"Jessica, I have so many questions now! I have read all your pages (I think) and I guess my first question is what do you use to know the calorie count in your foods? Is there an online chart that you use, did you buy a program, a book? Based on the program that your husband created - I guess I would start with my current calorie needs and then continue to decrease as I lose weight? Were there times where you were starving? Did you start with exercise right from the beginning - and do you find your skin is flabby now that you have lost so much weight? Sorry to bombard you but I am so interested!!"-Amy
I decided to do the answers to Amy's question as a new post!
First Question: What do you use to know the calorie count in your foods?
Most often I get my calorie amount the Nutritional Facts on the box/label. I eat a serving, even if that means counting out exactly 32 chocolate chips, or using measuring cups. If I don't know how many calories are in what I am eating, I look it up online! :) One of my favorite sites to look up calories is: http://www.nutritiondata.com.
Most restaurants have the nutritional data of their foods on their websites too. I love to do "re-con" before I go out to eat at: www.hungrygirl.com. The "Girl's Bite Out" section basically tells you what the "safest" thing to eat is. Very Cool!!!
Second Question: Is there an online chart that you use, did you buy a program, a book?
I do not use an online chart... although I do keep a spreadsheet with my daily weights and other weight loss tools. These are the same tools Aaron made into the Calorie Calculator program. I didn't buy a program or a book. I just use the free information from the Internet, and the nutritional labels themselves. :)
Third Question: ...I guess I would start with my current calorie needs and then continue to decrease as I lose weight?
Your caloric needs is the number of calories it takes for your body to maintain it's current weight according to your age, weight, height and activity level. It's best to try to cut about 200 - 500 calories off that number to start losing weight. The more you cut the more you lose, but never eat less than 1200 calories a day that is dangerous and deadly!
Fourth Question: Were there times where you were starving?
Not really, I never starved myself. I always eat a safe number of calories each day and try to eat healthy meals. But there have been times where I've gone to bed hungry... but on those days I have only myself to blame. I am very dedicated to my calorie limits, and if I blow my calories on something stupid... (Like the day I ate a whole box of stovetop stuffing for lunch, and then only had like 160 calories for the rest of the day!) I end up feeling hungry, but it's just one day. On days like that I just go to bed early!
Fifth Question: Did you start with exercise right from the beginning?
Nope. I did not exercise in the very beginning. After a few months of eating better I got a "Yoga for Beginners" tape, which I did maybe... three times, Tops. So then I got an exercise bike, but it turned out I could not use it until I was under 250 pounds! I was TOO FAT for the bike! (That really motivated me to lose weight.) Then I got a "Yoga for Weight Loss" DVD, and that one clicked with me. It had 4 different instructors of varying ability to follow, so it progressed with me! Eventually I slimmed down enough so I could use the bike. I love the bike!!! I like to pedal away while watching T.V. Another of my favorite activities is just walking around the block. I don't do super-fast power-walking stuff, I just kinda plod along at my normal pace. :) Aaron and I also take a Tai Chi class which I count as exercise, and this year for my birthday, I got a set of free weights from my in-laws!!! SWEET! So to recap, when I started, I did nothing, but now I'm pretty active!
And although she found the answer in my archives.... for those of you curious to know...
Sixth Question: Do you find your skin is flabby now that you have lost so much weight?
As for "The Skin Thing," Pinch the skin on the back of your hand. That is all the thicker your skin is! (It's half the pinch because you have your skin folded.) Once the fat cells behind it are gone, the skin will shrink to the new shape because skin is a living organ, not some stretched out balloon stuck on your outside.
Since I lost my weight very slowly, (This August will be my 4th year of living healthy!) I don't have excess skin hanging off me. You can see how my skin's doing for yourself in my current pictures! :)