I am quite pleased with my weight loss thus far. This program has me feeling good about myself (not taking into the account that I desperately want to climb into a tub of donuts and eat my way out). But, as I was walking to my car this morning it hit me - am I losing all this weight because I'm doing this plan, eating clean, avoiding fruit after 2pm, etc.? Or, am I losing this weight because I'm eating between 950-1300 calories/day? Would I lose the weight if I stayed within my calorie range, but ate whatever I wanted?
I've been on this weight loss journey for a long time - seriously for about a year. I've struggled with my weight all my life, but most of the time just wallow in the self pity that is my giant ass instead of doing something about it. When I have done something about it, it's been short lived.
I graduated from college in 2003 at my heaviest (at the time) of about 185. I started Weight Watchers in June, 2003 and by October, 2003, I was down to 158 (the lowest I've been as an adult over the age of 21). Twenty seven pounds in 4 months. Those 4 months were pretty hard! At no point during the Weight Watchers journey did I exercise. I loathe exercise.
My weight then fluctuated up and down from 158 to 185 and hovered around the 180 range for the most part. I did get down to approximately 170 in late 2005. When I was planning my wedding to the man I did not want to marry and could not imagine spending the rest of my life with in early 2006, I (surprisingly!) put on about 25 pounds in less than 7 months ballooning up to 195 in September, 2006 - when I walked down the aisle and married a man I was not in love with.
After the wedding, my weight stabilized again and I got back down to 175ish. In April of 2008 I decided to divorce the man I was married to because I was miserable. And so was he. So, I moved out of his house, and moved into my mother's house. I tried to mend my broken heart, drown my shame, and quell my fears of being the stinky cat lady (only without cats - severely allergic) with raspberry filled powdered donuts, diet Mt. Dew, and Funyuns. Massive amounts. My weight jumped up to the low 180s.
I was also training for my first half marathon at the time and was convinced that all my running earned excessive amounts of junk food and double orders of cheeseburgers and fries after long (10+ mile) runs. Much to my surprise, and dismay, all my hard exercise was not effective and my weight did not really drop during my training. It stayed the same (thankfully).
After my marathon in October, 2008 (1 month after my divorce was finalized), I stopped running. My weight started dropping (due to new found happiness? a sense of pride and inner strength? Or possibly a smaller appetite because I was no longer working out?) and dropped down to about 170-ish.
However, within about 5 months my weight crept back up and I was hovering around the 188-ish mark, yet again. So, I did what any sane and healthy person does. I joined a gym, signed up for a triathlon, and signed up for a half marathon in San Francisco.
After personal training for 8 weeks, trying to stick to Weight Watchers (yet again - but failing!), I managed to lose inches, but only about 6 pounds. I stuck to my running plan, and started dating a vegan. Which meant a lot of nights without meals (not the type of person to admit I'm hungry or that I need food with other people (at least those I am not really close with) - because there's nothing sexy about a girl who eats or needs food - duh!) So, thanks to my running/training schedule for the half marathon and my new "diet plan" of not eating, and filling up on iced non-fat lattes (vegan boy would scoff at me but there's no way in hell I was giving up my g'damn lattes), I got down to about 168/170-ish.
Then completed the half marathon. And I stopped running, again. And I broke up with vegan boy. And I was in grad school. And then in 2010, I met Josh. And I fell head over hells in love. And when I'm in love, I eat. Eat. Eat. Eat. And I enjoyed myself. Josh and I laughed, and ate, and had so much fun together! And by July, 2010 I had jumped up from 172 (my weight when I first met Josh) to 192. Twenty pounds in 6 months - almost 4 pounds a month. EEEP!
So, I joined a competition at work for "The Biggest Loser". And I didn't lose any weight - I didn't follow my diet plan. Then, over the next few months, Josh became less and less attracted to me. He was no longer physically warm or interested in sex.
So, I had a breakdown in December. I want to be married and I want a family. Josh was not interested in marriage or children with me. And if the love of my life doesn't even want to touch me, and definitely doesn't want to marry me, or have children with me - then I am in trouble.
On New Year's eve, I cried for 3 hours and wrote a letter to myself - promising that I would lose the weight. That 2011 was going to be my year! I would lose at least 50 pounds and I would become irresistible. Josh would be attracted to me again - he would want me physically, and realize that I am the one he wants to spend forever with. 2011 was going to be the year he proposed. And by 2012, I would be married and pregnant.
I promised myself. I made a goal list. In January, 2011, joined another "Biggest Loser" competition at work, and I signed up for another half marathon. I would exercise, love running again, and lose the weight!
I stumbled and made it through, and stumbled again. And by March, 2011, I had given up. In May, 2011, I decided again to pick myself up and try again. I begrudgingly joined another Biggest Loser competition, and decided to make it work this time. From May, 2011 to October, 2011 I went from 192 to 174ish. I was very excited!
I ran my 2nd half marathon and bested my PR by 15 minutes! I stuck to my plan (somewhat) and after the holidays, I had only gained about 6 pounds. :) 2011 had not gone as planned. Although Josh's attraction toward me did increase (yay!), and I had lost weight...2011 was not the year I had planned....No engagement ring. No marriage plans. No children. But it was a start! And in 2012, I was still committed! My journey continued on.
I stuck to the plan (trying to eat between 1200 and 1500 calories/day) for the most part. From January, 2012 to March, 2012 I got back down from 181 to 173. The weight slowly crept up and when I started this plan 17 days ago, I was back up to 182. So, in 17 days I have dropped 9+ pounds following this clean eating plan.
When I followed my calorie range (for the most part - allowed myself a cheat day once a week) - it took me two months to get down the 9+ pounds.
So, extremely LONG story short...it must be the clean eating that is leading to the weight loss at this pace. Because following just a calorie requirement didn't result in a loss that was so quick. However, I am eating less calories than I was when I was just doing the calorie thing (1200-1500, plus a cheat day every day).
So, after this experiment - maybe I'll try following the 950-1300 calorie range. The only thing is clean eating allows me to eat A LOT. If I ate whatever I wanted, I would reach the 950 calories probably by lunch! :(
It would be an interesting experiment though...comparing apples to apples (or apple juice).