Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This is my Story

Hello, I'm Jen Roper. I'm 30 years old, 5'4", and weigh 128 lbs. When I started this blog, I was still 5'4", 29 years old, and weighed 191 lbs.

No, I didn't mistype there.
Since May 25, 2010 when I started these lifestyle changes, I have dropped 63 lbs.

Now that I think of it, I'm not even sure if I could lift that.

No, I don't have a metabolic disease or cancer.
No, I don't have a tape worm. (gross!)
No, I didn't get gastric bypass.
No, I'm not on meth or heroin.
No, I didn't do Atkins or South Beach or Jenny Craig or anything
Yes, I eat. No, I don't throw it up or take laxatives (also gross).
No, I didn't take Alli or whatever magical weight loss product you might find at GNC.

I just budget my calorie intake, eat a variety of foods (including fruits and vegetables, they're important), and exercise diligently.

In my case, I actually walked it off. Seriously. I walk no less than 3 miles a day, 4-5 (usually 5) days a week. It takes me 45-50 minutes. I have a gym membership, and use a treadmill for the most part.

Some may look at that and say "Oh my god, I don't have time for that. That's insane." Not really. I get a solid workout without overdoing it - my heart rate is good and fast. When you start exercising, if you're doing cardio, then you're already committing 30 minutes to it. What's another 15? Not much, unless you're doing something intense like running. Walking's not too bad.

Beside, even though I spend 45 minutes a day on it, it's quite possibly the best 45 minutes I spend on myself. The benefits to regular exercise are innumerable: appetite reduction, stress relief, lower blood pressure, increased stamina, etc. Plus, it's really hard to lose weight by dieting alone. You can, but you're likely to feel miserable and give up. You're body is meant to and needs to move.

As to diet, I have found that you would be amazed at exactly how little food you need. When I started budgeting my meals, I started eating a lot less food, but I didn't feel hungry or deprived. By the same token, I didn't feel gut-bustingly full. Even with an additional 400-500 calories burned from exercise, I still felt fine. At first, my body resisted the change, but I held myself accountable and decided that even though I felt the urge to eat, I didn't really need to. After a while, the random urges to eat subsided, and I learned to only eat if I felt hungry.

That's how I did it. There's no magic. There's no wonder product.
Just some fairly basic lifestyle changes. It's the same advice you hear everywhere: eat less, exercise more. No one tells you how, though, and I can't really offer any specific things like how many calories someone needs a day. It depends on gender, age, weight, and body composition.
In my specific case, I think it's around 1875 a day, and I try to keep my meals around 500-600 calories each.

Tools I used:
How Many Calories Do You Need:
From this you can figure out how many calories you need a day, how many you would need to reach a goal weight, and, with some division and allowance for a snack, how many calories should be in a meal.

Daily Burn - A calorie tracking site:
This site is free, but they sell pro upgrades that give more functionality. I use the free version. You can track how many calories you eat a day, and how many calories you burned from exercise. This site will also tell you how many pounds you will gain or lose a month - handy that. There are other calorie-tracking sites out there. This is just the one I used.

When I started holding myself accountable, I started learning a lot about what I was eating, and why I had weight trouble. When I started correcting my diet, the weight started falling.

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