How to lose 20lbs in 16 weeks

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I’m not a doctor; this is my personal experience with weight loss. If you chose to embark on a weight loss plan please consult your doctor.

March 2, 2010 I began my quest to lose weight before my high school reunion on June 19th. More correctly I used my reunion and subsequent trip to California as motivation to lose weight.

Reluctantly here are my stats…

  • age – 37 when I began, now 38
  • height – 5’8
  • currenty weight –  169
  • two sons ages 6 and 2

My backstory…I’ve always been physcially active, played competitive soccer for 20 years and had to officially retire due to back problems in 1998.  After back surgery in 2001 I managed to attempt to play volleyball but not without each night ending in excruciating back pain and often times crawling up the stairs to my apartment.  I never obsessed about food, I guess because I was always physically very active.

My fighting weight hung around the 140/145 range. This is me at 31 (April 2003).

LOL…blonde and in New Orleans, just after a swamp tour, I was just a kid…good times.

Bourbon Street during Jazz Fest April 2003. The BF (future hubby) surprised me with a trip to see Matchbox Twenty and Maroon 5. I was sooo cute and two fistin it apparently (not really)!

Here I am in Moscow, Russia in August 2003.

The pictures are all from 2003 BEFORE I got pregnant in October of 2003.

During my first pregnancy I gained 30 lbs and I managed to get back to 155 and pretty much maintain there…here is me before my 2nd pregnancy in 2007.

I think at that point I was 150ish.

My second pregnancy saw a gain of 33 lbs and I settled in at around 169. I didn’t really SEE myself until after our Las Vegas trip. Oh my goodness…I look like my MOTHER. Yeah, I look like her anyway but I’ve always maintained a thinner version and I was ok with that…now I REALLY looked like her. This is me in Vegas, June 2009, I am 37.

Unfortunately, even seeing that picture didn’t motivate me enough to really turn it around. Eating bad just felt good…in the moment but not so much after.

I’m not addicted to food but I am addicted to easy. It is WAY easier to stop by a fast food establishment to grab lunch/or dinner. It is much easier to grocery shop from memory than a meal plan.

With the help of reading weight loss blogs found here and here and the impending summer activities I finally flipped a switch and figured if I’m going to do this I need to do it now, I’m not getting any younger.

March 2nd I began. I started slowly and I think that was the key to making this way of eating and exercise part of my lifestyle and not just a temporary fix to a problem.

A bit about me…I’m notorious for beginning things and not really finishing. I am pumped and gung ho then in about a week or two I’m over it. This time I tried one thing at a time and focused on doing it well before I moved onto the next.

My plan was to use Body for Life (BFL) as a guideline for meeting my goals. Only this time I spent two weeks working on my clean eating choices without the burden of figuring out how to exercise. This allowed me to focus and become comfortable with fueling my body properly and in a healthy way.

After two weeks I incorporated exercise into the plan using the BFL plan. I worked out 6 days a week and enjoyed a free day. For the cardio I utilized the couch to 5K running program. I never did do the 5K but I am now back up to running 3 miles. I ran a ½ marathon back in 2007 and it’s hard to push through when you see yourself struggle with a measly three miles when you were doing 10 at any given time. Breathe deeply…it’s all perspective.

This worked for me but I didn’t see the lbs coming off as fast as I wanted. Was this BFL’s fault? NOPE. Truth be told I cheated…not terribly but enough to make a difference, in my opinion. For the most part I stayed on plan but there would be small snacks here and there that threw my macros off.

I believe marcros is the key…According to BFL, 40/20/20 (protein, fat and carbs) ratio is the ideal nutrition for weight loss …keep track of your protein, fat and carb numbers per meal.  And it looks like other plans are confirming the same(P90X).

One easy way to keep track of your macros is If you find yourself not losing weight you will very quickly be able to spot where you may be over doing it or deficient. My problem was carbs…nasty yummy weight loss stealers.

Before my second pregnancy I lost weight using the “Crack the Fat Loss Code” philosophy. I lost about 10 lbs back then. The thing about cracking is the first week you go through a carb deplete (max of 20 g of carbs per day). Eeek.

Normally, I found it to be torturous but this time around I didn’t have any issues, I attribute it to the clean eating. I lost 6lbs in one week and that kept me motivated to keep going… the BFL way.

I continued to run then turned to 30 minute Shred about a month out as it was becoming increasingly more difficult to get my weight training in due to various commitments.

In the end I lost 20 lbs (149), back in March I was hoping for 30.

Don’t get me wrong…I’m super excited to have that weight gone and I am fitting into clothes I haven’t worn in 7 years…but I look back and wonder if I would have been more diligent if I would have made the 30.

I’ve taken the last several weeks and not really cared what I’ve eaten. I’ve gained 5 back and I’m ok with that but I have a much bigger goal. My goal is to get down to 135 and maintain between 135 and 140.

I’m beginning the journey again. I am working toward a loss of 20 lbs by Thanksgiving, 14 weeks.

My plan for this go round is to P90X it the entire time. I’ve heard a lot of things about it and I’m curious…so now is as good as any to try it on and see how it fits.

I can totally do this and I’m very excited…I don’t think I’ve seen the 130’s in 15 years. EEKK…I may have in the 2002/2003 timeframe but I didn’t own a scale back then so I can’t be sure.

Here is me…June 2010, before…at 38.

After….check back for the “after” pix in 14 weeks.

Meanwhile…I will continue to update…weekly on my progress.

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