And I’m very happy with myself! I (31F 5’9”) told myself at the beginning of the year that if I was going to lose weight I had to do it slowly. I have been that person who lost 50lbs and gained half of it back. The half that I gained back was the weight that I lost through rapid weight loss diets. The other half that I managed to keep off? I lost that weight slowly over months and months.
So I thought in celebration of losing 20lbs this year I would post how I slowly changed my habits over the last 7 months. I think it’s also important to note that unemployment played a big part of my life this year, even before the pandemic. Knowing that I had to do a 30 min youtube HIIT workout everyday kept my sane and gave me a structured day when the gyms closed and we were advised to stay home for many months. I had binge days here and there, but the most important thing I learned was to not let it throw you off. Yes I pissed when I only lost 1.8lbs in June but I also had a huge life change the month and I chose to be mad about it for a day and then move on. Also I didn’t restrict myself from having any specific food or dessert (besides meat) as long as it was in my calorie limit.
I am also including my My Fitness Pal progress chart from the past 7 months and then my chart from 2016 to today to show how weight loss is not always linear. I also don’t have a lot of NSV because I hold my weight in my stomach/below my waist. So I can tell I have lost because my face looks different, but all my clothes still fit the same so I really rely on the MFP chart to show myself how far I have come.
SW: 217.8lbs ~ BMI 32.2
-Didn’t drink alcohol all month
-Stopped eating red meat
-Became more consciously aware of my portion sizes
-I was unemployed for a majority of January so I worked out at the gym 4-5 times a week
-Started Intermittent Fasting (14:10) on January 22
SW: 213.6lbs (-4.2lbs lost in Jan)
-Work started to pick up again so I returned to a more rigid work schedule
-Started IF at 15:9 for first week and the next week I moved to 16:8. I want to point out that moving to the fasting window of 16:8 was very hard for me – I had a hard time staying within the 8 hour window of eating, especially when my average day at work was 12-14 hours a day.
-Since I started working I am only averaging 6 hours of sleep on weeknights
-My birthday was the 3rd week of February so I was definitely participating in more drinking overall this month
SW: 211.2lbs (-2.2lbs lost in Feb)
-Was unexpectedly unemployed for the first 10 days of March
-Binge ate and drank a lot of alcohol during that time of surprise unemployment
-Did VERY lazy IF, if at all
-Finally started work again on March 11th, only having to be put on unemployment again on March 13th when NYC shut down because of the pandemic. I am still unemployed as of posting this.
-My gym closed 3/18 so all my workouts are now being done in my apartment from Youtube
SW: 214lbs (+2.8lbs gained in March)
-On April 1st I decided to quit drinking alcohol for… a while
-Quit eating meat altogether
-Started cooking all of my own meals, not a lot of take out
-Stuck to 16:8 IF religiously
-6 days a week I would do 30 min HIIT workouts with little to no jumping involved because I am in an apartment with neighbors
-Ran a few times a week on the neighborhood track
-Started to research CICO (Calorie In Calorie Out)
-Last week of April I bought a Garmin Vivosmart 4 activity tracker so I could know how many calories I burned a day, track my steps more accurately and to track my sleep
SW: 209.2lbs (-4.8lbs lost in April)
-Started CICO at a 500 calorie deficit. Started off just trying to keep my calories under 2,000 and I averaged burning 2,500 calories a day
-Started tracking all my calories on My Fitness Pal
-Still not drinking alcohol
-Continued to stick to 16:8 IF
-Hit my step goal (set by my Garmin watch) every single day – the goal started at 6,000 steps and by the end my goal was up to 10500 steps. The one was hard because I still was not really leaving my apartment that much so if I had 2,000 more steps left and it was 10pm at night I would just walk in circles around my studio apartment.
SW: 204.4lbs (-4.8lbs lost in May)
-Moved my calories I ate everyday down to 1,800
-Started drinking alcohol when I wanted a drink, struggle to stay in calories some days because of it
-The second week of June I temporarily moved to another state to quarantine with another family member who also lived alone, so now my activities, diet and workouts shifted a bit because I was working with another persons schedule
-30 min HIIT workouts happen 2-3 times a week
-Run on the track 2-3 days a week
-Didn’t make my step goal every day, but also wasn’t trying to
-Wasn’t as strict with IF since I was trying to find a balance with now cooking and eating dinner night with another person
SW: 202.6lbs (-1.8lbs lost in June)
-CICO calories still at 1,800
-Still drink alcohol, but when I have a drink I can just have one. I can have 1 beer instead of having 3 beers and I can have 2 glasses of wine instead of having a whole bottle
-Do not keep track of fasting window anymore, I just keep within my calories
-30 min HIIT workouts 3-4 days a week
-Run on track 2-3 days a week
-On average getting 8.5-9 hours of sleep
SW:197.2 ~ BMI 29.1 (-5.4lbs in July)
TLDR: I lost 20lbs over 7 months through slowly incorporating IF, CICO, youtube workouts, switching to a plant based diet, and monitoring, but in the end not completely eliminating drinking alcohol. And most importantly buying an activity tracker!
Currently am at an overweight BMI for the first time in 2 years, drink occasionally within my calorie limit, no more strict IF, but maintain strict CICO and have no plans of returning to a gym when they reopen. Hopefully can get my own equipment to incorporate more strength training/weight lifting soon.
Last 7 months MFP progress chart: https://imgur.com/2Az5NhB
2016- 2020 MFP progress chart: https://imgur.com/erAIetp