Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fat Loss Update

By Diana Hsieh

This morning, I hit one of those "fitting into clothes" milestones in my weight loss. Here's the background:

I've lost just over fifteen pounds since OCON in July 2008 due to my cavewoman diet of meat, veggies, dairy, and some fruit. (Yeah me!) I was 150 pounds in mid-July, and now I'm at 134 pounds. I have four more pounds of fat that I'd like to lose, and then I'm going to shift my focus to gaining muscle. (I found that I had to back off on my uber-intense weightlifting to lose fat; I've kept my existing muscle as I lost weight, but I'd like to put on more muscle. I like being strong; it's darn useful.) I'm 5'8" tall, so 130 pounds is a good target weight.

I'm really thrilled with my weight loss. I've been battling my slowly-growing layer of fat since 2004. For four long years, I exercised daily: I did the standard regimen of 40 to 60 minutes of cardio. I attempted to eat "healthier," mostly meaning less fat, less calories. I was often ravenously hungry; I often felt deprived; I desperately craved sugar. Worst of all, despite some occasional success, my weight continued to creep upwards. I felt like I had no control.

In June of 2008, I decided to try eliminating processed foods from my diet. I liked that. So in mid-July, I began my cavewoman diet in earnest. As already noted, I've shed fifteen pounds in six months -- without much effort and without feeling deprived. I can happily eat this diet for years to come.

I'm really, really happy with how I look now. As one would expect, my clothes have gotten looser, particularly my pants. So this morning, I tried on some jeans that I bought a few years ago, probably when I was between 140 and 145. These jeans never really fit. When I bought them, I had lost a bit of weight, and I was hoping to lose more. Instead, I gained weight again, such that I couldn't possibly fit into these jeans. So they were shelved. Today, I wore them. Best of all, they're not tight at all. If anything, they're a bit loose. Yeah me!

Unfortunately, I don't have anything like the pictures that Greg has of his progress. However, I do have three pictures of just my face from 2008 that show my progress.

First, March 15th. I was 150 pounds, eating a "healthy" version of the standard American diet.



Second, July 4th. I was probably about 149 pounds, but I had been eating more whole, real foods for a few weeks, meaning more fat and less carbs. Even though I'm the same weight as in the March picture, my face doesn't look nearly so puffy.



Third, December 25th. I was 136 pounds. (You can blame Paul for the cruddy picture.)



The contrast is all the more striking side-by-side:



(Click for the full-sized image.)

All in all, I'm not just pleased. I'm thrilled. Go me!

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