One of the major challenges of losing weight is that the pounds often come off quickly at first, but as you get closer to your goal, it’s slower going.
Robin McKay of South Range, who’s sharing her weight-loss experiences
with Living North, has experienced that phenomenon recently. Since July 2009 she has lost 64 pounds on her program of diet and exercise, but in recent weeks she’s realized that she won’t hit her goal of losing 80 pounds in March as she originally thought.
One recent week she lost only half a pound, but as she sees it, that was still heading in the right direction. She says she has shown a loss at her weigh-in on the Jenny Craig program every week since she started, including over the holidays.
She didn’t deny herself the culinary pleasures of the season, either. She
allowed herself small portions and even cookies. Rather than trying each kind of cookie when she was at a gathering, she allowed herself two. She took her time deciding what she wanted and then really enjoyed the two she chose, she says.
Her plan worked. She kept losing.
“I’m down four sizes,” McKay reports. That has made for a small, ever-changing wardrobe of three pairs of pants and perhaps 10 tops. She
hopes to lose another 16 pounds and one more size before she is done. Then
she’ll do some serious clothes shopping.
Dr. James Donovan, director of St. Luke’s Medical Weight Loss Program,
calls obesity a chronic disease. A program like Jenny Craig helps with
portion control, he says. McKay eats Jenny Craig brand meals and
snacks five days a week and fixes her own food the other two days.
But whether you cut down on food by preparing your own meals, through an organization such as Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or have weight-loss surgery that reduces the amount of food your stomach can hold, there’s only one secret to losing weight, Donovan says: “The down and dirty is that you have to take in less [calories] than you burn.”
McKay says she’s a little disappointed that she won’t hit her goal when she planned to, but she how has a new goal – the end of April – by which she hopes to lose the last 16 pounds.
Furthermore, she believes her food intake and exercise program have now become ingrained. “It’s definitely a lifestyle now, it’s not a diet anymore,” McKay says.
“I’m just learning to listen to my body, to know that I am full on
these smaller portions,” she says.
Watch for more of McKay’s weight loss experiences in the May-June issue of Living North.