I try not to reminisce about my last weight loss, but it's hard not to. About 7 years ago, I managed to lose about 60lbs. There was a bit of an "ah-ha" moment that lead up to it, but mostly, I got sick of living in that body.
Interestingly, I didn't wake up one morning and decide to "be perfect" in my eating. It was a result of slow baby steps. In fact, I didn't even have a plan, per se. I ate intuitively. I started to enjoy exercising, at least four times a week. Simple.
There was some serious determination in me, though. I would leave for work at 6:30am everyday (long commute, I was living with my parents at the time), and wouldn't get home until 7:30pm. As exhausted as I was, I would run upstairs as soon as I walked in the door, throw on my gym clothes, and drive to the gym. I used to work out for an hour and fifteen minutes. I'd get home at 9:30pm, shower, eat dinner, and spend at least an hour on the phone with my fiance (now hubby!) before falling into an exhausted sleep. And then I'd do it all again the next day.
Even on Saturdays, I would set my alarm for 7:00am (!) and make it to the gym for 8, so that I could be the first one there before it got busy.
My eating was very intuitive. Basically, I cut my portions. I ate when I was hungry, but made good choices. I worked late quite often (past 10pm sometimes!), and when my team ordered greasy dinners, I would eat salads and grilled veggies without rice and potatoes. I had plenty of small indulgences during the week to keep me going: a chai latte, a tiny donut (known fondly as timbits to us Canadians!), junior mints (low fat chocolate), etc. In the summer, I even remember getting Dairy Queen Blizzards every so often. But I would compensate with lower calorie eating during the rest of the day - all intuitively. Calorie counting is something that has never worked for me.
People marveled as the weight fell off me. "What are you doing to lose all that weight?", they would ask in amazement. I would always answer, "I'm eating right and exercising". I never received a look of satisfaction with that response. I think people wanted me to respond with: "Atkins!", "Diet Pills!", "Weight loss surgery!". But that wasn't the case.
I'm starting to remember what it felt like, week after week, to see my body changing. To feel my clothes swimming around my stomach. To touch my hips and never recognize that body as my own. To feel lighter, more energetic, and powerful.
Life has changed a lot for me now: two kids later, and it's not always about me anymore. But there's one thing that will continue to get me far, and that's determination. With it, anything can be accomplished. I'm starting to remember that.