A few years back, during my freshman year of college, I gained a lot of weight without really noticing. It should have been obvious. I had hurt my ankle badly playing basketball over winter break and was unable to do anything. My shredded ankle was unable to handle walking, much less running, and even swimming and biking were a no-go. My best form of exercise was hobbling across the snowy campus on crutches to attend class. Prior to this, I had been running every day, if not twice per day. I was out of commission for over two months.
How I Gained Weight
My lack of exercise definitely contributed to my weight gain but not as much as my poor diet. Many college students have pre-paid meal plans that allow them to eat as much as they want at buffet style cafeterias. My dorm also had a convenience store located near the entrance that stocked my favorite sugary treats. Unlike weight loss, weight gain can often happen without notice.
How I Lost Weight
After over 2 months of being unable to run, I started up again. It was a long process, my ankle was still on the mend and running with over 20 extra pounds is not fun. My first step to losing the weight was to cut out the late night treats. Initially, I craved them as they had become part of my nightly routine. After a few days of no or much healthier treats, my cravings began to subside. My next step in losing the weight was portion control. I avoided the buffet style cafeterias and began eating at other cafeterias where you pay per item. Having one entree and healthy sides was much better than eating a few cheeseburgers and a large bowl of ice cream. Eventually, my ankle was fully healed and my running returned to full capacity.
Before my injury, I weighed between 152 and 155 pounds. I realized that I needed to lose weight when the scales tipped 181 pounds. I had gained over 20 pounds in just a few months and I was determined to lose all of my excess weight in the same time. It was mid-March when I started losing weight. I lost 5 pounds during that month, 8 more during April and 8 more during May. I was now hovering around 160 pounds. It was not quite my ideal weight but it was getting closer and I was feeling great. The last few pounds would come off slowly during the summer.
I learned that it is very easy to gain weight and a little harder to lose it. If you are trying to lose weight, realize that it is going to be a long process. Perseverance is a must.