Weight Loss Diaries: Losing Weight Means Making Big Sacrifices

In her first meeting with a personal trainer, Julie learns that the first step to slimming down will be giving up what she loves most: alcohol.

Julie is giving up what she loves—alcohol—to shed the pounds. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user Dinner Series.

Lhis week, weight loss blogger Julie Albert learned she’d have to give up her love of pink martinis for organic juice instead. Photograph of courtesy of Flickr user Dinner Series and Julie Albert.

I have a confession: I enjoy the hell out of wine, Champagne, and martinis. This love of mine—combined with eating blocks of cheese—can definitely leave a couple of extra pounds on my hips.

To help offset this passion for misguided nutrition, I usually don’t eat much during the day if I’m going out that night, or I’ll just wake up and run a few miles in the morning. It’s not the perfect picture of health, and running a few miles a few times a week just hasn’t been cutting it. After weighing myself the other week at 159 pounds, I decided this weight gain was serious and a good old-fashioned juice detox was in order.

This detox consisted of drinking only organic juices that I made with my juicer for three days—and I was feeling good. Also, my new raw-food-girl status had a nice ring to it. “That’s right, I only eat raw,” I wanted to tell people.

Julie’s Weight Tracker:

Starting: 159 pounds

Current: 156.6 pounds

Goal: 145 to 148 pounds

But even though I felt great day one, by day two I really didn’t know what to do with myself. I was more bored than hungry and realized my social and work life would not be so accommodating of my new ways. Try working for chef Robert Wiedmaier for seven years and maintaining your shape—it’s not easy, people. “Foie gras anyone? Or . . . would you prefer some kale juice?” And that’s just half the battle of my 9 to 5 job. I also have to attend a lot of charity events for work that are swarming with chefs and everything gluttonous! (The name of one of our upcoming events, Sugar and Champagne, says it all.)

Enter Elizabeth Brooks, my trainer for the month, who I begrudgingly acknowledged was going to rain on my parade of cheese and wine. I took a break from work Wednesday morning and hopped in a cab to meet Elizabeth at her private Capitol Hill studio, Effervescence. We started by discussing my current diet and exercise routine, which she explained involved a lot of cardio and not enough strength training. As part of our plan I was to have a minimum of four hour-long cardio sessions and two strengthening sessions per week. We went over ten different exercises, which included things like jump squats, stair-climbing, and crunches on a Bosu ball.

“I can do this!” I told myself during the workout. I thought it was the beginning of a great friendship. Then Elizabeth said, “You need to stop drinking—or only have one glass a week—until you lose this initial weight.”

Um, what?

She explained that every time I drink a glass of wine, that’s an extra 150 calories. That means for the two glasses (okay, maybe three or four) I have in one night, I’m drinking 450-plus more calories than needed.

In my head I was already thinking of ways to get around this. “I’ll quit the carbs, I’ll quit the cheese, I’ll even throw in four or five long cardio workouts. But can I please keep my Grey Goose light pink Cosmos on a Saturday night?”

Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works, Elizabeth said. It’s now been six days since I’ve had an alcoholic drink or eaten simple carbs. And guess what? I feel great. Going out makes me happy, but looking and feeling better will be even more rewarding. As a plus, my skin already looks better.

Nothing like a little public scrutiny from this blog to keep me on track!

Julie’s Weight Loss Plan

1) One-hour cardio sessions three to four times per week. Heart rate between 60 to 85 percent of maximum heart rate between 113 to 160 bpm (beats per minute).
2) Weight training twice a week (upper body, lower body, and core combination).
3) Flexibility: Stretch for five to ten minutes after each workout.
4) Meals: Five to six per day of approximately 300 calories each.
5) Avoid alcohol.
6) No eating within three hours of bedtime.

Follow Julie’s weight loss journey every Monday during the month of January. Follow her on Twitter at @juliealbert79.

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