Monday, May 20, 2013
Words fail me to describe how good I am feeling today!
Today, for the first time in almost 10 years, my scale reads 134 lb! So far, this has been my greatest personal victory of 2013. I am SO proud of myself for achieving this goal.
Everything started in August-2012, after my husband sparked me with some inspiration while we were watching the Olympics of London 2012. Admiring the human body and the amazing things those athletes can do. THIS was our initial spark. By the way, my wonderful husband is also losing weight, and he is doing great. We motivate each other which makes the journey more enjoyable.
In Aug-2012, I was 175 lbs. I have been struggling with yo-yo diets forever, but in terms of weight, the issue got worse after I let autism concerns take over my emotions. In 2008, I was an emotional mess and I used food to numb me. I was aware and unaware at the same time. I did not care about me, I only had time to worry about autism ALL.DAY.LONG. It was exhausting. I absolutely hated feeling like that. Thanks to all that is holy, I came to the realization that being selfish is NOT necessarily a bad thing: If I wanted to effectively help a loved one, I needed to help myself first. I learned that the problems are just as big as my mind perceive them, and that one's future is not defined by a diagnosis.
If I wanted to live a long life, I needed to change. I put things into perspective: Autism sucks but it is FAR from being the worst thing in the world. I saw light at the end of the tunnel. I got significantly better and got out of my emotional ordeal, but it wasn't enough. I can tell you that it was last year (2012) that finally something clicked in my brain to claim back my health and my body. I don't know if it was the initial spark and the constant motivation I receive from my husband, or reading the book "Women, Food, and God," or Tome Venuto's books, or Jillian Michael's books and videos, or all the great support I found on Sparkpeople.com and friends on Facebook, or a combination of everything, but something kept me inspired and focused on my goals. It is like a thick fog lifted between me and the woman who stares back at me in the mirror.
I lost 40 pounds in 9 months, but, due to health issues, I had a 2-month setback from December-2012 to February-2013. If I haven't had the health setback, I guess it might have taken me 7 months instead of 9, but I am still ecstatic with the results. I like to set deadlines to work on my goals, however, I learned that it is hard (but not impossible) to always meet them when it comes to weight-loss. I am not telling anyone that they should also set deadlines. This is just something that works for *ME* to stay on top of my game.
I paid attention to my body and learned the patterns and pace at which I lose weight based on my personal metabolism. I did not stress if I couldn't meet the deadline at any given moment. It is not a perfect, but rather a dynamic process in which I re-adjusted the diet, the workouts, and the deadlines to my given circumstances at the moment. Let me clarify that my husband only supported me in WHAT I did, and that he did not interfere in HOW I did it. I was completely on my own in the method I chose to work on my goal. A HEALTHY caloric deficit is a simple concept, but as a beginner who was completely on my own, it took me some trial and error. I figured out that if I did not want to go under a certain caloric intake, I needed to move my ass faster.
But what is more relevant than deadlines, is the constant motivation and commitment. I did not lose focus and it was clear to me that while accountability is instrumental, it comes hand in hand with motivation. I am only talking for what applies to ME: I learned that something is not really top priority if I don't give everything I've got through true commitment and high spirits. After losing all of this weight, and realizing it wasn't too difficult, I wonder why it took me so long? The answer is that, in retrospect, I wasn't emotionally ready to do this. I wasn't ready while I was depressed a few years ago. I wasn't ready to do this until I understood my emotional state. If I wasn't ready emotionally, I could just quit hoping to pick it up later - That's exactly what happened to me in 2009, when I dropped the journey half way. But this time I felt empowered, and strong, and ready to walk the walk until the end.
I acknowledge that going through the physical pain of those workouts can be MENTALLY intimidating, but I felt so energized that procrastination was a card I did not play. Avoiding pain was not an option. I got comfortable feeling uncomfortable. I accepted the pain and saw it as my way to conquer small victories. By praising my small victories, I never lost faith even while hitting plateaus and going through setbacks. Besides, one can always take advantage of the wonders of Tylenol.
During the time I was unable to exercise due to my health issues, I stayed focused on my diet. I resumed exercising in February-2013. I am not going to lie: I hate running or working out, but I have come to terms with it not only because it accelerate the results, but also because exercise is the best form of preventive healthcare. In days that I cannot run outside, I exercise at home with home videos. In case you are wondering: I stopped going to the gym (long story - but I will return soon). Never underestimate the power of jumping jacks, jump ropes, lunges, and squats. Running and old school workouts are proven to WORK with anyone and this is something totally free.
Oh, and in case you haven't noticed: The reason why I named this blog entry "WEIGHT Goal Met" (and not just "Goal Met"), is because I am not done yet. I am finally at my ideal body weight (I'm a tall girl), but now I am going to put all my attention on weight lifting. I want some muscles! The good news is that I am not skinny-fat. I took the bod pod test and it turns out that my body fat is totally NORMAL, but I don't want to look too skinny. I would love to enhance my fitness level and be able to do pull-ups. And of course, muscles are good for the metabolism!
Before I finish this entry, I want to say to all of you struggling with weight issues something that you probably have heard and read hundreds of times: BELIEVE in yourself and please do not quit. PLEASE stay focused, you will get there at your own pace.
Cathy from Atlanta.