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Monday, February 24, 2014

THR's 8 or 9 month report.

Let me start off by saying that this post is based COMPLETELY off of my own experience.  I have been running this blog for ALMOST a year! I can't believe it.  When I started, this was a place for me to have accountability. It was a place for me to journal my experience and journey to a healthier lifestyle. I'll admit, when I started my journey, I had high expectations that changing my eating and exercise habits would not only make me FEEL better on the inside, but would make me LOOK better on the outside. And, yes, that DID happen....just not as much as I EXPECTED it would.

From watching others lose weight, I saw how quickly they lost the inches. I supposed that the same would happen to me.  If I worked hard, ate well, and exercised, I would look and feel better, right?  The problem is that I expected to lose MOST, if not ALL of my excess fat within a YEAR!  We have all seen the pictures of overweight people holding a newspaper and 90 days later, they are transformed! That happened with a lot of my friends that lost weight. However, just a few days ago, I noticed that MOST of those friends had gained the weight back.

Without asking them WHY (because it's rude to go up to people and say "Hey, why did your fat come back?") I can only assume that they just stopped living the way that they were living before. I can then only assume that they stopped because it was too strict in the first place. That seems to be a common thread in the "dieting" groups.

My question is: Can eating healthy actually be a "diet"?  Well, yes, I suppose it can.  According to the dictionary, a diet is "a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons."  This means that if you are used to eating "unhealthy foods" such as sweets, greasy foods, etc., to suddenly restrict yourself from eating those foods means that you are on a diet.

We have talked at length about the diet mentality.  You all know that although I do my best to make healthier choices in my eating, I do NOT restrict ANYTHING from my diet.  I eat what I want, when I want...and, through listening to my body, I am learning to eat as much as I NEED.  THIS is the key for me. Some people call it "portion control."  Yes, perhaps that is the best way to describe it, but really, it's more of a PERSONAL PORTION CONTROL. I go into detail about this HERE.

As a result of living this way, I suppose that my weight has not come off as quickly as I had hoped.  I know that if I were super strict and ate nothing but lean meats and veggies, I would probably be thinner than I am now. Although I DO work hard to eat nutritiously, following The Healthy Redhead Nutrition Plan, I don't sweat it if I fall away from this sometimes as well.  That also means that I don't lose the fat as fast. But, you know, I'm OK with that.  Well, I am now.

I will admit that these past few months have been difficult for me.  I have let myself feel guilty because I feel my clothes get tighter, then loose again, then tight again, then loose... etc. I've been afraid to post about my progress.  I've felt like I needed excuses as to WHY I wasn't down another dress size.  (I'm not UP a dress size either, but it's a lot easier to focus on the negative side of things- isn't it.) It's not like I have a TON of people reading this blog, but somehow, putting it in writing and out there for everyone to see made me feel like it was SO final.

I kept telling myself that I would post my progress as soon as there was something to post about. Well, it's not a huge change, but here you go.

In the past 4 months, since my last photo, I have not lost another dress size.  As I said before, I waiver between loose and tight on my jeans. But, I haven't had to drop another size yet.  So, I LOOK the same. HOWEVER, in the past 4 months, I HAVE dropped a SHOE size!  WHAAA?!?! I know, that sounds weird, but my FEET are thinner. PLUS, I think that my body finally adjusted to being two dress sizes smaller and realized that it didn't have to carry around so much awkward fat.

Here is the KICKER! Notice that I didn't say that my body adjusted to my WEIGHT.  Nope, it adjusted to my new body SIZE.  What is the difference?  Well, I will tell you.  Since starting my journey, I have only lost a total of 12 lbs!!!!  That's it!  Yes, I'm sure that it has something to do with muscle vs. fat, etc.  But seriously, no wonder I would always quit my previous efforts to lose weight.  See, losing the WEIGHT was my focus.  When I would step on the scale to see results, they weren't there! And, if I DID see results, it was because I was being SUPER strict with what ever program I was doing.  Don't get me started on my OCD with Weight Watchers Points!  I'm a points NAZI! That alone just isn't healthy.  I stopped because I couldn't live my whole life worrying about everything that I put in my mouth!

Look, there isn't a magic equation that works for everyone.  Some people can just lose weight like crazy, some can't.  Some people need more calories, some don't .  For me, if I would have only measured success through a scale, I would be a failure. 8 months, and the only thing I have to show for it is 12 lbs. But in reality, that isn't it at all!  I FEEL so much better than I did!  I can't tell you how FREEING it is to not count calories or points, to not weigh my food, and to exercise when I feel like it.

I don't know how long it "should" take to get my body back to where it should be. But I DO know that it took awhile to get it in the shape it was in before.  SO, I figure that this is a marathon, not a sprint.  Almost a year later, and The Healthy Redhead has been a success.  It's not mind-blowing.  It's not a miracle, but I can honestly say that I will NEVER be that size 20-22 again! Nope, never. Why? Because I've learned too much.  I've come too far. And, it just isn't natural for me to live that way anymore. THAT is what these past 8 or 9 months have done for me.

There is so much more to learn!  Like, how to get rid of the flabby arms, or the "c-section belly."  But that will come. In May, I will celebrate my YEAR of being The Healthy Redhead.  Looking over my posts, I have learned so much!  It took time to research, understand, and implement what would end up being "my" way.  I'm glad that it is taking time to reach the final results.  I'm a real person, with a real life, a real plan, that gets me real results.  REAL takes time.

Be patient. Don't skip around from diet to diet.  Don't weigh yourself every day.  Just... live.  Be conscious of eating, exercising and living.  I promise that you will be happier.  I am.

8 months!!!  12 lbs. 2 (almost 3) dress sizes. Smaller feet. Smaller fingers. Nicer skin. Healthier hair. Happier disposition. Not bad... not bad at all.  And it will just get better! Can't wait for my YEAR report!

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