Marathon Not A Sprint
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Here's the thing, I used to think blogging has gotten out of hand. Too many people have blogs and nothing to say on them. It's the reason I stayed away from keeping a blog, what would I say? "Went to work, man the new Grisham is popular. Patrick roasted/grilled/baked a (insert meat here) for dinner." My life is boring and mundane and I like it that way. But recently I was talking with a friend about her weight loss struggles and I realized I actually do have something to say. Quite a lot really. You see, 3 and a half years ago I was at an all time low. I changed jobs, decided to go back to school and moved home for a bit. Oh yeah, and I weighed a lot. A whole lot. Buying clothes was uncomfortable because even some of the size 16s were too tight and I refused to shop at a plus size store. Refused to believe that I was plus sized. But of course, I was. I blamed a lot of it on genes, "I have a large frame"or "I'm big-boned" were my defense mechanisms and fast food and ice cream were my coping mechanisms.
Then one day out of the blue I went to the gym. This wasn't entirely unrealistic because I had a gym membership and I went on rare occasions. Like when there was a full moon or I felt particularly guilty about the Qdoba burrito and order of chips I had devoured. By myself. But something was different this time. Going to the gym felt good and when I was done I felt relieved. For the 30 minutes or so I was there I didn't have to think about work or having to move home. I could focus on me and only me. It felt so good I kept doing it and after awhile I got brave enough to get on the scale. 231. That number was hard to process then and it's hard to process now. That is a big number. Like Biggest loser big. I wanted to blame it on my impossibly large bones or sluggish metabolism, but I knew I had only myself to blame. And I kept at it.
Little by little the pounds fell off. And to those of you who said it looked like it "melted off" God bless you, but I wanted to punch you in the face. I WISH it melted off, instead it slowly trickled. Eventually though I got down to my first goal of 180. I kept going and when I met my future fiance Patrick I was down to about 157. I stayed there for awhile and then the inevitable happened. I got comfortable. Patrick, )who had also dropped a ton of weight) and I became enablers. "You've had a hard day, you deserve the extra scoop of ice cream." "Cookies? I mean, if you're going to make them I'll certainly eat them." This continued and 10 pounds packed on. Patrick finally said something and we had what has been and probably will be our biggest fight ever. He said "we" need to change, but I only heard "you." Once I stopped calling him an insensitive pig I got back on track and dropped the weight and another 10. I've almost lost another 10 on top of that. Shopping is fun once again. I went from a 16 to a size 4/6 and have to stop myself from buying things just because they fit. Old habits die hard.
In all of this I realized that food and exercise are things I'm really passionate about because they are things I had to educate myself on. I thought calorie sounded suspiciously like a science word for a long time and avoided it. My mother is a smart woman with an advanced degree but she had no idea how to get her overweight teenager off the couch. Our food system is broken. We see so many ads for fast food that we think that's the only way to eat when we're in a hurry. We have to make the effort and try harder because living shorter lives than our parents is not an option. Heart disease and cancer and diabetes are all these words that sound scary, but very far away to people in their 20's, but they are getting closer and closer. Younger and younger people are having strokes, heart attacks and early death because they don't know what they are doing when they eat. Our generation can turn all of this around, but we have to start somewhere.
For my friends struggling with weight and finding the time to exercise this is for you. I hope I can share what I learned and I hope it helps. This is also for me, to keep me accountable and proud of how far I have come.