Monday, July 16, 2012
Hey! I'm not much of a blogger, but today I feel as if there are certain thoughts that I'd love to express to an encouraging community, and sparkpeople is obviously the perfect venue!
Since reaching a healthy BMI for my height and weight in early June, I have become only that much more serious about my health and fitness. As I've stepped up my commitment, my quality of life has improved and my overall lifestyle has become wholly altered for the better (also, I've lost a few more pounds, which is cool, too, but not as important as it used to be). All of this commitment is ironic considering that I am currently in an incredibly transitional phase in my life right now. Really, it's the one of the biggest transitions of my life thus far. I graduated from college as an undergrad in May with my bachelor's degree. My college was located not too far from my family's house, so I commuted to school while continuing to live at home.
In March, I was given an offer to attend graduate school in Ohio, with full waiver of tuition/fees, a teaching assistantship, and a large stipend for my living expenses. On August 19th, I will be leaving my hometown, my parents' house, my job (which I've been at for over two years), and my friends and family to go live in a whole new state in a single-person apartment while enrolled in a highly stressful graduate program where I know hardly anyone. I'm not worried about making new friends, and I'm actually really excited to live on my own (especially since I won't have my parents' unhealthy groceries present to tempt me). However, the thing that does worry me is whether or not I will be able to maintain the balance. I did a great job when I was an undergrad, but graduate school is such a mystery and I'm not sure what to expect.
Yet at the same time, I am not too worried because... I feel like I've changed. The things that used to make me slip up or break down don't affect me anymore. I'm an adult. I'm responsible. I'm pragmatic. And I love it. And really, I owe so much to sparkpeople, as well as to the positive influences in my own life. For instance, I spent this past weekend visiting my incredible cousin. Before this visit, her and I had never met, due to the fact that our fathers (who are brothers) have been estranged from one another for almost 30 years. She has an office job, but she is very serious about yoga, and wants to become certified for yoga therapy, which I found so inspiring. Being temporarily immersed in her life made me reflect on my own life and on sparkpeople, and I realized that there were two aspects of this new lifestyle of mine that I have come to love more than anything else:
1. Nutrition/Healthy Eating/Eating Clean: This is something that I feel has made me a better, happier person overall. I study nutrition now as much as my major. While still a novice, I would love to potentially pursue something more related to nutrition in the future.
2. Pilates: I can't help it. I. Love. Pilates! It is my exercise niche. I originally tried it out as a fun experiment, to see if it would actually strengthen my core as much as it claimed it would. I was feeling/seeing the difference after only a few days, and I found my regular pilates routines to be extremely relaxing. I certainly plan to immerse myself in further studies of pilates.
These two loves of my newly-fit life are what reassure me during this transitional period. Instead of feeling like work, I find myself effortlessly immersed in this lifestyle. I don't do it because I have to. I do it because I can't help myself. Don't get me wrong, it took a lot of work to get the point where I could feel this way. But now that I'm here, I am never going back.
Monday, July 02, 2012
Chances are, nobody is going to read this, but that's okay because I honestly just want to express what I'm feeling right now.
Three years ago, I weighed around 180 pounds. I didn't eat healthy. I didn't work out. And most importantly, I didn't feel good about myself. I felt lethargic, large, lazy... I knew that I needed to change, that I needed to lose weight, but felt that the task was just too daunting; it just seemed easier to stay the way that I was. I remember thinking that as long as I never reached 200 pounds and just always stayed in the 100s, then I'd be happy with that.
I never necessarily struggled with weight throughout my life. I was always a bit chubbier than the other girls, even starting in elementary school, but I never struggled with it personally. My weight was a present fact in my life, and it was certainly a vulnerable subject for me, but it was never something that I felt I had to immediately change or deal with. I ran cross country in high school (I weighed somewhere in the mid-to-low 140s then...), mainly to spend more time with my friends because all of my best friends were cross country runners. High school cross country was pivotal because it introduced running into my life. After my first season of cross country, I knew that running would always be a part of my life, no matter how much I weighed.
I gained a lot of weight after high school. I had attended college right out of high school, but dropped out shortly after enrolling. While all of my other friends were starting their exciting college lives, I was working a banquet serving job in my hometown while living with my parents. This wasn't what I had hoped and planned for myself, and I became incredibly distressed over the matter. I was lazy that year. I did go back to school the following year, though, and things got better, but my weight was still high.
Here was the turning point for me: I gave up meat in 2009. Now, I'm not going to start preaching about the benefits of vegetarianism; as far as I'm concerned, people can eat whatever they want. When I first started, I had some ethical reasons for becoming an ovo-lacto vegetarian, but they ultimately faded over time. I realized quite quickly that I did not miss meat, AT ALL. I also realized that once I cut meat out of my diet, many of my food alternatives were generally a lot healthier (not always the case, but generally) and I was eating a lot more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In the beginning of 2011, I introduced fish back into my diet, mainly for health reasons, and have been living comfortably as a pescatarian ever since.
Once I gave up meat, my weight started to slowly dwindle over the years that followed. Last summer (2011), my friend and I started meeting at the track five days a week. We'd run a mile (or more), stretch together, chat, catch up, and go home. It was a nice fitness routine, and by the end of the summer, people were complimenting me on how much weight I'd lost. To myself, I still looked the same. Yet to everyone around me, I looked drastically more fit and healthy. I went to the doctor in November and she asked, "Have you been trying to lose weight?" "Sort of..." I said. And she ran through my weight numbers from the past few years; every doctor's visit was a lower number: 180...165....157...147. She turned to me and said, "Good for you!"
I found this to be both exciting and empowering. So I kept it up, mainly because I was curious and wanted to see just how much I could lose. Yet ultimately, it became less about weight loss and more about... establishing a balance in my life. I wanted to have energy, to do well at work, to get all my schoolwork done, to sleep enough each night, to eat foods that make me feel good... I wanted all of these things more than I wanted to lose weight. Yet ultimately, these goals fed in to my weight loss goals because of the fact that they were healthy choices for my life.
I weighed myself in January at 141 pounds, and then didn't step on a scale again until June 14th. To be honest, I was scared to step on the scale in June. I KNEW I felt good about myself, but I was worried that the scale would tell me a number that would make me feel lazy or unmotivated... a number that would make me feel like I wasn't doing enough.
But then I stepped on and I saw an amazing number: 135. I was floored. For the first time since childhood, I was in the healthy BMI range for my height and weight. I NEVER thought that was possible. And yet there it was. And suddenly, everything seemed possible.
Today, July 2nd, 2012, I weigh 132 pounds. I've been motivated by each small success and it has helped me to continue to stay active and eat well. But what has motivated me the most, much more than the weight loss, is simply how I feel. The girl who used to feel lethargic, lazy, and large now feels active, energetic, and strong. I feel the change in every single aspect of my life. And it feels good. REALLY good.
I feel like I can do just about anything.
Monday, December 26, 2011
I wanted to share/document some of my stats from the past couple of years. I've been slowly losing weight since 2010, which has mainly been the result of a much busier lifestyle, meaning that I was losing weight but not because I was trying to. However, I spent four months this past summer running outdoors five days a week and found it to be quite gratifying and transformative. So I'd really like to maintain an active lifestyle. :)
Anyways, as per my history, here are my original measurements/stats from June 14th, 2010:
Weight = 174
Waist = 34"
Thigh = 24"
Hips = 42"
Upper Arm = 14"
One Mile PR: 11:44:87
Measurements/stats from July 14th, 2011:
Weight = 153
Waist = 32"
Thigh = 23"
Hips = 41"
Upper Arm = 12"
One Mile PR: 9:27:44
And lastly, my measurements from today, December 26, 2011:
Weight = 147(?) (This was my weight during my last doctor's visit a few weeks ago. I weighed myself at the gym today and it said 140, but I'm 99% positive that that number is completely inaccurate, so until I can weigh myself again, I'm going with 147.)
Waist = 31"
Thigh = 21"
Hips = 40"
Upper Arm = 12"
One Mile PR: N/A
Anyways, that's my fitness history thus far! Let's hope those numbers continue to drop during my sparkpeople experience. :)
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