The Last 30 Pounds: Day 18 – Some Benefits of Losing Weight

The more weight I lose, the more energy I have. The more energy I have, the more vigorous my workouts can be, thus losing even more weight.

I can jump up and down more, hop. and jog a little. Before, my knees and ankles protested at this.

I can dance longer, with more energy, and even do the polka now.

My fingers have slimmed down. I can now wear some rings that I haven’t worn for years.

I'm comfortably wearing rings that used to be too tight.

I’m comfortably wearing rings that used to be too tight.

There is less weight on my joints. I was starting to have problems with my left knee, and now I hardly ever have any knee pain. I can walk up and down steep hills again with little, if any, knee pain. Being able to walk steep hills means I get can burn more calories in a shorter time, plus I challenge my heart more.

I can walk up steep hills and not be so out of breath, which means I can walk up steep hills all the more, and get even better conditioning.

I'm walking to the top of of a hill at sunset.

I’m walking to the top of of a hill at sunset.

I can fit into an airplane seat much easier. I used to be glad my husband flew with me because we could lift the arm between us to get a little more room. Now I can fly with the arm down and still feel comfortable.

No longer do I have to worry that the seat belt won’t click closed on an amusement park thrill ride. Before, there were some close calls. I’d have died of embarrassment if they had rejected me from a ride due to my weight.

My daughter Evaine and I (on left) are dangling over the edge of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas spinning on a thrill ride.

My daughter Evaine and I (on left) are dangling over the edge of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas spinning on a thrill ride.

My bum doesn’t get so numb and sore when riding my bicycle.

My acid-reflux problem (GERDS) seems to have gone away completely. I can now eat oranges, chili peppers, and other acidic foods without problems.

I am more flexible overall. I can do deeper stretches than I could do before. I can touch my toes again.

My feet don’t hurt any more.

The skin on my heels isn’t cracked anymore. I believe the cracks and thick dead skin was from the extra weight put on my feet.

Lots of people have told me I look much younger. At stores, when paying with a credit card, I have had store clerks check my driver’s license with the photo taken at my heavier weight, and tell me I look much younger now.

Clothes in my new, smaller, size are much easier to find, and they tend to be cheaper as well.

I have an excuse to buy new clothes (though this can be a problem if you are broke).

I'm having fun getting new clothes for my smaller figure - I got this top for under TEN DOLLARS!

I’m having fun getting new clothes for my smaller figure – I got this top for under TEN DOLLARS!

I no longer have a double chin, and have lost the jowls I was starting to see when I looked in the mirror.

By losing weight slowly and steadily, and building muscle at the same time, I have avoided having loose, flabby folds of skin on my upper arms that other dieters have complained of.

My blood pressure has gone down (my upper number was getting close to being classified as high blood pressure).

My HDL (the “good” cholesterol) numbers have gone up, and my LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) numbers have gone down.

My doctor no longer nags me about losing weight.

I’m proud to be setting a good example to my granddaughters.

My inner thighs no longer rub and chafe when I walk.

My balance is improving.

I feel more confident that I can make positive changes in my life.

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The Last Thirty Pounds – Day 3 – Reading & Walking

I’m walking my pounds off. Every day I go out for a brisk hour-long walk. I LOVE walking. And my walks are also my reading time! So I look forward to them even more.

View seen while walking on Mt. Rubidoux.

View seen while walking on Mt. Rubidoux.

Reading time? While walking? Yes! I download audio-books to my MP3 player and listen to them.. Looking forward to hearing more of an entertaining story keeps me motivated to walk.

A few months back, I discovered a real treasure. Through the Riverside County Library website, anyone with library card can access the NetLibrary for FREE*. (Any Riverside County resident can get a library card for free.) Through the NetLibrary you can download audio-books into your MP3 player to listen to while you walk (or workout, or drive, or garden, or clean house). And this is for FREE. I was amazed at all the books I could access for free.

To do this, just go to http://www.rivlib.com, and click on the “audio books” tab near the top. You log into the library’s website with your card number and pin (you set this up when you register). Once you are at the NetLibrary, you need to register (again!). Set up another username and password. Then you can log into the NetLibrary.. Browse through the hundreds of books available. I highly recommend the Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris – these are the books the HBO “True Blood” series is based on. They are a HOOT. I found myself laughing out loud many times on my walks. (“Dead Until Dark” is the first in the series).

Once you pick out a good story, download it to your hard drive, and then copy to your MP3.. And look forward to your next walk.

*San Bernardino Co. library users can also access the NetLibrary. If you live in another county, you might check and see if your library has NetLibrary access.

WEIGHT LOSS TIP 3: Blueberries are a wonder food! Low in calories – high in fiber & antioxidants. Use them to sweeten your morning oatmeal instead of sugar. Mix some with yoghurt, ice, & cinnamon, in a blender for a smoothie. Save by buying frozen ones from TJs, Smart & Final, or Costco.

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The Last Thirty Pounds

One morning I reluctantly got on the scales, and shuddered to see that I was at 295 lbs. That was back in October of 2009. Determined I would never break 300 lbs., I started on my quest to get back down to my proper weight.

This is me at Thanksgiving 2009, near my heaviest weight.

This is me at Thanksgiving 2009, near my heaviest weight.

I joined my local Curves gym, and dutifully went 3 (sometimes 4) times per week (most of the time). By January I had lost 8 lbs. But then, I learned they were having a Biggest Loser Contest. So I went to the meeting to learn about the Curves Weight Management plan It sounded similar to the Weight Watchers diet I had done years before. But there were a few more tweaks, such as the three different phases (more on the details later). These were meant to reboot my metabolism to help my body regulate its energy use on a more even keel. It was no fad diet – it used real food, though you could supplement the regular food with high protein powder occasionally. It focused on a high protein, high fiber, low carb diet in phase 1 and 2 (in phase 3, you get a lot more carbs). I lost 8 more pounds in just that first week on the diet! And I kept losing. Being in the contest certainly helped, as my competitive spirit really kept me motivated. The camaraderie and supportive atmosphere at Curves really helps too.

By now, I’ve gone through two six-week long Biggest Losers Contests at my Curves gym (3537 Main Street, Riverside, CA, http://www.curvesdowntownriverside.com/ ). The first time (Jan. – Feb. 2010) I lost about 27 lbs., and came in third place. The second contest (May-June 2010) I won, losing about 28 lbs. [The winners are determined by percentage of weight, not by actual pounds lost].

Dec. 2010:  As a volunteer docent for a Victorian home tour, I am wearing my Victorian-style wedding dress for the first time in twenty years.  It was a tight fit, with a tightly-laced corset, but soon it will fit even better.

Dec. 2010: As a volunteer docent for a Victorian home tour, I am wearing my Victorian-style wedding dress for the first time in twenty years. It was a tight fit, with a tightly-laced corset, but soon it will fit even better.

In between the contests, I have lost weight more slowly, but have kept losing steadily. Having gotten down to 220 lb., I now have about thirty pounds to lose. My goal is 190 lbs. While that’s a few pounds above the upper limit of most height-weight charts for large framed, 6’ 1” women (various charts range from between 179 and 185 as the upper limit), I’ll get to 190 and then reassess by how I look and feel. Being in my late 50s and past menopause, as well as being relatively muscular, I figure I can pad the upper limit with a few more pounds.

On Jan. 10, 2011, a new Biggest Loser Contest began. I plan to lose most of the remaining 30 pounds during this contest (reasonably I should be able to lose about 23 or 24 pounds at the same percentages I lost before).

On day one of the contest, I posted on Facebook about my workout for the day, along with a weight loss tip. I had planned to do that each day during the contest, but a couple of my commenters suggested I start a weight loss blog, so here it is. I’ll try to post something every day, to let you know how I am progressing, and along the way I’ll include some of the weight loss tips and nutrition knowledge I’ve picked up.

I’ve heard the last few pounds can be the hardest to lose, so I certainly welcome encouragement and support from others. Also I figure by being so public with my weight loss efforts, I will stick to them all the more.

So here’s to the Last Thirty Pounds!

WEIGHT LOSS TIP 1: Use cinnamon as much as you can – it prevents an insulin spike, so you store less fat. I add 1/2 tsp or more to my morning oatmeal and my yoghurt smoothies. You can even add it to your coffee.

WEIGHT LOSS TIP 2: Eat almonds daily – just a ½ oz (12 almonds) will do. They contain alpha-linolenic acid. You don’t have to remember that long name – you just have to be aware that almonds help break down fat. A handy mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack – I keep a baggie of them in my car or purse so I always have some along and am less tempted to buy some fast food snack.

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Christine Markel Lampe

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