How I’ve Dropped Two Clothing Sizes in 2-1/2 Months

Over the last couple of months, I’ve lost around 12-13 pounds and dropped two clothing sizes. My goal is to lose about 5-10 more. The weight has come off pretty easily, a combination of watching what I eat and my Peloton spin cycle. The bike has really changed everything, including my attitude about exercise.

Peloton Bike

 

It has taken me a while to realize that though I can lose weight, the only way I’m going to keep it off is by regularly doing some form of exercise that I truly enjoy. Exercise is not the key word in that sentence, ENJOY is! If I don’t enjoy it, I’m not going to do it, I don’t care how good it is for me.

A perfect example is biking the Silver Comet Trail. I used to LOVE biking the trail, it was my happy place. I biked 22 miles, 3-4 times a week. I didn’t enjoy the 45 minute drive out to the trail, but I did it anyway because I loved riding the trail so much.

During the time I was biking, I was in great shape. Unfortunately, my biking came to a screeching halt as I began to hear about folks, both men and women, being attacked on the trail. When a woman was killed around the 17th mile marker, a spot I rode through every single time I biked the trail, I quit.

Since I quit biking the Silver Comet several years ago, I’ve never found another form of exercise that I really looked forward to doing until I purchased my Peloton. It has motivated me to lose that stubborn 20 lbs I’ve been wanting to lose since I feel like I have a way to keep it off this time.

Dieting is Boring & Too Much Work! 

I don’t like dieting because it’s boring, time-consuming and often a lot of work to manage. So I made it a priority to find healthy foods that I could eat that would require very little preparation. I love to cook when I have family or friends in town or, when I’m cooking for a party or a holiday meal. The rest of the time…not so much. When I’m trying to shed a few pounds, I want meals to be as quick, easy and stress-free as possible.

As I share what I’ve been doing, I’m going to mention a few helpful tips I’ve read/learned over the years that I’ve found to be true for me. Hope you find them helpful, too! Here’s  my first tip, something I learned fairly recently:

Tip: I once read that people who lose weight and keep it off, often eat the same foods or meals each week. That doesn’t mean they don’t go out to eat with their hubby on Friday night or join friends for a dinner out occasionally, but the rest of the time, they eat mostly the same foods/meals.

I was really intrigued when I heard that because I’ve never done that. It does make sense, though. If you find a healthy diet that you enjoy and works at helping you maintain your goal weight, why wouldn’t you repeat it each week.

So that’s one of the things I’ve been doing while I’ve been losing weight. I’d much rather spend my free time reading, cycling, gardening or watching a good movie than trying to put together some complicated meal plan each week that will hopefully help me reach my fitness goals. If you love cooking and love planning meals, then definitely do that. I don’t, so I’ve decided to keep it really simple, at least until I reach my goal weight/size.

So, if you’re looking for some gourmet style meals that are super low cal, this probably isn’t the post for you. But if you’re just trying to shed a few pounds without having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I hope you find this post helpful as I share what has worked for me.

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, so be sure to consult your doctor if you have any concerns before following any diet plan or suggestions. This post isn’t meant to provide advice for you and your diet, I’m just sharing what has worked for me.

What I’m Eating

So what have I been eating? Breakfast is usually a boiled egg, a small bowl of cereal with Almond Coconut Milk and some fresh blueberries. Occasionally, I’ll add in a couple of pieces of bacon. I microwave the bacon on a paper towel on a plate, so clean up is super easy.

These are the boiled eggs I buy, I get them at the Wal-mart Market that’s very close to my home. Each egg contains 60 calories and tons of protein. You can also find boiled eggs in Publix.

Some mornings I eat the egg, as is, other mornings I spread a couple of teaspoons of a spicy mustard like Grey Poupon (10 calories) on a slice of toasted, 40 calorie bread and slice up the egg on top. Of course, you could make an egg salad with the mustard, but I like to keep it simple and just slice up the egg on top.

If I’m not in the mood for a boiled egg, I’ll sometimes scramble or fry up an egg, but usually I opt for the easier route and go with a boiled egg.

 

Over the years I’ve tried many different cereals when I was trying to lose a few pounds, including those that are supposed to be super high in nutrition, but I always come back to Special K. I love the taste and especially love that it’s crunchy and doesn’t go soggy in milk very quickly. A cup is 120 calories and with the amount of almond coconut milk that I add, it’s around 150 calories for a bowl.

My favorite fruit in the world is fresh blueberries. I could eat an entire pint of them at one sitting, so I pretty much always have them on hand. I usually sprinkle 8-10 into my cereal. There are 85 calories in a cup of blueberries, so I’m guessing that 8-10 blueberries is probably around 15-20 calories, at the most.

 

I’ve tried eating oatmeal for breakfast in the past, but it wipes me out. I think it messes with my blood sugar. My doctor did a blood sugar test several years and the results showed I was insulin resistant. That didn’t surprise me since both my father and brother came down with Type 2 diabetes in their 50’s. So I feel my best when I have protein with my meals, especially breakfast. It avoids the carb crash I would otherwise get.

Finally Found A Good Replacement for Dairy Milk

I’ve been having intestinal issues with dairy for many years, but I loved my milk so much, I didn’t want to give it up. I was also worried I wouldn’t get enough calcium in my diet if I gave it up. I had tried soy milk in the past and did not like it at all.

When I heard Peloton Coach, Steven Little, remark during a spin class recently that he has felt so much better since giving up milk, I decided to try some of the other alternatives that are out there these days. When I saw on the carton that Almond-Coconut milk actually has 50% more calcium than dairy milk, I decided to give it a try.

 

I am so hooked on this stuff! It is so good! I thought I had tried it before. Has it been improved over the last few years?

I love both the original flavor and the unsweetened and buy both. Sometimes I mix them together if I want the milk I add to my cereal to be a little sweet. The original is almost too sweet for me, so I’m amazed it only has 50 calories in a cup.

 

Mid-morning I often have about 6 ounces of ice-coffee. I don’t care for hot coffee, but love iced coffee even in the wintertime. The only hot drink I ever like is hot cocoa. I drink my coffee with two teaspoons of Land of Lakes Half and Half. So breakfast often looks like this:

Boiled egg: 60
1 cup of Special K with about 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond-coconut milk and 8-10 blueberries: 158
2 slices of bacon: 50
Coffee with cream: 40
Total for breakfast: 308 calories with the bacon, 258 without

Some mornings I change it up a little as mentioned by eating the egg with mustard on a slice of toasted 40 calorie bread…just depends on the mood I’m in. I usually only have bacon once or twice a week. If I’m in a big hurry in the morning, I may just have the boiled egg with my iced coffee, then mid morning go back downstairs and eat a bowl of Special K with blueberries.

Tip: Skipping meals is a bad idea! It slows down your metabolism so you burn less fat, and if you let yourself get super hungry, by the time you eat you may be so hungry that you grab anything you can find. That’s my tendency if I’ve skipped a meal. Breakfast is very important since it cranks up your metabolism and gets you off to a good start for the day.

I try to keep each meal at around 300 to 350 calories. That along with snacks puts me at around 1,000-1,200 calories each day.

You can’t control that which you don’t measure.

Tip: I write down every single bite of food I eat, no matter how small. I once heard someone say, “You can’t control that which you don’t measure.” That could apply to many things in life. For example, what would happen if you spent as much money as you liked each day without ever checking your bank balance? You would find things out of control pretty quickly, right? When you’re trying to lose weight, you need to keep up with the calories you’re consuming each day. It’s too easy to sneak a nibble here or there, and those nibbles add up faster than you realize.

Yesterday I was shopping in Steinmart. When I was checking out, right beside the register they had small packets of shortbread cookies for sale. I love those things! They were very small packets, each containing just two cookies. I’ve been doing so well and haven’t had any desserts other than fruit in over two months. I decided to treat myself to one.

On the way home I ate one of the cookies in the car, saving the other one for another day. I almost had a heart attack when I got home and read the label. That one little shortbread cookie contained 100 calories!!! If I had eaten both, I would have consumed 200 calories! I threw the other cookie away as soon as I read that package. lol  I love cookies but right now I have my eye set on losing 10 more pounds and eating cookies that are 100 calories each will not get me there.

To help me keep up with how many calories I’m eating each day, I made a very simple little chart. I tried using the “My Fitness Pal” app that everyone seems to love, but I didn’t enjoying using it. I just prefer to go old school and write it down.

At the very bottom of the chart, I always jot down how many calories I’ve burned in my cycling class that day. I average riding 4-5 times a week and burn anywhere from 300-450 calories depending on the length of the class.

 

Lunch

Lunch is usually a half can of Albacore tuna, eaten plain or with some mustard mixed in. Or, it could be salmon left over from the night before, added to a salad.

Once in a while I may add a tablespoon of mayo to my tuna, but mayo is very high calorie and I don’t like diet mayonnaise. So I normally stick with mustard. I sometimes make a tuna sandwich using two slices of toasted 40 calorie bread, just depends on the mood I’m in.

Along with the tuna, I eat as much broccoli as I want. I buy these Green Giant Steamers at my Neighborhood Wal-Mart Market. I’m sure they are available elsewhere, too.

 

3/4 cup of this cooked broccoli is only 20 calories. That means you could eat the entire bag, which is around 2 1/2 cups of broccoli and only consume 60 calories! I steam a couple of these bags at the time and keep them in a big bowl in the refrigerator. If I get hungry late at night or really any time during the day, I run down, heap some broccoli into a bowl, zap it in the microwave for about 15 seconds and eat up. It’s a healthy snack and the calories are minimal!

 

Sometimes I eat spinach instead of broccoli. I bought some black-eyed peas recently, the kind that are fresh and already shelled, but I was shocked how many calories were in one cup. So I’ve pretty much stuck to eating leafy, green vegetables as I’ve tried to shed about 5-10 more pounds. You could eat kale or whatever leafy, green veggie that you prefer. I like broccoli and spinach, so that’s what I’ve been eating.

 

As with the broccoli, the calorie count is really good for spinach, only 20 calories in 3/4 cup. So, again, I pretty much eat my fill.

Update: Just wanted to add, I do not like the Green Giant Broccoli or Spinach that’s in a cream sauce or has anything added. It’s the plain broccoli and spinach that I buy. I prefer to season my own, if I do season it.

 

Between lunch and dinner, I usually crave a snack. My favorite snack is a rice cake with a ripe banana sliced up on top.

A rice cake is 35 calories and a half banana is around 50 calories…so that’s an 85 calorie snack. I’m always looking for foods that I can snack on but don’t add a lot of calories to my diet. I love these rice cakes, they are just barely salted and combined with a sweet banana, it’s yummy. You get that sweet/salty taste that I really love.

 

Sometimes as a snack, I’ll eat a small piece of cheddar cheese. I’ve found that since I’m not drinking multiple glasses of milk all day long like I used to, I can get a way with a little cream in my iced coffee and a small piece of cheese during the day without any tummy upset.

Tip: When trying to lose weight, clear your cupboards of any high-calorie foods that you know you can’t resist. My Achilles heel is crunchy peanut butter. I LOVE a peanut butter and fruit sandwich. I actually haven’t bought jam in a while because I’ve discovered I much prefer to eat fresh fruit on my peanut butter sandwiches. I spread extra crunchy peanut butter on a slice of bread and then cover the bread with blueberries or bananas. Yum! It’s sooo good!

Unfortunately, peanut butter is very high in calories, especially if you get the extra crunchy kind which is the only kind I like. When I have it in the house, it haunts me the way a chocolate cake would a chocolate lover. So when I finished up the peanut butter I had in the cupboard about a month ago, I didn’t replace it. It’s just too tempting, so why torture myself that way.

But what I still do sometimes for a snack is I’ll take a half of a banana, squish it up and put it on either a 35 calorie rice cake or a 40 calorie piece of bread. Then I’ll sprinkle a few nuts that I’ve shelled onto the top.

I like to buy the large packages of unshelled nuts in the grocery store. Then I’ll shell 4 or 5 nuts (it might be pecans or walnuts or even Brazil nuts) and sprinkle them across the top. I think that’s probably fewer calories than peanut butter and maybe even a little healthier. Plus, you get all that crunchy goodness from the nuts. It’s delish and very filling.

Just be careful that you don’t overdo it with the nuts. The calories in the nuts add up quickly so Google how many calories there are in nuts before you decide how many to add on top. I figure that’s healthier and less calorie-laden than the peanut butter would be. And fresh fruit beats jam from a jar any day, at least it does to me.

Dinner

Dinner is usually a half or a whole piece of salmon that I buy in Whole Foods or a skinless chicken breast broiled with a couple of pats of butter and a little lemon pepper in the oven on a cookie sheet. The salmon I buy is frozen and there are 6 pieces per package for $21.99. It’s wrapped individually so you just cut/tear off as many as you wish to cook.

I usually take one out of the freezer the night before and put it in the refrigerator to defrost. Then the next day when I’m ready to eat, I microwave it for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes at around 70-80% power. I check it and if it needs it, I’ll microwave it another 30-45 seconds or so.

It comes out great this way to me, but if the idea of microwaving salmon is appalling to you, then definitely cook it however you wish. I’m a lazy cook so this has worked great for me.

Update: I’ve tried frozen salmon from several stores and this one that I buy at Whole Foods is the only one I like. The others taste way too fishy. So, if you buy it elsewhere and it tastes terrible, try this one.

 

 

I normally eat 1/2 of a piece of salmon (155 calories) and save the rest for the next day’s lunch. It’s really good on a green salad for lunch.

 

With the salmon, I’ll again have either broccoli or spinach. Sometimes I’ll fix a salad but usually I’m happy with either the broccoli or the spinach mentioned earlier in this post.

Other Things I Sometimes Eat as Snacks or For Lunch

I watched a video recently where a favorite YouTuber I follow was talking about drinking a protein shake. The one she drinks was very expensive, way more than I wanted to spend. So, I went online and did a bit of research and this one appeared to be getting pretty good reviews.

 

Here is what’s inside below. Sometimes I’ll drink this as snack during the day. Or, if I’ve only had a half piece of salmon and some broccoli for dinner, which is only around 180-200 calories, I may drink the protein shake later that night. Again, I’m writing every thing down on my little chart so I’m keeping track. Update: Apparently, they had a recall on this product because it was found to contain traces of peanuts in it. I’m not allergic to peanuts so I’m going to continue eating it.

 

Water

One day recently I realized I pretty much always have chapped lips…and for no reason. This isn’t since I started trying to lose a few pounds, it’s been this way for years. I Googled and read that not drinking enough water each day can cause that.

I’m a terrible water drinker. I thought I was doing okay until I started filling up a pitcher each day and trying to drink the whole thing by the end of the day. The pitcher holds approximately 64 ounces which is right around the recommended daily amount. Oh, how I struggle to drink it all each day, but I have to say, ever since I’ve increased my water intake, no more chapped lips!

There’s an app you can add to your phone that will remind you to drink water. I added it to my phone but removed it because I just don’t want something prompting me all day. I like the pitcher idea because it’s a visual reminder I see all throughout the day here in my office, unless I’m gone all day like I was yesterday.

(Read more about this Infusion Pitcher here: Fruit Infusion Pitcher, Love This Thing)

I also like to keep a pitcher of unsweet tea in the fridge, although lately I’ve been concentrating on drinking more water. I avoid fruit juices since they are high in calories, spike your blood sugar and are not very filling. I’d rather eat an orange or two than drink 6 ounces of orange juice. I just find that way more satisfying.

Some Thoughts and Observations

Recently I was thinking about adding yogurt to my daily repertoire. When I looked at the label in the grocery store, I was shocked that one small yogurt contained 120 calories. I don’t know about you, but I never find yogurt very filling. It’s like eating a sweet dessert, it goes down really fast and I’m starving again in no time. I try to concentrate on eating foods that are more dense and fill me up without adding tons of calories.

Eating Out

When eating out, I focus on eating some kind of lean meat like chicken or fish and plenty of veggies. About once a week I’ll treat myself to a hamburger if I’m in the mood. I only eat until I’m full, which sometimes is just half the hamburger…depends on the size of the burger. So I don’t deprive myself of something if I’m absolutely craving it, but I do limit how much I eat of that food and I make sure to record it down on my chart.

Tip: Eat slowly because it takes your brain about 20 minutes to register when you’re getting full. If you eat too quickly (something I’m guilty of) you’ll go from hungry to feeling stuffed before you know it.

What To Do When You Have an Off Day and Blow Your Diet

There are always going to be days when you don’t stick to your diet. I’ve had those days. The important thing is to acknowledge it, think about what happened to cause it so you can learn from it, then realize that one off day doesn’t undo all the work you’ve done so far. You just get up the next morning and start fresh again. The worse thing you can do is get down on yourself and give up. Just move forward and focus on the day ahead.

Diet Drinks or Anything with Artificial Sugar

I can not drink sodas or anything with artificial sweeteners. I’ve noticed when I do, I get joint pain, especially in my hands. Since I gave up diet sodas, my joint paint is almost gone. If you have joint pain and drink a lot of diet drinks or eat foods with artificial ingredients or sweeteners, try avoiding those for a couple of weeks and see if it helps. I heard on the radio today that more people are suffering now with arthritis than ever before. It’s like an epidemic! I can’t help but wonder if it has to do with diet sodas and the other artificial ingredients hidden in some foods. Eating whole foods as much as possible is definitely the way to go. I hate cooking so I do resort to the prepackaged veggies, but eat whole foods whenever you can.

My Energy Level

I have tons of energy, especially now that I’ve shed 13 lbs. One day it dawned on me, for every 5 lbs I lose, I’ve just sat down a 5 lb bag of sugar I’ve been carrying around!

Next time you’re in the grocery store, or if you have a  5-lb bag of sugar in your pantry right now, go pick it up and hold it. Switch it from hand to hand and feel its weight. Just losing 5 lbs is the equivalent of getting that bag of sugar off your back, hips, knees and legs, not to mention how much good you’re doing for your heart.

Weight comes on us so gradually, it’s not like someone just walked up one day, handed us a 5-lb bag of sugar and said, “Here, hold this and don’t put it down even once for the next 5-10 years.” If someone did that, we would probably hit them in the head with that bag of sugar. Yet, we walk around every day carrying multiple bags of sugar with us everywhere we go, in my case, 4 bags/20 lbs. I’ve gotten rid of two of those bags, have two more to go!

Finally finding a form of exercise I love (live and on-demand spin classes on my Peloton) I feel like I now have a way to permanently sit down those bags of sugar, hopefully forever. I really do believe that’s the key to losing weight and keeping it off: finding some form of exercise that you enjoy and doing it often.

It’s just too hard to maintain your ideal weight through diet alone, at least it is for my metabolism. I’m hypothyroid and insulin resistant, so that probably has something to do with it. As mentioned before, both my father and brother came down with Type 2 diabetes in their 50’s. I’m determined to not follow in their footsteps.

Hope this post answers a few of the questions I’ve received and I hope some of the tips I’ve shared will prove helpful if you’re trying to shed a few pounds, too.




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Comments

  1. Maggie Amis says:

    Oh my goodness! How wonderful.

    They say all these things are “habit” and I know I get out of the “habits” at different times of year – I live where there is plenty of snow and cold- so – I stop walking outside when the weather turns. Here I am…. March 8… sigh – feeling like a blob. But, I do maintain my water year round…. it is my favorite drink – that and teas.

    I thought what you said about the artificial sweeteners VEERRRRY interesting – I am going to stop them myself ( have them my ice tea) and see if my joint main does not clear up!

    Thank you for sharing your process!

    Take Care-

  2. Antoinette says:

    That’s really great! Good for you! It’s obvious you have put a lot of work into this and it’s paying off. I find that diets don’t work (for the rest of your life), what works is a change in lifestyle. I used to be one of those people that I could eat anything I wanted to and never gain weight…..until I reached a certain age then I gained twenty pounds practically overnight! An extra twenty pounds is a lot for me since I’m only 5 feet tall. What’s one to do? In my case I looked at my lifestyle and eating habits. I didn’t exercise and I used to have a bowl of ice cream every single night after dinner! I stopped eating ice cream, I went cold turkey and stopped buying it (once in a great while I’ll have it if I’m out) and I started walking on the treadmill every other day (I walk 5 to 6 miles each time). Surprisingly I don’t miss having ice cream every night and I not only do I enjoy exercising but I actually look forward to it (I would do it every day, if it wasn’t for having to wash my hair every time). I have a TV with a DVD player right in front of my treadmill and I’ll watch shows that I have recorded on my DVR to pass the time and to catch up on some of them. Before I start on the treadmill, I do some yoga poses for stretching. When I’m exercising, I feel the stress just peeling away from me (I have a very stressful job). So ultimately exercise has helped me mentally and physically. I have since lost the twenty pounds and I feel so much limber and healthier too!

    • Definitely! Unless you have a super active job, it’s almost impossible to maintain an ideal weight from dieting alone, so the trick is finding the activity or exercise that you enjoy and will do regularly. For me, it’s the cycling classes on my Peloton. It is amazing how exercise filters into other areas of your life. I fall asleep so quickly now when I go to bed. Love that! 🙂

  3. Way to go Susan! It can be overwhelming trying to figure out a clean eating plan that works for you. I like how you’ve incorporated a nice balance! Amazing tips! For me, the most difficult part is staying consistent as I’m an emotional eater, although, I’m learning to cope with stress other ways instead of grabbing a bag of chips! Great post! Thank you for sharing!!

  4. Gwendolyn Blackman says:

    Congrats on the weight loss and resolve. I joined Weight Watchers in January and pulled out my old stationary bike. The struggle is real.

  5. I enjoyed reading your article so much it was so informative I am trying to lose some pounds too and I love reading what others are doing it really helps a lot…I read your blog all the time I really enjoy it

  6. Thank you so much for this post!!! I believe I can do most of the things that you suggested. I walk a treadmill and not a bike.Biking hurts my knees so much, maybe after I drop some of this weight I will try it again. I eat pretty much like you. Simple and heAlthy!!! Just need to do more. I too have tried the fitness pal but prefer the old fashion way. I love your post thank you!!!

  7. Cyndi Raines says:

    You go girl! Happy for you! What a wonderful accomplishment. All great tips and I will have to check out the almond milk and rice cakes. I totally agree with you about writing everything down, I lost 23 lbs. some years ago by writing down everything I ate and measuring. Measuring is important for me as it’s easy to exaggerate what 1/4 cup is. Slowly the weight has come back like you said, but I’m determined to get it off. I agree with you about a simple chart – much easier to write down then having to log it in to my laptop. I also am a big believer in weighing myself daily to keep my mindset going. I know others say once a week is enough, but that wouldn’t work for me. haha Thanks for the great tips and keep it up.

  8. Kudos! Wow, you are on an amazingly disciplined journey. Proud of you and your self-advocacy! And amazing results!
    So far in my life I have never had to diet, for which I am thankful. I eat the same thing for breakfast daily, but do allow myself sweets and diet soda (I know both are bad). If necessary, I would discipline myself to cut those out. I generally eat light and healthy. Yours is a great model for anyone wanting to try your plan. Even if not the Peloton, just substituting for some other exercise such as walking would be terrific.

  9. Julie WIlliams says:

    I’m sure you’ll get a thousand emails about your diet plan. My only caution is that perhaps you are not getting enough fats in your diet. The gov’t recommendations are quite off on that, as are most dieticians and Dr. info. Fat is essential for your body’s absorption of nutrients (vitamins, minerals) and for your brain to work right. Coconut oil, (virgin) would be an excellent addition and there’s much suggested that it also helps in the weight loss/stabilization plan. Check it out–there’s a lot of info out there. Julie W.

    • I was thinking the coconut milk, the shelled nuts, cream (in my coffee), bacon and the occasional hamburger were probably enough fats. I like avocado but I think I’m mildly allergic to it. I’ve noticed some weird itching when I eat it too often. Thanks Julie, I have coconut oil that I rub on after a shower and on my hand throughout the day. I’ll look into getting some for adding to foods.

  10. What great advice! I agree with you about sticking with meals that work rather than trying to figure out a bunch of fancy meals!

    I need to follow your plan!

  11. Dee Rahmeh says:

    OMG you are doing great!!! thanks for sharing all your tips…I have got to get with it …I need to lose about 20 lbs…so you are inspiring!!!
    thanks again!
    Dee in Texas

  12. Sounds like a great plan and congratulations on feeling better and losing weight! I can’t ride a bike because of my knees but can and do walk and have a home gym.

    I don’t buy those little yogurts. Most have too much sugar added. I buy Fage and add my own fruit if I want a treat. It is thick and creamy and has a great tart taste that I like. You can choose your level of fat from 0% to 4%. It is not sweetened. It is also filled with probiotic goodness to help the digestive system. It is higher in calories than some other snacks so portions are small but it is very filling to me.

    Thanks for sharing all of your tips.

  13. Jean from Georgia says:

    Absolutely the best post. I have just been put on high cholesterol and high blood pressure medications and I am determined to change my diet and drop 20 pounds. Congratulations on your success with your died and exercise program.

  14. Antoinette says:

    By the way, I forgot to mention before that I have always drank a lot of water throughout the day and I still do (I don’t drink soda or anything in those lines), it keeps me healthy and it’s filling too!

  15. kim domingue says:

    Congratulations on changing some habits! The hubs decided to go on a diet a couple of months ago for our daughter’s wedding. I told him that we shouldn’t think of it as a diet but as a change in our eating habits. He’s dropped two and a half 5 lb bags of sugar and I’ve dropped two. How? We ditched soda. Period. He has a small glass of wine instead of a beer in the evening. No bread, pasta…… basically, no white stuff. Fresh fruit, nuts and cheese to snack on. Simple meals, repetitive but filling. We enjoy whatever we’d like to eat one day out of the weekend. Once we adapted to eating like this, we found that a lot of the things that we used to like just aren’t as appealing any more. We buy mostly organic as we find that it tastes better. We found a few organic premade things for rushed days when there’s just no time to cook. Doubt that we’ll go back to our old eating style…..We feel too good on the new one!

  16. Melinda says:

    Susan – congratulations on your weight loss and thank you for the healthy lifestyle tips you provided. I’ve been on my own healthier lifestyle journey these last couple of years. Over the last two years I have lost 85 lbs. I lost 50 lbs using Nutrisystem and then lost another 35 using what I learned while on Nutrisystem. I don’t want to make this an advertisement for Nutrisystem but it worked very well for me and helped me do a complete re-set of what I eat. I use My Fitness Pal religiously and record everything I eat. That – and my Fitbit – has helped me stay accountable to myself. I’ve also realized that my idea of what a “serving” is was completely off. What I thought was a 1/3 cup serving was more like a 1/2 or 2/3 cup serving in reality. It’s important to actually measure! Imagine that? I find that I do tend to eat similar meals week after week – mostly chicken for protein and a wide variety of fresh vegetables. Lunch is the hardest meal for me to plan so I’m always interested to see what other folks do about lunch. Having something that is quick and healthy is a challenge. As you described so well, exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle. I wish I could afford a Peloton but I am happy with how walking has helped me with my weight loss. I’m actually looking forward to my next doctor’s visit so that I can see his jaw drop when I stand on the scale! Good luck with those next few pounds you are looking to lose!

  17. So happy for you Susan. I dropped 50 lbs and have managed to keep it off with exactly what you’re doing with the exception of I walk instead of bike. Two miles everyday has been enough to keep the weight loss going. I might suggest you look at the app “My Fitness Pal”. It has been a life saver for me. Handy to have it right on your phone. You log everything you eat there and it keeps track of calories and nutrition. You can also log your exercise. It helped me learn that if I want that short bread cookie I can have it as long as I walk more to get rid of it. All you have to do is scan the bar code and I’ve found that most foods are already in there. Should you want to cook – you can even load in a recipe and it will figure out how many calories it has. It even has restaurant foods. I love it and I’m sure you would too. Way easy! Keep up the good work!

    • That’s awesome, Amy! I bet you feel like a whole new person! I know how much better I feel just being down 12-13 lbs. 🙂 Yeah, as I mentioned in the post, I tried My Fitness Pal, but didn’t like it. I think everyone loves it except me. lol I much prefer just writing it down. I remember the first day I tried the app, it didn’t have the correct measurement for something I had eaten, so I couldn’t properly add it. It’s just so easy to jot down what I’ve eaten on my little chart. Fortunately, my Peloton tells me exactly how many calories I’ve burned, my heart rate, etc…so I get everything exercise wise from it.

  18. Valerie Reynolds says:

    I just love that your are counting calories, something I have done to maintain my weight for 30 years. It seems like it was kind of frowned upon for so many years, considered old school, during the low fat craze, low carb, the high protein diets, etc. I have always felt it boils down to a simple: calories in versus calories out! And of course watch our for the calorie packed “starches” as our mom’s generation called them…the breads, potatoes, pastas….

    • Caroline says:

      Absolutely right. The science is simple: To lose excess body fat you have to burn more calories than you take in–you have to be in a “calorie deficit”. It’s a numbers game–all comes down to calories.

  19. I found a few tips in this post that I want to adopt right away. Was there any period of adjustment for the almond coconut milk? I’ve tried milk subs before and just couldn’t stand them. Also regarding artificial sweetners, I use liquid Stevia with no problem, but suffered joint pain with Splenda. Within days of quitting Splenda, all joint pain was gone. But I like many of your menu selections, especially the prepared boiled eggs; I thought I must be the only one to ever buy them 🙂

  20. Very helpful!!
    I have family member constantly battles weight…
    I try to help by not having sugar in house, tons of water and healthy
    Meals. Now if she could just commit to staying with some type of
    Exercise and sticking with it.
    I love your suggestions … will look for shakes. Our breakfast and dinner
    Very similar to yours. For us preparation of veggies, meal plan and
    Journal have really helped!

  21. Lorraine says:

    I must admit I just skimmed your blog today so I may have missed an important factor, but just want to comment on the packaged boiled eggs…….
    You have such a beautiful kitchen, I would boil my own eggs or be happy to cook from scratch with delight in such a space.

  22. Great post…and good for you for losing and getting in shape. I am trying to not drink as much diet soda and trying to get my husband to stop…your comments about joint pain might do the trick. I love to cook so it is always going to be a challenge – but now I am retired and walking almost a hour a day. I love to walk, and am hoping for good results. Thank you again for all the great tips !

  23. Awesome post. You go girl.

  24. Darn it, Susan (she says with a smile)! You keep costing me money! I always said I didn’t need one of those infusion pitchers until I found out you loved yours, so, of course, I ordered one that looks like yours. Found it on Amazon. You looked adorable sitting inside that cabinet! Love all your posts.

  25. bobbi duncan says:

    Proud of you, Susan! Know you’ve got to be feeling proud of yourself for sticking to it and getting healthier in the process. I’m just starting my own exercise program to lose the 10 lbs. I’ve accumulated since I was young. Seems all my fat issues end up in the tummy area which is uncomfortable. Thanks for all the info. on what’s been helping you reach your goal. I think it’s amazing that you’ve lost that much weight in such a short time! You go, girl! Hugs!

  26. Such an informative post…thank you so much! Wonderful tips and ideas! Keep up the good work!

  27. Caroline says:

    I used to be a personal trainer and enjoyed seeing your daily diet. Here are a few more tips:
    –Add weight training. Lean muscle burns even more calories (which means you can eat more!) and also increases your strength and bone density. Three times per week is perfect. Compound movements like squats, presses, and rows are particularly effective.
    –Buy a food scale. A scale is KEY to getting 100% accurate servings sizes AND so helpful for baking and cooking! You don’t have to dirty measuring cups and you get accurate weights to the gram or eighth ounce. My scale sits on the counter and only takes a second to set a plate or bowl right on it and press ‘zero’ (tare) then add the food. And be sure to write the weights down on your tracker of course. You’ll find that soon you’ll be very familiar with how much different foods weigh or what an ounce of cheese or pretzels etc. looks like.
    –Set a calorie limit and stick with it. That could be anywhere from 2,000 calories down to 1,300 depending on your starting body weight, muscle mass, activity level, and how fast you want to lose. Within your calorie limit feel free to eat whatever foods you enjoy. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having peanut butter or ice cream or whatever you like. Just weigh it and have a smaller serving. Just make sure you don’t go over your calorie limit at the end of the day. My motto has always been “everything in moderation” (deprivation never works!).

  28. Great post Susan! My one concern about your eating habits is what appears to be too little vitamin D? No milk products and I bet you use sunblock faithfully. Where is your vitamin D coming from? A supplement? I may have missed that. Its a big deal for men and women but especially women after menopause.

    • Yup, every 6-8 months when I have to for my check up with my Endocronologist, the blood work always shows I’m low on Vitamin D. So he’s had me on prescription Vitamin D for several years. I’m just barely low though. I only take one pill a week and sometimes I forget it. I’ve been doing better, though…so I think next time I go for my check-up, hopefully it will be in the normal range. Thanks for asking, it seems like everyone I know is low on Vitamin D these days. We are trying to stay out of the sun, maybe a little too much. lol

  29. Many thanks Susan for sharing, you have motivated me to join you with healthier diet with the bonus of losing the extra weigh that slowly creeps on.
    Cheers from down under, Judy

  30. Kathleen says:

    You are what you eat and eat in moderation. I think if I gave up Coke I would lose 10 pounds in no time (I could if I set my mind to do it as you have with your plan). Such an inspiring post with a lot of good information! Glad to hear you are losing the extra weight and enjoying yourself as you do.

  31. Charlotte says:

    Great job on the weight loss! Thank you for all of the information and sharing what works for you. It does help! I am also battling the bulge and it really is a constant struggle. I also decided I need to change the foods I eat and get moving – that works the best. It is a life change.

  32. THANK YOU for this post. I am saving it, pinning it etc. so I have it for reference! I really need to start some kind of exercise. I don’t know if I can invest in this bike but what I really need is MOTIVATION. I hate to exercise. I do, however like to walk and I do in the warm weather. Winter I just can’t. So, I have to get back to that ASAP. Thanks again, this is VERY helpful!

  33. If you’re eating 1000 calories a day, that’s not enough! 1500 calories, on a day when live burns almost 500 calories through vigorous exercise, is probably not even enough. Trust that your body will continue to lose weight but please, eat a little more, and add some healthy fat. A half-piece of salmon is hardly enough food for anyone.

    • Anne, it’s closer to 1200 each day with my snacks added in. That’s what I saw recommended online for someone my age, if you’re trying to lose a few lbs. Granted, I am exercising, but I feel fine and have plenty of energy eating 1200 a day.

    • Anne, also keep in mind I’ve been averaging losing only a pound a week, so that considered very safe. You are sweet to worry, though! xxx

  34. Congratulations. Can you watch a movie while cycling? I lost 50 lbs but not the best way as was from being injured and laid up and much was muscle! But getting stronger and looking fine.

    • Thanks, Rose!
      No, you wouldn’t want to watch a movie because you’re actually taking a real spin class when you’re on the bike. The Peloton has a computer built into it, so you’re streaming either a live class or a class that you’re taking “On Demand.” It’s just like taking a spin class in a studio with a Coach/Instructor, except you get to do it in your own home. You can see a 2 minute video showing how it works here: https://www.pelotoncycle.com/r/?rc=ad9b35e21274455e9164948249fd82d5
      It’s pretty amazing!

  35. I have been trying since the first of the year. Lost about 5 pounds. I will try writing down what I eat. I borrowed a kettle bell kit from our library it was a really good workout.Tomorrow I get adifferent work out kit – It is fun to try different work outs

  36. Since you’re trying to eat healthy, you might want to do a little research on farm-raised salmon. I no longer buy it; instead, when fresh-caught salmon is on sale, I stock up and freeze it myself. If you ever see farm-raised salmon displayed next to fresh-caught salmon, you’ll see that the difference can be easily seen and is amazing!

    • Judith, not all farm raised salmon is unhealthy. Whole Foods takes special care to source their salmon. You’ll want to read this article: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/truth-about-farmed-salmon-whole-foods-market
      I really love it and have been buying it for years.

      • Thanks for this information on Whole Foods farm raised salmon. We have been buying wild caught salmon in season or frozen wild caught. I knew there had to be some safe farm raised salmon out there but did not know about this one. I will give it a try thanks!!

        • Little bit confused…the package says Atlantic Salmon, but product of Germany. Their site mentions Icelandic waters which sounds better…and the fact that they add coloring disturbed many who made comments on their site…will investigate further.

          • I think it’s packaged in Germany, but it states that it’s “Farm-raised in Iceland.” It also has the Whole Foods Market Responsibly Farmed seal on it.
            Salmon

  37. Susan, congratulations on getting such great results! And you can pat yourself on the back because it’s due to your diligence. I’m glad you found the “holy grail” of exercise for you.

    Interesting about the diet sodas causing joint pain. I’m 54, and wake up with joint pain every day. I usually have one diet soda every day, so wonder if that is one of the culprits (I know its also due to a medicine I take). Maybe I’ll try giving that up to see if it helps.

    I’m amazed you can get by on so few calories, but hats off to you! I like many of your ideas and I will definitely incorporate some of them. Have a great day 🙂

    • Megan, that really is the key…finding that “holy grail” of exercise, no matter what it is. I could kiss the man who invented this spin cycle and figured out how to stream live classes to the home. It’s definitely a life changer for me.

      Yeah, if I’m drinking a lot of soda, I’ll feel it all over, but if leave off the soda and it goes away, if I just go through a drive through and buy one diet soda, my hands will start to hurt in no time. I really do believe it’s something in the diet soda that was effecting me. So I’m just trying to avoid all soda. If you google this phrase “joint pain and diet sodas” or “Joint pain and diet drinks” you’ll find a lot of people complaining about the same thing.

  38. Since December I have lost 20 pounds and have gone down 2 sizes. And without doing any exercise regimen. And it only cost me about $15. I eat whatever I want. When I want. As much as I want. And I don’t have to take time to “work out” for the purpose of loosing weight. I can do it because I want to. (Which I don’t :D)

    Impossible you say? Not at all. It’s actually quite simple. Switch to a whole foods plant based lifestyle. Eliminate all animal byproducts (meat, dairy, eggs) and overly processed / refined foods. Sell your $2000 spin cycle and treat yourself to a weekend at a resort instead 😉 I feel great, don’t miss it at all. I also have comfort in knowing that I will be less likely to become obese (again), develop diabetes, heart disease and many cancers.

    If your wondering where the $15 went towards it was this book. Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health

    • I love my bike too much to sell it. I would ride it no matter what size/weight I was. Congrats on your weight loss, Eva! That’s great!

  39. Good for you Susan!! This is very inspiring. Would LOVE more posts like this for the encouragement….Love your ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  40. Maryann Rule says:

    Excellent post, thank you so much for sharing your many good suggestions. Could be a testimonial for the Weight Watchers plan, lol.

  41. I dont like the idea of dieting at all…I just try to eat healthier, and exercise, so I’ve been able to lose weight that way…but it takes longer. I am a Weight Watchers life time member. My mantra was ” If you bite it, you write it” Here’s a tip for you….Buy yourself a YoNanas machine. They are about $39 but worth every penny in my book. You freeze ripe bananas, feed it through the top of the machine along with other frozen fruit of your choice, and out comes the most delicious “soft serve” like frozen dessert that tastes like rich ice cream, but is all fruit. Oh my…you feel like you’re cheating, but you’re not…well except for the whipped cream I squirt on the top.

  42. Juanita in OH says:

    I cannot express or find the words is want to tell you about how proud of you I am…If I could ride a bike I would be trying to work along side you. To be an encourager and compete with you in a fun way. Your journey is a blessing for all and I thank you for sharing it.

    • Thanks so much, Juanita! That would be a blast, riding along with you. 🙂 Your words are a blessing to me…appreciate you! ♥

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