Sometime in January, I decided I needed to lose weight. I (33, m) was about 85-86kg (188lbs) at 1.76m (5’9″), and I wanted to get to just under 70kg (154lbs). Last time I’d been that weight was sometime before I turned 13.
Honestly, the most difficult step was getting over my various beliefs about weight and weight loss and just starting to count the damn calories. Something that also put me off was when people losing weight talked about how they learned to see food as fuel, and how I interpreted that. I didn’t see food as fuel. I don’t. I won’t. That’s just not how I like to think about food. I enjoy food a lot, and while it should definitely be something to keep my body healthy, I (for myself) don’t see the point in seeing it primarily as fuel and not a source of enjoyment. I’d rather stay chubby then.
The thing is, I didn’t eat very enjoyable food for a long time. I just don’t have the time and energy to plan my meals every day and then go grocery shopping and have great ideas what to do with the produce I didn’t use – doesn’t help that I’m living alone. I’m also from a country with a different grocery infrastructure than the country I’m living in now. I used to be able to walk 3 minutes to reach 4 different supermarkets, now I have to take the bus to reach one supermarket 5 minutes away and another 20 minutes away. When I had the energy to get groceries, I threw away a lot. When I didn’t, I relied on food delivery, which also caused me to gain quite a bit of weight. I don’t know how much, I didn’t weigh myself, but looking at the photos, I’d guess somewhere in the mid-90s range (around 200lbs).
So that’s the first thing I changed when I started to become unhappier with my eating habits and weight. I tried out food kit services (I hope if I don’t name any names this is acceptable, but please let me know if this is violating the “no advertising” rule). The first I didn’t like much. It was a good price, but all frozen and just not fresh or very tasty. The second one though is amazing. It’s all fresh every week and with practically no processed ingredients. A little bit of stock or a herb mix now and then, but it’s always got fresh herbs included as well. It’s not cheap, but I found that I was still better off than ordering food every day or even buying a bunch of food and then throwing out most of it. I can choose recipes I wouldn’t have thought to make on my own. I was just so happy to cook again – I actually like cooking. I’m a good cook even. I just lack the time and energy to do it. And the food is so tasty! Just that caused me to shed some of those kilos.
Well, and then, before the whole pandemic, my job schedule changed and kept me working from home most days, and I got really uncomfortable with my lack of activity. I decided to give that darn calorie tracking app a try.
So, I’m not the most patient person in the world. When I didn’t really see results after a week (yeah …), I redid the calculations. I had set it to 2000kcal per day (it’s a bit frustrating that every calculator gives you a different calorie estimate!), but then decided to lower it to 1700 and to add some exercise. I got a stationary bike and started exercising 30 minutes a day without logging it, so I wouldn’t eat the calories back.
The first two weeks were super frustrating. The weight fluctuations were quite drastic sometimes, and I because of the lack of data I didn’t really see the change I was hoping to see. I saw the post here about how an increase in exercise could cause weight increase for about 6 weeks, and so I told myself, alright, let’s stick out those 6 weeks, and if nothing has changed by then, maybe let’s see a doctor, because that would be weird. I learned how to make a sourdough starter and started baking my own bread (I’m in a sad sad country that doesn’t have any bread, just candy disguised as bread, and I come from a country that’s very proud of its various kinds of bread). It surprised me a bit how much that helped. It’s SO satisfying and filling and I think the sourdough especially also was a good decision for my gut.
The third and fourth week were still hard. Limiting my food intake actually wasn’t (now that I had bread), but I just felt frustrated because I thought I should see more results. Several times I almost posted here to ask for advice, but each time when I tried to summarize my problem, I thought I sounded ridiculous expecting miracles in such a short time.
So I kept going. I did my 30 minutes on my stationary bike every day, took a shower, did my work from home, prepared a healthy meal I didn’t have to invest a lot of energy in. And then the pandemic hit, and I already had formed the habits that keep me going and helped me weather this storm.
I’m just under 90 days into my journey, and I’ve lost a bit over 6kg (13-14lbs). I’m starting to see that I’m losing weight too. I took two photos, one in the beginning, one after losing 5kg (11lbs), but I really didn’t see much of a difference then. It’s just starting now.
I’m quite happy, and I’m glad I stuck with the calorie counting. I decided to make this post for everyone whose mind works like mine (and because I don’t talk to anyone about this irl, I find weight loss is such a complicated and personal decision, I wouldn’t want to talk about it to an audience who hasn’t already consented to it). One thing I really would’ve liked to see was other people’s weight graphs. We may all be a bit different, but it would’ve helped me to compare what was happening with mine to other people’s graphs. I know, I know, you should figure out how your body works and not get competitive, but “is this how this is supposed to look?” is just something I personally prefer to know.
I actually think it’s still a bit odd that I’m not losing weight faster. My calorie limit is 1700kcal/day, I do 30 minutes of exercise every day that I don’t eat back, and on average I stay about 2000kcal per week under my limit, but I’m still only “on track” with my goal of losing half a kilo (a pound) per week. Maybe I’m going to ask my doctor about that when we can leave our houses again, but for now, I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing so far.
And here’s my graph. If you want, share yours in the comments! Maybe it helps someone to have something to compare yourself to.