Friday, April 1, 2011

One Year Later

Here I go again talking all about myself and my journey to a healthier me. I apologize for the self-centeredness, but posts like this are effective methods of reaffirming my commitment to myself. Hopefully, I'm also providing encouragement and inspiration to anyone else on a journey to a leaner, healthier self. :)

Exactly one year ago today I wrote a post called New Beginnings in which I made a commitment to myself to make changes in my eating habits in order to become the healthy and fit me that I want to be.

I had already been exercising almost every day already at that time, but I knew the final steps to reaching a healthier weight were to make permanent changes to my diet. Those changes were pretty simple-- in theory, anyway. I basically started counting calories. Every single calorie. For a whole year. I won't lie and say this is not driving me crazy at this point, but it works, so I don't want to stop. Anyway, I counted calories by using the Lose It app on my iPhone almost every single day in the last year. I relearned portion sizes by counting and measuring and weighing foods and I reduced and eliminated a lot of snacks and desserts. I found great incentive in exercising every single day so that I could 'earn' those calories back into my daily budget. Believe me, there were many days that I wouldn't have had enough calories in my daily budget for dinner if I hadn't gone on that 20 minute run or that 10 mile bike ride.

I had a lot of success with the Lose It app and lost 37 pounds between April 1 and November 1 last year. I feel great --both physically and emotionally being where I am now and am never going back to that weight ever again. I just know it.

But, I'm not done yet! I hit that dreaded weight loss plateau last November and haven't been able to break it until very recently and even then, it's slow going. In truth, I gained about 8 pounds between late November and early March of this year. It baffles me as I've been counting calories all this time with the exception of several days around the holidays. And while I indulged a little bit over the holidays, I didn't go crazy pigging out and partying and I was still working out during that time, too. I started strength training two times regularly starting in October, so it is likely that I've gained some muscle mass and we all know that muscle weighs more than fat per volume, but not 8 pounds worth! Two different fitness professionals have suggested that I may have gained some weight back because I am not getting enough calories. You read that right. The argument is that you can actually slow your metabolism down by not getting enough calories to sustain your activity level. So your body sort of goes into conservation mode and stores the calories you consume instead of using your reserves, i.e., burning the fat you already have on your body. It just feels so counter-intuitive to actually eat more to break the plateau and start losing weight again, but I thought I'd try it. So I adjusted my program in Lose It so that my calorie budget was higher each day by about 250 calories, and guess what? I've lost 2 pounds over the last three weeks. Slow, but at least it's budging. I also think I'm at the point where what I eat is as important as the number of calories I eat. I'm going to start reducing the frequency of "white" foods--i.e., simple carbs such as white flours and simple sugars, etc. in my diet. I know it's going to be a lot easier said than done, but I'm going to make a conscious effort to do so and hopefully see some results.

I have 25 pounds more to lose to get to my target weight. I know I look healthy now and most importantly, I feel it, too... but why settle for looking and feeling good when I know with some dedication and discipline I can look and feel amazing, right? It's what I want, so I'm going to do it.

Maybe it'll take a little less than 25 pounds to get there. I'm not exactly sure of the numbers. I figure I'll know when I get there. :)

As always, thank you for your continued support and encouragement as I made many self-absorbed posts like this one throughout the last year and I'm sure will continue to do so in the future as well. I've got the best team of personal cheerleaders right here in you guys.
Thank you!! xo

You can download the FREE Lose It app to your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad at the iTunes store.

You can also sign up to use Lose It on your computer at

In my experience, the calories burned for the exercises in the Lose It app database are often largely inflated. I recommend using the calories burned calculator at for a more accurate estimate of calories burned for the activities you do and then creating a custom exercise for each activity in the Lose It app. Or purchase a heart rate monitor that has a calorie counting feature for even more accuracy.


  1. Great job! I admire you for sticking with Loseit. I have so much trouble entering in all my food. Keep up all your hard work and your wonderful attitude!

  2. Thanks, Linda!
    I have to admit I am R E A L L Y tired of tracking everything I eat. It is time consuming. The food database on the app has improved a lot since I started using it a year ago. Also, my personal database has over 700 foods in it so I don't actually need to enter a lot of new foods in anymore. That helps. Tracking calories is also tough when eating out, so we don't go often. :-/

  3. I think you've been doing great! I like posts like these because they bring up questions for me in my own quest to lose weight. I noticed when I cut my calories my weight loss stopped. And my energy has flagged. Does oatmeal count as a white-food/starch, btw?

    Again, you are a wonderful role model and Wonder Woman! WTG!

  4. Thanks, Brandy. :)
    I'm glad to know you find these posts helpful and or thought provoking.

    Steel cut or rolled oats are a complex whole grain, not a simple carb, so they're good!

    Those little flavored oatmeal packets to which you just add hot water, however, are simple "white" carbs and should be avoided.

    How are you sleeping these days? Not getting enough sleep can obviously affect your energy, but can also contribute to weight gain.

  5. Since my writing burn out this winter, I've dedicated myself to a healthier me as well. I've been following you, C--quietly in google reader. You've inspired me. I've lost my 15 pounds of writing weight, and it's a combo of no wheat (rice, oats and quinoa are okay), informal calorie counting, and increased activity.

    Keep up the great work! So proud of you!!


  6. That is crazy impressive :-)

    Go you!


  7. Way to go, Christine! That's very encouraging. I'm going to be facing the weight loss mountain after the baby gets here and I appreciate all the inspiration I can get. :)

  8. Awesome!
    It's great that you're feeling better! That's exercise is really all about. :D

    Keep going and good luck!

  9. I sleep weird and always have, so no idea there. I'll remember that about oatmeal packets. Thanks for the information!
    You're a true inspiration Christine!

  10. You rock Christine! You're such an inspiration. Congrats on all your hard work and all the best for those last 25 pounds. Am sure moving into spring and some warmer weather will help :)

    Am trying to sort out a family issue, free up some space, cat doesn't have long, diet has completely gone out the window, as has the exercise :( I can't seem to find the motivation, but I need too. Those two pairs of jeans I bought this time last year...I can't fit them :( I just need to do. Hmmm. Tomorrow is another day :)

  11. I'm so glad to hear how well you are doing! I'm trying to get back to running but find that I have a hard time finding the time to run. I'm working on it though and hopefully it won't be so hard. Great job on all of your hard work!!

  12. That is awesome! It's amazing how much can change in just one years time if you can stick to it and if you really want the change. Congrats on sticking to your calorie counting and like you said, it might be annoying but it is so worth it! :-)

  13. Go Christine!! it's awesome to see your commitment pay off!!

  14. I'm so impressed! I need to lose another 5 or 10 lbs to really be where I want to be, judging by how my clothes fit. I know I have an excuse, but she's 7 months old!

  15. Thanks for all the kind words, everyone! :)

    Lisabea... Hey you! Kudos to you for losing those 15 pounds of writing weight! It's really startling how much wheat flour and sugar is in our diets, isn't it? A little mindful eating and an increase in activity level can go a long way to improve our waistline and our overall well being. It makes me happy to know I may have contributed to inspiring you! I'm proud of you, too!!! xoxo

    Li ... thank you! :)

    Angie... thanks! You'll do just fine with shedding any excess pregnancy gain when your little pumpkin arrives. You'll be chasing THREE cuties all over the place! ^_^

    Hope you're feeling great. I love having pregnant friends. *happy sigh*

    Alex... Thanks for the cheers!!! : D

    Brandy... I know you have some sleep issues, that's why I asked. It could be contributing to some of your struggles. You are inspirational as well. xo

    orannia ... Thank YOU! Don't forget YOU were one of my inspirations over a year ago to finally do something about myself with weight loss.

    I'm counting on spring and summer to help me get rid of these last pounds. More daylight and warmer temps will enable me to get out and do more in the mornings ... gym, run, bike, swim, etc..

    I hope you find some time and strength to focus on yourself again soon. I know you have your hands so full. It's so hard to make time for yourself during those times.

    samantha... I am not surprised you have difficulty finding time to run! You've got little ones who need you every waking second! Oh, the energy it takes to keep up with little ones... Hopefully you'll find more time as we get more daylight hours. Can you run early before they wake up? I know our sleep is precious, too... but so is getting in a much needed run or two, right? Good luck! :)

    deanna... it IS amazing how much change you can bring yourself in just one year. I was thinking about my weight just a year ago... would be like going for a run today with a 30 pound pack of books on my back. Hell no! Never again.

    nath... thank you! :)

    Lisa... well it took more than 7 months to "bake" her, so you're entitled more than that to repair the damage. LOL. You'll do it. :)

  16. Thank you so much for sharing your journey to better health with us. You are inspiring and always there to cheer the rest of us on. :)

  17. Christine, what a looser, lol, just like myself ;)!!! Only you beat me to the finish line: I lost 20 lbs so far, but try to keep going...

    All the best to you, great job,
    ~ Sorilla

    P.S. I do exactly same things, same philosophy, iPod app - Tap&Track (love it).

  18. Thanks, Leslie! I appreciate your support! :)

    Sorilla... Haha!! I guess I am the bigger loser between us! ;P Congrats to you for reaching that 20 lbs mark! That's great!!!

    All the best to you in reaching your weight loss goal, too. I know we can do it.

    P.S. Your blog is gorgeous. What a visual feast for the eyes... all those beautiful and tempting book covers.

    Thanks for visiting and following my blog! :D

  19. YAY Christine! You so inspire me!!! I really love your posts about fitness. Never stop... I yearn for it. :O) You're doing awesome and I'm so impressed!!!

  20. Hey doodlegirl! Thank you for your enthusiastic support! You're a doll. :)

  21. Good for you!!!! You should never apologize for posting your updates - it's your blog afterall!!


Leave a comment! I love to hear what YOU think.
[I apologize, but I've had to disallow anonymous users to comment on my blog due to an influx of spam. I'll change it back as soon as I can. Thanks for understanding.]