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My entire life, I’ve struggled with my weight. In fact, it was a sore spot for me for many years. I wasn’t your typical sized teenager. From the time I was 13, I looked like a full grown woman.
Since obesity runs in my natural family, my mom made a lot of changes in our menu plans. The problem was, we didn’t really understand nutrition the way we understand it today.
We Had a Poor Understanding of Nutrition
Back then, we thought that eating fat would make you fat. So, to avoid becoming fat, I would eat low-fat foods, namely grains. There’s nothing wrong with grains, but eating too many can pack the weight onto your body.
My Aunt Flora explained it to me like this…your metabolism is like a fire. When you give it wood (carbohydrates), it will keep the fire going. However, if you pile on too much wood at the wrong time, you end up suffocating the fire and it puts it out.
I Was Determined to Lose Weight
After my third child was born, I was bigger than I had ever been in my life. I didn’t start out small to begin with, but I had reached a weight that I knew wasn’t healthy for me. One day, I looked at Austin and said, “We’re getting fat. We have got to make changes”. (Yup…I’m a terrible person.)
There had never been a time in my life where I could successfully lose weight, no matter what I did. When I was a teenager, I worked out for an hour a day and never saw the scales budge. I had no earthly clue how I was going to accomplish this goal, but I was determined to figure it out.
How I Finally Lost Weight
Are you ready for this? The secret to my weight loss?!?! Here it is- I counted calories….disappointed aren’t you? Yeah, you and every other person that ever asked me how I was loosing so much weight.
It’s a really boring answer, but it’s the truth. There are so many things that I learned about my eating patterns that astounded me…like:
- I was eating WAY too much
- The right portions are insanely smaller than I realized
- I’m totally addicted to carbohydrates
- I wasn’t eating as many healthy foods as I thought
Other things that I learned during that time was:
- A piece of bread has the same number of calories as an entire salad
- Drinking more water really does help you feel less hungry
- Eating out is so not worth it
- You can still eat junk food in moderation and lose weight
Before I started counting my calories, I never truly felt full. That caused me to eat a lot more than my body needed. It only took a week of counting calories for my body to adjust to smaller portions and less carbs.
Counting every calorie that I consumed helped me to see nutrition in a whole new light. There was no way that I would be able to eat enough to keep myself from feeling starved if I didn’t eliminate the higher calorie options.
I’m a Total Carbohydrate Addict
Yes, I’ve always known that I had a craving for breads, crackers, potatoes, pastas, and grains. However, I had no idea that I was over eating those types of foods. In order to stay within my calories, I had to severely reduce the number of carbs I was consuming in a day. Guess what I discovered? I’m totally addicted to carbs.
Eating too many carbs is the reason that I have never been able to lose the weight. What my Aunt Flora tried to tell me back when I was a teenager made so much sense. There was no way for my metabolism to keep up with the amount of carbohydrates I was asking it to process.
My Cooking Radically Changed
Cooking is something that I really enjoy doing. I don’t tend to go by recipes- rather, I let my creativity flow when I’m in the kitchen. When I started counting calories, the way I cooked had to change completely.
I had to figure out how to cook without adding a ton of extra calories like I was used to. What I found, was that we could use a lot less of the higher calorie ingredients and be fine. I drastically reduced things like:
There’s nothing wrong with those ingredients, but I was using more than necessary to cook. I didn’t eliminate anything from my diet, but I did learn to limit what I was consuming and it has made the difference.