I am a busy single mom of two beautiful, energetic young boys. So in late 2018, when I found myself struggling to take care of our little threesome I panicked, immediately going into research mode for weight loss for beginners.
What happened to cause all of this panic? What caused me to feel like the worst mom on the planet?
Google. That’s right, a damn search engine.
Weight Loss for Beginners: Symptoms That Lead to My Change
I Googled my symptoms. (We’ve all done this, right?) I was scared. Scared that if I didn’t change something, I would die and leave my children alone with no one to care for them.
I was tired. All. The. Time.
After work I would come home and sleep. My poor kids were doing everything for themselves. I would drive through some fast food place, feed them and sleep. My house was a mess, my kids were eating horribly, and I wasn’t interacting with them. The fatigue grew so bad I was falling asleep at work after lunch.
Weight started to pile on, why wouldn’t it, I was always hungry. The thirst was uncontrollable. Sweet tea and Dr Pepper were my favorites. Any idea how much sugar is on just one soda? And I was having 3-4 each day.
Headaches were another symptom. My head hurt constantly because I was always straining to see my computer screen. My vision had started to get blurry.
The final straw that forced me to face the Google doctor, my legs. They started to tingle. They would even get numb at times. I seriously hoped I would be wrong, but part of me knew what Dr Google was going to say.
Now I know that you can live with diabetes. I also know how damaging it can be on your body. So I knew something had to change, I had to change my ways. If not for me, then at least for my boys who were already losing their mom to the symptoms.
Next Came the Depression
How did I let this happen? How did I let it get so bad? Why me, poor me, the internal self hatred got bad. I needed to feel better, so I would binge eat, knowing the entire time that while the food was making me happy in the moment, essentially I was just making the situation worse. The cycle continued, and worsened, until I stepped on the scale and was almost at 300 pounds.
300 Pounds Was a Wake Up Call
Never in my life had I ever been 300 pounds, not even during either pregnancy. I knew at that point I either needed to get put on medication to help with the diabetes, or lose weight.
Now this wasn’t the first time I was going to have to try to lose weight. After gaining 100 pounds during my first pregnancy (what was I thinking) and having two children back to back, I am no stranger to being overweight. Or losing weight.
My old strategy of starving myself and popping pills just wasn’t going to cut it this time though. I wanted to lose the weight AND be healthy. Plus I needed something I could live with for the rest of my life.
I needed Something New
I wanted this time to be different, but my weight loss struggles had never been successful long term. So I started to look at weight loss from a beginners point of view, turning to the all knowing Google once again. The only thing I was coming up with was fads, pills, and things I knew would not help develop a better me, over the long term.
Weight Loss for Beginners: How I Planned to Lose the Weight
Like divine intervention, the next win was because of social media. My long time friend since kindergarten (and now pediatrician) recommend a book, The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Weight Loss. I knew if she thought enough about this book to post about it on Facebook, it was something I should read.
In the book, Dr Fung dives into each of the weight loss fads over the years including how as Americans, we had got to where we are with our unhealthy lifestyle. He also zeroes in on why insulin resistance has become so prevalent. I highly suggest reading his book if you want to know why your favorite fad diets, and even those diets touted by doctors and the government, are partially to blame for our current predicament.
Everything we believe about how to lose weight is wrong. Weight gain and obesity are driven by hormones—in everyone—and only by understanding the effects of insulin and insulin resistance can we achieve lasting weight loss.
What Dr Fung says makes complete sense. And for me, I knew that what we currently refer to as a keto diet, would be how I was going to lose weight. Basically I needed to give up sugar, processed foods, starchy carbohydrates, basically anything that leads to higher insulin levels. I don’t care who you are, you can’t tell me that these things are healthy.
Losing Weight Through a Keto Diet
The keto diet may not be for you, everyone is different, but living the keto lifestyle is how I was able to lose 60 pounds in 8 months.
I started researching everything I could on high fat, high protein diets.
…but keto is just another fad diet…
Have you heard this? Thought this yourself? Remember I was gorging on bags of chocolate candies, 2-3 large sodas a day, greasy fast food at least once a day and usually frozen prepared meals as well. So tell me how this is better for me than keto. My new diet full of meat and vegetables is much healthier than my previous lifestyle.
What is the Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. To sum it up, no carbs, no sugar, your diet consists of meat and vegetables.
Now vegetables are not my favorite thing, but I was able to adapt and find some great recipes to disguise them well. Plus, I have always had a huge sweet tooth, I didn’t get to 300 pounds because food wasn’t my friend. I was worried that a keto diet of no sugar would be hard, but I was able to find substitutes and keep my sweet tooth satisfied.
How to Lose Weight Without Exercise?
At almost 300 pounds, I thought losing weight without exercising was going to be impossible. I was so afraid I would fail yet again, I started to doubt myself and lose all hope before I even started. It was too embarrassing to even think of exercising in public at a gym.
How could I possibly exercise?
It wasn’t just the emotional toll of public embarrassment. Would I physically be able to move around without getting hurt? How would I even have the energy to more around when I was falling asleep at my desk?
It turns out that as long as I kept my carb count in check and didn’t cheat, the weight melted off of me without much effort. The bright side of weighing so much was that the weight came off a little easier. I know for the rest of the weight I will have to step up my exercise game.
The good news was that I was able to lose 60 pounds without exercise, only following the keto diet.
Weight Loss for Beginners: What To Do When You Hit a Plateau
It happens to everyone. Your body gets used to the new routine and the weight loss begins to slow down or completely stop. This happened to me a few times and each time was for a different reason.
So what so you do when you hit a weight loss plateau?
You start to assess what you have been doing. You correct anything that has slipped. And you mix things up. For me I feel into a few traps. One thing that I noticed is that with a certain sugar substitute, my weight loss slowed dramatically. I also noticed a few times I had been slowing down on my water intake causing my body to be unable to flush out the toxins properly.
Water is Your New Best Friend
How much water do you drink? Double it! Just a guess! No matter what type of diet you are on, there is a good chance you are not drinking enough water. Not only does water help flush your body of the fat and toxins your body will release as it loses weight, but it also helps keeps you full.
How Do You Keep The Water Intake High
My best suggestion for drinking water is to keep it interesting. Infused water is delicious and will alter the flavor so it’s not the same thing day in and day out. I also found a fun water bottle that reminded me to drink my water and kept track of how much I was drinking. It’s called Hidrate and definitely was worth the price.
The other huge thing that helped with overcoming my plateau was adopting intermittent fasting to my weight loss journey. Until I read Dr Fung’s book, I had never heard of IF. Could changing when you eat really affect your weight loss goals? I was shocked that it really did.
Basically by changing when you eat, you change your insulin production. We lose weight if we let our insulin levels go down. The entire idea of IF is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat.
I follow the 16:8 intermittent fasting method. It was so easy to adopt. My last meal is no later than 8pm, and I don’t eat again the next day until noon. This had the added benefit of only needing to prep two meals a day.
Find What Works for Your Body
Keto may not be for you, medically or otherwise. You may need weight watchers, or to exercise, that is up to you. Next time you start a weight loss journey, try starting as if you are a newbie and research weight loss tips for beginners. Do your research, find something you can live with, and stick to it.
I want you to realize that while eating a keto diet was HOW I physically lost the weight, it is NOT what kept me motivated. And I knew from years of my weight yo-yoing that I needed motivation, and lots of it. Don’t worry, luckily I find my motivation, keep reading!
Finding My Motivation: How to Lose 60 Pounds in 8 Months
How many times have you dieted and quit? You’ve been all excited and had a great week, or two? I know I am guilty! When your life gets busy or you’re tired of being on a restricted diet, only letting you have eggs or grapefruit, the slip ups start to happen.
You cheat, just once you tell yourself. Once turns into twice, then I’ll start again next Monday. Next thing you know you’re bingeing on a whole pie because you’re eating your sad feelings of failing yet again.
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you need two things. One is to make a realistic lifestyle change you can stick to, and two is motivation. You would think that my kids would be motivation enough, or living longer, and honestly it should be, but it just wasn’t.
While looking for delicious keto recipes, I stumbled upon an app that would eventually be responsible for changing my life.
Motivation for Everyone: Weight Loss Help for Beginners to Experts
I was completely skeptical at first, as one should be. I looked for bad reviews, read all the rules, looked for anything bad I could find before making a commitment this big.
What was able to keep me on track for 8 months…
…a company called HealthyWage.
What is HealthyWage?
HealthyWage is a company that lets you make a personalized bet on your own weight loss. You pick the amount of weight you want to lose, how long you want to give yourself to accomplish your goals, and how much you want to bet. Then the app will let you know how much you can win.
One study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (“JAMA”) found those who have a financial incentive to lose weight were almost five times more likely to reach their target than dieters with no money at stake.
According to a recent Mayo Clinic study on weight loss, participants who received cash incentives were more likely to stick with the weight-loss program and lost more weight than participants who received no incentives. Find your incentive when you bet on your weight loss with a HealthyWager from HealthyWage.
And let me say, for me it certainly worked. Constantly having the bet hanging over my head was the motivation I needed to keep working, even when I would get depressed, feel like I wanted to cheat, feel defeated or even when I wanted to give up.
My Bet Specifics
I started my weight loss journey weighing 299.2. By the time I started the bet with HealthyWage I was 297.8. I played with the numbers a little bit looking for the highest payout. According to the “experts”, I knew I needed to lose about 100-120 pounds and I knew it was going to take me over a year to safely do it, and keep it off.
I settled on losing 60 pounds in eight months, and betting $125 each month. To me this was a achievable goal. Now do you want to know what my payout was going to be? Wait for it….
Yes, you are reading that correctly. For losing weight that I already needed to lose, Healthy Wage paid me over $3,100.00!!!
Now why did I choose 8 months? I had already planned our family vacation to Disney World for the end on September. I didn’t want to worry about what I ate while on vacation. Have you been to Disney, the food is amazing!
The left picture is us at Disney World in March, and I was already 2 1/2 months into my journey. The right picture was after the entire 60 pounds gone and $3100 richer. I still have a ways to go, I can’t wait to see next years Disney pictures for comparison.
What could you do with $3100.00??
Me? I do Disney!
What do you do? Do you have debt, need a vacation, want to treat yourself to something fancy? This much money could go a long way to whatever your goals may be. And let me tell you, the possibility of winning that much money was a huge motivation to keep working toward my weight loss goals. Healthy Wage worked so well for me that I plan on doing another bet in a few months to get the rest of the weight off.
Weight Loss for Beginners: My Happy Ending
I guess technically it’s not the end just yet. I have more weight to lose, but I already feel so much better. My energy is back up. During my trip to Disney, I was able to walk all day and get around so much better than our trip the previous year.
Are you looking for a little extra motivation to help you lose weight? If winning money is enough motivation for you, you’ll definitely want to check out HealthyWager from HealthyWage.com where you bet on yourself and win money for losing weight. I would love for you to join me during the next journey.