I lost 60lbs…
Food, Exercise, and Weight – What I’ve Learned
by Debi Gomez
(scroll for pics!)
**written at the 11 month mark of my transformation journey, which even now is far from over, you’ll have to keep reading the blog to see the lessons and practices that have been learned since then **
I was thin growing up and then I gained a little here and there and after 2 kids found myself on the decided NOT thin side of life. Classified as technically obese (verging on worse), not only did I feel gross and incompetent, but I had inched my way into a situation that was bad for my health. Seriously… it was NOT good for any part of me, or my self-esteem.
In the last 11 months I’ve changed – I’ve dropped 60lbs, the last of which came off with my struggle and triumph over the 30 Day Shred (and subsequent Ripped in 30) …and I love it when people ask me how I am doing it! I was not inspired to become a fitness trainer or a nutritionist**, so what makes me qualified to talk to you about losing weight? Well for starters I am a real woman with kids and a husband who continue to order cheese fries and ice cream when we go out and I have a business to run that doesn’t allow me to hide under the covers as I go thru my struggles I am regular ol’ girl who likes to exercise for about 30 minutes (not 4 hours) and I’d much rather have cake than wheat germ, but I am doing it! (**update – I guess I lied – I am a certified Weight Management coach and am studying to be a personal trainer! hahaha)
I do study nutrition and fitness a lot and have done a lot of research before and during my journey, so I’ll start with my thoughts on the top of weight loss…
I am no nutritionist, nor exercise guru… but I have read a lot and done a lot of research as it pertains to my own experiences with weight and food and exercise. I am also a very mathematical person so this is how I understand things best.
For a long time it’s been ingrained in you that if you don’t want to be fat, exercise. I can tell you that in several periods of my life I exercised a LOT and it made ZERO difference in my weight – I would look more toned and would have more energy, and I know that it makes my heart and body healthier – but the honest damned truth is I was still just as fat.
I also know people who run marathons frequently and are still plain old FAT. On the contrary, I’ve known MANY people who have lost a ton of weight and did not exercise at all.
I am not saying exercise is not important – it is integral to making your body look and function better AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL heart health and general health is not just about being thinner, you do need exercise (and I have new thougths on this at the end of the article as well). In fact before I started losing weight I started going to the gym with the goal of getting toned and healthy – NOT losing weight – because if my goal was to lose weight and I failed (again) I knew I would stop going…
So it leaves one to question – what on earth is there that I can do that WILL work???
It’s food – plain and simple (and I wish was not the truth) but it’s the food. If you eat right – and trust me if you are overweight 99.99% of the time you are not eating right (I don’t mean you aren’t eating healthy foods, I mean you are not eating “right” for weight loss) – you can lose weight and lots of it. I know many examples of living proof of that and here’s why:
a pound = 3500 calories
To lose one pound in 7 days you would have to do ONE HOUR of cardio every single day to burn 3500 calories OR eat 500 less calories a day (about a serving of french fries)
To lose two pounds in 7 days you would have to do TWO HOURS of cardio every single day to burn 7000 calories OR Eat 1000 less calories a day (about a serving of french fries plus the hamburger)
**there are a lot of other things in this formula like the calories that your body naturally burns every single day and metabolic rates, etc but you get the basic idea**
A “healthy” meal at a bar and grill is about 1500 calories – you would have to work out for 3 hours straight to burn that off and that’s just ONE meal…
Do you see how that works? It seems more realistic to me to put down the fries and hamburger than exercise for 3 hours, but that’s just me. Between 3 meals a day and snacks – you would NEVER be able to burn off the calories you’ve eaten no matter how much exercise you did… you HAVE HAVE HAVE TO lessen what you eat.
Shedding 1000 calories off your food sounds horrible but you should track what you eat in one day – you’ll be SHOCKED at how it adds up – even seemingly healthy meals can quickly add up to an outrageous number of calories – starting with the old friendly diet food, a salad at about 200 calories, add cheese, dressing, croutons, boiled eggs, crispy chicken and you are closer to 900 calories – without anything else – just your salad! and you thought you were doing good eating salad!!
**let me note – it is unsafe to go below 1200 calories and I have NOT done that – your body needs nutrition and I don’t want to damage my organs for the sake of faster weight loss**
I love food and frankly I am a pretty good cook so I like to eat what I make! hahahaha This is probably why it has taken me 12 years to lose weight, and I will probably struggle to maintain that loss because the stupid stupid truth is that you are never “done”. Will I never eat a fried food again? of course not! but maybe only one day a week and I really don’t like fries that much so why do I insist on eating them? I am not saying you should never have a cookie or a cake – but KNOW what you are eating and own up to it – I just ate 500 calories and I better make up for it … you can pretend you didn’t eat it but your butt won’t!
One of my big problems is that I am frugal – so when I eat fastfood and the burger is $1 and the grilled chicken is $5 it is very difficult for me to choose the chicken, and the price of lean meat at the grocery store appalls me. BUT getting into a situation where I had to lose weight cost me a LOT of money… between special foods and an untold amount of $$ in clothes that I had to buy cuz I got fat and now I have to buy again because I lost weight