The first thirty

Regarding the weightloss I described in my previous post (thank you so much for all the comments and warm, fuzzy love about that!), I should probably clarify that it didn’t just magically melt off due to hiking. I’m a firm believer in the saying that you can’t out-exercise your mouth. Those 500 calories you might burn on a hike won’t make much of a dent if you reward yourself with a giant chocolate bar afterwards (not that I would ever do that, of course, she whistles innocently).

(That said, backpacking trips and very long dayhikes did lead to weightloss for me, thanks to the combination of sustained exercise and low calorie intake, because I just ended up eating way less than I would at home. Road trips where we would camp and go backpacking were especially effective, but of course my weight would just shoot back up the second I came home and resumed my normal eating habits.)

The big change was, I think, a change in the way I saw myself. Suddenly I was out there experiencing a whole new world and my body started feeling stronger every time I climbed a mountain. That confidence boost made me respect myself enough to start taking better care of my body.

I flirted with a few things like Weight Watchers, but never lasted very long because I just loathe any sort of food tracking with every fiber of my being. So mostly I just ate healthier than before. Honestly, my diet prior to discovering hiking was so atrocious that even the smallest of tweaks gave big results, but I also learned to really love vegetables. I started reading healthy living blogs and learned that kale is a thing, and actually a surprisingly tasty thing! I discovered the joy of cooking, which in itself was a huge step up from eating french fries and Quorn nuggets and all sorts of pre-packaged junk every day, even though I smothered most things in cheese. (My affair with chocolate, however, kept burning with the fiery passion of a thousand suns.)

I lost around 30 pounds that first year, then lost and gained the same 15 or so over and over and over and over again, depending on my state of mind. Last year, I found my preferred way of eating and (effortlessly! it’s magic!) lost 35 pounds over the course of three months before becoming pregnant, and now I’m working on the last 30 or so that it will take for me to reach a truly healthy weight. Just last week I reached the “normal” BMI range for the first time. I know everyone loves to hate BMI, but I don’t have enough muscle mass to skew the results, so I’m going to take this as a huge win.

A big difference today is that it’s truly health-motivated for me. Like a lot of women in our society, I’ve always had a strained relationship with my body and my appearance, but something about having kids has made me put much less weight (heh) on my looks. (I like to think that I’ve matured, but maybe I’m just too chronically sleep-deprived to give any f*cks.) I won’t lie, it’s fun to look at photos and see a big difference, or to be able to use the baby carrier after JK has worn it without having to loosen the waist belt (woot!), but it’s way more rewarding to be able to hike briskly uphill without getting out of breath and to finally see my cholesterol fall into the normal range.

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  • Reply Karen April 17, 2017 at 10:07 am

    I experienced weight loss much like you. Keep up the good work.

    Quick question…..why did you change your instagram page to private….I loved seeing where you would hike with your girls… live in a beautiful place???

    • Reply Ingunn Markiewicz April 17, 2017 at 10:20 am

      I started feeling iffy about sharing so many photos of the girls where anyone could see them!

  • Reply Lisa April 17, 2017 at 10:33 am

    You look great! Great job! What was your “preferred” method that helped this last time? Was it just cooking more whole foods?

    • Reply Ingunn Markiewicz April 17, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Whole-foods plant-based – I started following Dr. Fuhrman’s way of eating last year but then totally fell off the wagon when morning sickness hit, then climbed back on board in February and joined his official health study. I’ll write more about it but in short you just focus on eating micronutrients rather than thinking about macronutrients. JK is eating like this too and we’re both enjoying it so much! It really works for us.

  • Reply Karen April 17, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Fair and I understand.
    Keep getting them outdoors….it’s the best gift you could give them.

    Take care.

  • Reply Mary April 17, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Congratulations on the first 30! (And the food pic at the top of your post looks delicious.)

  • Reply CarrieH April 18, 2017 at 6:38 am

    So there is no magic button? Darn! I agree that unless you eat healthy the pounds don’t really come off the way we want. I also agree that hiking and/or doing things outside as much as possible is the best path to feeling better and happier. On a side note–I love your scrapbook pages and hope that you keep sharing them. I get the whole not-sharing-kids-photos, but your scrapbook pages are simple and inspiring and beautiful.

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