Our Weight Loss Journey - Pictures and Progress

Some of the best inspiration to keep me motivated and on track has been pictures.  I had no desire to get in photos in my shape, but somehow Kurt and I took some photos this past summer one month before getting serious about our weight loss goals.  These photos were taken in July 2015.  We each weighed about 220 lbs. here.  We actually were good about taking some walks and hikes last summer but had not yet started clean and healthy eating habits.  I ate Doritos way too often when I'd get home from work and usually wanted to eat out for dinner too often.  And anytime we grilled, we had to have at least one beer.  At least.  So there were a lot of eating habits that we needed to slowly change over time.  It all began in mid-August around our anniversary.  Looking back, I still am impressed by how much healthy change we have embraced.  Changes certainly do not happen overnight, and they certainly are not easy to sustain.  Habits take time to develop and grow before they become automatic or autopilot behavior.  And they require consistent repetition, even when the scale is not moving.

Our goal was simple.  Eat out less, and eat healthier homemade food.  I already loved cooking.  But it meant applying that interest to healthier recipes, which takes time as well.

This is us at the end of September 2015.  At this point we were walking 3-4 times a week for about 30-35 minutes after dinner.  We were at about 202 lbs. in late September.  We were dropping the weight at a rate of 3-4 lbs. per week at this point, and we were committed enough to buy a scale in early September.  The weight was coming off fast and furious.  I still had some edema in my legs but walking seemed to help a lot with reducing the water retention in my ankles.  Early September marked when we started incorporating Questbars in our diet as high protein snacks.  Kurt would usually have them as a meal replacement while I used them as snacks.  I'd eat 1/4, 1/3 or up to 1/2 of a bar as a snack depending on how hungry I was.  September also marked the month that we started meal prepping in a more organized way and with 2-3 hours set aside each weekend.

By October 18th when we participated in the REI 5K run, we were eating clean and healthy for 9 weeks and weighing about 195 lbs.  We were some of the last people to cross the line, but the positive energy around us and hearing all of the supportive cheering really motivated us to walk/jog as fast as we could without injuring ourselves!  We've gone back to walk that same 5K route for many a Sunday morning now with even better timing.  Doing a 5K really sparked our excitement about walking and improving on our walking speed.  At the end of October, we had lost about 30 lbs. each so we went to celebrate with a big steak dinner and beer, of course!
And after celebrating, we got back to our clean and healthy eating.  No guilt for celebrating, because we have to make room for steak dinners and beer from time to time.  It had been three months since we had a Jeremiah Red, so 30 lbs. lost seemed like a good time to indulge in a pint.  
By Thanksgiving weekend, we had each lost about 35 lbs.  We talked about Thanksgiving and both agreed that we would enjoy all of the food that we wanted, but we would not take any leftovers (except lean turkey breast), and we would go back to clean and healthy eating the next day.  We even did an hour hike at Ventura Botanical Gardens with my beautiful and fun-loving sisters (from left to right:  Maria, Virginia, Yours Truly, Gina, and Ofelia).

The weight begins to come off slower at this point.  The Holidays, New Year's, Valentine's Day, and our birthdays all happened between November and February, but we still managed to stay on track and balance celebrating with clean eating habits.  Meal prepping by this time has become easier and faster.

We usually stick with broccoli, green beans, romaine, spinach, cucumbers, carrots, celery and grape tomatoes as our go-to prepped vegetables.  Other vegetables are also on hand but don't require as much prepping.  For protein we usually have chicken breast, salmon, tilapia, and ground turkey.  Many times I'll do ground chicken  meatballs or ground chicken patties.  I'll post recipes for that really soon.  

So fast forward to late March, and we have lost about 50-55 lbs. each.  Kurt still wants to lose about 10 more lbs. and I'd like to lose about 20 more lbs.  We're still walking but now also have incorporated strength training 2-3 times a week.  It feels great to have energy at the end of the day and not feel exhausted just from a flight of stairs.
I hope to share lots of food prepping and meal ideas with you next time.


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