate meals (1 healthy for you, 1 normal for others) or when the other spouse is eating a late night bowl of ice cream every night, it's just really easy to throw in the towel.  We did it together and we both did it 100%. 

I decide to involve a lot of people in my journey.  I told my parents, my sisters and a couple of my very best friends about my goal.  It was humbling to share with so many, but I knew I needed *all* their support (more on that in Part 3).

First Place 4 Health Bible Study:
One of my friends was kind enough to join me in a Bible Study on weight loss.  It's a series called "First Place 4 Health" and we did the first book in the series, but looking back, I wish I would have done the one specifically on Self-Control (but it hadn't been released yet anyways).  Each Bible Study is a 12 week study on losing weight and getting your heart right with God in the process.  It was really good. In the back of the study is 12 weeks of meal plans and menus as well as an exercise log...very helpful!
My husband and I joined for $9 a month.  It was MY FAVORITE resource in weight loss journey!  A lot of food (and restaurants) are already in their data base, but the ones that aren't you can enter manually.  So if the bread in your house isn't in their system you enter the info on the nutrition label and can save it to use again at any time!  You can also save entire recipes in your database!

It starts with a series of questions which helps you determine how many calories you should be getting a day and how many calories you should aim to burn.  And for me, as a nursing mom, it "required" me to take in no less than a certain amount of calories for Liberty's sake.  I really liked that feature!

There were SO many beneficial things to using MyFoodDiary.  First, at any point in your day, you can check to see where you're at on calories allowed and all nutrients.  Also, it teaches you about why you need certain nutrients, like iron and vitamin A.  It gives you a smiley face for every good choice.  When you go over your sodium or saturated fats, it gives you a little frown face and tells you the risks involved with overdoing it on those items.

At the end of the day, once all your foods are entered, each nutrient will either be red (danger zone), light green (pretty good) or green (perfect) so that you can aim to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet!

All this was again, helpful to have a partner for because Ryan and I would compete for who had the most smiley faces at the end of the day and who had more green bars than red.

The food diary also tracks your water, since I tried to drink 3 quarts of water a day, I could enter in every time I had a glass of water and that added to my goal!

One last thing I love about the food diary (there are more reasons than I'm writing about!) is that it tracked your exercise!  You could enter in that you walked for 20 minutes or played basketball for 10 minutes...and even grocery shopping, vacuuming and cooking has a calorie burn amount based on the time you spent doing it!!!

(Sidenote: Alternative to MyFoodDiary)
If your budget is tight and you can't afford MyFoodDiary, another good option is which is a FREE food and exercise diary service.  I used MyFoodDiary for two months, then switched to MyFitnessPal.  I thought that My Fitness Pal had more food items in their database, but that is really the only thing I liked better about it.  Overall, MyFoodDiary is better laid out and easier to read and follow.  The other reason why I went with MyFoodDiary first, is because I was nursing and needed a certain number of calories...MyFitnessPal did not give me the "nursing mom" option, so it suggested I eat fewer calories than I really needed.

I had heard that a really good pro-biotic helps you to loose weight, so I gave it a try!  For me it was double bonus because my babies also have issues with thrush, so it was beneficial to Liberty too!  I picked up a supplement at Wal-Mart and took 3 pills twice a day.  Wal-Mart isn't the best choice of where to purchase your pro-biotic, but in a small town, my choices are limited!  I've often heard people say a good pro-biotic will require refrigeration (and mine didn't) so you may want to keep that in mind while shopping around.  My Wal-Mart pills worked well for me, but there may be better choices out there!

My food and exercise info is SO important that I wanted to include it all in this post.  But since I can tell this already getting to be long, I'm going to make those separate posts!  So please stay tuned!

Also in this series:
Losing 30 lbs--Part 1 (My Story)
Losing 30 lbs--Part 3 (How I Ate)
Losing 30 lbs--Part 4 (Exercising With 4 Littles Kids)
Losing 30 lbs--Part 5 (What God Did)


Bri said...

Grace, I am loving this series and really need the help and motivation right now. I have lost 35 pounds since Carter was born (which is 15 less than I weighed when I got pregnant), but my loss has stalled out. I am really hoping to lose another 35 pounds before baby #2 and it is seeming that it may be NECESSARY for me to lose it if there is going to be a baby #2.

Question: the website you mentioned that you can input recipes and it will calculate nutrition. Do you just enter the ingredients and then it calculates it based on that (obviously only if they are already in the system) or do you have to input the nutrition info on every item in the recipe?

Marjie R said...

Gracie, see how God can use ANYTHING to bring Him glory. I am so proud of you for being honest about your struggle! I know so many people are being inspired by you to really stop making excuses and take care of their temple! I know I am. For me my "mental health" is so much better if I exercise... and outside if possible. I need a break from the confines of my house to remember how big God is and how small I am. My problems and struggles seem so small when I am out walking and truly taking in all He has created in nature and in my body as I feel my lungs expand and my blood pulse and my muscles contract and release. I know bad habits are tough to break and so much of what you are sharing relates to more than just weight loss. Love, love, love you!!! P.S. How much weight does Rock Band burn?

Grace Wheeler said...

Bri~Good job on those first 35lbs!!! That's AWESOME!!! As far as recipes, you just enter in the ingredients and which ever aren't in the system, you have to add those yourself. But all veggies and fruit are in the system, so there is rarely anything you have to add yourself...unless you just want it to be EXTREMELY specific to your food (ex: they have "Tyson chicken breast" and you use Wal-Mart brand)

Mags~Thanks for encouraging me all the way through this and even now! I still have more to go before I can fit in those jeans I gave you so long ago, but I'm hopeful someday I will!...probably more Lego Rock Band when we come into town would do the trick! :)

cooperkelly4 said...

Hi Grace! I have a similar story. I was "chubby" (only 5'31/2" frame!) and was the heavier girl from puberty to after I got married. I struggled with my weight and my self image the entire time. A friend had just had her baby (we struggled with weight together) and she encouraged me that if I was serious about losing weight to do it BEFORE I got pregnant. Something clicked with me and hubby and I started running ( I am not a runner by the way) but we ran/walked diligently and I lost 30 lbs. With every baby I was determined to lose the baby weight. The first baby took 14 months to lose that 30lbs! Each baby I gained 30 lbs and lost the weight (a serious fight every single time!)People who know me now (after babies) think I am "one of those girls" who can eat whatever they want. It couln't be farther from the truth. I have to exercise 5-6 times a week and be diligent about what I eat. I believe God made all foods to be good (not talking about processed foods here. lol), but I exercise self control with my portions, etc. Along the way God has really changed me from the inside out and how I see myself. I saw myself as overweight for so long it took years for me to see myself the way God does...not just physically, but really see who I am in Christ. That I really am "fearfully and wonderfully made and my soul (my mind, will, emotions, intellect, etc) knows if full well."

Anyway, I have rambled far too long. lol Thanks for sharing your story. You are inspiring many people with your openness. Kelly

Cheryl said...


WOW! I LOVE all the wealth of resources you've put on here! And I'm looking forward to reading your whole journey. = )

Great to have you visit! It's really a process...seasons, right? So fun to hear your hubby joined you! I'm praying Bill will be able to work out his crazy schedule to be able to join me! = )

Much love ~

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