How? sorry, it's a long story...

ok, so to start:

when i got out of the Army I was a size 10 and weighed 137 pounds back in 2001. I was in great shape, but was still pretty darn chunky. strong, but no definition. i could run my tail off though.

then i had michael. 198 pounds, gave birth and was down to 163 after i breast fed. size 12 or 14, depending. started ww. got down to 140. ran but it hurt. still too much weight. then i had owen. back up to 198 and down to 163 after breast feeding. weird. i know. size 12/14. same thing again.

joined our local gym in 2007 and tried, tried, tried. lost a few pounds here and there but always gained it back. i mostly did those kick-boxing classes. all diet food, artificial sweeteners, fat-free crap. followed ww loosely. made whatever i felt like eating for dinner. basically, i did the same thing i had always done before when i never lost any weight. didn't budge.

then, finally sick of having sore throats, i decided to get my tonsils out. surgery april 27th 2009. recovery of about 3 weeks. lost 12 pounds. and i said, 'you know what? i ain't stopping!!!' i was lucky to have a little kick-start.

got down to 130-ish by eating 3 times a day and having the same thing every day. same breakfast of cereal or packaged oatmeal. all diet food, artificial sweeteners, fat-free crap. followed ww loosely. made whatever i felt like eating for dinner, just tried not to eat too much. was still going to the gym, but running this time instead of the kick-boxing. my old 140lb size 10s were getting loose. i did this from may to mid august.

then a friend of mine insisted i follow a new eating plan. 5 to 6 small meals a day. complex carb and protein each meal. and eat CLEAN. so what's that mean?

i already knew about this book and have owned it since about 2004, but thought, "crap! i have a picky eater boy and a hubby who likes select items. they're never going to eat this stuff!!! there's no way i can do this." then i said, "you know what? if they're hungry, they'll eat it. and it's better for them any way."

so...i don't eat anything processed or packaged. none of that fat-free stuff. or any artificial sweeteners (i have yet to give up my diet coke. i simply can't yet. that's the only artificial thing i eat, but it is too much and it has to go.) everything i eat, i make myself. here's an example. i'm eating this today, and pretty much the same structure every day of the week:

7:00 a.m.

  • 1/4 cup Quaker oats...like the old-fashioned ones in the canister. no package. prepared with 1/2 cup water in microwave. i add about 10 raisins, ground cinnamon and about 1 tsp wheat germ
  • 2 hard-boiled egg whites and 1/2 of one of the yolks (i boil a dozen eggs and keep them in the fridge--grab and go)
spend 2 hours at the gym. i run about 15 miles a week, sometimes more. i lift every day, rotating bi's/tri's, legs, shoulder/back/chest. i do abs every other day.

10:00 a.m.
  • apple
  • 1 100-calorie pack emerald almonds or 1 slice oro-wheat bread with natural peanut butter (not homogenized--smuckers or naturally more are the best)
12:30/1:00 p.m.
  • 1 cup turkey chili-- homemade. 97% ff ground turkey. no oil. i cook turkey in pan first with chili powder then add to crock pot with organic kidney beans, chopped green peppers and onions, no salt added diced tomatoes, a little bit of sea salt and chili powder
  • 2 flatbread crackers with a teeny bit of hummus
3:30/4:00 p.m.
  • perch fillet baked in toaster oven with dried tarragon (very, very yummy)
  • half of a baked sweet potato with about 10 raisins, cinnamon, wheat germ
6:30 p.m.
  • 1 slice oro-wheat bread with natural pb and all-fruit black cherry jelly (VERY small amount of jelly, like not even a teaspoon)
then i have to get to work. during my break at about 9 p.m.
  • 1 package hickory smoked tuna (star-kist makes this. very tasty. the package has about 2.5 servings in it, but i eat the whole thing. i work hard and i get pretty hungry)
  • salad with homemade balsamic dressing
some other things i prepare:
  • chicken breast with fresh italian parsley, grape tomatoes baked in oven.
  • turkey breast fillets with fresh thyme
  • pork tenderloin with fresh thyme or cayenne pepper
  • ground turkey with pasta and homemade marinara
  • squash and chicken casserole
  • veggies and brown rice (all raw except for rice--cut up mushrooms, red peppers, tomatoes, can of black eyed peas, crushed garlic clove, add a little hot sauce and add to cooked rice.)

watch the SALT!!! i haven't used table salt since i started eating this way. i use instead SEA SALT. and read the labels of canned items and try to get low-sodium.
also, if you're going to buy something in a box... if the ingredient label has more than a few iems listed, don't frikkin' buy it! lookie here:

this is what's in your cheerios milk and cereal bars. what in the holy heck is a distilled monoglyceride? i know b/c i took a 4 semesters of chem. i can't believe i used to eat it ALL THE TIME! i really still don't even know what it is. as for the rest of it...just have some oatmeal made with skim milk or something. i eat in my car all the time. just don't get in a wreck. k???

now, don't get me wrong!!! i cheat!!! sometimes really bad. i'm talking dq blizzards, cheesecake, entire bags of lindor truffles, breyers' ice cream with dark chocolate chips. you name it. BUT, i don't skip a meal when i cheat. i only replace what i really should have eaten with the bad crap. and i try, try, try to do it only one or two times a week. stay solid for at least the first 3 weeks. SOLID. don't cheat at all. if you're craving junk, drink water and go do something else! scrapbook, just don't eat the pretty papers. after that, for me, i can feel my body rejecting the bad...quickly. :) it doesn't like it. it only wants to use the good now. i don't know how scientific all that is, but that's what it seems like to me.

i don't eat fast food anymore. i don't think i've had a mcdonald's fry in 3 months. and i really have no craving for it either. the less i eat the grease, the less i CAN eat the grease. makes me ill. wingstop? haven't had wingstop in over 2 months. i really thought i wanted it once and i ate it and felt ill for two days. same thing with Thanksgiving dinner. i ate cupcakes, turkey skin, pumpkin pie. i had to work that night and i thought i was going to fall down on the floor and die. i felt HORRIBLE!!!

i keep food with me in the car. i have a little lunch bag with an ice pack and i keep a pb sandwich, a piece of fruit, a little bag of almonds, some crackers, a tuna pouch....just in case i'm out when i need to eat. if i stop to get the boys something fast, i grab one of my items. it may not be time for me to eat, but it darn sure beats fries! and i know, you're thinking, "you feed your kids that crap and you don't eat it?" yes, i do. sorry. they don't want to eat apples, i'm tired of arguing about it with them. I AM TIRED OF ARGUING WITH THEM ABOUT IT. sorry to yell. :)

now, getting home from work kills me. i usually want something. bad. anything. but once i start i get super hungry. i drink at least 30 oz or water a day with lemon. and i certainly could use more. i recently started making iced green tea with pomegranate. it's good, but i still can't replace my diet cokes. eek! i'm trying. the artificial sweetener really makes me crave sweet things. and once i start, it's hard to stop.

so...for the 1st 3 weeks i did this eating program, i did it solid and didn't cheat AT ALL. i lost 10 pounds. i couldn't believe it. i went to a 6. bought size 6 pants for work, 3 weeks after that they were falling off me. went to a 4. saggy britches. can't even find a size 2!!! now that's the kind of size i like to be unable to find!

i do run a lot. perhaps more than i should. but i can't not. it's my high. so...i have toned it down the last few weeks though, substituting the stair-master for my run. that thing really is the devil. i can run all day long, but can't do more than 30 minutes on that sucker.

a few things:
sugar is bad. even real sugar. raisins, dates, dried fruit...tons of sugar. i love them and that is my new 'sweetener' but i try to limit them. i was eating two or three pieces of fruit a day, but on the advice of a friend i have been eating only one piece of fruit and substituting more veggies.

i know for certain i don't eat enough, but i have been at the same weight for 2 months. i'm not hungry or tired and i feel fabulous. i fluctuate between 118 and 124 on my scale at home. my hips still hurt (i have bursitis) but they're not nearly as bad as they were with that extra weight on there.

and i can actually see my ab muscles and my biceps have veins running down the length (AWE-SOME).

i told my sister about this almost three months ago. she has lost, i think, 30 pounds. she's in a size 8 right now. she's 44. she has been at least a size 12 for like the last 15 years. she has even run a full marathon back in 2007 at that size. it wasn't until she changed the way she eats that she has noticed a difference. she currently does not exercise all that much.

so... i also started a sub to clean eating magazine and the recipes in there are really good so far:

i usually cook one main meal every other day. like a chicken or turkey dish, with enough chicken for me for two days and for my boys for dinner that night, if they choose to eat it. the rest of the items i eat are quick to make, like the tuna or the frozen fish fillets, etc. salad, grab the apple or the egg. i had red meat for the first time in months a few nights ago and i felt not so good. not to say you shouldn't eat it...it's ok if it's lean, i just haven't eaten it in so long that i felt blech.

i was thinking of starting an eating clean blog for all the scrappy gals who might want to share recipes and what-not. maybe i will work on that tomorrow. if you think you might be interested, email me at the above link (by the little envelope under my pic) with a good email address. i'll add you to the list just in case you might want to post something you might have. it would be an open deal, so you can share recipes and stories. i'll put up the blog address when i get it going.

thanks for reading my ramble. you know, i'm very lucky to be able to spend so much time at the gym. but the eating has really done it for me (and for my sis, as she really doesn't exercise that much and feels better than she every has). you do have the time to eat right. it just takes a little planning. do something for you. if you don't eat out a lot, you're family will eat what you make...when they realize that's all there is to eat!!! and they will thank you for it later on.

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8 paper addicts say...:

Lauren said...

Thank you so VERY much for sharing your details. As someone who is still struggling with weight and know I need to make changes, I find this QUITE encouraging!

Congrats again!

Anonymous said...

Congrats! You look fabulous! I've been hearing about "clean eating" lately, so it was nice to read this and actually see what you eat and the difference it makes in how you feel. tfs!

Kimber-Leigh said...

congrats again :)

my dh does crossfit and eats "pretty" clean (zone diet) and has had great results as well. i just need to bite the bullet!

joanne (spagirl) said...

hey liz... i just have to comment and say i think this is just great. what you are doing is not an easy thing. i myself have had the ups and downs of weight-loss and after being at my all-time high (gaining 60 pounds, yuck!) i've lost about 48 pounds... i can't believe how good it feels. i've been a little side-tracked after a frustrating plateau, luckily no major gains... so i'm so glad you are sharing your story. it is motivating me to kick it up again. congratulations to you! :)

Emily Pitts said...

so proud of you liz, thanks for the encouragement. i know i feel better when i eat right, i just get lazy. i keep trying though :)

Angela W said...

Thanks for posting this, Liz! I needed it! I have been doing ww kinda loosely. Tired of feeling blah and tired! I will check on the book!

aimee said...

longest post evvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeerrrrrrr :P

Allison said...

You are awesome! I love the detail in this post, it really helps. I am slowly eating cleaner and cleaner and love how I feel when I have a 100% clean day! Thank you for sharing.