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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What I Did in My First Two Weeks: My 120 Pound Weight Loss Journey

Hi there. 
Half of Gabby has moved to a new kickass website! 

Read this article, in it's updated version, HERE.

The page that you are on right now (www.halfofgabby.blogspot.com) is no longer posting new articles and information. Half of Gabby has moved to www.halfofgabby.com and will continue to post new material regularly! In addition, all older articles have been updated on the new site!


Well, I wasn't going to join a gym. That's for damn sure. The thought of walking my giant ass in a gym full of hard bodies terrified me. Not to mention how humiliated I would've been when everything would start jiggling, I'd be gasping for breath, and would be sweating profusely... BEFORE I even started working out. No way. There was no way in hell. 

I was confused as to what I should do for exercise, so I gave myself two weeks and TWO WEEKS ONLY to get my eating habits secured and figured out. For the first two weeks, I emptied my house of all the junk food, filled it with healthy food, and worked on meal plans and snacks. What was I going to do for exercise? I didn't know. So for those first two weeks, I didn't exercise. I ate healthy, tried to get my mind in the game, and researched exercise programs. I was so morbidly obese and it was so difficult to even walk or bend, I knew I had to start small. So I spent a lot of time on the internet printing out beginner home workouts and tried to psych myself up to start the exercise part of my weight loss journey. 

In hindsight, knowing what I know now and feeling what I feel now, I wish I would've tried joining a gym in the beginning. I didn't join a gym until I felt like I 'belonged' there. I was SO wrong. 

We ALL belong there. 

I guess I had it in my mind that everyone walking around was going to be some gorgeous beach babe or muscle dude. Ugh, the things we tell ourselves. Once I finally did start going to a gym I realized every single stage of getting healthy is represented there. I also found out that the gym community is not like the outside world (you know, where most people are asses?). The gym community welcomes everybody. 

Fit-minded people love to see people coming to the gym and working hard to get healthy. They are encouraging and friendly. In my experience, I have actually found the more unhealthy you are and the more overweight you are, the more encouraging they are to you. Healthy and fit people are in general happier and more contented people. They are this way to a large extent because of how their lifestyle makes them feel, mind, body, and soul and they want others to feel the same way.

What did I do when I first started my weight loss journey?

The very first thing I did before I embarked on my weight loss journey was take measurements of my body and weigh myself.

I was scared to do it, but you have to have a baseline of where you're starting. Step your ass on that scale and whatever it says, bite the bullet. Throughout the whole 'losing weight' thing, the scale will give you a rough idea of how things are going but it doesn't tell you the whole story. In fact, it can really trip you up and discourage you at times. I know it did for me. BIG TIME. 

If I would get on the scale and it wouldn't budge, which happened a lot for me, I would be devastated. My Hubs, Jay, would tell me every single time that it was okay and that I was doing everything right and that I just needed to let it happen without trying to force it. He used to, and still does actually, poke fun of how I would 'sneak up' on the scale. I'd take a full minute to get on it, like it was gonna read me lighter if I tip toed up on it all stealth-style. He made me laugh every time because it was true, I tried to outsmart it or something. 

Honestly though, the scale can sabotage you and all of your efforts. At one point the Hubs threatened to smash the scale to smithereens if I didn't stop being so obsessed with the scale. Let me tell ya folks, he was dead ass serious.

Months went by and I continued to obsess and cry and stress over what that scale was saying. For four months, I had not lost any weight even though I was doing everything right. After several appointments with doctors and nutritionists, I came to find out I had Insulin Resistance, which prevents weight loss. For months I had no idea I had this. But once I knew about the insulin resistance, I was able to make further changes and overcome it. But man, I had some hard days before that hurdle was jumped.

I would get on the scale and become inconsolable. I would cry for days. Making good on his word, I soon had a scale in a hundred pieces. My husband destroyed the scale and vowed I'd never shed another tear because of that wretched thing. I was pissed at first, I felt I 'needed' it to track my progress. But after a few days of knowing it wasn't there, I felt liberated. It was only then, in it's absence, that I truly realized it was holding me back. It was making me second guess myself and making me crazy. 

This is why you MUST take monthly measurements of your body. 

Find someone you trust to do your measurements. I know it's hard. Believe me, I stood there and cried the entire time my Hubs took my first measurements. I sobbed with my hands covering my face. It was horrible. But guess what, so is being fat and unhealthy. The whole process of getting healthy and changing your whole life is hard, you might as well start it off the same way. Just do it.

 Because, here's the dealio. The scale can refuse to budge and say you haven't lost an ounce but if you've lost 4 inches, you ARE SMALLER. Which means you ARE on the right track! 

It took me a while to believe that but it is the truth. 

The scale cannot tell the story of what is going on inside your body, it doesn't know if it's weighing muscle, fat, or a damn stack of books. If you are exercising and building muscle, you will gain weight in muscle. But that's okay. That's good! That's what you want! As the muscle gets bigger and stronger, it tightens and pulls everything in and makes you firm and toned. As the muscles grow and get bigger, you actually get smaller. 

DON'T believe the myth that weight training will make you bulky or 'mannish'. There is a very, VERY specific way you must train in order to become a body builder. Believe me, by picking up some dumbbells, doing bodyweight resistance exercises, and partaking in just about any muscle building exercise, you will NOT get bulky. You will become leaner, toned, sculpted, and SMALLER.

Muscle is three times more dense than fat but yet takes up three times less space in your body. 

The bottom line is that the scale is a liar! 

Things are going to be rearranging and changing inside you. Rely more on your measurements. Measure your arms, bust, waist, hips, upper thighs, and calves and measure them in the exact same place every month. Do this faithfully. Buy a journal to record the numbers. At the end of your journey, you can look back at all the hard work that you put in. 

Oh and BTW, I actually did end up getting a new scale. But only after I knew I could look at it in a realistic way and not take a lot of stock into what it said. And... I ONLY weighed myself once a month when I would take my measurements. That's it. No more sneaking up on it in between measurement dates.

What else did I do when I first started my weight loss journey?

I immediately changed my eating.  

I stopped eating the junk. We all know what the junk is...sweets, fast food, chips, candy, ice cream, etc. I immediately saw a difference in my mood. I'm not sure about anybody else, but sugar makes me mean and irritable. The more I eat, the more I want and it makes me moody as hell. My brother Cha (Charlie) is the same exact way. We have a predisposition to diabetes in my family (we have it on both sides and it runs rampant). However, anybody, predisposition or not, can succumb to sugar addiction, even our small children.

Sugar addiction is real. 

"Like cocaine and other drugs, sugar activates the reward system in the brain. Rats hooked on sugar show classic symptoms of addiction, including tolerance, withdrawal and cravings, and have been known to bypass cocaine in favor of their primary drug of choice: sugar." ~David Sack, M.D.

Secondly, I cut out all white foods (obviously sugar, but potatoes, white rice, cereal, bread, pasta, etc.). I switched to whole grains. I switched to sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, steel cut oats, and Ezekiel breads. I have to say...it actually tastes BETTER. I'm serious. My husband absolutely refused to eat anything whole grain and he continued to do so for nearly TWO YEARS! After two years of prodding, he finally agreed to try whole grains. Guess what? He really, REALLY liked them! He says all the time how he had no idea it actually tasted good and how it tastes way better than white foods, that the whole grains have more flavor and texture. He even has his own special whole grain bread that he loves and he has to make sure we don't run out of it. Ha, ya, who would've thunk it.

Why don't husbands just listen to their wives? 
We know stuff.

White foods spike your sugar immediately. In fact, they are so simple of a carbohydrate, they start digesting in your mouth BEFORE you even swallow it. 

How gross is that?! EW!

The saliva in your mouth is enough to start breaking down the carbohydrate. 

Now that tells you right there, that if a food is already starting to breakdown before it even gets to your stomach, there's not going be much fuel and energy left over to sustain your body and help it function. Your body absorbs these foods quickly. They increase blood sugar, trigger a release of insulin, and an hour later you're hungry again. Whole wheat and whole grains have subsistence and are filling and they carry enough energy with them to fuel you and provide nutrients. The health benefits in eating whole grains far outweigh the benefits in eating white foods.

What else did I do when I first started my weight loss journey?

Not only did I change what I was eating, but I ate more often. 

I started eating about every 3 hours and ate smaller portions. Six years later, I still do this. I NEVER feel hungry and always feel like my body is always fueled up. I don't have highs and lows anymore. My blood sugar levels stay even all day. I never have cravings of any kind. And believe me, it's MUCH easier making healthy choices if you're not really hungry.

So these are the changes I made immediately. 

After just 2 weeks of eating properly, I felt remarkably different. 

No more half-comas from overloading my body with crap food and spiking my blood sugar. No more extreme moodiness throughout the day. No more feeling so sluggish and bogged down. I hadn't lost any weight yet (because of my insulin resistance), but I felt good... and I knew I was onto something.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can be onto something too. Just make those first baby steps, those first small changes and you will gain momentum as you go. You will hit bumps and detours along the road, but overcoming them will make you even stronger and will fuel your passion and determination even more. With each hurdle you get through, you'll gain confidence in yourself. You'll start to realize you can really, actually do this. 

I'm living proof that you can do this. I KNOW you can do this. 

You got this.


After my very first two weeks of eating differently, I then began to exercise. Believe me, moving a body that is over 120 pounds overweight is not an easy task. Find out what I did for exercise when I started in my articles:

I Hated Exercise. How Was I Ever Going To Do This?

What Exercises Should You Be Doing?

" When there's no one to blame and no one to complain to, there's a tremendous sense of potential. If you don't like your life the way it is, then change it" ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

*For more information on Insulin Resistance, click here:  Insulin Resistance.

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*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.


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