Am I "On a Diet"?!

Veggies and dip
Veggies and greek yogurt dip

One of the questions people ask when they see (or hear) about my weight loss is:

"Are you on a certain type of diet? And what is it??!!"

No. I am not "on a diet".

From a health perspective (and considering that I was/am breastfeeding), slower weight loss is preferable. And I knew that with the amount of weight I wanted to lose, going at it 1 pound per week was going to take, well, what seemed like forever at the time. Ten months? Or longer? I could not imagine "dieting" for 10 months. (Remember, I really loooove food!!)

I knew that losing weight had to be done in a way that I could continue to do it, without giving up, for a long time. Preferably never, since I don't want to gain it back. ;)

Egg pizza
One day, I was craving pizza so I made a quick "egg pizza" for lunch with 2 scrambled eggs, pizza sauce, a serving of mozzarella cheese, and some turkey pepperoni. I made ones for the kids, too. They loved them!

So, I didn't cut out any foods or food groups altogether. Instead, I started counting calories to make sure I wasn't overeating (which I had been doing). I already knew what foods were good for me and what foods weren't so good. I'm a firm believer in variety and balance in eating. :)

I eat fewer potato wedges and more grilled fish at dinner. I stopped making most desserts except for special occasions -- which still ends up being 1-3 times per month. I love chocolate, but switched from lighter chocolates to dark chocolate only. Chai tea lattes are a treat/dessert, not a snack. Honestly, most desserts or junk food don't make it into my daily calorie allowance.

There is one "diet food" I've used: Greek yogurt. I probably won't continue to rely on it as a snack now that I don't need to lose weight; homemade yogurt is much cheaper.

My birthday spread!
My birthday meal earlier this month: Homemade pizza (a smaller "healthified" one for me!), fresh veggies, apple slices with cream cheese apple dip, tea, and an amazing chocolate birthday cake that Joshua and I made together!

Being aware of #1 What I am eating and #2 How many calories I am eating has been key to helping me make the right choices.

I also determined from the beginning that I was not going to "give up". I knew that in 10 months' time I'd feel discouraged and guilty and like a failure many times, but that if I were to succeed I would need to re-start as many times as necessary. I've "re-started" on probably every day of the week at some point. I think that having to "begin again" so many times actually has given me confidence. I know that one "bad day" won't ruin all my efforts. "Failure" is not when we mess up; failure is when we stop trying!

Channah in Ergo

My Ergo gets lots of use! Currently, it's how I get housework done when Channah (age 1) is fussy. After Yehoshua snapped this picture, I put my hair in a bun and we went on a 40-minute cleaning spree... which counts as exercise in My Fitness Pal, of course. ;)

I should probably do a separate post about how I manage to work in exercise and what my favorite activities are... :)

Comments

You look great, Tammy! You are such an inspiration to me in so many ways! :)

Thank you, Lindsey! :)

Thanks for sharing part of your journey with us. I know people seem to have a million questions when they see you make positive changes :) I hope to be so successful in changing my eating habits once I have this baby too. I have trouble cutting back when I know I don't need the extra calories.

Thank you! It is hard to start eating less... and then to keep at it for weeks or months! I am finding that maintaining my weight is much easier than losing it was.

Good for you for getting into a routine that works for you long-term.

I have the same burgundy Ergo (although it is loaned out to a friend with an infant right now)! Love it!

Melissa
http://anxiousfornothing.wordpress.com

Thanks, Melissa! :)

My Ergo was actually a gift from a blog reader! She had used it for her 2 daughters and when I mentioned that I was hoping to buy one when Moshe was a baby she offered to send me hers! :) It's been so nice to have! :)

Thanks for the encouragement! I've been slacking lately, and I've hit a plateau as they say. I'm still down about 30 lbs. I know that's still good, I just need to try harder!

I'm going o look into myfitnesspals.com. I've heard good things about it.

Btw you look GREAT!!

You can do it!!

My Fitness Pal is a fun support network. I especially like logging my exercise there. :)

When did you stop headcovering?

I actually don't remember for sure... but looking at some of my YouTube videos I think it's been a couple years? :)

You look fantastic! I am also on this journey. Can't wait to hear more about what worked for you!!!

Thank you!

You look awesome, Tammy!! So encouraging and nice to see someone loose weight without a diet or special foods.

Thanks, Anne Jisca! :)

greek yogurt dip?? :) It looks so yummy.

You look wonderful and I'm so glad that you are posting again!

Kim in Cali

Thank you!

Now, don't laugh, but... that dip was made with a Hidden Valley ranch dip mix packet + greek yogurt. That's it!

Yes, Hidden MSG Ranch Dip. ;) Dip is more of a special occasion thing for us -- like if we're serving raw veggies to guests, we try to have a dip of some sort with it. I don't think the HV ranch packets are healthy at all though! :P :) I have yet to create my own seasoning that compares to the flavor though... oh, yeah, I think that's the MSG part. ;)

I know how hard it is to lose weight while simultaneously being pregnant or nursing for years at a time. Keep up the good work!

Julie from http://atthewateringhole.blogspot.com/

Thank you! And yes, it is... because you know you need to eat enough for the baby, or for your milk supply, or to not lose too quickly while breastfeeding... I've thrown in the towel on weight loss many times while nursing and just hid behind my cute baby. ;)

Wow You look wonderful. Congratulations!

Thank you!

I think the neat thing about this picture is you look so healthy! I don't mean weight loss, but you just vibrate health :) Sounds weird, but it struck me how a lot of trim people don't seem healthy but I think your lifestyle and food choices definitely agree with you as you are glowing. :)

Thank you!!

I'm sure that "my way" isn't right for everyone... because I do try to pay attention to which foods/things help ME and make me feel healthy/good. :)

I can see such a difference in your face and arms compared to the last couple years I have followed you. Our babies are about a month apart and I am still holding on to my 30 pounds (8 of pregnancy weight) and I am so encouraged by how well you have done! I hope in a few months I will look as healthy and happy as that!

Thank you! You can do it!! :) Are you on My Fitness Pal? :)

Yes, we are friends on there :-)

Can you tell us how you did the crust for the egg pizza? I tried it today and it was wonderful but the egg crust somewhat fell apart.

Oh no! Well, I should probably have described it as a pizza omelet, because I made mine more like an open-face omelet.

Beat two eggs with a dash of salt. Preheat a small-medium skillet on medium-low. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil and coat bottom of skillet. Pour in eggs and put lid on. Turn heat to low. When the egg is cooked enough to flip, flip it over (a couple/few minutes).

After flipping, spread on sauce, cheese, and any pizza toppings you want. Put lid on skillet and continue to cook on low until everything's hot and melty and the egg is cooked on the bottom (of course).

Slide the whole "egg pizza" onto a warm plate and serve whole (or cut into 4 pieces).

I made these individually -- ones for me, Yehoshua, Eliyahu, and then one final one for Ruth and Moshe to share.

Did you know you can make homemade Greek yogurt?

After making homemade yogurt, line a colander with coffee filters and set it over a bowl. Place the yogurt in the colander on the coffee filters. Cover with wrap and let sit in the fridge for several hours. The whey will drain into the bowl and you will have Greek yogurt. :)

It's very good!

Yes! I have strained homemade yogurt. :) My original reason for not straining my own (when calorie-counting) was that I had no idea what the nutrition facts were for strained yogurt. :) It seems I could measure the whey and re-figure a bit and get a ballpark estimate. But honestly, I do like plain yogurt just fine so when I make my own I don't bother to strain it or do anything extra. :)

Tammy, you're still using the Ergo! I'm so glad. I felt a little wistful, remembering the girls in it, but I'm so glad to have such a lovely mama wearing her kids in it. Blessings, and you look great.

Beth

I wondered if you were still a regular reader, Beth! :) Thanks for the comment. :D We used the Ergo sooooo much last year -- all summer, probably for at least an hour a day!! I use it when grocery shopping with Channah, walks to the park, around the house... it helped me fly to Ohio (with all 5 kids by myself!) last Fall... pretty much my most favorite baby item for staying active, for sure. :) Thank you again for sharing it with me!! :)

Of course I'm still a regular reader! :) I'm terrible about signing in (as you can see) and don't tend to comment too much, but love keeping an eye for new recipes. So, so glad that the Ergo is used so much and is helpful as it was my favorite baby item. The irony is that I saw someone walking with it in Manhattan while I was pregnant and dashed after her to ask. She looked askance at me, but did share the information and I put it on my baby list. And I probably didn't dash so much as waddle at that point.... Anyway, your family is lovely. Yehoshua and my older daughter are very close in age and your Eliyahu is not too far from my younger one. Amazing to see everyone growing up!

I fix dip using your dill dip recipe and greek yogurt. I use about half the mayo and add garlic powder,and pepper. It is so yummy.

Good idea! :) I seem to have run out of Worcestershire sauce ages ago and never bought more... ?!

Very pretty picture of you Tammy, I love your hair! You've done so well with your fitness plan. :)

I realized I commented as anonymous above.....

Thank you, Sydney! :) You are so kind.

You look so pretty, thin, and as always- youthful!
-Donna-

Donna, thank you! :)

(I should tell my story about a police officer in Ohio telling me I looked 17 when I was there in November!)

Oh Tammy! You look fabulous! Your hair is beautiful! I have so missed your blogging. You are by far my most favorite blogger, you are so *real*..LOL. If I ever move to Washington (and it is possible as my husband is in the military) I would LOVE LOVE to meet you! Keep up the good work.

Katie
www.simplefoody.org

Thank you, Katie!! :) If you're ever in Seattle... look me up!! :D

Thanks so much for sharing your story and your life. You have inspired me again to try to lose weight. At a pound a week this would take me over 2 years, more towards 3 years. My question is, did you ever adjust your calories as you lost weight? And did you lose a pound per week steady? Or some weeks 2#, other weeks none? My first week I lost over 4 pounds, and I thought I gave myself a good calorie allotment. I was hungry a lot, partly because we ran out of fresh fruits and veggies and I had to wait for payday to stock up. Will try to check out my fitness pal. Thanks, Eileen in Iowa

Hi Eileen! :)

I did switch things up throughout the year. I often would try to eat less for 2-3 days, then a little more for a few days. I found I could not maintain a minimum of, say, 1800 calories (I'm nursing) for more than a couple days in a row without getting too hungry. (My goal, really, was to not be hungry as much as possible. Of course I was not always "satisfied" but I rarely had/have hunger pains or the empty-stomach feeling.)

At one point, I switched my calorie goal to a maintenance amount and tried to exercise (but not eat the "exercise calories" -- the extra ones burned through exercise)... I think that only lasted a week or so though... I could not exercise enough to lose 1 pound a week. :) Also, as I got lower, I burned fewer calories. So while at the beginning I could eat 2,000 calories/day and lose weight, now I am eating about 2300 calories/day to maintain (plus exercise calories). But, I would say my hunger level is less now, too. So yes, it's less food but it isn't more difficult, really. :)

I did lose more the first week... I think 3-4 pounds. Some weeks I didn't lose any. Every 10 pounds or so, I seemed to hit a plateau where I would stay there for 3-4 weeks (admittedly I was "cheating" and eating over my calorie goal many times!) and have to really push forward. That was when I would decide to switch something -- change my exercise habits, eating habits, or something. But then after the plateau, I would have a week where I lost 2 pounds. (My scale is digital but only does 1-pound increments.)

I really like using My Fitness Pal! I think with time you'll be able to figure out what works for your body, incorporating your favorite healthy foods. If you keep track of your food, when you have a good week you can look back at what you did or ate that helped you feel good or helped you lose, and try to continue doing it. :)

I say I lost 1 pound a week because that was my average... over about 10 months -- 41 pounds. It was pretty steady... but not exactly clockwork... :)

Best wishes on your journey!! :)

thanks so much! I didn't have salmon on hand :) but I had eggs for breakfast yesterday and was less hungry.

This is my inspiration for my quest -

“Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” ~Earl Nightingale

Wow! You look fantastic! Thanks for saying that you have started over many times - that has helped me greatly. I nursed my daughter for 13 months, and could not keep the weight on, now that I have weaned, I cannot lose the 15 lbs that I have put on ( a year & a half later)
Thank you for the inspiration for healthy eating.

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