Between the months of April and September 2015, I lost 25 lbs. When the weather started getting colder and I couldn’t go out to enjoy my favorite activity (biking), I switched my goal from losing weight to maintaining my weight loss. It was the first time in my life that I accomplished the weight loss goal I set for myself.

I’d been trying to lose weight my whole life. No matter what the scale said, I was always one size: too big. What made this time different? To be completely honest (and completely superficial) I took a job where I was around a lot of people. On a daily basis, I would speak to and/or see over 100 people). I started off slow and as the weight started coming off, these people started noticing. Now, I know you’re not supposed to care what other people think about you, and it wasn’t so much what they were thinking but what they were saying. I got many compliments about how well I was doing, how healthy I looked, and tons of soliciting me for advice on how I did it. My new nickname at work became “skinny.” Me? Skinny?

It was hard at first, but the more I resisted temptation, the easier it became. Even at the stage now, when I’m no longer trying to lose the weight but maintain it, I find it hard to go back to my previous eating habits. The biggest hindrance to me was mental. I grew up in a household of former Soviet immigrants. My grandmother grew up starving, surviving on bread and berries for 7 years of her life (yes really). My mother grew up in an economic climate of rations and bread lines. When we came to America, it was different. In America everything was available and everything was delicious. One’s plate needed to be completely cleaned and bread must be eaten with everything. At every meal, I ate and ate until I couldn’t eat anymore. This was my definition of full. But it wasn’t full, it was overstuffed. Portion size was the problem.

So I started decreasing it. What I didn’t do was count calories. I would pile food on my plate and then take off some part of it. The parts started small but got bigger. And I kept repeating this habit. I still eat this way today. I always make sure that I leave the table feeling like I could eat more, but satisfied with how much I did. The big challenge to this was work. It’s easy to control your environment when you’re home, but at work you can’t exactly reach for the freshest ingredients and prepare yourself a reasonably sized meal.

So what I started doing was packing a smaller portion and it all started once I found the perfect plastic lunch containers (some no-name brand I found at the dollar store with no discernible name). I could only fit so much into each container and this helped me.

What I also started to do was eat my meal twice. I called it “second lunch.”

At work, I like to take my lunch later in the day, around 2pm. I eat half of my prepared meal then and save the rest for around 4:00pm. This helps me in many ways:

  1. I am not stuffed after eating therefore can function at work without the desire to take a nap
  2. I am satisfied with just a light dinner when I come home at 7.
  3. I have something to look forward to after lunch…second lunch!


My weight loss is still a work in progress. I am happy to say that I have been able to maintain within the 5 lb range limit I gave myself. But starting January 2016, I have a goal to drop those last 15 lbs. Now that I’ve taken down 25, those should be a piece of…