Losing 40 Pounds in 6 Months

At this point, with older age looming ahead of me, it’s time to stop pussy-footing around! I do not want to be trying to lose weight when I’m 70! It’s time to make changes that are permanent, and it’s time to commit 100% to my health by dropping the extra weight once and for all.

I’m nervous and excited to publicly declare my 40 lb weight-loss goal!

By July 1, 2022, I will lose 40 lbs (18.14 kg, 2.86 stone). 

I started on Jan. 5, so that gives me 6 months. Reasonable and Doable. If I average out the weight loss per month, I should expect to lose approximately 6.7 lbs per month. Some months will obviously be more and some will be less, but the 6.7 lbs gives me a mini- goal for each month.

Yikes! Why the heck would I commit to losing 40 lbs with a deadline AND declare it publicly? Well, there are several reasons.

4 Reasons for my 40 lbs Weight-loss Goal with a Deadline

My Health

I want to become healthier, and I want to be as healthy as possible as I get older. I’m 56 years old, and although I could afford to mess around with crappy food, drinking alcohol too often and being sedentary when I was younger, I no longer have that time.

In the winter of 2020, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. THAT was a wake up call. Even though it made me more focused on my well-being, after my lumpectomy, I still ended up riding my usual roller coaster of the ups of eating well/losing weight, with the downs of eating crappy/gaining weight.

It’s really up to me to be as healthy as possible, so my body can be a terrain where cancer can’t live. I don’t know if the cancer has moved to other areas of my body, if it’s growing, or if it will come back.

All I can do is my best, but honestly, what I’ve been doing has not been my best.

Maya Angelou Quote

In addition to holding off any cancer, I’d like to get rid of other smaller health issues. None are serious, but they bother me. By eating healthy and reducing inflammation in my body, there’s a good chance that some of these issues will be eliminated or just reduced.

  • Hot flashes: These are so frustrating. Usually about 10-20 times a day!! Never mind the sweaty uncomfortable nights! I’m a week into my 40 lbs weight-loss journey, and already my hot flashes are way less frequent and less intense. They improved after only 2 days!)
  • Sore/stiff joints: Especially when I eat poorly, the joints in my ankles and knees get sore. My other joints are often stiff. I want to be able to sit on the ground with my grandchildren, and get up easily, without it being a production of grabbing onto things for support!
  • Poor sleep: My sleep has deteriorated in great part due to my hot flashes. Already, I’m sleeping better, but I’d like to have more restful and uninterrupted sleep.
  • High cholesterol/high blood pressure: Neither is a big problem, but they have both gone up over the years.
  • Dry, brittle fingernails: Even in the summer, I’ve noticed how brittle my nails are. 
  • Hair thinning: My hair has been thinning, and I even have a tiny spot that is almost bald! Chances are, this will get worse if I don’t give my body the healthy food and exercise it wants.
  • Hypothyroidism: I take a synthetic hormone to replace what my thyroid is not producing. This doesn’t affect my life negatively, but I don’t want to take any medications (this is the only “medication” I take). I’m hoping that over time as I get healthier, I can get my dose reduced (I’ve done this before, so I know it’s possible). I doubt I’d be able to stop taking it permanently, but hey, I’m open to that too!

My Weight

Our weight is connected to our health. If you’re overweight or obese, your chances of getting sick or aquiring an illness is higher. There’s no guarantee you’ll be healthy if you aren’t carrying extra pounds; you can still be very unhealthy and be at a weight that’s suitable for your body height and frame. However, if you lose the extra weight your body’s lugging around, day after day, you have a greater chance of maintaining good health.

Although I’ve chosen 40 lbs as a weight-loss goal, it’s not about a magic number on the scale. I just want to move to a weight that is ideal, or very close to ideal, for my body. I’m estimating what that weight might be based on what I’ve weighed in the past. My ideal weight might be 35 lbs down or it might be 45 lbs down. I won’t know until I’m living in that body with that weight. 

Over the last 12 years or so, I’ve been working at losing 20-50 lbs. I’ve lost some, gained it back. Lost some, gained it back plus more. Lost some, kept it off for a while, gained some of it back.

At this point, with older age looming ahead of me, it’s time to stop pussy-footing around! I do not want to be trying to lose weight when I’m 70! It’s time to make changes that are permanent, and it’s time to commit 100% to my health by dropping the extra weight once and for all.

Here’s where I’m at with my weight.

Starting weight on Jan. 5, 2022: 178.8 lbs (81.1 kg, 12.77 stone)

I started mid week, but I’ll be tracking my weight loss on a weekly basis from Sunday to Saturday. 

My starting weight is about 15-20 lbs lighter than it was in the winter of 2021, but it’s 15 lbs heavier than it was in August of 2021. It’s easy to lose weight, but it’s challenging to keep it off. I hope to end that cycle of losing and gaining.

When I lose 40 lbs (not if), I’ll reach 138.8 lbs (62.96 kg, 9.91 stone). I’m 5 feet, 6 inches tall, and that seems like a good number to me (139, give or take a few ounces). I haven’t seen the 130’s on a scale since I was in my 30’s! Through most of my twenties, I weighed around 125 lbs, but for my goal, I’ve adjusted for my age a bit and think 139ish will suit me. Who knows? My ideal weight might be higher or lower. Time will tell.

40 lbs Weight Loss
40 lbs Weight Loss

How I Feel in my Body

I want to feel vibrant in my body. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin. I want to move more freely and feel energized. When my weight is lower, I feel lighter. 

Most importantly, I look and feel like me when I’m not overweight. When I’ve lost a good chunk of weight and see myself in the mirror, I say to myself, “Hey you. Nice to see you. There you are. Thought I’d lost you. Glad to see you.” 

When you’ve been overweight for a long time, you look different than you did at a healthy weight. Your body and your face look different, almost like they belong to someone else. When the weight dropped in the past, I recognized myself in the mirror. That was an amazing feeling.

My goal to lose 40 lbs is not to look skinny or to look good to other people. Looking good might be a bonus, but ultimately, I want to lose the weight to be healthy and feel good in my own body. I don’t want to worry about my health.

My Deadline

I need deadlines for some reason. They just help me when it comes to setting goals. I chose 6 months because it didn’t seem too short or too long.

If I chose 3 months, I’d be under a lot of pressure and then might resort to unhealthy ways to lose weight. Trying to lose weight too quickly would likely lead to weight gain afterwards.

If I chose 8 months or a year to lose 40 lbs, I don’t think I could keep up my motivation. I need a little bit of pressure to get towards my goal and make it a challenge. Although a year would be a terrific time frame to lose weight in a healthy manner (3.3 lbs per month), 12 months is too long for me.

3 Reasons for Public Declaration of my Goal

Accountability

I’ve set many weight-loss goals in the past, but I’ve never shared one publicly like I am now. I’m baring my soul to the world because I think it will help me be accountable.

I plan to report on my progress, along with the tools and strategies I’m using to help me. I’ll give weight-loss updates as well as details about my lifestyle habits (eating, drinking, exercising, mindset, etc.).

Although it will be much harder to do, I want to report on my setbacks too. I expect to make progress, not be perfect.

I plan to post once or twice a week about my progress, but we’ll see. It may be more or less often, and it may be sporadic. I don’t want to add pressure to myself by committing to a schedule.

Support

Whenever I read about others who are losing weight or who’ve lost weight, I feel like I’m not the only one who struggles. It’s helpful to know other people are also battling with their weight, and it really helps me when I see others succeed. My wish is that my posts will support others on their own weight-loss journey.

Extra Motivation

This past year, I set a walking goal of 1200 km (outside walks or walking on the treadmill), and I made that goal public. It’s because I published my walking goal that I pushed myself to finish (I almost gave up in early December, when I was around 1050 km done). Of course, I finished for me, but because I told the world I would do it, that gave me the motivation to finish.

Now you understand why I’ve set my 40 lbs weight-loss goal, why I chose a deadline, and why I made my goal public.

How will I lose the weight?

In a healthy manner.

I have a deadline, but I want to maintain my weight loss when I reach my goal. I will adopt habits to help me establish a healthy lifestyle for the long run.

Stay tuned for what I’m doing to lose the weight, as well as tools and tips that help me.

Live your true life,

Alison Carrey

Two Key Lessons for Healthy Weight-loss

It’s been three weeks since I ended my 10-day water fast.

I’m happy to report that I’ve maintained my weight loss after my re-feeding period. 🙂

10 day water fast: lost 16 lbs

7 days of re-feeding (gaining weight in water, fiber, protein and glycogen in the muscles) led to me gaining almost 6 lbs.

That leaves me with a net loss of 10 lbs, which is where I am at today.

What?

That means I haven’t lost any weight since the end of my week of re-feeding (two weeks ago)!

Well, guess what; it’s NOT a failure.

Why? Two reasons:

  • I haven’t gained any of my fasting weight back in two weeks. That’s awesome! Are you celebrating with me?
  • I have MAINTAINED my weight loss for two weeks. Do you know how hard it is to maintain weight loss? Ok, two weeks is nothing to brag about, but that means I’ve been eating and moving my body for two weeks, and my weight stayed pretty much the same. This is a gift because, I’ve learned how to maintain the weight I am, and my next step is to tweak what I am doing, so I can continue to lose the weight I need to lose in order to have optimal health. This was the first key lesson I learned: plateaus can be a gift.

I discovered something else. There are three levels of adapting to a new eating program, and each one has given me information to help me.

  1. Master Level: This level is one that you have figure out, and you don’t seem to be struggling. For me, I have easily been able to eat whole plant foods without any added oil, sugar, salt or flour for three weeks. I have also not had any alcohol or processed food. I am not struggling with this way of eating. I am enjoying it, and I don’t have to think much about it now. Mastered! The only thing I have allowed myself is the occasional tamari, hot mustard or HP sauce. On one occasion I had a delicious plant-based “cheese” dip, but it had too much fat and sodium in it, so I stopped using it.
  2. Learning Level: At this stage, you are applying another strategy, but it is not yet mastered. For me, it is intermittent fasting. My goal is to eat in a 10-hour window and to fast for the other 14 hours. I have been able to do this most days, but not all. This means I am still learning how to do it and learning how it works for me; it is not yet a practice I have mastered.
  3. Try or Introductory Level: Here, you are just trying something to see if it will help. You’ve just begun. For a couple of days now, I added in walking on my treadmill or outside as well as pausing to think about my actual hunger level after I finish eating my dinner. Since I’ve just started these two ways to move toward health, I consider them ways I am trying out.

Once you’ve mastered a bahavior change, these three levels are always at play. As I move along in my journey, I will be able to add things to the mastered category, continue learning things I tried out as well as introducing new tricks.

Both lessons will help me to see my successes and to realize that long-term weight loss is a process that takes time.

I can be patient. My health is worth it.

Live your true life,

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