Post Series: A Weight Loss Transformation Worth Sharing
A Weight Loss Transformation Worth Sharing: How It Happened - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

A before and after picture of my one year transformation.

I didn’t transform my mind and body overnight. If you’ve kept up with the first few blog posts of this series, you’re probably curious about how I actually lost 150 pounds.

Nothing happened; I had no “aha moment.” I’ve heard the burning question countless times, but I admit that I still can’t answer it. I don’t know what suddenly made me do it. I do know that for the first time in my life, it was self-motivated. That’s what made this time different, and that’s why I could successfully execute the decision to change my entire way of living like one might flip a light switch. At this point I also learned the truth about motivation: If it doesn’t come from within, it might as well not come at all.

I had no experience with proper eating habits and zero knowledge about how to establish them, so Jenny Craig’s “dieting for dummies” model was a perfect match for my ignorance. When it began, the weight loss process itself was relatively mindless because I began by relying on packaged meals. All I had to do was open the freezer, pick which cardboard box appealed to me most that day, stab the plastic wrapping with a fork a few times, wait between four and five microwave minutes and make the best of whatever was packed inside a plastic black tray. With rare exception, I did this for every meal for roughly eight months.

Eventually, I felt experienced enough to mimic the packaged breakfasts, lunches and dinners with my own food, and I built the fundamentals of my daily intake to resemble the Jenny Craig plan. I established an appreciation for a balance of protein, carbs, limited healthy fats and vegetables. One of the first and most significant lessons I inherently learned from eating pre-portioned meals is that we collectively have a dangerous understanding of portion sizes. I can say with confidence that we all need much less food than we think we do – I’d always eat a small bit, wait a short while and then encounter the pleasant surprise of satiation. You can always eat more if need be, but you can’t undo the damage of eating too much.

Before I knew it, my eating habits had been molded by Jenny Craig’s guidelines. I supplemented my small meals with fruit, made room for daily servings of dairy (fat-free milk, low-calorie yogurt) and occasionally enjoyed small snacks. I applied the rule that most vegetables were “free,” allowing me to match every stomach growl with mindless munching of carrots, tomatoes, celery – sometimes even an entire bowl of salad. I learned how to substitute one serving of carbohydrates for another and what to eat when I was lacking protein, and I made a habit of saving calories throughout the day for indulgences.

I gradually realized that the key to dieting was cultivating a calorie consciousness. Once I started paying attention, I observed that my daily plan first required 2,300 calories, then 2,100, then 1,900 and eventually 1,200–1,500. As months passed, my days required fewer additional snacks and longer workouts. I noticed that each Jenny Craig breakfast option had about 200 calories and that most lunches and dinners contained roughly 300. I could successfully take matters into my own hands after learning how to execute the fundamental rule of weight loss – the less you weigh, the less you consume – and lost more than 120 pounds in one year. Then I learned the hard way about extremity: There is a minimum amount of calories, there is such a thing as burning too many and the healthy way to lose weight is not by doing it as fast as possible.

If I can do it, you can do it! For my next post, I’d like to feature more specific details from my experience. I will share my tips on snacking smart, getting creative with fruits and vegetables and how and where to dine out. If there’s anything else you want me to discuss, leave a comment and let me know. Thanks for reading!

And if you’re interested in some inspiration, check out my first motivational speech here.

 

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Hi Lisa!

    Thank you so much for this! I was wondering if you would mind talking a bit more about whether or not you exercised. If so, how much and what you exactly did? Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational story!

    Rachel

  2. Very funny but true!!! Thanks for sharing your experience and congratulation for this remarkable body transformation. This post will be a true guide for people who want to lose weight. I wish I had gone through your post before, I’ve recently joined The Training Spot gym to try and lose weight!

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