Is THIS Bliss?!

Lorina's Blog

What’s Your Secret?!

Over the past 8 months, I’ve lost a little over 30 pounds. I’ve been ridiculously open about it every step of the way. My Facebook wall has been flooded with posts about Couch to 5k, my Runkeeper runs, and updates from My Fitness Pal. And still, the first thing people ask is, “What’s your secret?”

The secret is… I have no secrets. I’m an open book. I’m not dieting. I’m just aware of what I’m eating now, and I’m a lot more active.

Granted, My Fitness Pal (MFP) has been a huge help. It’s a site where you plug in what you weigh, what you want to weigh, and how much you want to lose per week, and it tells you the number of calories you need to eat.

And what’s really cool about it, is that it’s a community, like Facebook. You have a wall, you can have friends, you can blog, and you can post on their forums. You can share information, as much as you’d like, with other people on the site, and them with you, so you can find out what works and what doesn’t work.

It was using this site that I discovered the missing link. Every time I’ve tried to lose weight before, I failed. And now I know why. I wasn’t eating enough.

I’d always heard it’s all about calories in vs. calories out. I naturally figured that the less I ate, the more I’d lose.

A few years ago, the last time I was actively trying to lose weight, I ate maybe 800 calories a day, and lost no more than a half pound a week. My progress was painfully slow, and I was tired, cranky and sad, because I really enjoy eating, and a granola bar is not a satisfying breakfast. I felt like a failure because I could NOT lose weight. I knew it would be dangerous to eat any less than I was already eating. I felt like my options were either 1) Starve and maybe lose a few pounds, or 2) Eat whatever the hell I wanted and maintain a weight just slightly higher than I’d like to be. Eating whatever the hell I wanted won.

This time around, I didn’t even care about losing weight at first. It was just about fitness. I wanted to be able to run a 5k, and I thought if I could do that, then I’d be fit and healthy no matter what the number on the scale was.

I signed up on MFP on a whim. And I discovered something amazing. I needed a LOT more food! Especially when I exercised like a madwoman. During most of my “weight loss journey,” I ate around 1800 calories a day, and averaged losing one pound a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less, especially as I got closer to my goal. In other words, I ate twice as much as I did years ago, and lost more than twice as fast.

Before Zumba class in January, and sweaty & gross after a 4 mile run in August.

Before Zumba class in January, and sweaty & gross after a 4 mile run in August.

What really made a difference for me, though, is having nothing, and I mean NOTHING, off limits. I’m still convinced that success and failure in weight loss is purely psychological. If you think you’re doing well, you’ll stick with it long enough for it to make a difference. If you think you’re screwing up, you’ll quit before you see progress. I know damn well I’m not going to give up pizza, so I continued to eat pizza. No guilt. No remorse. Same goes for chocolate, wine, pie, cake, bread, cheese, and pasta. If it fit in my daily calorie allowance, I ate it. If it didn’t fit, I’d exercise more so it would fit, then ate it.

Yep. That’s my huge secret. No gimmicks, no fads, no pills, no injections, no deprivation, no hunger, no fatigue, no sadness, no crankiness, no “good foods vs bad foods.” Just getting regular exercise, and eating the right amount of food. Not too much, and especially, not too little.

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  1. I think you look great Lorina! And doing this the right way too!

    I read somewhere that simply cutting calories doesn’t work because your body just slows down its metabolic activity to compensate for the lowered caloric intake. Then, when it does get a boost of calories, it goes into overdrive to store the calories as fat, “thinking” that it will need those calories for later when another “lean” period hits.

    I didn’t adjust my eating habits too much, just bought a digital food scale to help with portion control. I started riding my bicycle to work. Also, took the stairs all the time instead of the elevator – its a three story building, so nothing too strenuous but going up and down the stairs over a dozen times each day helps. Lost 20 pounds between October 2010 and my wedding in July 2011.

  2. You are inspiring! Your mindset, your attitude. And you’ve managed to encapsulate everything I love about MFP, as well, in this post. Such an awesome tool!

    I, too, am one of those who loves to eat what I like, making sure it fits into my caloric intake. And if it doesn’t, I will exercise to MAKE IT FIT! So worth it! Who says you have to ‘go without’ when you’re trying to lose weight?! 😉

  3. I’ve been working out ceotissnntly for about a year, but my weight loss has been really slow. I’ve only lost about 15-18lbs. I’ve also changed my diet and started eating a lot healthier. I haven’t been intaking much protein and I believe that is a reason why my weight loss has been slow. How much protein should I take to speed up my weight loss? Are there any recipes, shakes or vitamins I should be taking?I workout at least 3-4x a week. On average I’m at the gym for 1hr. 1.5hrs. I’ve been attending the RPM Body Pump classes at least 2x a week. On the other days I’m doing cardio and weightlifting. I also do resistence training.

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