Hi All! Wow - this is GREAT! And I LOVE the pics!!!!! I think when we think of ourselves as "fat," it is hard for us to see anything else. But what others see is totally different. I think you're all beautiful, and I LOVE wedding pics! The most wonderful thing is that everybody's smiling, and just shining with love. You, too, Leslie, even though it wasn't a wedding pic!
I'm not going to have enough time these days to pop over here regularly. Another time problem is that I just work with an analog line at home, and threads with pics take SO LONG to fill in.
But I recently lost 10 of the 23 pounds I gained after quitting smoking.
First - about the smoking. For anyone who has gained weight as a result of smoking, here's the rub.
My Dad is a diabetic since age 9. He eats the most regular diet of anyone, ever. My mom weighs his meat before she makes a sandwhich, etc. He does not eat sweets or junk food of any kind, ever. He doesn't snack, except when he's supposed to. He smoked a pipe. After he quit smoking, he gained weight.
I learned then that it is not that smoking increases your metabolism. It is that the act of smoking burns calories. So when you quit smoking, you stop burning those calories. If you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, you're burning up to 400 calories just from that alone. If you work in an office and have to leave the building to smoke, add in more calories you're burning for the walking to and from. So when you quit somking, unless you stop eating 400 calories a day, you're going to put on one pound every nine days. Then add in all the extra calories from the food you're now picking at all day because you're replacing smoking with food - and.... wow!
Pick up a good fidget! I don't like chewing gum, but for those of you who do - chewing gum all day long (!) will lose you 10 pounds a year, even if you change nothing else. Swing your foot when you cross your legs if you have to sit at a desk and work. If you sit in a swivel chair, every once in a while swing your chair back and forth by twisting your middle. Every little bit helps!
My mom helped my dad lose weight by adjusting the amount of food she fed him when he needed to lose weight after he quit smoking. She gave me a great tip - well - it helped me.
She said, losing weight is just like putting change in the bank. Just cutting down your calories by even 200 a day (or eating the same amount of calories but exercising enough to burn 200 extra calories a day), whatever it is, it all adds up. If you put pennies in the bank, you can get to $20 or $50 or $100 - just don't be discouraged at the time it takes! Each penny counts.
Hope that helps you, too.
Weight maintenance. The biggest issue I had when I went to tackle the weight gain was the question - how many calories do I need? It's easy to find out how many calories are in foods, or how many calories you can burn through different exercises - but HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN A POUND? (or kilo!) How many calories should I be eating? How many am I eating to be this new weight?
Well I found the answers.
I haven't figured the conversion to kilos, but 3500 calories is one pound
And here's the formula to figure out how many calories "support" different weight levels.
The conversion to kilos shouldn't be too difficult, but this might help some of you like it helped me.
Take the number of pounds you want to be. Multiply it by 10 calories per pound. This is what you need to breathe, make your heart beat, etc. Take that number. Multiply it by 10% and add it. That additional number of calories is what you use to digest your food. Now. To account for exercise. You are going to take that total and add another anywhere from 20% to 40%. If you are essentially a couch potato, use 20%. If you are a construction worker or an exercise nut (defined as an hour or more of extremely vigourous exercise each day) use 40%. If you get moderate exercise (examples would be you walk to a bus stop to get to work every day, you get out for a short walk at lunch and then when you get home you cook dinner - or maybe you work out 3 times a week for half an hour - 45 minutes or so - that kind of a thing), you'd use 30%. If it's somewhere inbetween any of those categories, use 25% or 35%. So add that number to your running total. As you get older, you burn fewer calories. So subtract 2% of that new total for each decade over 20. That's how many calories will support that weight. Over that, you'll gain weight. Under that, you'll lose weight.
One thing to remember, the more muscle you have, the more efficiently you burn calories.
So - if you want to weigh 140 pounds, this is how many calories you will burn to maintain your weight:
140 pounds X 10 calories = 1,400 calories.
1400 + (1400 * 10%) = 1,540 calories.
Let's say you get somewhere between mild and moderate exercise. That's
1,540 + (1,540 * 25%) = 1,925 calories.
Let's say you're 45. That's
1,925 - (1,925 * 4.5%) = 1,838 calories.
Anything above 1,838 calories a day, and you gain weight. Anything below 1,838 calories a day, and you're losing weight. (Increasing exercise has the same effect).
If you weigh 180 pounds now, that's:
180 * 10 = 1,800 calories.
1,800 + (1,800 * 10%) = 1,980 calories.
1,980 + (1,980 * 25%) = 2,475 calories.
2,475 - (2,475 * 4.5%) = 2,363 calories.
Anything below 2,363 calories and you'll be putting change in the bank (or up your exercise to burn the extra calories). But you need to change your eating habits over time so that you are happy eating 1,838 calories a day - that's the only way you will maintain your goal weight. Unless, of course, you up your exercise from inbetween mild/moderate to anything above that.
Becoming an obsessive calorie counter won't help, but for me it was important to understand where I was, and where I needed to be.
Maybe that will help you too!
There is a site where you can count calories. Unfortunately it is only in terms of pounds, not kilos. It is free, and I used it only for two weeks, just to get a feel for where I was at. It was also very good for helping me figure out my alternatives, because it has the nutritional and calorie information on LOTS of stuff. To calculate what I was eating, I did have to add a bunch of "custom" stuff, but as I only did it for two weeks to see where I was, it wasn't too tough.
But Heidi - that bagel probably has close to 400 calories. With nothing on it. You're better off with two pieces of wheat toast (which also has fiber) - and to rival that bagel, you can even put butter or cream cheese on that wheat toast and still have less calories than the plain bagel!
And that illustrates perfectly part of what the issue was for me - making informed choices. Obsessing about calories won't help. But making informed choices will. But I had to learn about the choices first.
The site that helped me was Nutrawatch:http://www.nutrawatch.com/
...and I've finished two glasses of water while writing this!
Go gettem' everyone! Drink that water - and put that "change in the bank!"