Since I have been a slacker since my last post and haven't responded to the several comments I received, I have decided to do so.
Thank you for all the congratulations. You should be happy to know that two weeks later I am maintaining my weight loss and feeling good.
Several people asked me how I did my weight loss, and the answer is really simple, basic and unglamorous ... it was portion control, eating less calories after 6 p.m. and exercise.
That was really it. Crystal's cooking being as good as it is, I had to work hard to do it, but I did.
The fact that it was a contest helped a lot, too, because I could get my competitive juices flowing to help me go.
One trick for portion control is using smaller plates. Crystal and I have full-size dinner plates, but for most meals we use half-size plates (maybe you'd call them salad plates) and that limits the amount of food we can put on the plate. There is something satisfying about seeing a full plate of food in front of you, and if your plate isn't as big, it can be full and you don't eat as much.
Another thing I found is that in the evening, about 9 p.m., usually, I get kind of peckish, and want a treat. At that point, I would drink a can of diet beverage, which had the taste I wanted, with between 10 and zero calories, plus it filled me up enough that I didn't want anything.
Finally, on nights when it was really hard, I would brush my teeth early so I had another barrier between me and the fridge.
One key was also that I didn't tell myself anything was off limits. I had ice cream a couple times and some cupcakes, etc. I just didn't have them every time they were available or every time I wanted them.
As for exercise, I have been running about 3 miles at least once a week, and playing basketball for one or two hours on other days.
As an interesting aside, I am now getting used to how my body feels with less fat reserves. Fast Sunday was a lot harder this past month because my body didn't have as much backup energy. Also, on Monday, I ran three miles then came home, showered, and ran some errands for a couple hours with Crystal and Clara. By the time we got home I was really, really hungry. I ate my dinner pretty quickly, but I didn't eat a lot (bowl of chili, biscuit and an artichoke), but afterward I felt really crummy and later ended up emptying my stomach into the lawn. My body just wasn't up for exercise and then a three-hour wait for food. Kind of a rotten way to learn my lesson there, but I certainly learned it.
I never thought about it beforehand, but there are a lot of changes beyond the physical ones after losing a chunk of weight. I would be interested to hear how the people who lose 100+ pounds deal with learning to live with their new body.