Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My DIY Weight Loss

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Mr. Fanatic and I worked on some more raised beds so we can expand our organic vegetable garden. Spring will be here before you know it and we have to get the cool weather veggies in the ground soon.

 Today I thought I'd tell you how I lost 25 pounds on my own~ ya know I do a lot of things diy, and this was one of them. 

Where do I begin?...

In the past ten years I gained some extra weight and it started to make me feel uncomfortable. It wasn't only that I didn't like the way I looked, but it was causing me physical pain, as well.
So, last Spring I made
a goal that I was going to lose weight starting in June after we got back from a trip to Savannah. My goal at first was not to lose 25 pounds, it was to lose 10.  I wasn't sure how I was going to do it, because I didn't eat very much to begin with and didn't understand how my goal was going to happen.

This was my typical day's intake of food before:

Tea and Bagel for breakfast
sandwich for lunch
chocolate snack at 3 pm
Typical dinner: chicken, rice or potato and veggie
Maybe dessert

That's it!
I wasn't sure how I could gain weight on that, but ya know I'm a couple years(almost) past 50 and one thing I've learned is: you can't eat like you did when you were younger. (Plus I have no functioning thyroid ~I'm on thyroid meds ~ and am post menopausal-sorry if that's TMI)

So how was I going to lose weight now???
I had lost some baby weight after my kids were born 18 years ago by increasing my protein and lowering my carbs. Since that worked for me then,  I thought I'd try it again. A few of my friends lost weight following Weight Watchers and I could try that if my diet wasn't successful.

 I didn't take a "before" picture last June, but here's a photo of my youngest daughter and me on Venice Beach in Spring of 2010. I was wearing size 12/14 and Large to XL.

We had a photographer take family photos in May of 2011~Here's a photo of me a month before I started my new diet. 
Portrait Creations

Here I am at the "I Love Thrifting" event in July.  By this time, I had been on the low carb diet for just a few weeks and had lost a couple pounds
For the first couple of weeks I didn't lose much, but then did some "googling" and watched Dr. Oz and learned some things. Those extra things started working  and I started losing 1-2 pounds a week. Switching to only having protein for breakfast made all the difference in the world.
Here's the short version of how I what I did. It may or may not work for you and if you want more nitty gritty details, just email me.

I had a Jay Robb protein shake for breakfast and waited an hour or so and then had a protein snack
(Some days I had 3 scrambled eggs, but no carbs first thing.)
I limited my carbs to 100 per day.
I took some vitamins ( D, Magnesium, B6, probiotics, etc.)
Took some extra fiber when I remembered, around dinner time (per Dr. Oz)
Periodically used a colon cleanse 

That's about it.
I ate pretty much whatever else I wanted.... even bacon and ranch dressing and ice cream etc. I just didn't go overboard on the calories, but I didn't count calories, just carbs. I ate whatever I wanted, but counted my carbs and once 100 carbs was reached, only protein could be eaten.

I did not exercise at all. Ok, I tried for a week, but it didn't help me lose any more weight and I had to go take a 3 hour nap on the days I exercised. Couldn't afford to take a 3 hour nap, so I stopped exercising. I've tried to lose weight before by exercising, but I ended up gaining weight. Sorry, not worth it! Your experience may vary.

To keep track of the carbs  I wrote everything down I ate for two weeks just to make sure I didn't go over my 100 carb limit. After that I pretty much knew how many carbs were in what and I knew how to eat. FYI: that stoneground, whole wheat bagel I ate every day for breakfast was 60 carbs.With the tea with milk, I had been eating 72 carbs! No wonder I was getting fat!

Here's a typical days intake of food on a 100 carb a day diet:

Jay Robb whey protein shake for breakfast
(update: I have switched to Source Naturals True Whey Protein)
sunflower seeds or almonds for a snack
1/2 sandwich or  a burrito or cheese and crackers for lunch(I don't like to cook, remember?)
fruit snack around 3 pm if hungry
regular dinner ~ Chicken  and vegetables or 1 medium size burrito
Maybe dessert (If no starch for dinner) or a protein snack after dinner
Sometimes I forget to eat lunch until 3pm, so I skip the snack. 

This low carb diet was pretty difficult for the first 3 weeks or so. After that I lost my sugar cravings and no longer craved my 3 o'clock chocolate snack. If I got a craving for something sweet I would eat 3-5 jellybeans(yes, I wrote them down). It's amazing how a few jellybeans would stop the craving for something sweet

I  can go to Five Guys and get a double cheeseburger and go out to eat. It's just a different way of eating. A double cheeseburger is ok, but the fries are not. When we would go to a nice restaurant I would substitute the potato for a green vegetable or salad. One night after going out to Carrabas I had 20 carbs left, so we went to Walmart and searched the aisles for a 20 carb ice cream bar! I think it was Hagen daz. Being committed to a program is the only way stick to it.

After losing 10 pounds, my next goal was 15, then 20. Losing 20 pounds was so exciting because I had NEVER, EVER, done that before.

By the end of November of last year I had lost 25 pounds! It took me 5 1/2 months to do it, which is not very fast, but all things considered, it's pretty darn good! The holidays were a little difficult and the 100 carb limit was suspended, but I only gained back 2 pounds and have since lost those, plus a few more.

Here's a photo taken on Saturday:
 I now wear a size 8 and Medium.

A pair of my previously tight jeans now fits like this...

Right now I'm on a maintenance lower carb diet and limit my carbs to 150 a day.  My goal is to lose 5 to 10 pounds more and will go back to a 100 carb limit again in a month or two.
I would love to be a size 6 again!

Well, there you have it!

That's my diy weight loss story.


PS: you have to get enough sleep every night in order to lose weight. I sometimes use Melatonin to help me fall asleep. As you get older your body produces less of it, so supplementing is sometimes needed.
*Be sure to speak with your doctor if you are taking any medications before you add any vitamins to your daily regimen because some vitamins and minerals can interact with medications.


  1. Way to go! I need to lose weight and you have me motivated! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Congrats!! You look fabulous! I also decided to lose weight, joined Weight Watchers with my neighbor and started walking. That was 4 weeks ago. Lost 6lbs. so far. I'm lovin' it.
    Keep up the good work! 8^)

  3. Thank you for posting this Pam...I just hit the 60 mark (!) and let me tell you, losing weight is a losing game! I never had a weight problem until about 5 years ago, was always skinny, skinny, skinny and now I'm up to 14's and 16's (can't believe I just admitted that)...I went on WW about 10 years ago and was a size 6 but that probably ain't gonna happen again. I'd love to lose 25 pounds so I'm going to try your plan, the WW worked great and I've gone back on it a couple of times and lost some weight but can't seem to stick to it for long. Hubby and I eat out a lot and snack on bad things. He did the low carb diet a few years ago and lost 50 pounds.

    And by the way, you look great!

  4. You look amazing Pam! I think a size 8 is perfecto for you. Keep up the good work, it really shows!

  5. Wow, Pamela. Good for you. That is a good weight loss in that amount of time. It is so much harder the older you get. I have never been a size 6, but would be happy at a 10. I am like your before shot. I need to get it off, too. I know this is what is causing me some leg pain on and off.

  6. Congrats Pam! You look fantastic. My husband follows the low carb diet and so we do too... It really is a life strategy. I am going to show him your "new" tips and hopefully that will spur on MORE weight loss! Thanks, XO Cindy

  7. I congratulate you, and I'm now on a diet and I've already lost about 5kg.
    I am on the South Beach diet and I am very pleased.
    Kiss of the Croatian .

  8. YOU GO GIRL... that's fantastic. I'm also on the fast track and loosing weight. so far in the last month the inches have come off but not showing on the scale yet. I'm not discouraged. I know it will happen.
    If you get a chance follow http://aveggie.blogspot.com,
    she is quite amazing..

  9. You look beautiful. Congratulations on working out a plan that has brought you success.

    Let me encourage you to have a thyroid test. It's done with a blood sample and can make all the difference in the world in the way you feel, sleep at night and your ability to lose weight. I had struggled with post menopause too and it all works together.

    Good luck and God bless.

  10. Dang girl!!! You look awesome!!!! I have to get some of my weight off, but I am a carbaholic. I may have to give this a go though. I used to say I wanted to lose 25 to 30 pounds but that seemed so impossible. I said this year that I want to lose three to four pounds a month. I lost three this first month so that was a success! I think it is better to lose it slow because you are changing your lifestyle without being too drastic and something you can't keep up. Good for you! You look beautiful!

  11. Way to go girl...you look fab, too fab!! This is motivating me to continue with my weight loss DIY too. I do more or less like you, so in a month I've lost 6 pounds and love to lose the 25 as well, I am determined to continue and I'm happy with my way of eating as like you, I wasn't a big eater either and didn't know why I had gained so much in the last 4 yrs. and my knees are hurting me less. Besides looking great, one feels great! Congrats and thanks for sharing. Have a thean week.

  12. Congratulations. You look fabulous.

    I stay on about 80 carbs a day with one cheat day every 14..Back on protein only for 2 takes care of that.

    I am so tickled for you and just imagine all the pretty new summer clothes you can wear. woohooooo

  13. You look fabulous!!! Congrats on losing the weight. Can I ask what the name of the Jay Rob protein powder do you use? I know he has several out in the marker. Anyway, thanks for sharing your weight loss journey with us.

  14. Hi Pam,
    You look wonderful and I'm sure you feel great too! I've found watching the carbs/sugar really works, the minute I over indulge the lbs start to sneak up on me. And, you're right about the Melatonin, my doctor told me to start taking it, it really helps. Congrats on your success!

  15. Wow, you did a fabulous job. Losing it slow is always healthier and it will stay off because you know how to manage your eating now. You look 10 years younger. Not that you looked old before. You have good genes I can see that. LOL Congratulations. I'm on my own weight loss journey and I call it a journey because now at 57 I finally "get it". I no longer have the option of eating sweets everyday. My body grabs sugar and literally stops all weight loss. I am eating like a healthy person now and averaging 1-2 pounds a week and that is fine with me. Next year at this time I'll be here, but I'll be back in my size 12. I have never been smaller than a size 12 so I can't imagine that happening. Thanks for sharing your story.


  16. You look Fantastic! I have to really lose about 15 pounds so that I can be at a good size 6! Thanks for sharing your story! I am so inspired!

    So happy for you and the endeavours!

  17. You look fantastic! Thanks for stopping by my blog and I'm so glad to have found yours!

  18. Great job, Pam! You look fabulous, and I bet you feel so much better!

  19. Congrats! You look great! I wish exercising didn't make me lose because it's definitely not my favorite thing to do!

  20. Great post and you look absolutely wonderful. I had been gaining weight this past year - 15lbs. even though my eating habits stayed the same as always. I was tested and am now on thyroid meds also. I will definitely be trying your weight loss strategy - hopefully I will start to see some results. Being over 50 and postmenopausal certainly has its' surprises!! Thank you so much for posting this info.

  21. Well, this was definitely the post that I needed to read, Pam. Thank you for sharing your journey and your tips! I'm saving this post to re-read and I'm going to start to cut waaaay back on my carbs. Before my "meno-pot" years, I went on a loose Atkins diet and lost 10lbs in one year. It felt fantastic. I'm going to start "de-carbing" my diet, will keep running on my treadmill which I actually do like to do, and will hopefully watch the pounds drop off! I want to get back to being a size 6, too!!! :) You look great girl!!!! Congrats!

    xoxo laurie

  22. Oh, the menopausal blues. Glad to hear there is hope! I need to give your suggestions a thorough testing!

  23. Thanks for telling your story. I lost 35 pounds 12 years ago following WW (didn't join but I had the information). Losing weight post menopause is a whole different animal though! You look great and I think the secret is less carbs and as close to no sugar as you can do. You will lose that sugar craving! Now I just need to follow my own advice. You look great at size 8 but if you get to a 6 it will give you wiggle room.

    Robin Flies South

  24. Congratulations! You look marvelous! I hear this same scenario all the time, but I never get on board and lord knows I need to. Thanks for sharing your info. I tried the Atkins thing years ago but found it to be too restrictive plus I barely lost any weight with it. The bottom line seems to be the carbs- so that's good to know just how you did it!

  25. Congrats you look great! I am not really believing you are past 50 though! lol I think you need to also share your tips for looking so young as well :)

  26. Hi Pam, You look fantastic! You can tell you are so happy with yourself and you should be. I give Kudos to anyone who can lose weight. It is so hard. You have done it my friend, congrats!

  27. You look fantastic Pam and I know that you must FEEL fantastic too! :-) Thanks for being so inspiring and sharing your "secrets" with us!

  28. Congratulations Pam! I love that picture of you in the now-huge jeans... that must feel SO good. Yes, post-menapause is really tough; the body just does change. I've barely changed a size, but they just get a little tighter and I have to choose carefully... I exercise (yes, I do like it!) almost every day, but the older you get the less it helps! I've never looked at carbs before, but now I just might have to do a study for myself..thanks for all this great info. and your story!

  29. You look absolutely amazing. I am trying to loose about 20 lb., so this is something that I found fascinating and fabulous. Love your suggestions. Hugs, Marty

  30. Pam, you are fabulous and brilliant and look wonderful. Protein is so important in keeping the blood sugar level and it keeps you feeling full longer too. I need to copy you as I could stand to lose more weight (lost 50lbs 2years ago). It is truly a commitment to your health. Yay for you Pam! hugs♥O

  31. Girl you look awesome! And thanks for the info!

  32. thank you for sharing this! i myself need to cut back on carbs and up the protein.
    you not only lost the pounds, but you look younger! good for you!!!

  33. i need to cut back on the carbs and up the protein. At 46 losing weight is a totally different ballgame that it was even 10 years ago!
    you look great... your success not only took off the weight, it took off a few years! you look younger!!!

  34. Love your story!! very inspiring!! I want to know if you have any blogs that help you out thru your weight loss, and where can I find the carb value for different meals,
    thank you

  35. Congrats on that! First of all, I would have never guessed that you were over 50. I thought for sure you were mid-40's, like me. My current 'diet' sounds much like what you eat, and I just gain, gain, gain. Problem is, I'm addicted to sweet tea. If I could drop carbs, it would probably fall off, but I'm not a big meat eater, so it's hard. And, even though I never seem to be diagnosed w/ thyroid issues, every female on my mom's side has had it. I do believe if I got to a size 8 again, the earth would quake! Good job!!! Have fun in Cali shopping!!

  36. Wow I've just been inspired :) You look amazing losing weight is a JOB! Congrats to you :)

  37. Great job Pam! I am so impressed!

    Keep up the good work.


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